Nine Mile Canyon
Nine Mile Canyon has 50 miles of canyon roads that offer archaeological rock art sites at every turn. The canyon is famous for its prehistoric Fremont Indian ruins, petroglyphs and pictographs, and contains the largest concentration of ancient Indian rock art in the North America. Mountain biking is an excellent way to view the unique art in the canyon.
The various biking trails in the canyon pass old homesteads, working ranches and a lot of beautiful scenery, in addition to rock art everywhere! Because of the dry climate and isolation from large population centers, the canyon remains much as it was hundreds of years ago. A BLM map is suggested to help you know whether you are on public or private land while in the canyon. Nine Mile Canyon is off the beaten track and has minimal facilities, so come prepared with your own water. And don't forget that it is illegal to disturb any archaeological site or to remove artifacts. Nine Mile Canyon is protected by the Antiquities Act which states that a person may not appropriate, excavate, injure, or destroy any historic or prehistoric ruins or dwellings or other structures.
Directions: The turnoff to Nine Mile Canyon is about 2 miles east of Wellington on US 191/6 (Soldier Creek Road). From the turnoff, drive 20 miles on paved and graded dirt roads to the head of Nine Mile Canyon. Watch for rock art panels on the final 8-mile stretch beginning at the Minnie Maud Creek bridge. Park where Sheep Creek Canyon branches off from Nine Mile Canyon. From here there are several riding options. Novice riders will enjoy the 8-mile out-and-back back tour up Sheep Canyon that features an outstanding petroglyph panel. Intermediate riders can park at Dry Canyon and start at the "Mummy Rock" formation and follow the road up Dry Canyon. Also enjoyable is riding the Nine Mile Canyon Road from any location along the road, creating your own itinerary along the way. This is a remote area and cyclists need to be self-sufficient.
Information courtesy of Castle Country Travel Region.
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