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Saturday, March 08, 2014

Beautiful Arch And Unique Rock Art West Of St. George

Lone Pine Arch - photo by Dave Webb
The weather has been spectacular in southern Utah during the past several days – sunny, warm and dry. And it looks like that pattern will hold through next week. Now is a perfect time to hike, bike, jeep and explore Utah's red-rock national parks and playgrounds.

It is now spring in the St. George area. I'm just back from a visit and I enjoyed seeing the almond trees in bloom. But, most of all I enjoyed hiking in the warm sunshine. I choose to get away from the crowds and explore an area west of St. George, and I had a great time. We hunted down a beautiful natural arch and found unique and interesting rock art in an area known as Red Hollow. My photos show those attractions.

We were way out in the boonies, all by ourselves in a rugged and remote area, which is exactly the experience I wanted. We drove old US Hwy 91 west from St. George, west from Ivins, and continued west past the Gunlock Road. We turned onto the dirt Motoqua Road and drive northwest for about 16 miles, crossing the Shivwits Indian Reservation. We then drove east on a very rough 4X4 road which brought us right up to Red Hollow.

The natural arch seems to be known by a couple names, the most common of which is Lone Pine Arch. It may also be know as Ripple Arch. It is located high on a red sandstone mountain and can be reached by serious scrambling up several cliff faces.

Rock Art In Red Hollow - photo by Dave Webb
Arches are common in southeastern Utah (Arches National Park) but are less common in the St. George/Zion Park area. Kolob Arch, in Zion, is one of our most famous arches and it was long thought to be the largest natural arch in the world. Now, with modern measurements, it is thought that Landscape Arch is the largest and Kolob is a near second.

But most people would be hard pressed to name another natural arch or bridge in the St. George/Zion area. During the past few years I've hiked to and photographed several that are very impressive, and Lone Pine is one of the best.

I was tickled to find the rock art. I've been searching the area around Gunlock for rock art and I've found a number of good panels. But the art at Red Hollow is totally unique, quite different from other panels in the area. I've launched a website where I'm compiling my rock art photos and I'm getting a pretty good collection.

I'll be going back soon because I've heard of a couple more excellent panels in the area.

With weather this nice, I might just decide to stay down there.

- Dave Webb


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