Searching for Julien

Being somewhat under the weather the past few days, I opted to stay home all weekend. Joan had her WFR recert all weekend, so it worked well to take it easy. But I needed to get at least a little hiking in this weekend.

A local hike seemed a perfect idea.

Feeling a bit better, I revisited a place I had not seen in some time and went to see something the recent packrafting trips inspired.

Carving your name over 800+ yr old images today is not acceptable by today’s standards vs. 1844.

I went to find and saw one of the Julien inscriptions. Though most seem inscribed along the river, the theory behind this inscription is that Julien avoided potential issues with Utes and the strife with traders by taking an overland route.  This route differed from typical crossings of the Colorado River and possibly avoided a potentially dangerous predicament.

An older article that takes a deeper dive into this subject makes some worthwhile reading. A recent book about Julien appears out of print, and I am currently waiting for a library loan for this book. 

Finding an inscription relatively far away from the river in a “hidden in plain sight” area makes a person think, especially when you travel there on foot.

Of course, people came long before Julien and others used this area well into relatively modern times for more than recreation.

I enjoy these hikes, where I see images and other signs of people who came before me.

Lithic remnant.

Hiking makes an interesting way to see and experience the cultural geography of an area that reading and driving, for sure, do not always bring forth.

Each step gives you a better feel for why people came this way.

And what landmarks draw both travelers then and now.

And the red rocks of the Colorado Plateau on a late fall day do not disappoint, either.

Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
1 year ago

Your hikes always inspire! I recently visited the Petroglyph National Monument in Albuquerque, NM and saw many older and more recent petroglyphs. It’s fascinating to see stuff 500+ years old, plus Spanish settlers’ symbols that are more recent. Thanks for sharing re: the fur trader. Very interesting stuff.