Fremont Warriors in Nine Mile Canyon


Late Northern San Rafael Fremont 800 A.D. to 1250 A.D. Nine Mile Canyon Carbon County


Some archeologists claim that at their peak over a million Fremont inhabitants resided in Utah.  Around 1250 A.D. these people mysteriously vanished.  Dramatic climate change, leading to a multi-year drought, large-scale fires and animal relocation may explain the end of the Fremont civilization.  Did the loss of resources lead to warfare among small bands?  The granaries for food storage located high on the cliffs of Nine Mile Canyon and other canyons occupied by the Fremont people indicate defensive positions.  Possibly the Fremont farmers were attacked by bands of Numic hunters.  Did this petroglyph document the final struggles of the Fremont people?  Did the Fremont people migrate?  Did their lineage lead to the Ute tribal nations?  We don’t know.


This petroglyph is hidden in a rock alcove facing the West Tavaputs Plateau.  The thirty-foot dust clouds spewed from massive energy industry trucks only occasionally reach this petroglyph.  So far the rock surface is free of gummy gray dust laden with a corrosive compound, magnesium chloride, recently added to Nine Mile Canyon’s dirt road by natural gas companies as a dust suppressant. The excellent condition of the rock surface of this panel high above the dirt road contrasts with petroglyphs along the road.  I am convinced that magnesium chloride is going to destroy Nine Mile Canyon rock art.  I have raised this issue with BLM personnel who agree that available research does not support the decision to use corrosive magnesium chloride on Nine Mile, Dry Creek and Cottonwood Canyon dirt roads.  Yet the practice continues.