Rock Art Translation
stories from the Bible and Book of Mormon,
weather phenomena like clouds, rain and lightening.
people and vehicles from outer space.
A more plausible explanation is from the Paiute Indians, who have used Clear Creek Canyon for many generations and consider, at least partially because the rock art is here, that the canyon is a sacred place. They think that the rock art tells stories about their past and use it as a means to teach traditions that might otherwise be forgotten. The canyon that this trail explores is named Little Dog Canyon. The Paiutes believe that not only the rock art but also the shapes of the rocks tell about the Fremont emergence from the underworld.
THE FREMONT EMERGENCE STORY (PATTERNED AFTER HOPI TRADITION)
The people were living in the third world or the underworld. They knew that there was a world above because they could hear walking sounds on the roof over them. It was cold, and wicked people lived there, so they wanted to find a way to get to the fourth world. The elders summoned four birds to try to find the way to get out. The eagle, hawk and swallow in their turn flew up and out of sight and after a long time each returned completely exhausted and unsuccessful. Then the shrike took his turn. He would find tall trees and cliffs to rest on as he made his attempts and after a very long time returned to the elders and announced that he had found the hole in the sky. The people planted a river reed which magically grew until it reached up through the hole. River reeds at that time were completely hollow so the people began to climb up inside of the reed to reach the world above. The wicked people from the underworld started up through the reed. The creator jointed the river reed trapping the evil people inside the reed. That is why the reed is jointed and you will hear a rattling sound if you pick it and shake it. The evil people started to climb up the outside of the reed to reach the new world, so the people knocked down the reed breaking it into its jointed pieces. The creator placed the eagle to guard the opening to see that the people of the underworld would never reassemble the reed and come to the new world.
The panel to the south of the driveway is thought to tell the emergence story. The panel is faint and the different elements, like the plants and animals that make up the parts of the story, are difficult to see. For your safety, please do not walk any closer to this panel.
Look across the parking lot at the rocks that form the east skyline. The largest rock is called the reed rock and is said to represent the base of the reed. The smaller rocks around it are the parts of the reed after it was broken into pieces. On what looks like the right side of the reed rock is a hold that is actually part of the eagle rock which is about six feet east of the reed rock. On the east side of the reed rock is a petroglyph of a reed, with a wavy line over it that portrays the separation between the third and fourth worlds, that was drawn by the Fremont. At equinox, in March and September, at sunrise, the eagle rock casts a shadow on the reed rock creating a large image of an eagle over the rock panel.