Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Gypsum Gap Rockshelter

Gypsum Gap is a pass between the Disappointment Valley and Big Gypsum Valley along Route 141, east of Dove Creek, in southwest Colorado. On the south side of the Gap is a natural rock overhang with several petroglyphs and other inscriptions from the past.

The gravel road turnoff isn’t marked but it is only a short walk from the highway to view the site. There is a good interpretive sign in front of the alcove that provides some information on possible meanings and the importance of these clues to the past. 

There is also information on how the visitor can help preserve these sites. This area is in the canyons and valleys to the east of the lower Dolores River. Despite the dry climate, the lower Dolores area is rich in rugged scenery and this type of site.

The evidence found here indicates that the earliest inhabitants may have been here as early as 5500 BC. Later, the Ancestral Pueblos, Utes and Navajo used this site. 

Each of these groups left images among the 11 panels that have been identified.

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