Range Creek, a tributary of the Green River, is hidden in the Book Cliffs of Eastern Utah and contains virtually untouched ruins, granaries and petroglyph rock art sites. After its change from private ranching to public domain in 2001, Range Creek was opened for research and restricted vehicle access. Moab-based nonprofit education organization, Canyonlands Field Institute (CFI), is one of four operators in the nation permitted to lead public tours into this treasure-trove of well-preserved archaeological wonders.
A trail of remains tells a cryptic story about the life the Fremont people that inhabited Range Creek, dating back to 1000 AD. Extensive research has uncovered nearly four hundred sites including granaries, rock art panels, ruins and artifact scatters. One of the most perplexing features of Range Creek is the presence of granaries tucked high into the canyon walls, where modern-day ropes and rappels are needed in order to access.
Since 2004, the current 4,200 acres has been managed by the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources (DWR). With active archaeological research underway by the University of Utah and the Natural History Museum of Utah, just over 10% of the area has been surveyed so far in an attempt to get a scope of the resource before any protections are lifted.
June 21-22, CFI will be leading a trip into the lost world of Range Creek for a two-day, one night journey. Join CFI guides as they narrate the story of the people who lived in Range Creek, how they lived, and why they eventually left. Participants will visit a ranch house, learn about archaeological issues, do moderate hiking, and get a behind-the-scenes glimpse of outstanding cultural history not available to the general public.
Trip includes transportation from Green River, UT, permits, a comfortable vehicle-supported camp, and healthy meals. Destinations in Range Creek are at a comfortable elevation among ponderosa pine, where sightings of large mammals such as bison, bear, and elk are common. Call 435-259-7750, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit cfimoab.org for more information and to register.
Canyonlands Field Institute is a non-profit outdoor education organization whose mission is to increase awareness and appreciation for the Colorado Plateau through direct natural and cultural experiences. All profits help support youth and school outdoor education programs.