Buckhorn Draw

We’re camping at the San Rafael Bridge BLM Campground in Buckhorn Draw, in the northern part of the San Rafael Swell.

The draw starts near the Wedge Overlook and drops down through a canyon toward the south. The scenery in the Draw is fantastic. It reminds us of the area around Capitol Reef National Park.

Buckhorn Draw, South of San Rafael River
Buckhorn Draw, South of San Rafael River

We hiked a few side canyons each day. In theory there are marked trailheads. In practice not so much. Finding the unmarked trailheads is hit or miss. We gave up on finding some of the trailheads and hiked a couple of 4wd Jeep/OHV trails instead.

The side canyons are nice hikes.

From the campground we hiked a couple miles up the Mexican Mountain road and got a view of the San Rafael river valley and the Swinging Bridge area, looking west. The bridge and campground are located down in the green area.

In one canyon we ran into an elementary school field trip.  The school bus dropped off about 40 kids and a handful of adults at the top of one of the canyons & picked them up at the bottom. We met them on their way down. The kids spent the rest of the day hanging out by the Swinging Bridge and campground. Beats the heck out of Reading, ‘Riting and ‘Rithmatic.

There are pictographs in the canyon. The panel below is visible from the road. It’s thought that some of the art is about 2000 years old.

Pictographs, Buckhorn Draw

The first night here we caught a nice sunset, as the setting sun peaked through the canyon to the west and illuminated the mesas to the east of the campground.

The campground is primitive. Vault toilet. No water. No trash cans. Pack out your trash. Its also in an open cattle range area, so you get to socialize with the bovines at odd intervals.

Their schedule, not yours.

It’s in the middle of nowhere, but for some reason it has a half of a bar (-120db) of T-Mobile service, but only in one tiny spot next to the camper. Must be from a tower down by I-70, bounced off the canyon walls as few times. Verizon’s been non-existent in this area, despite what’s show on their coverage map.

So far on this trip we hit a couple of places where T-Mobile has better coverage than Verizon. Didn’t expect that from TMO.

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