Since Karen and Serra were not arriving until later in the evening on October 29, I decided to head out to Santa Clara River Preserve in Utah to hike along the cliff top searching for petroglyphs I may have missed when I was there the last time. Carmen decided to stay at the motel and relax. I drove through the the Joshua Tree ‘forest’ area on highway 91, and enjoyed the desert landscape of the quiet scenic route back into Utah. Santa Clara is one of my favorite hikes so I took Karen, Serra and Jade back there the next day. Partway up the hill are the remains of an Ancestral Puebloan farmhouse 1000 years old overlooking valley with incredible views of the surrounding mountains.
Santa Clara River Preserve : “The lower reach of the Santa Clara River has been used and modified by humans for thousands of years. Evidence of different cultures is found throughout the reserve in the form of habitation sites, special activity areas, and rock art localities.
Early indigenous people became corn and bean farmers who irrigated their crops by diverting water from streams like the Santa Clara River. They constructed permanent village sites and produced fine quality ceramics, leaving abundant and tangible evidence of their presence on Land Hill, along the riparian corridor, and elsewhere in the reserve.
Later, the only indigenous people who permanently occupied the region were the Southern Paiute. At springs and along the stream channels, they, too, practiced small-scale farming. Hunting and gathering of native plants were also important in the economic adaptations of the early Southern Paiute. The Shivwits Band of Southern Paiute continue to make the banks of the Santa Clara their homeland.” – info from BLM Website