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Cañon Pintado

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Colorado 139, 12 miles south of Rangely on Colorado 139 (NR)

A marked highway stop and sign welcome visitors to this unusually accessible Native American site, inhabited by Fremont people from approximately A.D. 500 to 1150. Along the self-guided Dragon Trail walking tour lie four pictographs and petroglyphs (rock carvings), seven rock shelters, and three granaries.

In 1776 the Dominguez-Escalante expedition marveled at these paintings, and Father Silvestre Escalante, in his diary, christened the area Cañon Pintado (painted canyon). A central figure is Kokopelli, the humpback flute player who also appears in Arizona and New Mexico rock art. A symbol of a vibrant and joyful Native American culture, Kokopelli has become a popular figure with modern-day southwestern artists.

Writing Credits

Thomas J. Noel


What's Nearby


Thomas J. Noel, "Cañon Pintado", [Rangely, Colorado], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Buildings of Colorado, Thomas J. Noel. New York: Oxford University Press, 1997, 515-516.

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