Nine-Mile Canyon is an outdoor museum. It has some remarkable examples of Indian art and remnants of dwellings that have remained untouched through the centuries. Because of the dry climate and isolation from large population centers or heavy ranching, the canyon remains much as it was hundreds of years ago. The canyon should be shown the respect due to one of the West’s ancient treasures. The panels of rock art are of such remarkable quality and beauty that they have been featured in National Geographic and other publications highlighting the beauty and uniqueness of the art. It is well worth the trip.
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Nine-Mile Canyon is off the beaten track. There are no services available of any kind. Come prepared with a picnic. Take along a thermos or canteen of water. Stick in some insect repellant, your binoculars, and maybe your camera. Also make sure your car is filled with gas. The length of the road through the canyon is 50 miles. Taking time out for frequent stops and a little hiking, the entire tour, in and out, will take about six hours.
Nine-Mile Canyon is protected by the Antiquities Act. The act states that a person may not “appropriate”, excavate, injure, or destroy any historic or prehistoric ruins or dwellings or other structures. The slogan of those who enjoy visiting historic sites is “take nothing but pictures, and leave nothing but footprints.”
There are several tracts of private lands in Nine-Mile Canyon. Please respect the rights of private land owners. Nine-Mile Canyon was designated by the Bureau of Land Management as part of the National Back Country Byway system in 1990.