I've seen only obscure references to the Timpie Valley "Red Man" pictograph. All I could surmise from a couple of pictures was that the pictograph was painted on the wall of small cave somewhere in this broad valley at the northern end of the Stansbury Range. Several searches of the valley over the last few years have yielded many small caves, but absolutely zilch in terms of Indian art.
My brother Eros has also independently been looking for the site for some time now. And once again, I got beat to the prize.
Eros told me he got just enough information out of a volunteer working at the Donner-Reed Museum in Grantsville to solve the puzzle. He also told me that he had walked all around, and right on top of the Red Man cave on a previous outing and even spotted the opening, but disregarded it because it looked too small. My dad said he could here Eros's victory yell as he sat on his porch in Erda some 18 miles away.
With directions from Eros, I visited the site with my dad on Thanksgiving day.
There is nothing like this pictograph in northwestern Utah that I'm aware of.
The entrance to the Red Man cave. The cave walls are Paleozoic limestone. The unusual roof is a very coarse limestone breccia cemented into place by Lake Bonneville. It's a little unnerving to be in the cave and looking up at large boulders hanging overhead--but the cement is very strong.
The Red Man pictograph in all her glory. Weapon, shield, head dress, and standing at over three feet high, it's a bit startling the first time you see it. The site has been documented, and an article written by Mark Stuart appears in a 1985 publication of the Utah Rock Art Association.
As an added bonus, there are a variety of solitary coral and crinoid fossils poking out of the limestone in the area.
While hiking up the hillside toward the cave, we noticed several unusual man-made features. At the base of a few slanted cliffs are large piles of rock that are leveled off on top. A few appear to have short walls. These are not natural scree or talus piles. I'm convinced someone hand-placed the stones. But why? And how old are they? Were the rock piles built by Indians and are they related to the pictograph? Or were they built by prospectors for some unknown reason (there is a sizable mining district at the head of the valley)?
An unusual stone pile at the foot of a cliff. From a distance they appear like artificial fill for a roadway, but there is no sign of a road or rail line in the area.