Head of Sinbad / The Lone Warrior and Swazey's Cabin
An easy stroll around some of Utah’s most fascinating, and oldest, pictographs plus a side trip to an historic cabin.
Getting here is the most difficult part as there is limited access to the site and there are many unsigned roads crisscrossing this area. Although your destination is just north of I-70, you have to approach it in a very roundabout way. However, the reward at the end is worth it: two panels of Barrier Canyon-style rock art that are at least 3000 years old. The landscape is also very scenic.
From Green River, take I-70 west to Exit 131, Temple Mountain Road. This graded dirt road then immediately turns south under I-70 and continues for nearly 4 miles to a fork. Take the right fork and turn right in one mile at a T junction onto a sandy road. Continue for 1.7 miles to another fork and turn right again for 2.3 miles to an underpass beneath I-70. The underpass is dark and could be flooded. The last time I was there it was dry but with deep sand, so keep those wheels turning. On the north side of the underpass, the road forks. Take the right fork towards a long butte in front of you in the distance. This is Locomotive Butte and where the rock art panels are situated. (Another road connects from the west after a short distance that would take you to Dutchmen’s Arch.) The narrow road(s) in this section is very sandy, deeply rutted with a high center. If in doubt, take what looks like the best road towards the butte. To drive right up to the panels requires a high-clearance vehicle at the very least and 4WD is recommended. If not, park in a sensible place and walk the rest of the way.
To spot the rock art look out for a BLM log fence near the walls of the butte. Some of the images are huge and the quality near equal to those in Horseshoe Canyon, though fewer. Some are heavily stained but others look as fresh as if they were painted in the not too distant past. There are a number of interesting anthromorph figures.
Close by, south of I-70, and on a sandy track off Temple Mountain Road is the Lone Warrior pictograph. Though nowhere near as intricate as the images at the Head of Sinbad it’s a fascinating piece of art, and unusual in that it’s on its own. I don’t remember the directions from Head of Sinbad for this but there are useful waypoints available on the web.
Not far south of here is Swasey’s Cabin, built in 1921. To access this take Exit 129 from I-70 and drive 4 miles before turning right for 1.1 miles. At this junction turn right again for around 6 miles, then turn right again and drive 0.6 miles to the cabin. It’s very scenic here with far reaching views.
You can do all three locations in an afternoon and, as it’s so remote here, you’re unlikely to see anyone else.