If you haven't been to it before the Desecration Panel and camp are a nice option for a short first day too. One more mile down from Butler Wash.
The panel has an interesting story:
"This particular panel features the work of two distinct cultures, superimposed onto one another, yet created at least 700 years apart. The first of these two cultures is the Anasazi, who lived in the Southwest and vanished between AD 1200-1300.
The second of these two cultures is the Navajo, who moved into the area after the Anasazi’s disappearance and who still inhabit the area today. In fact, the Navajo is the dominating Native American culture in the Southwest today, occupying the largest Indian Reservation in the United states.
What we have on this panel is a clash of two cultures. A violent, yet somehow superbly artistic and expressive, representation of two entirely set of beliefs.
In the 1960’s a number of Navajos who lived near this rock art site mysteriously fell ill. Upon seeking the help of a local Medicine Man, they were told that the source of their illnesses came from a rock art panel along the San Juan river, panel located within close proximity of where the Navajos lived.
The medicine man said that “altering” the rock art images, if done with the proper knowledge and ceremonial approach, would put an end to their suffering. Somehow, this alteration would stop the malevolent power coming from the images on the rock and return the world to a state of balance and beauty.
The result is what we see today on the Desecration Panel. The Medicine Man used what appears to be a stone axe, a hatchet, or some other metal tool able to deliver powerful blows."
*Navajo permit required*