Penitente Canyon

This morning Facebook regaled me with photos from my first jaunt to Penitente Canyon. I’ve been back a couple of times since, but these photos made me want to return.

I’m not a climber but this is a premiere climbing destination in Colorado. It’s also a spot where native Americans were able to trap food in the canyon. The pictograph seems to depict exactly that.

There are pictographs in several spots, but so far I’ve only seen one. I need to go back.

Oh, and this bizarre marker which made me lose all confidence in the trail. Apparently these are common signs here in Colorado. I think Europe has a better system. I mean, what does this MEAN??? It actually removes meaning…

13 thoughts on “Penitente Canyon

  1. I’m at a loss. Google was no good either. Looks kind of like a mile marker. Maybe it is mile 10 of a trail as designated by a some kind of official “conference.” Looked up the topo for the area and nothing showed. I guess that’s BLM land? Maybe a friendly ranger could help? Otherwise, I’m baffled.

      • Since the trail looks kinda vague, that sounds about right – you can be confident that you’re still on the trail if you see this sign. How long do you have to go without seeing a Trail Confidence Marker before you lose confidence? Did they study that and come up with an average? Some people probably lose confidence a lot sooner than others.

        • We never saw another sign like this, but then mountain bikers ride longer trails than we were hiking. I actually asked a BLM guy and he said the explanation was that the bikers had maps with the signs and numbers on them. But if you’re not one of the initiated you’re like, “Huh? I’m clearly on the trail.” So funny.

  2. What a beautiful memory and canyon! I’ve never seen anything like this. I’ve taken pictures of all kinds of trail signs. I read above it’s for bikers. I was thinking of when I made it to the top of Grays and Torreys Peak in 2017 that my confidence was not at a 10 (lol) and if meant mile marker it would have given me little confidence. The joke was everyone I was passing would say, “You’re almost there!” I could see the peak and they started saying, “Just 10 more minutes!” I couldn’t do it on my descent to the folks going up. I said, “Keep going, you’ll reach it!” lol

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