Drone-based Sensing of Chaco-Era Roads in Southeastern Utah
The focus of this Discovery Pool Grant is on the use of UAV-mounted aerial remote sensing to identify and understand prehistoric “roads” in southeast Utah. Dr. Lipe has been conducting research in the region for decades and has managed large archaeological projects including the Cedar Mesa Project. Information gathered will improve the understanding and management of cultural resources of the region.
It will also set a technological precedent for the use of UAV-mounted aerial remote sensing techniques in the detection of archaeological sites. This is particularly valuable for sites in dense vegetation or that are difficult to discern on the ground.
Katie Simon and Emma Menio from the SPARC (Spatial Archaeometry Research Collaborations) program at the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville prepare a drone for a trial run on Cedar Mesa to test the mapping equipment.
Results of the drone pilot study in March of 2020 were successful and indicated the drone survey would be able to detect subtle features such as the shallow swales that indicate possible ancient roads.
Visiting Arches in the Winter Months
Have you ever thought about visiting Arches during the winter months? Although the weather can be chilly, the contrast between the red sandstone and the white snow is breathtaking! Here are some things you should know before planning a winter trip:
Weather: Winter temperatures range from highs of 30 to 50 degrees Fahrenheit to lows of 0 to 20 degrees Fahrenheit. Expect snow and ice to impact trail and road conditions.
Trails: Hiking in the winter is a great way to experience the park if you are seeking solitude. Make sure you pack proper footwear, trekking poles, traction devices for your shoes, food, and water, and appropriate clothing.
Roads: After a snowfall, the roads in the park may be closed for several hours for snow removal. Plan by checking road conditions and weather forecasts frequently.
Check out the Arches website for more information on visiting the park in winter: https://www.nps.gov/arch/planyourvisit/winter.htm.
Devils Garden Campground is temporarily closed due to a water leak. Drinking water is only available at Arches Visitor Center. The campground will reopen March 1.
The Manti-La Sal National Forest posted as of Monday, January 4, 2021, the winter closure on the roads to Warner and Oowah Lakes is in place. The gates are closed to vehicle traffic. Winter recreation is encouraged! Be Safe!
This is an excerpt from the Canyonlands Natural History Association’s Member Newsletter. To find out more about CNHA and how to get your own copy delivered, visit the Canyonlands Natural History Association website.