Over the weekend I hiked 15 miles along the Snake River, through Swan Falls – A canyon carved out almost 15,000 years ago by the second largest flood in the geological history of the world, Lake Bonneville Flood. It’s estimated that during this cataclysmic event, the peak discharge in the Swan Falls area was 33 million cubic feet of water per second! That was so much force, geologists estimate that  the water carved the canyon out  in only a matter of weeks!
Swan Falls happens to be located in the Snake River Birds Of Prey National Conservation Area, which potentially has the highest concentration of nesting raptors in North America. On top of the gorgeous scenery and fantastic opportunities for bird watching, Swan Falls is also home to one of the largest petroglyph sites in Idaho known as Wees Bar.
As we followed the winding canyon, we eventually passed remnants of the old Priest Ranch and their orchard that still thrives today. After quite a bit more walking and a close encounter with not one, but two, irritated rattlesnakes, we came across a field scattered with giant basalt boulders where we finally encountered our first petroglyph. Soon enough we were surrounded multiple examples of ancient Native American artwork, all estimated to be anywhere between 800 and 12,000 years old!
It was so hot out, neither of us had the energy to locate all 90 petroglyphs. If you do decide to hike Wees Bar Trail in the summer, be sure to pack lots of water, wear sunscreen, and please be cautious of rattlesnakes!
Go to Everytrail for the overview of Wees Bar. We used it to guide us during our hike and it was very useful.