Falls Creek Sacred Site~

Falls Creek, in southwest Colorado, is one of the most important ancient sites in the southwest. It was once a village and had burial sites.

It contained mummified remains of individuals, and has antiquities from the ancestral pueblo basket maker period from 1500-2000 years ago.

Look carefully to the right, below the waterfall and under the overhang (tap to enlarge).

You can see more here.

This sacred site was heavily plundered in the 1930’s and it is now protected, with no public access. It is under the protection of the tribal nations who are descendants of the original occupants.

I am not an archeologist. I am a psychotherapist by training. It is hard to get information on the place and it is difficult to find. Still my husband and I were curious to see what we could, without trespassing or violating the site. This is as close as we could ethically get, and these are full zoom shots. Our interest was piqued by the objects in the lower right quadrant under the overhang (enlarge to see better).

For more on this fascinating place check out the following two links:


If anyone reading this has more knowledge about Falls Creek, and would like to share it, I would be eager to pass on the information.

Cheers to you from the mysterious and sacred Falls Creek~

147 thoughts on “Falls Creek Sacred Site~

    1. Yes. I am too. The looting and vandalism of these ancient sites is appalling. I have photos of ancient pictographs with people’s names scratched over them დ

  1. Once again you’ve taught me a lot! ❀️ I’m really glad the site is being protected now. It always makes me so sad to see sites plundered and destroyed by treasure hunters, ruining what could be learned from them.

    1. I read something a Hopi anthropologist wrote about Falls Creek that resonated with me. He said something along the lines of, “How would you feel if we went and dug up the bodies in Arlington National Cemetery and put them in a museum? That’s how we feel when you dig up our ancestors for display.”

    1. That is so nice of you. He probably would prefer not to be bothered! One thing I am curious about is how to tell the difference between pictographs and petroglyphs that are worn over the passage of time from normal marking on rocks. Most petros/pictos are easy to identify because of their orderly patterns, but some are difficult to separate from normal rock patterns, especially if they are worn down დ

      1. Teddy agrees with you but can’t see anything that is definitively petros/pictos. He said the rocks look like sandstones and some mudstones with different weathering patterns. He hasn’t been there so that will be on his extensive bucket list….K x

        1. Smiling. Thank him. We have been searching for, and finding, other far less known pictographs/petroglyphs. We have found many, but we have also found ones that are weathered and may or may not be human made. These are the puzzlers. Don’t bother your very kind hubby. I may decide to post some of the questionable ones, and if I do, he can look if he is interested. Please thank him for me.

            1. Laughing…… Your hubby is VERY nice, as I said before! My husband is a biostatistician, if anyone has biostats questions, he is either retired, or says there is a computer program for that! πŸ˜‰ πŸ˜‰

  2. Always fascinating to think about how old were our remotest ancestors and where did they originate? Thanks for sharing this location it’s new to me as a CanadianπŸ€“ smiles hedy

  3. Timothy Price

    They are like a well hidden Mesa Verde in southern CO, Chaco Canyon, Bandelier or Gila cliff dwellings in NM.

  4. Reading the article about how the site was plundered by Helen and Zeke made me sick. I took some courses in archaeology while working on my anthropology degree, and was quite keen on that field, but even then I would have found removal of bodies and artifacts abhorrent. I think it’s awful that Egyptian mummies (King Tutankhamen, notably) have been unwrapped and put on display. At the same time, I admit it would have been intensely interesting to see the sites in an undisturbed state. Unfortunately, we modern humans find it impossible to leave anything wonderful alone. It must be revealed and exploited.

    1. Everything you say is so true and so sad Audrey. I read something a Hopi Anthropologist said about the stealing of the mummies and the subsequent display of them. He something to the effect of, “How would you feel if we unearthed your war dead at The Arlington National Memorial and placed the bodies in windowed boxes for display in our museums?”
      Perfectly well made point. We would feel that our war heroes were violated and disrespected. This is how they feel.
      Mutual respect goes a long way in this world დ

      1. And it’s possible to study remains and artifacts to discover things about the past, but it must be done with respect and permission from the descendants of the ancient peoples. That is starting to happen, fortunately.

    1. It was a man and a woman who first looted the site. The man sold the whole lot. Lots of the relics are being returned to the tribal nations who legitimately claim them. I think some of the mummies may have been returned to the site დ

  5. So interesting, Cindy… it’s a whole different feeling to be in a place where you know people walked and lived thousands of years ago…puts a lot of things into perspective. There is something of an energy there that can’t be explained.

  6. A very interesting site Cindy. We have similar restrictions to our indigenous people’s sites of significance, sadly many have been desecrated, but it is good many are protected or kept from public knowledge.

  7. Pingback: Falls Creek Sacred Site~ β€” – Echoes in the Mist

  8. Is it because of COVID restrictions you explore your own country? Actually, we are trying to find something special faraway from our homeland and do not check for something interesting around the corner. All your recent posts about US unique and special sites are awesome, full of secrets and mysteries. Thank you for taking us there, Cindy.

    1. Thank you very much Alexander. Yes. Our lives changed dramatically due to covid. I am so homesick for international travel (the world is my home). We are finally going to be getting on planes in the next few months and have some adventurous trips planned that hopefully will not be cancelled by another variant outbreak დ

      1. I believe the COVID is not anymore an issue. We have more dangerous things around the World. Hopefully, everything will come back to normal.
        Yesterday we said good buy to our Ukrainian relatives who stayed with us for almost 4 months. We could not convince them to stay any longer. They would like to be home, which is understandable. This is why we pray and hope that all that horror will come to the end.
        Anyway, it would be nice to see your new posts from around the World, Cindy. All the best.

        1. You are right. There are incredibly more dangerous things happening in the world. I hope your friends remain safe and I pray Putin loses and leaves the poor Ukrainian people alone.

            1. It is hard to imagine one person being so destructive. I have been to Russia. I saw how propaganda operates there. Sad that so many people believe the lies he spins.

              1. Cindy, it is huge subject to discuss, and WP is not the place to do so.
                I lived in Soviet Union for 46 years. I have Lithuanian background, but I am feeling by my skin that huge monster Russia. Unfortunately, society there have deformed consciousness, and this bustard just could easy manipulate them. There are a lot of smart and normal people in Russia, but most of the population blindly trust and follow propaganda.

                1. “Deformed consciousness” is a accurate way to describe the heavily indoctrinated sense I got from a fair number of people, not all as you say, but too many. And you are right. There is more danger in the world than just covid, and this is not the best place to discuss it. Take good care my friend.

  9. This is another great find Cindy. Maybe you’re becoming an archeologist in training? I loved Mesa Verde, but how fun that you’re discovering less known and visited sites. Enjoy. And I’m glad they are protected now.

  10. Cindy, I’m sorry I have no knowledge of this place or what went on there. However, the photos are most interesting, and I suspect it’s a good thing the place is protected now.

  11. This reminds me that so many thousands of years have passed, so many cultures, and yet Life remains the same for us as for the Anasazi or Pueblo or whoever those dwellers were. Make a living, raise families, mix joy and sorrow… We just had the visit of old friends form France for a few days. So we took them to all the significant places and museums, including Frida Kahlo’s house… All our technology doesn’t change the simple facts. Thanks for the post, Cindy. πŸ™πŸ»

    1. Experiencing a long power outage followed by an even longer internet outage just in the last week gave me a new appreciation for the wonders of modern technologies and conveniences. But I do agree that the basics of who we are as humans seem to have remained unchanged for tens of thousands of years, regardless of the trappings of comfort we wrap ourselves in… Thank you for the great reminder!

      1. Most welcome. Now it could be benefit in the next World War: we are so dependent on technology, that most weapon systems will fail at the very beginning… πŸ˜‰

      2. Ugh! Sorry about the outage and agree, technology is so wonderful, except for the ways it isn’t. And too much of the β€œprogress” of our civilizations seem to actually be anti-progress. Some speculate these early cultures may have disappeared from drought and disease. Sounds familiar to me დ

  12. Angie K Walker

    is it the little rock that looks like a table or altar that captured your interest? We have a very old beech tree in our local park. It must be hundreds of years old. The park keeper said it is the tree she loves the most, and I feel the same, as I’ve found it a good companion over the years. Some child has spray painted a smiley face on it. Let’s hope it washes away soon.

    1. Yes! You are perceptive. There are also, on the same level, further right, what appear to be wrapped objects. I can’t tell how many, since they go back under the overhang but I can see several at least. I also thought the bare white Aspen trunks in a row, in front of the cave, looked unusual. No idea what I am seeing though დ

      1. Angie K Walker

        Thanks for this. I’ll have another study of the photos. I love the colours of these places you share.

  13. Your images inspire me to reflect on the complex legacy of this site – thank you for bringing the stories to me.
    P.S. psychotherapist? At first I was taken aback, but I can see the healing of your art in everything you post. Not surprising at all.

  14. Plainly, I would say you were lucky to get that far back and to get that close. In SW Colorado, you are already crossing onto tribal lands, the Ute Mountain Ute reservation to be specific. While they do not have an ancestral connection to the original peoples of those dwellings, the Ute Nation and Mountain Ute Nation do feel they have the obligation to protect the sacred areas. Laurie and Andrea have done emergency medical missions into the general area. They are genuinely warm, grateful people but some topics are off limits … like sacred sites because so much of the heritage from their own nations and other nations have been systematically plundered. Both nations are trying to retrieve tribal pottery and tribal goods (blankets and clothing) returned to them from the Denver Art Museum. The museum has no desire to return the materials. (I loathe to use ‘artifacts’ to describe the items.) The museum is also fighting the Navajo Nation and Hopi Nation regarding similar items. Neil Gorsuch (yes, that one) has ruled more than once the Denver Art Museum has no legitimate claim (legal or otherwise) to tribal antiquities or tribal goods, taken, stolen, or sold. I can write more expansively when I get home.

    RE: Covid. Don’t be lulled into believing covid is behind us. Some of the data that have been published are indicating we could see a daily infection rate of 1M+ cases this coming fall. Currently, we are around 100-125K daily cases. It is believed the new case number may be much higher since testing is no longer a priority. Laurie’s and Andrea’s work really has not seen any kind of reduction. COVID-terminal cases are defined as those that do not respond to any kind of treatment. And, the new covid variants have adjusted to the treatments and vaccinations that are being employed. Paxlovid, the anti-covid treatment used for mild-to-moderate cases, is not having the desired effect. Plus, there is the nagging issue of a relapse within 3-5 days and may affect cardiac enzymes during the course of treatment and become a long term issue.

    Stay well, safe travels.

    1. Yes, I read the data on the two Omicron subvariants and their ability to evade all of the vaccinations/boosters/ and even antibody response from prior covid infection. Currently new vaccines are being developed to address the new variants. It seems like chasing the proverbial horse that ran out of the barn, a long time ago in China…… The virus is faster than they are. They keep reporting lower rates of hospitalization and severe disease. I hope this is the case. The case numbers in San Diego are not good either. Rising. We are waiting to see what will happen in the fall too. We are getting on planes though. I am tired of living life on hold. That said our plans are conservative at this point until we see what fall/winter will bring.
      Regarding Falls Creek, I know that some of the stolen ‘artifacts’ have been returned to the rightful caretakers. They have my full support in protecting their sacred places and keeping us away from them. We have proven our track record over time and it ain’t pretty. I am so tired of searching for and finding rarely seen petroglyphs only to see some morons name scratched over it. დ

      1. A little on the warm sideπŸ”₯πŸŒžπŸ˜‰And coronavirus is rampaging through my workplace again so even hotter since this requires countering with face masks😷 in the fiery summer sun!β˜€οΈ

        1. It is getting a bit toasty where you are. Fires burning in the forests of Spain (where the wolfies are) and France. Denmark adjusting to desert temps. And covid is filling up the ICU beds here, yet again, in mid summer nightmares. Monkey pox is monkeying around. I have never stopped wearing a mask. It’s not like I thought masks were ultimately efficacious, it was more like I didn’t want to put on makeup. დდ

          1. The world is getting far too hot!πŸ”₯ πŸ₯΅ We had more wildfires last weekend- came back to a smelly haze of smoke after a day out and donned the mask 😷 purely for environmental hazard reasons! Monkeypox is doing the rounds here too – we seem to be a rather plague riddled world these days! I’m the “designated person” for Covid outbreak control in my workplace and they’ve been dropping like flies of late again, so busy busy😬Like you I have never stopped wearing a mask 😷 (and still caught it despite 3 jabs!). Having worn them throughout the last few years and it being mandatory for work, it’s now totally normal and very scary to be out without one…but I do like to put make-up on and have settled for eyes only or have it all rub off on a nice shiny white mask! Just means a lot of facial enhancements on selfies 🀳 as the difference shows too much for my vain wolfie self!!πŸ˜‚

            1. We’re in Maui now and the masks are gone since everything is ‘outsidish’ in Hawaii. 4 jabs and I avoided it so far, but there is the second plane ride home and the airport, where we are masked the whole time. Still, these are our first extended time around crowds since we left OZ at the start of the outbreak, which is daunting. I am tired of living life on hold. Monkeypox is terrible. We’ve got a lot of serious problemns on this planet. Stay safe & well დ

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