Utah is known for its natural beauty. People lived in this part of the country for thousands of years before European settlement, and you can see s of these Native American tribes in the petroglyphs and pictographs that they left behind. A road trip is a great way to explore these markings of ancient native history — in addition to seeing some of the most amazing scenery in the country. But you can easily make the trip in reverse order or pick and choose elements that work best for you.
Pre-European settlement in Utah is classified into three mainstarting with the Archaic Indian Period from B. The last grouping is the Ute Indian Period, from A. The predecessors of these tribes created two of images in the rock. Petroglyphs are made with some type of tool that removed bits of the rock, while pictographs are more like paintings, made with pigments added to the surface of the stone.
While some of the art may have originally been a combination of the two styles, the ravages of time have left behind primarily petroglyphs. What do they all mean? Perhaps they are instructions for hunting or growing crops. They could be historical remembrances or mythology. Part of the fun is in speculating about what the message might be. The adventure starts in the small town of Vernalabout three hours east of Salt Lake City.
The McConkie Ranch petroglyphs decorate the cliffs along a short but sometimes steep trail of just under a mile. Also known as the Dry Fork Canyon petroglyphs, many of the markings here are very large and easy to see. Some of the more famous of the petroglyphs feature a bit of blood and gore as well as peaceful pastoral scenes. The variety, quality and size of these petroglyphs make them one of the most important records of an ancient date native Utah man that has survived. Porta-potties are provided in the parking area, and water is available for purchase important in the hot summer months!
Following the markings of native american history
In addition to being one of the best places in the country to see well-preserved dinosaur fossils, this area is a treasure trove of ancient Native American art. The rock-art panels are of high quality and easily accessible. The art here is plentiful and diverse. The best drawings require a bit of effort to see up a steep hill about yards up the trail. The memorable forms here are the lizard drawings. Petroglyphs are scattered all over the Echo Park area. Many are located on a ledge above the campground, some are at Pool Creek, and others are found across the Green River from the raft-launch site.
Keep an eye out for what could be a shaman holy man and bighorn sheep. This area is accessed from paddling the Yampa River. About a three-hour drive south of the Dinosaur National Monument, Moab is one of the most popular outdoor towns in the state.
Read the stories
Some highlights include:. Sego provides displays of panels from all three time periods, and has both petroglyphs and surprisingly colorful pictographs. This makes it easy to compare the different styles. Perhaps the most accessible of the sites listed is exactly what it sounds like. A petroglyph panel in a neighborhood near the golf course in Moab.
The drawings, which can be seen from the parking area but should be seen close up, are a mix of Fremont and Anasazi likely dating back to between 1 to AD. Just a half-hour west of Moab, Canyonlands National Park is a treasure trove of pictographs and petroglyphs with a variety of sites throughout the park. The two most ificant options are:. This is the easy option. This is the harder option. The middle of nowhere is a pretty accurate description of this section of the park. Date native Utah man, the 7-mile strenuous hike is certainly worth the effort for the best-preserved examples of Barrier Canyon-style rock art in the country.
The most famous of the panels is the Great Gallery, but three other sites can be seen along the hike. About an hour and 45 minutes south of the national park in the southeast corner of Utah, Bluff is considered the gateway to the new Bears Ears National Monumentand many fine examples of Ancestral Puebloan art are located in the vicinity.
Five prehistoric panels are located near town and you can find them on the Bluff walking tour map. Sand Island Petroglyph Panel. This is another fantastic, easy-to-reach site, and one of the most prolific and well-preserved examples of Anasazi petroglyphs.
Big Kachina Panel. Please note that due to the extreme temperatures, both hot and cold, of the Utah desert, it makes sense to plan trips for the spring or fall. But if summer is the only time available, plan hikes very early in the day and always be prepared with plenty of drinking water and sunscreen. Always respect the rock art and archeological sites. Petroglyphs are an important part of our human and national heritage and can be fragile.
Follow Leave No Trace principles so future hikers have the same experience and sense of discovery that you do. Follow these guidelines from the "Rock Art Code" to protect and preserve these amazing petroglyph panels:. Group Next Group. Written by Matcha.
First of all, the effort to get there is an adventure in itself, but those efforts make the reward — namely, the chance to see up close some of the most ificant pictograph panels in North America — even more noteworthy. Written by Andrew Dash Gillman. See dinosaurs, interactive exhibits and more! Showing 0 of 0. Follow this itinerary for a week-long winter road trip across the snow-covered desert of Southeastern Utah.
Re: southern utah man [happ-l]
Written by Darby Doyle. Written by Lindy Callahan. Written by Melissa McGibbon. How many of these hidden gems have you been to?. Following the Markings of Native American History Here's a sample itinerary to help you find an incredible window into Utah's past. Jay Dash. Tilted Rocks The art here is plentiful and diverse.
Echo Park Petroglyphs are scattered all over the Echo Park area. Mantle Cave This area is accessed from paddling the Yampa River.
Code for Visiting Petroglyphs and Pictographs Always respect the rock art and archeological sites. Oil from your hands degrades the rock surface. Picking up pieces of pottery or digging in soil disturbs the area and le to erosion. This not only mars the petroglyphs but is a federal crime. It is vandalism and a federal crime, with stiff penalties including fines and imprisonment. Do enjoy the ancient petroglyphs, take lots of photos, act responsibly and help preserve our prehistoric legacy and heritage. Share On. What's Nearby.
Here's a sample itinerary to help you find an incredible window into utah's past.
Showing 0 of 0 Load More. Across a Snow-Covered Desert Written by Matcha Follow this itinerary for a week-long winter road trip across the snow-covered desert of Southeastern Utah.
Well-prepared travel is responsible travel. Do your part by planning ahead.