Writing on the Wall: Utah Petroglyphs

Sheep in Glen Canyon

Petroglyphs are treasures: rock art created centuries ago by people both mysterious and familiar. Why did ancient people write on walls? Probably for many of the same reasons that modern people do today. Here are a few of my favorite petroglyphs from the past two weeks in Utah. Some of these I read about in guide books, some I was told about by locals and a few I just stumbled upon while wandering in canyon country. Enjoy!

Newspaper Rock in Canyonlands National Park

Newspaper Rock detail: post-Spaniard glyph of horse and rider & monster man

Petroglyph Violence? Sand Island Petroglyph Panel, Bluff, Utah

Fremont Style Petroglyphs at Sego Canyon, Utah

Monster Men near Glen Canyon. One of the petroglyphs I stumbled upon on my own.

Love rock art? Check out my previous posts on Urban Petroglyphs and Geologic Unrest and the Sego Canyon pictographs. Love graffiti? Me too! 

About theblondecoyote

Mary Caperton Morton is a freelance science and travel writer with degrees in biology and geology and a master’s in science writing. A regular contributor to EARTH magazine, where her favorite beat is the Travels in Geology column, she has also written for the anthologies Best Women's Travel Writing 2010 and Best Travel Writing 2011. Mary is currently traveling the backroads from New Mexico to Alaska, writing and living out of a tiny Teardrop camper. When she’s not at the computer she can usually be found outside -- hiking, climbing mountains and taking photographs. Visit her website at www.marycapertonmorton.com.
This entry was posted in Hiking!, Photography, Road tripping!, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

23 Responses to Writing on the Wall: Utah Petroglyphs

  1. I have just discovered your blog thanks to wordpress and earth day. It’s beautiful. I shall have great pleasure in following it.

    Did people not write on walls because they had no “paper”?

    If I had seen your “monster men” without you having named them, I would have said they were deer rather than men. Your pictures are fabulous.

  2. P. C. Zick says:

    So amazing that something so ancient has survived. I always wonder if these are drawings by the children or adults. They are beautiful and primitive and quite revealing all at once.

  3. Janson Jones says:

    I’m loving these Utah posts. I visited many of these locales during my drive from Alaska to Florida in summer 2011. Southern Utah damn near blew my mind. Canyonlands, Arches, Deadhorse, Capitol Reef, Bryce Canyon… Far too much for my puny mortal mind to comprehend. Glad I liveblogged the trip, else it would be an ambiguous blur of AWESOME at this point. Anyhow, you’re making me want to go back and visit that region again! Great material (and a great blog!)

    - Janson

  4. I also found your blog thru wordpress/earthday – so gorgeous! Looking forward to your posts!!

  5. nice contrast on the walls, really brings out the art

  6. Kyle says:

    Nice collection of Petroglyph photos. I enjoyed them all!

  7. Just two days ago, I luckily discovered…. Mary Caperton Morton “Travels with the Blonde Coyote”…exceptionally well done…for all who love travel, photography and of course..dogs! I am hooked!!!! I am posting this link on Twitter and Facebook and so looking forward to reading every last word.

  8. Bridget says:

    Beautiful…thanks for sharing them!

  9. Glenn says:

    Very nice. Those Utah canyons are magical aren’t they?

  10. A friend and I just checked out petroglyphs near Deming, New Mexico a week or 2 ago. I see from your photos that yours have feet ….like ours did. We actually suspected that the feet were ‘newer’ and not from long ago. Now that I see them in your photos, I’m second guessing our synicism.

  11. baeuchlb says:

    Yes thanks to Earth Day suggestions….. plan to follow! Makes me want to put a trip on the schedule soon. The petroglyphs often remind me of aliens/alien visits. Thinking about the Egyptian hieroglyphics and obvious alien images in some of those. What kind of camera do you use? Beautiful! Thanks for sharing.

  12. annhaycox says:

    Nice photos! Your travels look so exciting.
    Have you checked out my friend Harvey Halpern’s site? He’s an amazing wilderness photographer and activist who has concentrated on southern Utah. You might like his work. http://www.math.utah.edu/~sfolias/harveyhalpern/

  13. kzackuslheureux says:

    I wonder if those our alike to Kachinas? Thanks for sharing!

  14. Pingback: Boondocking Part 2: Finding a Sweet Free Campsite! « Travels with the Blonde Coyote

  15. Pingback: Writing on the Wall: San Francisco « Travels with the Blonde Coyote

  16. ritaroberts says:

    Reblogged this on Ritaroberts's Blog and commented:
    Petroglyphs are a fascinating subject. Telling us about past lives.

  17. Go here from Rita’s re-blog this is awesome history left behind

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