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 week 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.

Bear & Hunters

Bear & Hunters

The Original Ballers

The Original Ballers

Elaborate Headdress

Elaborate Headdress



The Birthing Panel, famous petroglyph along Kane Creek Road near Moab

The Birthing Panel, famous petroglyph along Kane Creek Road near Moab

Snake & Sunlight

Snake & Sunlight

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 based in Big Sky, Montana. When she’s not at the computer she can usually be found outside -- hiking, skiing, climbing mountains and taking photographs. Visit her website at www.marycapertonmorton.com.
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9 Responses to Writing on the Wall: Utah Petroglyphs

  1. Andy says:

    I went to an exhibition last week at the British Museum, entitled Ice Age Art: Arrival of the Modern Mind which was brilliant. I love all that Neolithic stuff. Will post about it soon, but saw some great (up to 40,000 years old) carvings and figures, and art created on mammoth tusks etc.Very cool and thought provoking.

    • ehpem says:

      These are wonderful. Many are probably quite recent – the horse being introduced by Europeans 400 or 500 hunderd years ago, and the bow and arrow only coming into use about 1200 years ago.

  2. Have you ever been to Nine Mile Canyon in Utah? We went there last summer and loved it! It’s WAY out in the middle of nowhere, but I don’t think you’ll mind that 🙂

    We had trouble spotting some of the petroglyphs, but there was some signage. I posted a few photos here…. http://goodstorysarah.wordpress.com/2012/10/23/have-love-will-travel-day-5/

  3. really cool photos, I love petroglyphs. I’ve seen the ones at Sego. I was told there was a glyph of a life size man. Have you seen it? I never found it.

  4. Pingback: Writing On the Wall: Sego Canyon, Utah | Travels with the Blonde Coyote

  5. Pingback: Writing on the Wall: Backyard Petroglyphs! | Travels with the Blonde Coyote

  6. KDKH says:

    I’ve been to some of these sites to see the petroglyphs personally. Pretty cool!

  7. Pingback: Writing on the Wall: Rochester Rock Art Panel | Travels with the Blonde Coyote

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