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A man looking at a panel of petroglyphs, near Moab in Utah, USA.

Rock Art in Moab, Utah: The Best Places to See Petroglyphs & Pictographs

In the heart of red rock landscapes and canyonlands of south east Utah is the small resort town of Moab. One of the reasons many come to spend a few days here is to explore the archaeology and rock art. Not only are there a number of both petroglyph and pictograph sites in the area, these sites have images from a number of different periods of history from 5500 BC to the 1800s. This guide provides information for those who are looking to see just a few of the better sites as well as those would like to see as much as they can. The interactive map and directions can be used for self-guided rock art tours. Also included are details of rock art auto tours from Moab.

Ettiquette for Visiting Rock Art Sites

Rock Art Sites In And Around Moab

Great Gallery, Horseshoe Canyon

Horseshoe Canyon has one of the finest and most well known rock art sites in North America. On a rock shelter wall at the bend in the canyon creek is the largest panel of the Barrier Canyon style pictographs. Here there is a panel that is over 60 metres long and about 4.6 metres high – commonly referred to as Horseshoe Canyon’s Great Gallery. Painted on the rock shelter wall are about 20 life-sized human-like images, the largest being over 2 m in height. On the far left of the Great Gallery are a handful of strikingly shapeless figures. As they seem to ‘hover’ on the rock face, these figures are said to have a ghostly appearance, and are sometimes called the ‘holy ghosts’.

3-Hour Off-Road Rock Art Tour

Scrambling around the rocky sides of valleys looking for rock art is not for everyone. Particularly if it is hot. If you want to get to see a few petroglyph sites but would rather not do this yourself, then take a guided tour. And if you want to combine a bit of history with exploring the back roads in a 4×4, then this really is the perfect guided tour for you. On this Three-Hour Offroad Rock Art Auto Tour not only will you get to see petroglyphs, but you will also see breath taking views of towering canyon walls along the Colorado River in a 4×4 vehicle.

Archaeology Travel Writer

Thomas Dowson

With a professional background in archaeology and a passion for travel, I founded Archaeology Travel to help more people explore our world’s fascinating pasts. Born in Zambia, I trained as an archaeologist at the University of the Witwatersrand (South Africa) and taught archaeology at the universities of Southampton and Manchester (England). Read More

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