Molen Reef Petroglyphs and Dinosaur Tracks

Rating: 
Round Trip Distance: 0.3 miles
Difficulty: Easy
Elevation: 6076 - 6123 feet
Cellphone: 0-2 bars
Time: 30 mins.
Trailhead: Molen Reef
Fee: none
Attractions: Petroglyphs, dinosaur tracks




View Molen Reef Petroglyphs in a larger map

The Molen Reef Petroglyphs and Dinosaur Tracks are located along Emery County Road 803 between Interstate 70 and Utah Highway 10. The CR 803 is commonly referred to as the Moore Cutoff Road. There are several large boulders with Fremont style petroglyphs and one boulder with a dinosaur trackway across its surface.


To get to the location from the Green River direction on Interstate 70 take exit 116 and drive about 13.1 miles. There is a parking area on the north side of the road where the road makes a bend around a prominent bluff. If coming from the direction of Highway 10 the distance is about 6.6 miles.


The petroglyphs are all on boulders to the left, or west, of the parking area and the dinosaur tracks are to the right.


Images of snakes and a few other objects are used to convey a long forgotten message.


A snake like this could be telling the Snake Clans migration story.


Well worn trails lead the way to most of the boulders with petroglyphs but there are a few that appear to be visited a lot less. The two snake boulders look like they are getting most of the attention.


Some visitors may not know about the dinosaur tracks because there isn't as well a worn path to them but they are in the other direction from the parking area.


A kiosk or trail brochure would be nice here to explain a few things about the tracks. From what we could find out the tracks are called 'casts' or 'positive reliefs's that were made by a sauropod. Basically, a dinosaur made impressions that later filled in with a harder material. Over millions of years everything lithofied (turned into rock) which later eroded away leaving what is seen today. These tracks were all made by one dinosaur and form what is referred to as a trackway.


Another look at the same boulder with the tracks circled.


Both the petroglyphs and the dinosaur tracks are worth the trip and having both at the same stop is an added bonus. We spent hours looking for tracks that we had read about in several other areas east of here but came up empty. From here you can continue west about 6 more miles to the turnoff for the famous Rochester Rock Art site. If you would like to see it for yourself then all you have to do is 'Take a hike'.