Buckhorn Black Rock Petroglyphs

Rating: 
Round Trip Distance: 0.1 miles
Difficulty: Easy
Elevation: 5494 - 5524 feet
Cellphone: 0-1 bars
Time: 15 mins.
Trailhead: MM 27 Buckhorn Draw Rd.
Fee: none
Attractions: petroglyphs




The Black Rock petroglyphs are located in Buckhorn Draw within the San Rafael Swell between Green River and Emery, Utah. The site is nothing more than a boulder covered with a black patina or varnish that has a few intriguing petroglyphs on it. We are making mention of the site because visitors to the area may otherwise drive right past it and the petroglyphs are interesting enough to take the 10-15 minutes of time to look at.


The Black Rock petroglyphs are 27 miles north of Exit 131 on Interstate 70 at a point across the draw from the TKG petroglyph site. Look for a large boulder on the west side of the road within maybe 50 yards of the turnoff for the TKG site. Neither site is marked at present so if you can manage to find either one then you should have little trouble finding the other.


A faint trail leads from the road, past the large boulder, and up the side of the hill to the black rock with the petroglyphs. The petroglyphs are also visible from the road.


Here is our take on the petroglyphs. The character on the far left appears to be holding a shield in the left hand and possibly an atlatl in the other hand. He is confronting the other person that we feel may be a traveler on the nearby Old Spanish Trail that has different weapons and protection. The zigzag line represents travelers coming through Buckhorn Draw. The large animal represents the cattle they were herding with them. We believe this location was an ambush point. Cattle may have been an easy target compared to wild game. The Indians may have been able to separate a few and push them into the side canyon across the road. Possibly the local Indians were introduced to the bow and arrow by Indian guides that were with the traveler on the Spanish Trail or perhaps the bow and arrow has a different meaning.


The semi sheltered area near the top of the boulder showed hints of activity. The position of the boulder at the point where the canyon is opening up looks like a natural place to ambush either game passing through the canyon or even other people.


The TKG site is across the wash on a smooth section of cliff to the far right in this photo. If you continue driving a short distance a road drops down into the area where there is at least one primitive campsite. Now that you have read our amateurish take on the Black Boulder you can give us yours. If you would like to see it for yourself then all you have to do is 'Take a hike'.