Moonflower Canyon

Rating: 
Round Trip Distance: 0.2 miles
Difficulty: Easy
Elevation: 3966 - 4005 feet
Cellphone: 1-3 bars
Time: 30 mins.
Trailhead: Moonflower Canyon
Fee: none
Attractions: petroglyphs




The Moonflower Canyon Rock Art site is located along Kane Creek Blvd. in Moab, Utah. Images at the site date from the Archaic period (5500 BC) through the Formative Period (1275 AD). Moonflower Canyon also has a camping area with 8 walk-in campsites. A bonus feature at the site is the Mad Jack crack which adventurous visitors can ascend to the top of the cliff.



To get to the trailhead turn west off of Highway 191 in Moab at the McDonalds onto Kane Creek Blvd. Follow the road for just over 3 miles to Moonflower Canyon.


A sign at the site makes mention of the nature of the rock art and identifies the time period from which some of it dates. It also mentions the Antiquities Act pointing out that it is illegal to vandalize or deface the site in any manner. Unfortunately this site has already seen quite a bit of vandalism throughout the years.


Many of the images are easy to make out but we made a rough outline of a few of them on the computer anyway.


The surface of the lower section of the face of the cliff appears to be getting eaten away by some form of chemical reaction. Perhaps from the interaction with fumes from passing vehicles.


We outlined these images because 2 of them resembled snakes. We have seen another panel nearby that reminded us of the Hopi snake dance so these images perked our curiosity.


More images with some additional gringo graffiti.


The image outlined in red is a Barrier Canyon style figure.


On the east side of the cliff face is a vertical crack.


A notched log at the base of the chimney aids climbers to get started up the crack. Petroglyphs can also be found in the recess. People have probably been climbing to the top of the cliff here for many thousands of years.


Here you can see someone that is almost at the top.


And here is a shot of some youngsters enjoying the view from the top.


This is another interesting panel that is located about a mile away to the west along Kane Creek Blvd.


Moonflower Canyon is one of the stops on the Moab Rock Art Tour which is a self guided motor tour of a half dozen sites close to Moab. Further down the road is the Birthing Rock site which is named for a petroglyph of what looks like a woman giving birth. Each of the sites taken together makes for a fun afternoon of exploration while visiting the Moab area. If you would like to see it for yourself then all you have to do is 'Take a hike'.