Kane Spring Road Petroglyphs

Rating: 
Round Trip Distance: 0.5 miles
Difficulty: Easy
Elevation: 4070 - 4225 feet
Cellphone: 0-3 bars
Time: 30 mins.
Trailhead: Kane Springs Road
Fee: none
Attractions: petroglyphs




The Kane Spring Road petroglyphs are located between the Kane Canyon and Amasa Back trailheads near Moab, Utah. A short trail leads up a talus slope from the road where various panels of petroglyphs are scattered along a quarter mile stretch of the cliff. Most of the petroglyphs are viewable from the road with a good pair of binoculars.


A good place to park is at a pullout on the east side of the Kane Springs Road where it makes a big bend just before the Amasa Back trailhead. The trail isn't marked but the route is obvious.


It takes a bit of a scramble getting up the talus slope below the face of the cliffs.


About halfway up the slope you should see a sign that was placed there to remind visitors that vandalizing or doing anything at all to harm an archaeological site is illegal and that great care should be taken to preserve these resources. It is also illegal to excavate or remove any objects from an archaeological site. Do not touch the petroglyphs with your hands, outline them with chalk, or take rubbings. It is much easier to outline the images once they are on your computer anyway.


As the trail approaches the face of the cliff it forks both to the left and to the right. The right fork doesn't lead to any petroglyph panels but it does lead to a climbing wall where several permanent anchors can be seen attached to the cliff. On one of our trips here we got to see someone base jump off of the top.


The first panel that comes up along the left fork of the trail can also be seen for the most part from the roadway. There is more to it off to the right that can't be seen in these photos.


Just past the first panel is a very nice petroglyph of an owl that is perched on a tree branch.


Continuing north along the cliff there are more panels including one with wavy lines that look a lot like the cliffs in the canyon. The main attraction is a large panel with over a half dozen very large images.


When zooming in on the picture on the computer it looks like behind the images on the right that there was another image that was even larger than the largest of the ones that can be seen at this time. It is faded and the lower portion of it is covered over by the present images. Our computer outline of the images could be a lot better but it might make it a little easier for some people to get an idea of what is here.


This is another panel that is further north along the cliff past a big boulder that takes a little scrambling to get around. Many of these images look very similar to others in southeast Utah.


This is one of the last images along the cliff. We got a little excited when we first saw it because you could see traces of red or purple around the head making it look like the image may have been painted at one time. After further study it appears that the paint may have been vandalism that was later cleaned away.


The road gets closer to the trail along the cliff the further you hike. After the last image it is almost easier to scramble down to the road and hike it back to the pullout. On the day that we took most of these pictures the sun and shadows were constantly changing so we turned around and went back the way that we had come so we could take more pictures.


Looking back toward the pullout you can get an idea of how far along the cliff that the trail goes. You can also get a good appreciation to just how beautiful the canyon is. The Birthing Rock is just a little further up the road and there is another good panel of petroglyphs on the cliffs across the wash and just around the corner above the Amasa Back trail.


Be sure and take care climbing through the loose rocks and remember that you could always just walk along the road with a pair of binoculars and still see most everything. It is interesting though to walk along the cliff and think about the people that once lived here and what this place may have meant to them. Please help protect this site and others by reporting any suspicious activities and vandalism. If you would like to see it for yourself then all you have to do is 'Take a hike'.