Indian Creek Petroglyphs Site #1

Rating: 
Round Trip Distance: 0.5 miles
Difficulty: Easy
Elevation: 6026 - 6059 feet
Cellphone: 0 bars
Time: 30 mins.
Trailhead: Highway 211 MM 6.3
Fee: none
Attractions: petroglyphs




Located in the Indian Creek Recreation Area along Highway 211, on the way to the Needles District of Canyonlands National Park, is the famous Newspaper Rock petroglyphs site. Stretched out along Indian Creek for the next several miles past the Newspaper Rock site are four more petroglyph sites that are well worth investigating. We have numbered 3 of them as Sites #1,#2 and #3. The fourth site is more commonly known as Shay Canyon. This post covers Site #1.


To get there either drive south for 40 miles from Moab or north for 14 miles from Monticello on US Highway 191 and turn west on US Highway 211. Continue along Highway 211 for 12 miles to the Newspaper Rock Site where there is a restroom. From Newspaper Rock keep driving toward the Needles District of Canyonland National Park for just over a quarter mile where there are pullouts on both sides of the road.


There are two places where there are petroglyphs in this area. One is near the pullout on the east side of the road. The other is a hundred yards or so further west. There isn't a good pullout at the panel that is further west so to see it one must walk along the highway to get there.


Part of the panel on the left is missing because the surface of the cliff has onion skinned away in two places.


The middle panel shows a variety of images with a varying degree of patina. They appear to have been created over at least three, but maybe four, separate time periods.


The newest images, which have almost no patina, were pecked over older ones that show a great deal of patina.


There is a birdman on the right that shows a degree of patina that is somewhere in between the other images.


The oldest images are even darker than the rest along with being the most faded. Besides the varying degree of patina there are also noticeable differences in style.


To the right is another panel that also shows varying dates of creation as well as more images that are missing due to the peeling and decomposition of the rock.


The last panel is the one that is closest to the pullout on the cliff behind the open range road sign with the cow on it.


The images here are of a different style and may have been made near the same time as the newest images on the previous panel.


Site #1 is worth stopping at for those that happen to be in the area and have 30 minutes or so to spare or that came to the Indian Creek Recreation Area to take in the other petroglyph sites. If you would like to see it for yourself then all you have to do is 'Take a hike'.