Moab Mastodon

Rating: 
Round Trip Distance: 1.5-2.7 miles
Difficulty: Easy
Elevation: 3975 - 4274 feet
Cellphone: 0-3 bars
Time: 1 hr. 30 mins.
Trailhead: Moab Mastodon
Fee: none
Attractions: petroglyphs




The Moab Mastodon petroglyph site is located off of the Kane Spring Road near Moab, Utah. The short, easy to hike, trail begins by following an old jeep road up to the base of the cliffs on a bench above the Kane Spring Road where various petroglyphs can be found. The hike can be extended along the base of the cliffs to the area above Moonflower Canyon.


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 where there is a restroom. Continue past Moonflower Canyon for another half mile and make a slight left turn onto a dirt road that angles up the hill. NOTE: There is no public parking allowed along the Kane Creek Road so don't park along the pavement and don't park along the dirt access road either.


At the top of the hill there is room for several vehicles to park in front of the trailhead. Please respect the private property belonging to the people that live at the top of the hill.


From the trailhead follow the old road as it crosses a wash and heads up a section of slickrock where it veers off to the left.


As the road crests out on the bench it splits into 2 or 3 different routes. The route to follow is the one that stays the closest to the cliffs on the right. The Moab Mastodon is at the point of a cliff about a half mile away.


While a person could stay on the road most of the way to the Moab Mastodon it is a lot funner to hike over to the cliffs and follow them in and out of all the side canyons until you get there.


There are other petroglyphs in the area like this panel that is known as 'Four Toes'.


If you take a close look at Four Toes it appears to have fangs like a Saber-toothed cat. We're saying that mostly to stir the pot of controversy around the Moab Mastodon but it does have 4 toes, a stubby tail and what look like fangs. Here is a picture to compare it to.


Some of the petroglyphs are very faint and appear to be very old.


The panel to the right of the Moab Mastodon is heavily graffitied. There are several authentic petroglyphs mixed in with all of the gringo graffiti.


Some people call it the Moab Elephant as though that would be any more common than a mastodon. Here is a site that has some mastodon images to compare it to.


There are a few more petroglyphs along the cliffs between the Moab Mastodon site and Moonflower Canyon like this panel of dancing figures.


The hike the rest of the way down to Moonflower Canyon has some nice scenery to enjoy for those that are not in a hurry. There are places with a little exposure right above the canyon where you will want to be holding onto any small children that you might have with you. For this post we followed the trail along the base of the cliffs all the way to Moonflower Canyon and then hiked along the old jeep road to get back to the trailhead. The Moab Mastodon is a nice short hike with a few interesting petroglyphs and usually not a lot of other hikers. If you would like to see it for yourself then all you have to do is 'Take a hike'.