Cub Creek Petroglyphs

Round Trip Distance: 0.5 miles
Difficulty: Moderate
Elevation: 5192 - 5366 feet
Cellphone: 0-3 bars
Time: 45 mins.
Trailhead: Stop 14 on Tour of Tilted Rocks
Fee: $20/vehicle
Attractions: Rock art

The Cub Creek Petroglyphs are located within the Utah Section of the Dinosaur National Monument. It seems that almost anywhere you go in the Utah Section of the monument that sooner or later you will come across a panel of rock art. Petroglyphs are particularly common along Cub Creek. When visiting the area it is good to pick up one of the guidebooks for the Tour of the Tilted Rocks auto tour route as it points out the spots where it is easier to view petroglyphs from.

The trailhead for the Cub Creek Petroglyphs is found at stop #14 on the route. Stop 13 also has some nice rock art and a short YouTube slideshow is included for it at the end of this post. A large boulder further up the road about 3 tenths of a mile has a few more petroglyphs with necklace designs.

Unfortunately the guidebook points out that if you have a pair of binoculars you can view some of the petroglyphs from the road and most people seem to take that to heart and never hike up the short trail.

There are a few sections of the trail that are a little steep and have some loose dirt and rocks but they don't make the hike much more difficult. A lot of work has been put into the trail. Probably because the petroglyphs are worth seeing up close and if the trail wasn't improved people would be making little trails all over the place.

There are so many lizards engraved into the rocks that some of them seem to be telling some unknown story. You just can't help wondering what is up with all the lizards. Nothing appears to say whether the designs along side of the lizards were intended to be anthropomorphic in nature.

There are plenty of petroglyphs that are too faint to see well from the parking area.

This petroglyph seems to be a man with a beard but perhaps it is something else. Contrary to myth, American Indians did, and still do, grow facial hair. Does it look like the artist was taking advantage of the crease in the rock for the bridge of the nose?

The large lizard and the flute player are easier to photograph from a short distance down the hillside.

It has been said that it is better to photograph rock art when the sunlight is diffused and not shining directly on it. Planning a visit to take pictures when the light is just right takes a lot of forethought and perhaps more than one trip to the site.

These are some of the petroglyphs found at stop #13 on the auto route.

The petroglyphs along Cub Creek are different enough that they are worth investigating and the samples at stop #14 are worth the effort to hike up the short trail to see. If you don't have the time or energy then bring a pair of binoculars and a good telephoto lens for your camera. For those that do hike up the trail they will discover that practically every smooth surface along the cliff has had something etched onto it.  If you would like to see it for yourself then all you have to do is 'Take a hike'.