Sandthrax Petroglyphs

Rating: 
Round Trip Distance: 0.2 miles
Difficulty: Easy
Elevation: 4400 - 4413 feet
Cellphone: 0 bars
Time: 30 mins.
Trailhead: Irish Canyons
Fee: none
Attractions: Petroglyphs




The Sandthrax Petroglyphs are located in the North Wash along Highway 95 between Hanksville and Hite, Utah. The easily to access site has a panel of Fremont Style petroglyphs with a dozen or more images and an interesting weave pattern.


The Irish Canyons trailhead is 28 miles south of Hanksville, Utah on Highway 95 at a spot known as the Sandthrax Campsite. The turnoff is on the left about a quarter mile past mile marker 28.


From the trailhead there are several social trails that lead toward the nearby cliffs.


The panel becomes obvious as you walk east along the face of the cliff.


There are several interesting things to note about a few of the images. Notice how the leg of the upper animorph is also the arm of the lower image as though to denote a special, or binding, relationship between the two.


There are 3 dancing figures that are overlaid upon an image that resembles the woven pattern of a reed basket or sleeping mat. We wondered if the person that etched the lines used a straight edged object to keep the lines so even and straight.


There is an image that resembles a cat that appears to be a recent addition to the panel as it lacks hardly any patina at all.


Even this inscription that was left by some locals from Wayne County back on Valentines Day in 1960 shows a good deal more patina than the cat image. It should go without saying but as a reminder; it is illegal to mark up or damage archeological sites in any fashion as well as to dig for or remove any artifacts.


There are a handful of primitive campsites located at the Sandthrax site. If you stay there be sure to bring your own portable toilet or drive 5 miles further through North Wash to the Hog Springs Rest Area and use the facilities there. The campsites are used most often by hikers and canyoneers that are accessing the group of Irish Canyons, Leprechaun, Blarney and Shillelagh. If you would like to see it for yourself then all you have to do is 'Take a hike'.