Zion Petroglyph Canyon

Round Trip Distance: 0.6 miles
Difficulty: Easy
Elevation: 5345 - 5405 feet
Cellphone: 0 bars
Time: 45 mins.
Trailhead: Mt. Carmel Hwy. MM 7.3
Fee: $30/vehicle
Attractions: Scenic views, petroglyphs

Petroglyph Canyon is a short hike in Zion National Park that treats visitors to outstanding scenic views with a few petroglyphs as a bonus. The petroglyphs at the site were left by the  people of ancient times that have inhabited the area for at least the last 7,000 years. Petroglyph Canyon is also referred to by some people as the Secret Petroglyphs.

Petroglyph Canyon isn't marked on any maps and there isn't a sign at the trailhead. To get there from the direction of the Visitor Center head east on the Mt. Carmel Highway measuring 7.3 miles from Canyon Junction. The pullout that serves as the trailhead is on the right about 2.8 miles past the second tunnel.

Find your way from the parking area down into the wash.

Once you reach the wash head back upstream toward the sharp curve where you can go through a nifty stone culvert to get under the highway.

Once you emerge from beneath the highway the wash becomes rockier as the canyon begins to narrow.

Keep your eyes out on the left for a short side trail that leads up to a kiosk next to the cliff.

The petroglyphs are easy to spot as there is a rail fence to keep people from getting too close. Be sure not to touch the petroglyphs or do anything that might damage them.

The glyphs consist of various geometric and anthropomorphic designs.

These four images (one on the left is hard to see) of men with backpacks look similar to kokopellis but without their flutes. That is kind of interesting. Can't really say if they are supposed to be dancing or not.

These are just a couple more examples of what is there.

The pullouts along the roads in Zion National Park can often be full. Much of the time people just pull over to look around not knowing what is there. Even if they go for a hike in the canyon they probably don't know about the petroglyphs so in that way maybe they are 'secret'. The petroglyphs would probably be a pleasant surprise but it is so pretty here that hikers should still have a fulfilling experience.

On this day we saw three of the parks resident bighorn sheep right after we came out of the tunnel and after we finished our hike we saw a dozen or more before we reached the East Entrance to the park. It's interesting that people were out of their vehicles taking pictures, some even looking in the same direction of the bighorn, but they didn't see them. It seems very strange but it isn't the only time that we have seen that happen. As far as the 'secret petroglyphs' in  Petroglyph Canyon go, if you would like to see them for yourself all you have to do is 'Take a hike'.