Cedar Point Petroglyphs III

Round Trip Distance: 5.6 miles
Difficulty: Moderate
Elevation: 5106 - 5374 feet
Cellphone: 0-3 bars
Time: 4 hrs. 30 mins.
Trailhead: UT-261 MM 4.2
Fee: none
Attractions: petroglyphs, scenic desert

This post covers a third area of petroglyphs that can be found upon some of the boulders in the desert below Cedar Point. The Cedar Point area is situated about 4 miles east of Mexican Hat, Utah and about 21 miles west of Bluff. Included in this group of petroglyphs are ones commonly referred to as the Dancers Panel.

The turnoff is on the west side of UT-261 at mile marker 4.2. The east side of Highway 261 at this point borders the Valley of the Gods.

The first 1.2 miles of the road should be accessible to most 2wd vehicles with a moderate amount of ground clearance and a careful driver. (Be sure to close the gate.)

At the 1.2 mile point the road goes to the left and drops down into a wash. Loose sand beyond this point might make it very easy for 2wd vehicles to get stuck. There is a very faint alternate route that continues straight ahead at this bend in the road that leads to a stock pond. After having explored the area we recommend either parking here and hiking the faint road if you are in a 2wd vehicle. It won't add any distance to the hike and should be much easier than hiking in the wash. At the stock pond you can enter the wash for the remaining distance to the first group of boulders.

We continued driving down the sandy hill and parked in the wash where we then began hiking. Eventually this route passes close by the stock pond but only after dealing with a couple of short ledges and drudging through a lot of gravely sand.

Continue to follow the wash until you reach the first group of boulders. At this point you pretty much have to start looking around each boulder for petroglyphs.

We found a few very minor images that were mostly faded as well as this one large panel that was actually a little interesting.

The main pair of figures appear to be representative of a man and woman that are accompanied by either 9 children or traveling companions. There is a long string of dots that passes through the couple and then the full length of the boulder that might represent their travels.

There are numerous rock shelters in the area. Within one we discovered some flat rocks that made up a hearth very similar to ones seen in many pithouses. Remember that it is illegal to poke around in the dirt or excavate in any manner.

From the first group of boulders we worked our way around the base of the cliffs examining most all of the boulders, that didn't require climbing halfway up the hillside, until after more than a mile we eventually came upon the Dancers Panel. Between that first group of boulders and the Dancers Panel we found very little in the way of petroglyphs to make the trek worthwhile other than to eliminate that section for others.

The Dancers Panel was also the first signs of any sort of trail that we had seen all day. In this area if you see a trail it often pays off to follow it.

One of the most interesting aspects of the dancers are what look like Hopi maiden hair whorls on some of the figures.

We continued heading west examining boulders until we reached where we were at with Cedar Point Petroglyphs II. After having explored most all of the area we would suggest beginning at the stock pond and hiking to the area of the first boulders and then return to your vehicle. The Dancers Panel could then either become part of Cedar Point Petroglyphs II or be added to the end of the original Cedar Point Petroglyphs trail as the turn around point for what should then come out to around 6 miles round trip. However you go about it there are a lot of nice petroglyphs to search out in the desert below Cedar Point. We know that we missed some of them and will surely return to look for more. If you would like to see it for yourself then all you have to do is 'Take a hike'.