Horse Rock

Round Trip Distance: 500 feet
Difficulty: Easy
Elevation: 4298 - 4313 feet
Cellphone: 3-5 bars
Time: 15 mins.
Trailhead: Hwy 162 mm 0.2
Fee: none
Attractions: petroglyphs

Horse Rock is a fun stop in Bluff, Utah that has a nice looking, fully decorated, Indian pony followed by an elk, deer and another horse. The site is right next to the highway making it very easy to visit.

From Bluff head east in Highway 162 for less than a quarter of a mile and turn left at the corrals. The petroglyphs are visible from here on a large boulder at the base of the cliffs.

The images do seem to have a particular message to convey even though we can't tell exactly what. Notice the long crack in the boulder. The nose and antlers of the elk are touching the crack. The tail of the elk is touching the deer (if that is what it is). Near the top of the crack there is a spiral with an undulating line that also touches the crack. Also notice the less elaborately decorated pony on the right. The message seems to be on the line of going hunting the big game after which things will be better as represented by the horse on the left that is after the crack. We're just conjecturing here so don't take us to much to task. It's part of the fun of visiting rock art sites. 

Lots of details in the more elaborate horse including a nice saddle blanket. We wondered whether the horse was really branded or if the marks were just for the image.

Notice the elk butted up against the crack with its tail touching the head of what we are calling a deer. It doesn't really matter what either of them are but the antlers on the smaller one look more like a deer than even a young elk.

There is a tiny little horse above the horse on the right as well as a hand and a few other indistinct marking.

Here it looks like a spiral with 4 ascending turns that trails off on the left to the crack seeming to convey the idea of a journey. There are some areas with plenty of deer and elk just this side of the Grand Gulch and in the Abajo Mountains. The elk will keep you up most of the night bugling and chirping when you camp there in the fall during rutting season.

What's funny is that we make all kinds of assumptions and conjectures about Horse Rock and there are probably plenty of people in the area that know the precise meaning of the images. A person could probably see Horse Rock well enough without even getting out of their vehicle. We found a few more small images on nearby rocks that required a bit of scrambling around but they probably aren't worth most other peoples trouble. If you would like to see it for yourself then all you have to do is 'Take a hike'.