Atlatls Panel

Round Trip Distance: 200 ft.
Difficulty: Easy
Elevation: 4290 - 4304 feet
Cellphone: 0-3 bars
Time: 30 mins.
Trailhead: CO-162 (Mile 0.5 & 0.75)
Fee: none
Attractions: petroglyphs

The Atlatls and the Hidden Image are two petroglyph panels within a short distance of each other along Highway 162 just east of Bluff, Utah. The first panel includes two persons each holding a pair of atlatls while the second panel, that is somewhat obscured, has a nicely done Native American portrait. 

The Atlatls Panel is on a large boulder that is high up above the highway about 3/4 of a mile east of Bluff. Hiking up to the panel might be a little strenuous for some but the more adventurous might find it worthwhile.

There are two classic anthropomorphic images done in distinct styles that are common in other areas and each with a pair of atlatls. In the center is a large male figure with two figures below that are carrying what might be baskets. There are a half dozen or more similar basket carrying figures to the left that are less distinguishable. There is also what looks like a stalk of corn growing up from the bottom of the panel with a squiggly line above it that might represent the river. The panel in its entirety seems to represent the bounties of life as far as hunting and growing. Whatever the case, it is very interesting to contemplate.

It's hard telling how many petroglyphs a person might discover by exploring along the side of the hill. Here are a few near the Hidden Image site.

Here are a few more that include a couple of shield bearing warriors with what brings to mind the 'all seeing eye' just above them.

Without climbing up the side of the hill you have to be in just the right spot to see much of the Hidden Image. In some places it is nothing more than a face peeping over the rock.

This manner of tracing the image doesn't do its delicate features much justice but perhaps it enables one to more readily notice some of the details in the other photos.

This photo shows a little more of the image. Hiking up to this panel would be more precarious than hiking up to the Atlatls Panel. There are quite a few more boulders and loose rocks to negotiate. The Atlatls and Hidden Image panels are both easy enough to visit and provide a nice distraction for anyone visiting the Bluff area with a little extra time to spare. If you would like to see them for yourself then all you have to do is 'Take a hike'.