Montezuma Creek Petroglyphs

Round Trip Distance: 0.4 miles
Difficulty: Easy
Elevation: 4900 - 4966 feet
Cellphone: 0-3 bars
Time: 3 hrs. 45 mins.
Trailhead: MM 34
Fee: none
Attractions: petroglyphs

The Montezuma Creek Petroglyphs are located along Montezuma Creek between Blanding and Monticello, Utah. There are multiple sites scattered along the Montezuma Creek Road where a handful of petroglyphs can be found but this particular site is comprised of a dozen or more panels that are spread out side by side for nearly a quarter mile.

There are multiple ways to get to the Montezuma Petroglyphs depending upon your direction of travel. If coming from the north you can turn off of US-191 5 miles south of Monticello onto the unmarked graveled Montezuma Creek Road, CR-187, and follow it south for 34 miles. According to Google Maps somewhere along the way CR-187 becomes CR-146. An alternate route from Blanding begins by heading east on the Brown's Canyon Road for 1 mile and turning right onto the Perkins Road, CR-206. At the 20 mile point turn left onto CR-146, the Montezuma Creek Road.

Right after the Montezuma Creek Road bends 90 degrees to the left start scanning the cliff on the west side of the road for petroglyphs. You can park as soon as you see the first panels or continue on for a hundred yards or so to a pullout.

Many of the petroglyphs show up quite well while others are a little faded or stained by water running down the cliff.

The Crane Panel.

Two headed lizard or birthing imagery?

Panel of Ute petroglyphs with elk and buffalo.

No good ideas of the meaning but a nice panel nonetheless.

These images are much older and appear to be a family scene. We are guessing they either used ladders to reach this height or stood on each others shoulders.

Interesting Ute petroglyph of a horse with maybe a lariat in its mouth and what looks to be a cow. Maybe they saw a Mormon settler roping a cow from a horse, were impressed by the scene, and made this image to tell the story.

This is a favorite panel showing an Indian brave with a head dress, long hair and quite the package in what might be a hunting scene.

If you are coming from Blanding these petroglyphs come up almost immediately after turning up Montezuma Creek. No sooner do you get back in your vehicle when another panel can be spotted up around the next bend in the road. While we saw a handful of other panels that weren't associated with a ruin this is the only one that we kept track of the exact location of except for the Shamans Panel. Spotting petroglyphs and ruins along Montezuma Creek can be a little like seeing antelope in Wyoming. It's exciting at first but soon becomes almost common place. Unlike antelope the petroglyphs always have a message to convey. Whether you have any clue what it might be is yet another story. If you would like to see the Montezuma Creek Petroglyphs for yourself all you have to do is 'Take a hike'.