Crescent Junction Panels

Round Trip Distance: 0.4 miles
Difficulty: Easy
Elevation: 5051 - 5075 feet
Cellphone: 1-4 bars
Time: 1 hr.
Trailhead: Crescent Junction
Fee: none
Attractions: petroglyphs

The Crescent Junction Panels are located at the base of the Little Book Cliffs about 2 miles north of Crescent Junction, Utah. Scores of petroglyphs can be found at the site scattered upon multiple surfaces of more than a half dozen different large boulders. All of the boulders are grouped within an area that is about 600 feet by 400 feet, with only slight changes in elevation between, making it kinda fun and easy to search them out. Highway vehicles without much clearance might have to park about a half mile away depending on how bad the ruts are at the time.

To get there take I-70 Exit 182, the Crescent Junction/Moab exit, and find your way to the the road that heads east in front of the colorful gas station.

After heading east for about a quarter mile turn left onto the paved road that heads north. There is a green United States Department of Energy sign at the turnoff. Stay on the paved road for a half mile before turning left onto a dirt road. The turnoff is a little before the gate on the paved road. We circled the target area in red on this photo to give a general idea of the ultimate destination. Keep it in your sites if you get confused about a turnoff.

Near the 1.4 mile point take the road to the right and drive toward the boulders at the base of the mountain. Stay to the left at the next fork where another road branches off heading east along the base of the Little Book Cliffs.

As soon as you get out of your vehicle there is a large boulder with a sign about protecting our culture resources. That boulder has quite a few faint images that are worth examining. The main panels in this area are on a large split boulder that is standing on one end.

Most of these images show up very well.

Be sure to walk around the north side of the first boulder that had the sign and look for a narrow gap between the rocks. There are numerous images on the left side of the gap plus a few on the darker rock on the right side that are a little harder to see.

From this initial group of boulders walk across the open ground to the east for 4 to 5 hundred feet and begin examining all the boulders in that area for even more petroglyphs.

There are a good number of images that show up well although they might be a little harder to photograph in direct sunlight.

Be sure to check all around each side of the boulders so not to miss any like this interesting fellow.

There were several zoomorphic images like the one in this photo that we couldn't decide whether they represents a butterfly, bat or something else. We were leaning toward bat due to the edges of the wings but could easily be persuaded otherwise.

Originally we meant to also drive down the road at the last fork that heads east along base of the Little Book Cliffs because on Google satellite view there was another, although smaller group of boulders, that looked like vehicles had been stopping at. Instead we ended up driving on all sorts of other roads. Even one that lead up on top of the Little Book Cliffs. Eventually we found ourselves way over by Green River Gap where we came out at the Floy exit of the interstate. What we did find at Crescent Junction was reminiscent of the Coal Canyon site that is nearer to Green River both in the style of the images and the way some of them were tucked away in tight places. The ground here is adobe clay and the bottom drops out of the roads when they get wet so wait for dry weather before driving off the pavement. If you would like to see it for yourself then all you have to do is 'Take a hike'.