Moab Dump Petroglyphs

Round Trip Distance: 3.2 miles
Difficulty: Easy
Elevation: 4383 - 4488 feet
Cellphone: 3-5 bars
Time: 4 hrs.
Trailhead: Sand Flat Rd. (38.57569, -109.5275)
Fee: none
Attractions: petroglyphs

The Dump trail, in Moab, Utah, is the name of a , dog friendly, hiking only route that is popular with locals for that very reason. The trail stretches between the Sand Flats Road and an overlook above the mouth of Mill Creek. Numerous petroglyphs can be found along the red sandstone cliffs that border the trail.

The trailhead is just off to the right side of the Sand Flats Road before reaching the Sand Flats Entrance Station. You can either find the unnamed trailhead in you driving app or simply enter its GPS coordinates for turn-by-turn directions. Another option would be to drive like going to the Sand Flats Recreation Area where you will notice the trailhead just before getting there.

From the parking area the wide swath that the trail makes can be seen stretching out toward the sandstone cliffs in the distance.

The petroglyphs begin with a small panel near the 0.4 mile point of the trail.

The second panel has a big snake that sprawls across the cliff on a bench just above a large pile of boulders.

Off to the right is another snake that is hardly noticeable. If you are having trouble spotting it just look for the bullet holes. Apparently someone was very scared of snakes and had to shoot even the harmless ones.

Be sure to stay on the trail that is close to the cliffs to be able to find all of the petroglyphs. Looking closer at this photo you should be able to pick out the image of a man with horns and all.

Except for one image of a bighorn on a small patch of patina there is a long gap where most of the petroglyphs end around the half mile point and the next really good panels appear near the 0.9 mile point. Here there is a group of panels on a higher bench that is relatively very easy to scramble up for a closer look.

There are a large number of images all along the cliff. Those on the lower portions of the panels have already dissolved away erasing many of the images in the process.

This obscure image looks like that of 'rising thunder' similar to what is found at sites like the Kachina PanelLower Butler Wash and other places.

There is this other panel of nice, easy to see, images nearby on another short bench. One thing that is interesting is that there are several rocks that were stacked on top of each other to make a step onto the slickrock that have been there so long that they have practically fused into a single rock as the sandstone itself is decomposing.

The last of the petroglyphs are just past the 1 mile point from the trailhead. If you continue for another half mile or so you will reach the end of the trail where there is a nice view down into Mill Creek.

While our map and GPX file show 6 panels of petroglyphs there are actually a few more than that that are close enough to the others to easily find. For the trip from the overlook back to the trailhead a person has the option to follow the wider trail, which is what we did. After having done so we thought it may have been easier to follow the same route that is closer to the cliffs as it made at least one less big dip. The total round trip distance isn't so great that it makes that much difference. Taking the same route that runs close to the cliff on the return trip might allow you to see something that you may have missed. If you would like to see the Moab Dump Petroglyphs for yourself then all you have to do is 'Take a hike'.