Intestine man pictograph moab utah

Intestine Man Pictograph Site + Bonus Petroglyphs Near Canyonlands National Park

One of the last rock art stops on our little Moab trip was the Intestine Man, one I was very excited about for a long time.  I didn’t realize how easy it was to see though for quite a while.  I finally got to see it and it was just as cool as I was hoping!  This is a great stop on your way to or from Canyonlands or Dead Horse Point State Park.

Things to keep in mind when visiting ruins:

  • Do not touch the rock art (pictographs or petroglyphs) because the oils on our fingers can degrade them.
  • If you find artifacts, do not take them.  Leave them where they are and just take pictures.
  • If there are structures (rooms, kivas, anything like that) don’t enter them unless it is stated that you can.  Most places you can’t but national and state parks will have restored structures you can enter.  Mesa VerdeEdge of the Cedars, and Anasazi Museum all have ruins you can enter.
  • And finally, don’t carve in or write on the rocks!  I don’t want to have to say this, but I need to fo sho.

Intestine Man Pictographs on Highway 313

So, what is the Intestine Man?  It’s exactly that!  A pictograph of a man with his intestines showing.  He’s just hanging out with a couple of friends, his tiny bird, and some dancing parrots.  Dancing lobsters from the Amanda Show, anyone?

If you zoom in, or get really close, you can see the feet on the dancing parrots and little bird.  The guy on the right has some long feathers and a small bird on his shoulder, the guy on the left has four little birds on his right, and the intestine man has a nice feathered skirt.

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Farther to the right of the Intestine Man and his pals you can see some sheep TVs.  There are three sheep that are, you guessed it, TV shaped.  Just under the three big ones, there is even a tiny baby sheep and it’s adorable.  Over here you can also see a star, a couple of lizards, and extremely tall skinny guy, and a lot of dots.

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How to get to the Intestine Man Pictographs

From Moab, head out towards Arches and Canyonlands.  Turn onto Highway 313 like you’re going to Island in the Sky in Canyonlands.  This is the turnoff by Moab Giants.  Once you make the turn, you’ll want to pull over at the pullout 2.7 miles in.

We totally missed it the first time we went to look for this.  On our way out, I thought I saw something that looked like a petroglyph but wee kept going.  Once we came back I realized it was the star I saw!  There is definitely a small pull-off on the right side of the road though, so keep an eye out for it.

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From the pullout, there should be a small trail, or set of trails all connecting, leading up to the alcove.  The Intestine Man is on the left of the alcove and the sheep TV’s are on the right.  The Intestine Man is actually smaller than I expected, but once you’re there, he’s easy to spot.  You can get right up to all of the rock art, just make sure you respect it and don’t touch it.

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Bonus Petroglyphs on Highway 313

Now the bonus petroglyphs.  These took us FOREVER to find.  Literally.  I don’t actually know how long we stood on the side of the road looking for these, but it had to be close to 20 minutes, if not more.  I would highly recommend binoculars or a telephoto lens to look for these, if you have either of those.  They were very difficult to see without those.

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If you can find these, you’ll see another large sheep that slightly resembles a more modern flat-screen TV, a tiny triangle man, some larger (and pretty faded) triangle men, maybe a worm or two, some other smaller dancing people, and a few other things I can’t quite identify.  There are a surprising amount here and it’s crazy that so many people just drive right past these and the Intestine Man every day.

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How to get to the Bonus Petroglyphs

To find these, pretend like you’re going to the Intestine Man, but this time, park behind the gate 2.3 miles in.  This is on the left side of the road coming from Moab.  You’ll have to get out to open the gate, just make sure you close it so cows don’t get out.  We didn’t see any but still, don’t let someone’s cows out.

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This is about where we stood with the best view of the petroglyphs to our left

Now, to actually find these, cross the road and walk on the shoulder or in the little grassy stuff.  Watch out for cars because this is a busy road.  There are a few giant boulders in front of the wall, you’ll want to stand by the first one that is split in the middle.  You’ll be past the No Passing Zone sign.  I’ve circled them on the pictures below to hopefully help you know where to look.

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Standing in front of this split rock offers the best view

They kind of blend in with the chips in the rock wall making them even harder to see.  They’re just above where the rock changes from flat wall to slanty roughish wall.  On the far right, the rock looks like it’s been scraped off, look for the flatscreen sheep just under that.  On the far left, there are two black varnish stripes, the first set of triangle people are next to those.  They’re all fairly evenly spaced, but very hard to find, so it makes it that more exciting to actually find them.

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Here are the three main petroglyphs, you can see the split rock below them

I hope next time you’re in Moab you get to see some of this awesome rock art.  And if you’re in the area, the Bartlett rock art site is pretty close to these, too, so you should definitely go see those aliens.

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Here they are from a different angle

What to bring Camping in Utah

NatGeo National Parks Book – This is one of the best national park guidebooks and I take it on all my park trips.  Plus, it’s got the nice glossy pages.  Buy the book here.

Hiking poles – These will be helpful on longer hikes that are on the steeper side.  They’ll be good if you have bad knees for when you’re going downhill and will give you something to lean on going up the hills.

Snacks – These are more important for long hikes, but you never know when you’ll get hungry!  I like EPIC bars (kind of like beef jerky but different), Sahale nut mix things, and Moon Cheese.  There’s always the good old Clif Bars and trail mix, too.

Water bottle – It’ll be hot and humid and you’ll need to stay hydrated.  A Hydro Flask will keep your water ice cold all day long.

Sunscreen – If you plan on being outside, you’ll want sunscreen.  I like the Neutrogena a lot, but if you’ll be visiting a beach soon, you’ll want a reef-safe sunscreen.

Hat – You’ll want some kind of hat to keep the sun out of your eyes.  A baseball hat should be fine but a bucket hat or sun hat could help keep the sun off your neck.

Sunglasses – This is a must, especially with the strong desert sun.  Sunglasses are best paired with a hat on those really bright days.

Light Jacket – Because you just never know.  Weather can change quickly depending on where you are and if you’ll be in any slot canyons, they can get cool depending on the time of day and season.  I usually use my rain jacket for this.

Headlamp – I tend to carry my headlamp around all the time when we’re hiking.  This isn’t the exact one I have, but it’s similar and if I needed to replace mine, I’d probably get this one.

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Tent – I love the REI Passage 2 tent for one or two people.  It’s small and fairly light.  If you need a four-person tent, I’d go with this one, the REI Half DomeYou can check out my tent here.

Sleeping pad – Gotta make the tent comfy!  The one I have isn’t available anymore but this one is similar.  It’s self-inflating and just needs a little help filling all the way.  Buy the sleeping pad here.

Sleeping Bag – I have the Nemo Viola 35 and love it because it’s not as restrictive as the mummy bags.  It has ventilation slits for those warmer nights.  Check out my sleeping bag here.

Puffy quilt – If you’re a really warm sleeper and visiting in the summer, a puffy quilt might be a better option.  I prefer this for hotter nights.  Check out the Rumpl camp quilts here.

Pillow – If you’re just driving, I’d just bring a regular pillow, but if you’re flying then renting a car, you might want a smaller pillow.  This is a good non-inflatible option.  Here is a good inflatable option.

Camp chairs – If you plan on doing a lot of camping outside of this trip, and backpacking especially, the REI Flexlite chairs are great choices.  Check out the camp chairs here.

Lantern – I love having a lantern for in the tent at night, reading in the dark, or going to the bathroom in the middle of the night.  The LuminAID is my favorite and you can charge your phone on it.  Buy the LuminAID lantern here.

Have you seen either of these?  What is your favorite rock art in Moab?  

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