Aliens, Robots, And Intestines, Oh My! These Are Some Of The Best Petroglyphs In Moab

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I finally have all of my Moab rock art posts up and can share this one, too!  These are some of the best petroglyphs in Moab because of the subject and accessibility. 

All of these are easy to get to and some of them are pretty unique and bucket list worthy. There are so many more petroglyphs in Moab that I want to see, so I’ll keep this updated.

I’ve been wanting to do a post like this for ages, but hadn’t been to a lot of these until my parents came to visit and we spent four days in Moab this fall.  It’s the perfect weekend trip in Utah.

Rock art and other ancient things kind of became our theme for their visit this year.  So, I hope some of this helps you get away from the big crowds in Moab and helps you see some really cool rock art.

I won’t be going into a lot of depth with each of these, but I have full posts on almost all of them, so I’ll link to those.  You can find full directions in those posts. 

I will include maps of as many as possible.  And I’m going to say it right below this, too, but pleeeease be respectful of the rock art and don’t try to steal any of it or vandalize it.  

For the how long do I need for these, I’ll be including driving time from Moab and time to see just that site, not in combination with others near it. 

I will include a section at the bottom that says which are close to each other and can be seen together.

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Things to keep in mind when visiting rock art & 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 or paint or draw on the rocks!  I don’t want to have to say this, but I need to fo sho.

Sego Canyon Pictographs

First up is Sego Canyon pictographs!  These suckers are cool, probably the coolest on this list.  Sego Canyon is home to quite the collection of life-size alien-like figures. 

You can see rock art styles from three different time periods.  They’re all really cool, but the Barrier Style were my favorites.

Where are these?

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How long do I need for this?

If you’re doing this as a day trip from Moab, I would say three hours at least.  Since it’s right along the Interstate, you can always stop on your way to or from Moab.  It’s less than ten miles from the Interstate on paved roads.

How long is the trail?

Less than half a mile to see everything.  The parking area is right next to the roack art sites and there are bathrooms.

Bartlett Pictographs

These are like Sego Canyon lite.  Here you’ll find a row of life-size eerie robot-like figures towering over you on the alcove wall.  There isn’t any evidence of people living in this alcove, but they certainly used it for something.

These are surprisingly easy to get to and totally worth the time if you have it.  They make a great stop on your way to or from Canyonlands.  Please stay on the slickrock because the area is being restored.

Where are these?

This map isn’t exact.  It is for the Lone Mesa campground group site, but instead of going to that, you don’t turn off to it.  Keep going on the dirt road and it will be a turnoff on the left. 

Full specific directions can be found in the post.  If it is raining or has just recently rained, these may be harder to get to and I wouldn’t drive on the dirt road.

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How long do I need for this?

If you’re just going to see this from Moab, I would plan an hour and a half to two hours.  If you stop on your way to or from Canyonlands or Dead Horse Point, I would maybe add 30-45 minutes.

How long is the trail?

Less than half a mile round trip if you can drive all the way to the parking area.  If not, or if you’re not comfortable driving on the side road, it could be up to two miles round-trip.

Intestine Man Pictographs

The Intestine Man pictographs are a strange little set of rock art on the side of the road next to an alcove.  They get their name from the main featured guy that looks like, well, his intestines are showing.

He’s accompanied by a couple friends and a flock of parrots.  The human figures are adorned with different feathery accoutrements with some smaller birds nearby as well.

They are to the left of the alcove and to the right of it you’ll find some sheep petorglyphs that look a bit like big TVs.  There are some other interesting things over by these as well, including a perfect star. 

This is one of the pictographs in Moab I’ve wanted to see for years and I loved it so much! Plus, it’s super easy to find and get to.

Where are these?

While the map says closed, they are not.  There is no way to close this, really.  They are just on the side of Highway 313, the one that goes to Canyonlands. 

I don’t know if they were closed off at some point, but please, like everywhere else, be respectful and don’t vandalize the site.

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How long do I need for this?

I would plan an hour to an hour and a half.  We were there for quite a while just looking for the petroglyphs that are close to it. 

You can read about those in the full post.  But just for the Intestine Man, no bonus glyphs, I’d say an hour should be good.

How long is the trail?

Less than half a mile round trip if you’re parked in the pullout right by the alcove that they’re by.  Closer to half a mile round-trip if you’re parked by the cow gate before these.  They are right on the side of the road.

Golf Course Petroglyphs (Moab Man)

The petroglyph site by the Moab Golf Course is the home of the Moab Man, a triangular man with some killer earrings. 

There are actually a few of these guys at this site in varying sizes, along with quite a few other figures, but the Moab Man is the highlight of the site.

These are behind a fence so you can’t get right up to them, but it’s close so it’s still easy to see them.  Please don’t go over the fence to get closer.  These are probably the easiest petroglyphs in Moab to see.

Where are these?

To get to these you’ll be passing through a residential area, so like the rock art sites, be respectful of the residents, too.  These aren’t in the golf course, but just outside of it.

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How long do I need for this?

These are a quick stop.  I would say 30-45 minutes, drive time included.  Less if you’re visiting on your way in or out of town.

How long is the trail?

None?  You park and walk like five feet to the fence so you can see them.  The parking lot might have been gravel, I honestly can’t remember, but anyone should be able to see these.

Potash Road Petroglyphs

There is a good sized section of wall right along the Colorado River on Potash Road where you can see tons of different petroglyphs. 

They’re up a little high, but they’re still very easy to see.  And make sure you look on the sides of the wall and in the cracks because you can see them there, too!

This is a great easy stop not too far from the entrance to Arches.  If you want to see a lot of petroglyphs in Moab, this is a good area to visit.  There are soooo many on this panel.

Where are these?

This map isn’t exact, it’s to the Wall Street climbing area, but the rock art is just after it.  There is a sign and small dirt parking area on the river side of the road.  Be careful crossing the road to the rock art.  It can be busy in the area.

Potash Road Moab petroglyphs

How long do I need for this?

Just for the petroglyphs, maybe an hour.  If you want to see other things along the road or hike to Corona Arch, two to four depending on how much you stop and what you do.

How long is the trail?

However wide the street is.  There is parking on the side of the road by the river and you just cross over to the other side.  The section with the rock art is maybe fifty feet wide?  I honestly can’t tell distances so that could be wrong, either way, it’s not a far walk.

Birthing Rock Petroglyphs

The Birthing Rock panel is on a giant boulder along the side of Kane Creek Boulevard.  It’s exactly what it sounds like, a woman giving birth to a massive baby. 

It even looks like there’s a doctor next to her.  This is the highlight of the boulder, which features different petroglyphs on each side.

If you want to see something a little weird and totally different, this is the stop for you.  These are in the same post as Moonflower Canyon, linked below.  This is definitely one of the most unique (if not the most) petroglyphs near Moab, for sure.

Where are these?

There is a parking pullout just past the boulder, which is very easy to spot when you’re driving.  The road is paved probably half of the way, but once it switches to dirt, it’s easy and any car should be fine on it.  If it has recently rained or is raining, I’d be more cautious about driving on it.

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How long do I need for this?

You have to drive slower on the road out to these, so I would say 1.5-2 hours.  That should give you time for any stops along the way.

How long is the trail?

Less than half a mile round trip.  There is a short walk from the parking down to the boulder that is the home of the Birthing panel, but it’s not hard. 

There is a bit of a scramble down to the boulder, but I think if you walk past it a bit, it will be easier to get down. This site was terribly vandalized and that’s why I’m always hesitant to share these sites. I know they’re already out there though so I figure I can share them and encourage responsible visiting.

Moonflower Canyon Petroglyphs

While these aren’t the coolest petroglyphs near Moab, they are still worth seeing, especially since they’re on the way to the Birthing Rock.  There is a small section of the cliff wall right next to the road that is home to the petroglyphs, it’s not in the canyon.

Where are these?

These are right along the road by the Moonflower Canyon camping area.  When you’re in the parking lot, it’s to the right if your back is to the road.  They are not in the canyon.

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How long do I need for this?

For just these, an hour is probably enough.  You can just see the petroglyphs or you can hike into Moonflower Canyon a bit, too.  You can’t go too far into it but it’s a nice walk.

How long is the trail?

Not much.  The parking area is right next to the site which is right along the road.  If you walk into the canyon, it’s maybe half a mile at most in and out.

Wolfe Ranch Petroglyphs

The Wolfe Ranch (Turnbow Cabin) was settled by John Wesley Wolfe and his son in 1898, but they weren’t the only ones to live here.  Or at least pass through.  Just a short walk from the cabin you’ll find a small panel of big horn sheep petroglyphs.

They’re not the most impressive rock art in Moab, but they are pretty cute and worth the short detour on the trail.  They are really defined and easy to spot, which I always love.

Where are these?

These are on the trail to Delicate Arch in Arches National Park.  There is a little loop at the beginning of the trail off on the side, they are down there.  There is a sign so you know where to go.

Arches National Park reservations

As of April 1, 2022, you now need a timed entry permit reservation from April 3 to October 3. You need this to enter the park between 6AM and 6PM. Your reservation allows entry in a two hour window. You can go in and out before and after that as the park is open 24/7.

Arches was facing serious overcrowding in the summer and were having to close the entrance by 10AM pretty frequently because parking would fill up. This new system is to help combat that.

The permit is $2 and you will also need to pay the park entrance fee when you get to the park. You can pay the fee or get the national park pass which covers all NPS site entry fees (but not camping, tours, parking, etc.)

If you can’t get a permit in advance, some are set aside for the next day (so April 2 entry permits would be available the evening of April 1). If you can’t get that either, your options are to skip it or enter the park before 6AM or after 6PM.

If you have a camping reservation, a Fiery Furnace permit, or a backcountry permit you do not need a timed entry permit. You also do not need the permit from October 4-April 2. You can find all the details here.

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How long do I need for this?

Just to see the petroglyphs, if you’re already in the park, maybe 20 minutes.  It’s a really short detour on the Delicate Arch hike.

How long is the trail?

Less than half a mile round-trip just for the petroglyphs.  Three miles round-trip for the entire hike to Delicate Arch.

When is the best time to see these petroglyphs in Moab?

There isn’t a bad time to see any of these petroglyphs in Moab, but I would say spring and fall are probably better simply because of the weather.  Summer is going to be super hot, but most of these are close to the road or easy to drive to so it’s not too big of a deal. 

If you go in winter, I would just make sure the roads are good and clear before going, don’t go anywhere you’re not confident driving, at least for dirt roads. I personally love visiting Arches in winter and Canyonlands in winter.

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Which Moab petroglyphs are by each other?

Here you’ll find the rock art in Moab that you can see close to each other.  If there are other cool things to do near the site, I’ll include those, too.

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National Park Pass + Other National Park Deals

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Utah posts you may also like:

Have you seen any of this Moab rock art?  Which ones?  What is your favorite rock art in moab?  

6 thoughts on “Aliens, Robots, And Intestines, Oh My! These Are Some Of The Best Petroglyphs In Moab

  1. These are sooo cool Megan! I have never visited any of them, so i love that you have one epic post to learn about the best petroglyphs.

    I love the details on the Sego Canyon Pictographs and wooow at the intestines one!

  2. Great job on your post! I visited some of these when I was in Moab a few years ago…your post makes me want to go back! It was summer so we hiked in Arches in AM and drove around in the air conditioned car finding petroglyphs in PM. Such a great vacation! Thanks for reminding people to keep their hands off!

    1. Thank you! That’s the perfect way to spend those hot summer days if you ask me! Now you’re making me want to go back too haha

  3. Very nice and informative writeups and photos. I love your enthusiastic style. It’s been too long since I’ve been back to Moab. I’m sending your links to a writer friend who plans to visit this fall. So, thanks!

    1. Thank you so much! I hope they enjoy Moab and you get to go back sooner than later 🙂

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