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Kane Creek Road Rock Art Sites

Rock Art on Kane Creek RoadAt the corner of Main and Kane Creek Drive (McDonald's is on the southwest corner) turn west and proceed .8 mile to the intersection of Kane Creek Drive and 500 West. Stay left and continue along Kane Creek Drive approximately 2.3 miles to the mouth of Moon Flower Canyon. Along the rock cliff just beyond the canyon, you will see a rock art panel dating from the Archaic to Formative Periods. The site is behind the tall Protective fence. There is a Barrier Canyon Style figure (a large triangular shape with headdress), desert, bighorn sheep and a number of abstract elements. The panel is from ground level to a height of about twelve feet and extending approximately 100 feet. You will see a blue residue left from an illegal latex mold on one of the Bighorn sheep motifs. This entire panel is one of the most vandalized rock art sites in the Moab area.

Continue another 1.2 miles to another rock art panel. A large rock surface covered with desert varnish faces the river from the cliff side of the road. Here, you can see bighorn sheep, snakes, human forms, and a trail, possibly indicating a route from the river up Kane Springs Canyon. Again, you will notice some vandalism. (If you miss this site, it may be seen more easily on the return trip.)

Continue on Kane Creek Drive past the cattle guard where the road turns from pavement to graded gravel road. After traveling 1.7 miles from the previous site, or a total of 5.3 miles from the intersection of Kane Creek Drive and 500 West, you will see two small pullouts suitable for single vehicles. If you are traveling with a large group, continue up the hill where more parking space is available and walk back to the site.

Approximately 75 feet west and down the slope from the road, is a large boulder with rock art on all four sides. Figures and designs range from the Formative to the historic Ute period. The well known "birthing scene" is found on the left-hand corner of the east side of the boulder (facing the road). Notice the feet first presentation of the baby. Look for various animal forms, such as a centipede and a horse, bear paws, and a snake, as well as triangular anthropomorphic (human) figures and a sandal trackway.


Kane Creek Rock Art Moab Area Rock Art

 

 

If you have trouble locating the rock art once you are near the site, don't be discouraged. REMEMBER: Check your mileages. You will develop a sense of which types of rocks and surfaces are appropriate areas to look for petroglyphs and pictographs. Petroglyphs are commonly found on the black or brown surface (called desert varnish) of rock cliffs. The straight, smooth, red sandstone found in the Navajo and Wingate formations is a good area to look for pictographs. As you spot one image, look carefully around the adjoining surface areas. Often there are numerous images at any given site. The main panel might have one or more subpanels nearby. Some of the images may be very faint, having faded or eroded through the years. You will sometimes see one layer of images constructed on top of another.