The Mansard Trail is a roughly five-mile roundtrip out-and-back hiking trail accessed from the Vermilion Cliffs Estates subdivision to the east of Kanab, UT. The trail climbs the Vermilion Cliffs to an alcove filled with unique, approximately 870- to 1,070-year-old petroglyphs that have been pecked and carved into the alcove’s sloping, sandstone floor.
From the trailhead, the Mansard Trail ascends approximately 950 feet over a series of switchbacks, offering increasingly sweeping views of Kanab and the plateaus of northern Arizona. As the trail reaches the top of the Vermilion Cliffs, it negotiates a short section of rough stone slabs, which may require a mild scramble. From here, the trail crosses the sandy plateau to arrive at the base of the White Cliffs, where a scenic alcove contains petroglyphs from the Pueblo II period (AD 950 to 1150).
Native American groups identify images like these as “rock writing,” because they were a form of communication rather than decoration. Respect and protect rock writing and archaeological sites:
Keep discovery alive. Archaeological sites are fragile and irreplaceable. Treat sites with the respect they deserve so that future generations can experience these direct links to the past.
Don’t touch rock writing or make your own. Never touch, deface, trace, slide on, or otherwise damage rock writing. Direct contact with rock surfaces causes the images to deteriorate, permanently erasing them and destroying the experience for future visitors. Do not make your own markings or signatures on any of the rock surfaces around the site. Leave the sand where it is – don’t dig holes or brush off the rock writing panel. Vandalism, damage, defacement, or removal of any artifact or rock writing image on public lands is illegal and can result in fines or imprisonment.
Watch your step. Do not step or climb on the rock surface in the alcove. Take care not to cause damage with hiking poles.
Don’t camp, eat, or go to the bathroom near the site. Camping, fires, food, and human waste damage archaeological remains and spoil the view for other visitors.
Teach kids respect. Archeological sites are not playgrounds. Please teach children to be respectful visitors and keep an eye out to prevent them from getting hurt or accidentally damaging sites.
Keep dogs on leash. Pets should be leashed and kept away from the alcove to prevent damage, digging, or other impacts to the site. Please clean up and pack out pet waste.
Report vandalism or damage. Help protect your public lands. If you notice damage or see vandalism occurring, please notify the BLM Kanab Field Office at 435-644-1200 or the Kane County Sheriff's Department at 435-644-4916.
The Mansard Trail is best suited to foot traffic only; horses are allowed but may find the stone scramble to be a serious obstacle. Dogs are allowed but may require assistance in the steep section. Please keep them away from the rock art and pack out their waste. Bicycles and motorized vehicles are not allowed on the Mansard Trail, but ATVs may access the site via BLM104, a challenging four-wheel-drive road. The Mansard Trailhead includes a graveled parking area but no other amenities. For more information and detailed maps, visit the Kanab Visitor Center (BLM) in Kanab, UT.