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gem icon Courthouse Wash Rock Art [Suggest Edits]

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This large petroglyph panel has a lot to offer. Look closely to see human figures, sheep, shields, birds, dogs and abstract objects carved and painted on the rock. There are also some smaller petroglyphs carved into rock boulders near the base of the cliffs. The large tapered figures are thought to be painted by the Archaic Indians, then later the Ute or Pueblo Indians added the white shields. Utes likely made the later chipped designs. This important site is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Immediately after crossing the Colorado River Bridge (going north on 191 leaving Moab), park at the pullout on the right side of the road. Head east on the Courthouse Wash Rock Art Trail gravel path to the base of the rock cliffs. Look up at the walls for faint markings - if you round the point of the cliffs or enter Courthouse Wash, you've gone too far. As always- do not touch the petroglyphs or climb on the rocks here. This area was badly damaged in 1980 by deliberate vandalism. Special infrared cameras used during the subsequent restoration work revealed layers of older designs underneath the painted images that we can see with the naked eye today.

Short Walk: Short uphill climb to the base of the cliffs- about 500 feet.

Family Friendly: Quick access to a spot with many diverse petroglyph figures- kids enjoy making up stories to explain what the figures are doing. Obvious educational opportunity to discuss ancient cultures!

Gem Type: Historic Site

Shared by:
Megan W


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Jul 23, 2018
Anthony Koberstein
Jun 26, 2018
Todd Ginder
This was vandalized and barely visible. Not worth the walk in 100 degree weather.
Apr 16, 2018
Jacob Howell
Apr 4, 2018
Sean Lyman
Dec 26, 2017
Richard Wang
Sep 13, 2017
Lauren Barker
Trip with Hudec salt tectonics course.
Sep 4, 2017
Sarah Garner
Jul 24, 2017
Richard Vogel

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Shared by Megan W on Aug 17, 2015. All Page Views: 2,269. Last Month: 99.