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Hidden Valley & Behind the Rocks

Moab Area Rock Art V | Sunday, February 27, 2011

On Sunday the weather forecast called for 60% chance of snow in Moab. Grand Junction and Moab had the same forecast on Saturday as well, so I figured they would be wrong again and I made my way over to Moab. It was a good decision because it turned out to be a perfect day for hiking! I’m glad I didn’t stay home. My destination for the day was to hike the Hidden Valley trail into the Behind the Rocks area to find some petroglyphs. This trail has been on my to-do list for a while, and now I regret not hiking it sooner. Besides being a nice hike, there were a bunch of petroglyphs to be found.

The start of the climb up through the Moab Rim and into Hidden Valley

Hidden Valley Climb by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

This is what a 60% chance of snow looks like in Hidden Valley…

60% Chance of Snow by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

One of the more interesting petroglyphs along the way. A large shield-like figure with a smaller anthropomorph inside.

Inside Out by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

This panel contains the longest and straightest line of sheep I have come across so far.

Line of Sheep Panel by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

These two figures look like they might be fighting.

Moab Fighting Men by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

As usual, there are plenty of bighorn sheep petroglyphs all around.

Breaking Sheep by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

This line of small anthropomorphs reminds me of paper cutouts.

Cutouts Panel by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

This bighorn has left some tracks behind.

Sheep Tracks by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

It looks like the figure on the left has a line of bighorn sheep following him possibly with some dogs following behind.

Sheep Herder by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Looking up at the Maze Panel. There are two figures here that look like they represent a maze, which would be pretty descriptive of the surrounding area.

The Maze Panel by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

A busy petroglyph panel that has a nice glow from the afternoon sun.

Busy by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

A small person next to a larger maze represents the area that this petroglyph is found in very nicely.

Enter the Maze by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Looking up at some large shield-type figures surrounded by some smaller petroglyphs.

Shield Figures by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

A line of burden bearers follow a flute player.

Follow the Flute Player by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

I found many petroglyphs throughout the day, but this was the only faint pictograph (or actually a pictoglyph since part of it is a petroglyph) I managed to find. Unfortunately, this panel was badly vandalized. The large shield-like figure at the top of the panel is outlined in a red pigment.

Vandalized Pictograph by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

I was hoping to reach Watchtower Ruin on this hike, but unfortunately I was unable to climb up to it since I lacked the necessary climbing skills. Here’s the best photo of the ruin I could get from below.

Watchtower Ruin by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

View looking back from the point I turned around and headed back down.

Turnaround Point by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Selective focus on the Line of Sheep petroglyphs.

Sheep in Focus by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Bighorn sheep are a common sight in petroglyphs, but this one has long wavy horns, which is pretty unusual.

Wavy Horns by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

A footprint with seven toes.

Seven Toes by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

After reaching the end of my hike for the day, I headed back the way I came. I spotted this panel high above that I managed to miss on my way there. Sometimes it’s good for me to walk both directions looking for rock art, because I almost always miss something the first time.

High Panel by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

A closer look at the High Panel.

High Panel Up Close by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

A different view of the Inside Out petroglyph panel.

Inside Out Panel by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

What is it? This petroglyph looks like it has the body of a bighorn sheep, claws of a crab and a candle-holder on top!

Crab, Sheep, Candle-Holder? by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

A view over Hidden Valley on my hike back out.

Hidden Valley by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Like I said at the beginning, I’m glad that I did not stay home on Sunday. It was a great day for hiking, I found a lot of new rock art, and had a great time!

>> Moab Area Rock Art V Photo Gallery


  1. Charles Loveridge
    Charles Loveridge August 28, 2014

    Did you know that you can see the watchtower ruin on Google Earth?

    • Randy Langstraat
      Randy Langstraat August 29, 2014

      Yes, I did know that. You can see the foundations of a lot of ruins on Google Earth.

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