Rock Images Gallery

Over my years of walking, I’ve been fortunate enough to see various rock images in the backcountry.

These pictographs and petroglyphs fascinate me because of the story they tell. People who came this way and traveled the paths we walk today and lived their lives in the areas I’m visiting.

I thought I’d collect some of my favorite ones because of the striking imagery, what it may represent, or historical interest, among other facets.

These images are mainly from the Colorado Plateau in Utah, but I have some images from other places such as nearby Colorado, New Mexico, and Arizona. Along with further afield locations such as Nevada, the High Plains, or even north of Banff.

I get asked where I find these images.  For the more well-known ones (such as Newspaper Rock), I list them.   The more obscure ones? Well, I’ll leave them vague. 🙂

As I’ve mentioned before, I am not any kind of “-ologist,” scientist, and I am a person of European background.  I can’t speak to the meaning of the images, nor am I authoritative about the history and possible context. But I am an enthusiast and have seen a fair amount of them.

If you want to know more about the images in general, the classic, if an outdated name, is Indian Rock Art of the Southwest by Polly Schaafsma. This book takes a deeper dive with an academic focus and also goes into its relation with Meso-America.

For more information on the Ancestral Pueblo and the Chaco culture, particularly, the People of Chaco stands as a good one-volume introduction.

For more current information and lively debates about many topics, I enjoy watching Archeology Southwest on YouTube.   For some thought-provoking ideas, the Native American Power Rangers Instagram account features thoughts by Indigenous park rangers. Some of whom are archeologists.

If you want a guidebook, Non-Technical Canyon Hiking Guide to the Colorado Plateau provides the most thorough resource for the area. Kelsey’s maps and writing style take some getting used to overall. But still offers the best information even in our mainly online information era.

Finally, not everything is in a guidebook or map. In the words of a great philosopher – “You can observe a lot by just watching.

On to the images…

Click an image to see it or to start a slide show.

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1 year ago

This is a great collection of rock art images you’ve taken over the years, Paul. I’ve seen a handful of them in person and hope to continue to see more. Thanks for sharing them. Can I mention Nat Geo’s Stephen Alvarez at “Ancient Art Archive” over on Instagram for lovers of rock art who want to see more? He is spearheading an effort to record a database of this art to preserve these images as they are increasingly threatened and access is often limited. A large portion of his postings are from the Southwest US. Some of his pictures are… Read more »

Last edited 1 year ago by dgray
Jason J
Jason J
1 year ago

Thanks for sharing! Getting ready to head out this weekend from the Front Range to spend a week around Comb Ridge for my annual spring break trip. I will be keeping my eyes open even wider this year for rock art. We will wave at/towards you as we pass through Moab on our way there.

1 year ago

great collection, love seeing these flicks of americas original graffers. really makes me wanna explore the southwest and see some in person. i wish we could learn more about their symbolism and meaning, there definitely seems to be a couple of themes strongly represented throughout the images.