Moonflower Canyon Petroglyphs

Moonflower Canyon
Petroglyphs and Log Climb

Family Fun

          This is one of the most easily accessible petroglyph panels in the Moab area. The rock art panel is good but not great. I never really considered adding a route guide to this site until a friend introduced me to a really cool log climb at the site that I had been missing out on for all these years.

General Information:
Click Here for Map           Moonflower Canyon is a popular rock art panel conveniently located near Moab. The panel is accessible to passenger cars. A round trip from Moab should take approximately one hour.

          The Moonflower Petroglyph Panel covers the base of the cliff at the mouth of Moonflower Canyon. The rock art panel dates from the Archaic to Formative Periods. The highlight of visiting this site is climbing the log ladder. The ladder is located on the left side of the rock art panel hidden in a chimney. The ladder is a reconstruction of those used by Native Americans. The ladder was constructed by jamming logs into the cliff side.

          Navigation for this route is easy. A GPS waypoint is provided for those who like to play with their electronic toys. There is nothing difficult about the route. The USGS 7.5' Map titled "Moab" shows the area. All waypoints and maps for this route use the WGS84 datum.

          Camping is available right at Moonflower Canyon. The Moonflower Campground is a small (8 unit) BLM walk-in campground. Campers park in the parking lot and carry their tent and belongings into the site. These sites fill up fast on weekends.

Scrambling up the crack. Kasey and Josh climb the log ladder.

Route Information:
          Locate the McDonald's at the south end of Moab on the corner of Main Street and Kane Creek Drive. Follow Kane Creek Drive west for 3.1 miles to Moonflower Campground (N38 33' 14", W109 35' 15") located on the east (left) side of the road. The Petroglyphs and log climb are located behind the split rail fence on the south side of the parking area.

Moonflower Log Climb Mark on the log ladder

Moonflower Canyon Petroglyph:
          The sandstone cliffs before you represent an outdoor gallery or a holy place during ancient times. Native Americans painted and chipped their religious visions, clan symbols, or records of events onto the cliffs. These figures date from the Archaic to Formative periods. There is a Barrier Canyon style figure (a large triangle shape with headdress), deer, bighorn sheep, and a number of abstract elements. Look to the left of the panel for several logs located within a crack in the rock. Historically and prehistorically, this method was used by local inhabitants for gaining access to higher areas.

          The antiquities act of 1906 and archaeological resources protection act provides for serious penalties to vandals. To ensure the ancient arts preservation, please do not touch it. Many historic and recent signatures are present. Why do others sign their names at this valuable site? One can only speculate; please do not add your signature or try to remove any signatures dates and names.

Moonflower Canyon Petroglyphs

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