Ghosts from the past: a photo gallery of Native American rock art

By Grant Olsen, Contributor | Posted - Nov 30th, 2012 @ 7:59am

18 photos

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah is home to hundreds of thousands of individual examples of Native American rock art. While recurring themes and symbols carry across the geography, each panel presents unique elements. Some artwork depicts everyday activities like farming and hunting. Others feature images of giant, nightmarish creatures with skull-like faces.

Utah’s rock art generally falls into two categories: petroglyphs, which are carved or chipped into rock, and pictographs, which are painted onto the surface of the rock. These petroglyphs and pictographs have been created by diverse cultures and often date back thousands of years.

Rock art can be found statewide, though many of Utah’s most acclaimed sites are found in southern Utah. The exciting thing about exploring rock art sites is that they are often in the vicinity of prehistoric ruins and ghost towns, allowing visitors to experience a broad collection of historical relics.

So where is the state’s best rock art? Share your favorite rock art location on the comments board.

Grant Olsen joined the team in 2012. He covers travel, outdoor adventures and other interesting things. Contact him at


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