Newspaper Rock Recreation/Historic Site
The Newspaper Rock Historic Site in San Juan County, Utah, is a rock panel displaying one of the largest known collections of petroglyphs.
The rock face is 200-square feet and records approximately 2,000 years of early human activity. The first to make their mark were the Archaic, Basketmaker, Fremont, and Pueblo cultures. In later times the Ute, Navajo, and European Americans also made their contributions. With so many images on one rock face, it’s exciting to picture a person very long ago etching their mark. Some markings are straightforward, such as the hunter on his horse shooting an arrow at a deer, or the many big horn sheep. Others allow your imagination to run wild such as the many footprints with six toes.
No one really knows what the images mean or why this rock face was used as a canvas. Was this a resting place or regular stopping place for ancient travelers? Were the images used to tell others about plentiful hunting, or resources? There are no definitive answers, just the fact that this is a record of the people who lived in this area long ago.
Because of the historical value of this site, it is listed as a State Historical site and on the National Register of Historic Places.
Visiting Newspaper Rock:
The rock art panel is located along Route 211 the same road that leads to the Needles District of Canyonlands National Park. The parking lot is large enough to accommodate several vehicles and even Motorhomes. However, if you happen to find the parking lot full be patient for a few minutes, a space will open up. This site is a quick stop off for those heading into Canyonlands or continuing their drive along the Indian Creek Scenic Byway.
There are no fees and restrooms are available in the parking area. If you’re traveling with your pets the Newspaper Rock Historic site is pet friendly, however, please keep in mind that this is a desert environment and it gets extremely hot during the summer months. Also, there are more restrictions on pets in Canyonlands National Park.
If you find yourself traveling through this area of Utah or on your way to Canyonlands be sure to stop and enjoy this historic site.
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