On our way home from the Blanding area in southeast Utah, we made a quick stop at Newspaper Rock. This is a National Historic Site that is full of ancient petroglyphs. Since it is so easily accessible and so easy to actually see the petroglyphs, you may want to consider pulling off to take a look.
How to Get There:
As you are traveling on US 191, you will see signs for the Needles District of Canyonlands National Park and a turn off for UT-211. Head West on UT-211 and Newspaper Rock is located off this main road heading into the Needles district. The turn off is about 24 miles northwest of Monticello, Utah and about 40 miles south of Moab. Once you turn onto UT-211, you will drive for about 12 miles before you see a turn off. There are lots of good signs so it shouldn’t be too hard to miss.
What You Will See There:
Once you get there make sure you park on the end near the entrance to the parking lot. We parked at the opposite end near the restrooms only to find out that it would have been closer to park at the other end! Once you park, it is literally only a few steps until you see the petroglyphs. It is really amazing to see these ancient depictions. And these are easily the clearest petroglyphs I have ever seen. With so many right in front of you it is fun to try to figure out what they might mean, look for common symbols and just see how people recorded history anciently.
Even though it can be quite a drive and far off the main road, it is an interesting place to see. If you are going to the Needles District of Canyonlands National Park I would highly suggest stopping. Otherwise you’ll have to decide if it is worth the extra time. If you have antsy kids, it might be a nice place to stop and stretch before continuing on your journey. It is free to see and there are pit toilets located on the site.