Colorado Riverway Recreation Area
Rock Art : Moonflower Canyon Petroglyph Site
This page contains a discussion of the rock art found in the Moab area of Utah, along the Kane Creek Road, at the Moonflower Canyon Petroglyph site. All photographs are from our our personal collection. If you'd like to see more rock art from this location, or if you'd like to see higher resolution or larger images, send us an e-mail message and we'll see what we can do.
The Moonflower Canyon Petroglyph Site is located along the Kane Creek Road west of Moab, Utah. It is a well marked site to the south of the road, near a small campground. The area is fenced, but the rock art is easily visible. There is also an interesting fracture in the cliff face just to the east of the site, where there is a set of wooden steps placed so that a person could climb high above. It is possible that the rock art is here as a guide to this vertical path to the top of these cliffs. Several small panels make up this site.
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|Other rock art sites near the Moonflower Canyon Petroglyph Site::|
All of these photos have been resized and manipulated in Photoshop to give the best representation of the image. Some color distortion is inevitable. If you would like to see higher quality versions of these shots, or if you would like to use these images for any purpose, please contact us and we would be glad to help if we can.
Select an image or figure number to see a full sized version.
|MF005: This anthropomorph seems to be a cross between a Fremont and Barrier Canyon style, with broad shoulders, no apparent head, but with horns. There are no limbs, but there are interior lines. Petroglyph.|
|MF007: This is another view of the anthropomorph described above. Petroglyph.|
|MF008: This is a very nice petroglyph in the Barrier Canyon style, with what look like feathers protruding from the head. It has broad shoulders and the tapered body, with no arms but with legs. The breast area is solidly pecked, while the body is not. However, the body has vertical interior lines. Petroglyph.|
|MF009: This unusual anthropomorph has been eroded considerably, but the upper portion of the body is intact, as is the head and long feathers. Petroglyph.|
|MF014: I'm not sure if this is an anthropomorph or some geometric design. The image has been weathered, making it difficult to see more than a few features. Petroglyph.|
|MF021: At first this figure appears to be a large arrow head. However, I believe it might represent a dead anthropomorph. At other locations, especially in the ancestral puebloan regions, there are often figures turned upside down, and are believed to represent the dead. If you turn this figure upright it would look like an anthropomorph with raised arms. Petroglyph.|
|MF022: This anthropomorph has raised arms spread from very high shoulders. The stick figure has a small head, straight torso, and stick legs with no feet. Petroglyph.|
|MF024: This unusual anthropomorph has a T-shaped head, raised arms that are crooked at the elbows, a thick body and spread legs. The figure may also have a small penis. It also appears that this petroglyph may have also been painted over at some point. Petroglyph.|
|MF025: This stick figure may or may not be an anthropomorph. Petroglyph.|
|MF029: This heavily eroded anthropomorph has a thick body and what appear to be raised hands coming from its shoulders. Not much other detail is identifiable. It's possible that this could represent a bear. Petroglyph.|
|MF030: This incised stick figure may be of more recent origin because the technique is different than most others on this panel and it has more of a modern appearance. Petroglyph.|
|MF032: This round-bellied figure has short extended arms, legs that might have feet, and somewhat of a turtle- or bird-shaped head. Petroglyph.|
|MF035: This figure is quite eroded. It is difficult to tell if this figure was once painted, or if it has been chalked at some point. In either case, there is a slight white tint covering this otherwise indistinct figure. Petroglyph.|
|Geometric Shapes and Designs|
|MF003: This may be a circular shield, but due to erosion it is difficult to tell for sure. Petroglyph.|
|MF013: This set of vertical lines is topped by a single horizontal line, with another horizontal line underlying the series. There are also what appear to be bear prints on this portion of the panel, among other markings. Petroglyph.|
|MF016: In this section of the panel we see what appears to be a segment of fencing. To the right there are two desert big horn and an usual V-shaped object that may represent a corral or hunting trap. Petroglyph.|
|MF026: This portion of one of the panels is just above ground level and may have been subject to flooding over the years. This section is extremely eroded and it is difficult to determine what is presented here. Petroglyph.|
|MF033: This one shows a distinct sawtooth pattern suspended from a line, along with a squiggly line and some heavily eroded figures that are hard to identify. Petroglyph.|
|MF044: A long pair of horizontal squiggly lines. Petroglyph.|
|MF031: An interesting rendition of an historical cowboy in profile with a distinctive beard. Petroglyph.|
|MF038: An interesting piece of modern graffiti. Petroglyph.|
|MF001: This pecked line is high above the rest of these panels and may represent some sort of map. It is fairly close to the vertical fracture mentioned in the introduction to this page. Petroglyph.|
|MF004: This portion of one of the panels shows a variety of lines and geometric shapes. Some may represent maps, but, of course, it is difficult to say for sure. Petroglyph.|
|Panels and Mixed Groups|
|MF006: A comb-like figure and several heavily eroded and unidentifiable figures. This part of the panel is close to ground level and probably susceptible to scaring by flash floods. Petroglyph.|
|MF017: This panel clearly shows what looks like a comb or picket fence; an oval shaped net; a U shaped figure with a mark within that make represent a corral or box canyon where prey might be trapped and slaughtered; two desert big horn sheep; one possible pronghorn near a canine; and one anthropomorph with outstretched arms and relatively large hands. Perhaps this is some sort of a hunting scene. Petroglyph.|
|MF018: This group contains a pecked representation of what looks like a large snake with a beak-like open mouth; several light squiggles and V shaped lines; what looks like a more recent plus sign; and, a very unusual anthropomorphic figure that has a rounded bottom and thin wavy arms and a round head sitting on top of short, thin neck. Petroglyph.|
|MF020: This is another view of the above figure taken in different lighting at a different time. Petroglyph.|
|MF027: This heavily eroded panel shows two anthropomorphic figures. One figure has outstretched and downward bent arms and a crescent shaped headdress that could represent large horns. The second figure appears to be upside down, with legs and feet sticking upward from a thick body. There are also what might be bear paws and a wavy line that might represent a snake. Petroglyph.|
|MF040: This is one of the nicer and best preserved of the panels at this site. There is a prominent Barrier Canyon style anthropomorph petroglyph surrounded by several smaller figures of desert big horn sheep, perhaps a snake, a smaller triangular shaped anthropomorph, and the top portion of another large anthropomorph with three long "feathers" coming out of its head. Unfortunately the lower portion of this figure has been eroded away. There may also be a pair of vulva-forms and a small bear paw on this panel. Petroglyph.|
|MF041: This panel has an usual anthropomorph with a hollow triangular shaped body, prominent horns, and a few interior lines. There are also several long and short sets of vertical squiggly lines, one of which may be a snake. There are other lines that may represent maps, as well as a few small but difficult to identify zoomorphs. Petroglyph.|
|MF043: This grouping shows what looks like an arrow head, but may actually represent a dead person (turned upside down). There is also a fence or comb figure, and a tall, thin anthropomorph with curled arms and spread legs. Petroglyph.|
|MF002: This appears to be a snake associated with the lowest of the logs placed to that a person could climb up the tall crack that leads from ground level up to the top of the cliff. There are cut logs all the way up, making a stair step to the top; but one would have to be a good, agile climber to make this ascent. Petroglyph.|
|MF010: Possibly two desert big horn sheep (or pronghorns) and a snake. Petroglyph.|
|MF011: Several zoomorphs, a small anthropomorph, and two possible vulva-forms. Petroglyph.|
|MF012: A large mule deer or elk buck, one or two small canine figures, and a desert big horn sheep. Petroglyph.|
|MF015: This panel is heavily eroded, but the top left figure might represent a duck or some other waterfowl. Petroglyph.|
|MF019: Possibly a pecked snake with an open beak-like head. Petroglyph.|
|MF023: At first glance this figure appears to be some sort of fence or net. But if you look close, you can see what appears to be a small head with horns at the upper right hand corner. There also appears to be a small tail coming from the upper left of the figure. This is a very unusual figure. Petroglyph.|
|MF028: A pecked mule deer or elk ram with a huge rack of antlers. This portion of the panel has a considerable amount of graffiti. Petroglyph.|
|MF034: What looks like a running desert big horn sheep or possibly a pronghorn. Petroglyph.|
|MF036: A large pecked snake with an open mouth. The small figure in the lower left is the last letter of someone's name (just graffiti). Petroglyph.|
|MF037: Possibly two deer or sheep walking side by side. Petroglyph.|
|MF039: An unusual figure. This may simply be a stray mark, or, it might represent a dead desert big horn. If you look carefully it looks a bit like a big horn lying on its back, with its legs in the air. Its horns would be there on the left side, with its tail on the right. Petroglyph.|
|MF042: Possibly a deer with small antlers. It appears to be running, and may be defecating (perhaps in fear). This figure also has a heart mark. Petroglyph.|