Utah Travel Headlines Blog

Monday, March 05, 2007

Rock Art In Utah's Babylon

I stumbled across a fascinating petroglyph panel over the weekend while exploring the Babylon Road in southern Utah. The rock art images, most apparently made by ancient Native Americans, include figures I have not seen on other panels.

I love rock art and I seek it out - I’ve seen a lot of rock art panels. This panel has obviously been vandalized. The rock has developed a rich, dark patina, and the old images also show this patina. Some inscriptions do not have the patina and so I assume they were made more recently. Some old figures have apparently been traced over – you can see white, chalky marks over old patina. Sad.

Click on my photo to see a bigger version, with more detail. Is that a Spanish cross? And it looks like there is a map showing a lake, with inlet and outlet streams.

And how about those figures on the upper right? Are they ducks? Or pregnant humanoids?

The panel is located in a narrow gap at the lower end of the Babylon Trail, just above the spot where Grapevine Wash crosses the Babylon Road. The area is south of the town of Leeds, about 17 miles east of St George. Access to the rugged dirt road is from the I-15 frontage road on the east side of Leeds.

Much of the area is included in the Red Cliffs Desert Reserve, and is managed as critical habitat for desert tortoise. It is a scenic area offering great recreational opportunities.

This article describes the history of the area and how it earned the name “Babylon.”

- Dave

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