Dry Fork Canyon Rock Art
Many panels of fascinating rock art figures can be found in Dry Fork Canyon, west of Vernal. Most of the images are attributed to the ancient Fremont people and date back 1,000 years or more. Some of the figures very intricate and are considered classic examples of rock art from this period. They have great archaeological significance.
The images are located on private property, the McConkie Ranch, but are open for public viewing. A self-guided trail runs along the edge of the cliffs below the rock art. Markers and signs are placed to help people locate the images.
Most of the figures are petroglyphs (meaning they were chipped into the rock). Others are pictographs (painted onto the rock). Images can be seen from the parking area but they are far more impressive if you follow trails up the cliff face to view them up close. The trails are steep and rocky, with some loose rock. Most people have no problem following the trails if they take it slow and watch where they put their feet.
Visitors are asked to stay on the trails. Cutting corners causes erosion and can loosen rocks, which then become a danger to those below. Also, visitors are prohibited from touching the figures.
To reach the ranch, drive to downtown Vernal and then get onto 500 North Street. Follow that street west to 3500 West Street. Turn north and follow 3500 West to the McConkie Ranch Road. It is about 6.4 miles from the 500 N/3500 W intersection to the ranch road turnoff. As you follow 3500 West it becomes the Dry Fork Canyon Road. It is also known as the Red Cloud Loop Road.
A sign clearly marks the turnoff to McConkie Ranch. Follow the McConkie Ranch Road for about 1/2 mile to the signed parking area. All these roads are paved.
From the parking area, the Main Trail is clearly marked and leads immediately up the cliff to the rock art. The 3 Kings Trail also begins at the parking area. You have to hike through ranch fields to get to the rock art along the 3 Kings Trail, but it is well worth the effort. Follow the trail markers over a fence and through fields, and then up the cliff to the rock art. Keep going until a sign indicates you have reached the trail's end. From that point you will have a clear view of the 3 Kings Panel.
This is private property so please show respect. Leave gates as you find them (open or closed).
Hundreds of rock art figures can be seen here, and on other panels in this area. It is great fun to hunt down and photograph the images.
GPS location: 40.5454, -109.635
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