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Big Crane Petroglyph

A petroglyph panel consisting of a graphic representation of a large crane and sun symbol.

While the panel does not have a lot of artwork the crane image is unique and impressive, especially considering its location above the canyon.
The route is not easy to follow as a good portion of it is on slickrock so if you aren’t good at route finding or some of the rock cairns have been removed it helps to have some sort of GPS.
The panel is located at (37.29152, -109.6462 ) use the big flat top butte you see on the top of Comb Ridge to orient yourself, the crane panel is to the left of it.
Location of the Big Crane Panel in Lower Butler Wash Road Bears Ears Utah



  • Dogs okay
  • Hiking poles


Photo Notes

In the morning the panel is in shade and easy to photograph without highlights from the sun or shadows


Getting there

The turn-off of Lower Butler Wash Road is at ( 37.290888, -109.634634 ) , 2.1 miles from the south entrance to Lower Butler wash road from Highway 163


1.8 miles total out and back 

Parking ( 37.290871, -109.634954 )

Sandy area 

Parking area for the Big Crane Petroglyph

Park anywhere along the short spur road/trailhead and walk to the end of the spur road where there is a campsite. Look across the wash to locate the trail leading up the other side. Descend into the sandstone wash, you should see the edge of the large spill off to your left, continue up the other side.

Spot the trail exiting the other side of the wash

Once on the other side of the wash, there is only a short section of trail that you can see in the sand and it tends to lead people to the right, however, avoid going right, and instead as soon as you hit slickrock veer to your left for 400 feet then head west toward the flat top butte. The trail alternates now with slickrock and bits of sandy trail.

Head to the left

Soon the trail will descend down into a sandy wash. Once in the entrance to this wash don’t follow the trail up the wash, but look to your left, you should see at least one trail heading uphill to your left that will lead immediately to another section of slickrock.

Follow the path up and to the left on the slickrock

Once on the slickrock continue in the direction of its contours which are running south and parallel to Comb Ridge. Soon you will come to the entrance of what will be a zig-zaggy shallow ravine heading toward Comb Ridge at ( 37.289252, -109.640939 ). Directly below this entrance is a large spill-off.
Enter the zig-zaggy shallow rocky ravine and follow it toward Comb Ridge.

The entrance to the ziz-zag rocky wash

This ravine will lead you eventually toward the mouth of a very large canyon.

Head toward the canyon mouth

When you reach the mouth watch for a fork in the trail at ( 37.290326, -109.645166 ) with the left leading further into the canyon, and the right fork will take you toward the crane panel that is high up on the right-hand side of the mouth of the wide canyon.

The trail forks here, go to the right

Trail Fork 


The route up to the Big Crane Panel

Head up the slickrock and ledges, and watch closely for a small alcove with a few remains of a ruin on your way up to the panel. Some barely noticeable ruins just before the Big Crane Petroglyph

Heading up the ledge to the Big Crane Petroglyph

Looking up at the Big Crane Panel


There are a few small figures on the right-hand side of the panel but for the most part, the panel consists of the stylized crane and a circle.Big Crane Petroglyph

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