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Hiking the Hidden Valley

Ruins in Hidden Valley hike Moab Utah
Hidden Valley is exactly that, a shallow valley on top of the rocks that is hidden from view from Moab in the “Behind the Rocks” area. The trail in the valley is a two-thousand-year-old path used by Native Americans. Evidence of their usage is the many petroglyphs and ruins in the area that you can find.
Getting there
From Moab, drive 3 miles south on US 191 and turn right (west) on Angel Rock Road. Drive 2 blocks and turn right on Rimrock Road. Drive to the parking area and trailhead at the road’s end.
38.531611, -109.517278
  • Dogs allowed on leash
  • Petroglyphs
  • This hike can be extended north to the Moab Rim Trail(see note) if you have thought ahead on transportation, a more spectacular two fer hike with more petroglyphs
8 miles total out and back, 1300 feet of elevation gain (overlook)
Optional 1-mile loop to “Old Folks Home” formation to see more rock art

Hidden Valley hike Moab Utah Map

The trail from the parking area is rough, rocky, switchbacks up between steep boulder-strewn slopes, and is nicknamed “Barney Rubble”. It is a long climb over half a mile of 600 feet of elevation gain.
Then you enter a single-track trail through Hidden Valley that levels out gradually over 1.2 miles to the end of the valley reaching “Petro Pass” where you enter into the Behind the rocks area. Watch closely, as the trail actually continues North, look for a social trail to the right that leads to the first petroglyphs.
While the traditional trail goes over this pass for a 1/2 mile to a junction with the Moab Rim Trail, you will want to head toward the western wall of the large sandstone formation that extends for over 1/4 mile. Along the base you can find different petroglyph panels.
Keep following the cliff band west admiring the rock art you will find until you find a side drainage on your right. Go up this side drainage on a social trail to near the top, and then head left (northwest/west) along the top where you will find two ruins on top. The one all the way to the west may be reachable from the face of it. The other may require a straightforward chimney about 3 m tall. From this ruin, you can see the second ruin further along the ridge.
To reach the second ruin, retrace your steps to the side drainage. Instead of following the drainage, however, follow the cliff band on the north side of the drainage while keeping on the lookout for more rock art panels.
The west side of the cliff band below the second ruin allows access up to the ruin via a 2 m overhung crack.
You can continue west and eventually come to a junction with the Moab Rim Trail (you can continue to the overlook or the formation called The Old Folks Home to see more rock art
You can continue west from the saddle on Hidden Valley Trail, which descends 0.3 miles to the Moab Rim Trail, a four-wheel-drive track that steeply descends another 3 miles to the Colorado River and Kane Creek Road and the Moab Rim Trailhead.
You need to plan ahead and have a vehicle parked at the Moab Rim Trailhead so you can return to the Hidden Valley trailhead and your vehicle.

The beginning section of the trail

The beginning section of the trail

Location of rock art panels along the wall of the base of the sandstone formation

Lots of rock art panels along the wall of the base of the sandstone formation

Hidden Valley rock artA long line of desert sheep petroglpyhsRock art along the hiking route through the valley

The rock art is thought to date from the Canyonlands Basketmaker II style (1,000 BC to 550 AD). Look for deer, bear paws, human figures and sheep. Some of the panels may depict hunting scenes.

Unusual rock art

Does this figure show another being inside its belly?

Hidden Valley map to find the rock art

Hidden Valley map for finding the ruins


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