Travel Curious

For independent travelers who want to dig deeper

Moab Grotto


Hike to two different and unique rock art sites. One is beneath a low overhang, a location that seems like it was a good place for ancient travelers to rest for the night or to get out of bad weather.

Crawl under the ledges and look up
You will need to crawl under the low overhangs and look up while lying on your back to see where the pictographs cover the bottom of the rocks within arm’s reach.
The second site is further up the hike in a ‘grotto’. In a narrow ravine where the walls overhang both sides creating a cave or grotto-like space where again natives spent their time with evidence of smoke from fires on the ceiling.
Here you will find much more rock art, again pictographs of animals and humans and shapes along with many handprints.


  • The hike is easy but the trail is not marked at all.
  • Using a GPS mapping app like on your phone is helpful to follow the route to reach the pass next to the large rock at the halfway point


Getting there

  • From Moab take Highway 191 north for 16 miles and just before the airport, turn left (west) at  ( 38.748323, -109.738167 ) onto the Blue Hills Road, AKA (10 Mile Point Road).
  • Continue on the dirt road for 7.4 miles and turn left onto the unmarked 10 Mile Road at ( 38.784979, -109.851610 ).
  • Continue for 1.8 miles and turn left at a marker for the Orange Trail at ( 38.783719, -109.880106 ) and it’s only a couple hundred feet to the trailhead


Parking ( 38.782818, -109.879661 )

A sandy turnaround



1.2 miles total out and back
Moab Grotto-Trail Map


From the parking lot look for the single-track trail heading uphill. 
You will eventually be following an old Jeep trail, which is easier said than done, as this is where it gets tricky because the route is faint.
If you’re watching closely you can sort of see this ‘road’. But believe me, it is not obvious unless you’re really paying attention and are good and looking for the signs of what was once here. Adding to the difficulty is much of the route is over slickrock.
This ‘road’ will turn and zig-zag and eventually after most of your ascent is completed, you will be at a very large and prominent rock on the ridge and pass by it on the right.
If you get to this rock the good news is you will know you’re on the right track as the trail is most obvious once you get near it and pass over the ridge and are heading down the other side.
This is the landmark you need to find
The big rock on the ridgeline
Continue over the now flat ground and you should start to see the fence. Keep along the trail heading toward the fence and the rock formations behind it. Look for the obvious entrance in the middle of the fence. ( 38.778237, -109.882487 )
Behind the fenced off area are the first set of rock art
Under the overhangs of the rock formations directly across from the fence’s is rock art. Crawl under the overhangs and start looking up and you will start seeing it all.
The first set of rock art
Crawl under the ledges and look up
When you are done, head back the way you came through the fence opening and continue heading south as you were before, but start veering off the trail toward your left. 
The idea is to find a small ravine that is starting to form. Walking in the mouth of the wash of the ravine really won’t do you much good as it eventually becomes too choked with brush and fallen rock obstacles.
It’s best to follow it along uphill on the right-hand side.
Eventually, you will see a place that is a good place to climb down into the ravine as the grotto is just a couple of hundred feet further up and it is closed over from the top. You should be around ( 38.776700, -109.882588 )
The ravine from above where you have to climb down into it
Look for this place to climb down into the shallow ravine
It’s only a hundred feet or so to the ‘grotto’ one in the bottom of the ravine.
Walking toward the entrance
The ravine opens up into a nice grotto with rock art on both sides of the walls. Take your time, let your eyes adjust to the dimmer light, and keep looking and you will start seeing lots of handprints on the left and lots of animal shapes and figures on the right.
The grotto from the entrance
Ancient handprints in the Moab Grotto
Adjacent pictographs near the Moab Grotto under a ledge

Explore Nearby...


Crawl under the ledges and look up

Moab Grotto

Short hike to two rock art sites, one an over-night camp with art under overhangs and the 2nd is the Moab Grotto rock art site

Secret Spire sits along on rolling slickrock near Moab Utah

Secret Spire

A quick hike along a sandy road to a rock spire sitting on rolling slickrock hills near Moab

Walking through the Dellenbaugh Tunnel

Dellenbaugh Tunnel

An easy hike to a tunnel that takes you to an overlook into Spring Canyon near the Tombstone Rock formation

Moki Mesa

Hike to a hidden shelf above the Colorado river you get to using an old cattle trail blasted out of the canyon cliff face

Moab Maiden Hike Moab Utah

Moab Maiden – Hike

The Moab Maiden is a single petroglyph pecked into a large single boulder on a ridge above Kane Springs Creek. There are other petroglyphs at the cliff face at the overlook, as well as the ruin of a granary and pithouse.

Seven Mile Canyon Lower Hike 8

Seven Mile Canyon ( Lower ) – Hike

Explore a canyon that was part of the Spring/Fall Anasazi migration route, originating in the Maze District of Canyonlands National Park to the La Sal Mountains. There are Barrier style rock art panels in the canyon.

Hidden Valley hike Moab Utah

Hidden Valley – Hike

Discover a hidden Valley “Behind the Rocks” in Moab, and hike a two-thousand-year-old path used by Native Americans, see many petroglyphs and two ruins

The Owl Panel – Hike

This short hike takes you to discover the Owl Panel which also has the big man, lots of sheep, and other petroglyphs.

Arches National Park...

U-Turn Canyon

Scramble up to a secret canyon in Arches National Park above Park Avenue

Sand Dune Arch 3

Sand Dune Arch

Sand Dune Arch is a family favorite, perfect for kids, it is a quick and easy stroll on a sandy easy-to-follow trail

Sand Dune Arch 7

Skyline Arch

Skyline Arch sits against the skyline at the top of a large red rock fin. A short and easy walk.

Sand Dune Arch 4

Tapestry Arch & Broken Arch

Hike to both Tapestry Arch and Broken Arch on a short out-and-back trail that leaves from the Devil’s Garden Camp Grounds

Devils Garden arches national park 5

Guide for the Devil’s Garden

A special place walking through rock fins, towers and arches, see the famous Landscape Arch or hike the challenging Primitive Loop to see more remote sections of the Devil’s Garden

Tower Arch Arches National Park-2

Tower Arch Hike

Rarely visited due to its location in the western part of Arches National Park, a great place to go if you want a quieter experience off the beaten path away from the crowds

aaaa 12

Willow Springs Road

Willow Springs Road is a backdoor road into Arches National Park that avoids the toll gate, and reservation system

Park Avenue Arches National Park

Park Avenue – hike

This is a fun and easy hike and is a great introduction to hiking in Arches National Park for beginners, the trail gets you quickly immersed among the high red rock features of what Utah and the park is all about.

Windows section of arches national park 3

Windows Section of Arches National Park

The Windows and Double Arch are the main attraction, but you can see The Parade of Elephants, Turret Arch, Cove Arch, Ribbon Arch, Elephant Butte, and the Cove of Caves also.

Canyonlands National Park - Island In The Sky District...


False Kiva – Hike

The site sits in an alcove and a stone circle. There are some handprints on the back of the wall of the alcove and some faint images that are hard to make out today.

Mesa Arch Utah 3

Photography Tips for Mesa Arch

Every sunrise, Mesa Arch is descended upon by masses of photographers trying to capture their own early morning sunrise framed through the arch.

Canyonlands National Park - Needles District...

Dinosaur Tracks...

Tower Arch Utah 10

Klondike Bluffs Dinosaur Track – Hike

The tracks in this area are predominantly those of carnivorous dinosaurs called allosaurus, which were probably on the hunt for other animals that would come to what was once a large body of water.

Scenic Drives...

Potash road petroglyphs 6

Guide to the Potash Road Rock Art Sites

Just a few minutes from downtown Moab, on the Potash road running along the Colorado River is the opportunity to see a half dozen sites that hold hundreds of petroglyphs and even some dinosaur foot prints

La Sal Mountain Loop 4

La Sal Mountain Loop

The 60-mile route follows the Colorado River, and climbs into the La Sal Mountains via Castle Valley, it offers great views of the peaks and the red rock canyons far below.

Highway 128 Rock Art Moab Utah

Highway 128 Rock Art

An easy quick stop along scenic byway 128 if coming or going from Cisco to Moab. A large boulder with about 50  petroglyphs sits above the highway.

potash road 9

Potash Road / Shafer Trail

The scenic drive – Utah Scenic Byway 279, takes the back roads and runs from Moab to Canyon Lands National Park along the Colorado River

Anticline Overlook

Rarely visited by most travelers but is worth the effort. The view is overlooking Deadhorse state park and Canyonlands National Park Islands in the Sky district, to the north, looking over Hurrah Pass and the Kane Creek.

Everything Else...

Golf Course Rock Art Moab Utah 3

The Moab Man

See the famous “Moab Man” petroglyph near Moab’s golf course, plus other interesting images like Santa’s Sled and the Happy Sheep

2022 08 27_8 27 01

Courthouse Wash Rock Art

Visitors to Moab drive right by this easily accessible rock art panel next to the bridge over the Colorado River every day without ever knowing it is there.

Cisco Ghost Town Utah

Cisco Ghost Town

Cisco was once a thriving town in the 1880s, with hotels and saloons, and was a natural provisioning center for the ranchers in the area. Today there is a small revitalization of Cisco by artists.

Faux Falls Moab Utah 6

Faux Falls

Faux falls are man-made via an outflow from Ken’s Lake reservoir. Being so close to Moab, the pool at the bottom of the falls makes for a great shallow swimming hole for people and dogs in the summer. 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Buy Framed Prints

Images on this website are available as framed prints to support running the website
Browse Prints For Sale


Featured Posts