Travel-Curious

Travel Curious

For independent travelers who want to dig deeper

Owl Rock Art Panel

This short hike in Moab takes you to a rock ledge high above and overlooking the canyon to discover the unique Owl Panel which also has the big man image, lots of sheep, and other petroglyphs to see. Large owl petroglyphs like this are unusual to find, as are most single-image large depictions.

 
Getting there
Head 5.1 miles down Kane Creek Blvd from Moab
 
Parking
( 38.523997, -109.601641 ) Find a pull out on the side of the road close to the start
 
Starting Point
38.523997, -109.601641 (starting point)
 
Note
  • Trekking poles
  • Binoculars
 
Distance
1.6 miles total out and back
 
Route
If you look up at the sandstone formation across the creek, you can see a large alcove about half way up it that looks like an eye. The rock art panels and your destination are to the left of this alcove, you can actually see them from the road if you know what you are looking for. 
Location of the owl rock art panel on the cliff ahead of you
 
The route starts by taking the HyMasa single-track mountain bike trail descending down to meet the HyMasa 4×4 trail also called the Cliff Hanger Safari Route and then crossing Kane Creek
Walking on the trail toward the owl rock art panel on the cliff ahead of you 
crossing on Kane Creek, the water is low
The crossing on Kane Creek
From the creek, you ascend via some impressive 4×4 rock obstacles and then will need to open and close a metal gate. 
Picture of the gate you must close after you go through it
 
Continue uphill on the easy-to-walk rock bench ledges.
Rocky shelf on the trail
 
Shortly, you will come to a  junction with the Captain Ahab mountain bike trail. At this junction don’t follow the mountain bike trail but continue to the right on the HyMasa 4×4 trail, continuing on up an ascending switchback. 
HyMasa 4x4 trail
 
At the top of the switchback the trail levels off and at this point the unmarked trail to the Owl Panel branches off to the right and takes you to the base of a rockfall area, it might not be easy to see but as you move toward the rockfall it will become clearer. Approach the rockfall area and stay towards the middle, you’ll start to see signs of a trail heading up. The trail works its way gradually up the middle of the rockfall and eventually to a lower bench to the right and then you’ll gain the upper bench where the petroglyphs are at the base of the cliff.
Direction to head as you approach the cliff bottom to reach the owl rock art panel
 
There are petroglyphs scattered all along the base of the cliff. The Owl Panel is the most impressive and also has the Big Man. There are circles, birds and lots of sheep and some other interesting figures to see. Random rock art extends from the Owl Panel in both directions and is worth looking for.
Looking up at the large rock art panel, the owl and the bigman
 
Close up of the petroglyphs
 
A beautiful big horn desert sheep petroglyph
 
The petroglyph rock art panel of the Owl
 
A beautiful bird petroglyph  
 
Looking back at the trailhead on the owl panel trail in Moab Utah
Looking back to where you parked from the Owl panel

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