Grand Canyon Rock Art
The hectic world seems to vanish as the sun peeks over the Colorado Plateau, lighting and warming the ancient rocks of the Grand Canyon. Limestone sparkles as sunlight dances off it's surface. Nature, unwilling to rest, has spent millions of years tirelessly changing and reshaping the canyon. Exploration of the great gorge creates an interest not only in the geology, but of the people who roamed this harsh terrain of our distant past. Hints to their lives are like pieces of a puzzle with some clues dating back many thousands of years. Seemingly random doodles have been discovered entombed in rock, consisting of human figures, animals and odd designs. It's like a riddle, written in an ancient and foreign tongue; a form of communication that we have yet to fully unravel, that begs us to understand it. Our public lands allow us to visit these treasures while at the same time protecting and preserving the ancient etchings and paintings that have endured the elements of nature and the test of time.
Protecting Rock Art - Please educate yourself and help to teach others how to protect ancient forms of communication such as pictographs and petroglyphs. Please respect the outdoor museums of our public lands in the same way that you would an indoor museum.
If you know of any vandalism to rock art, call the Archaeological Resources Protection hot line at 1-800-227-7286.
Rock Art is Fragile!
Toroweap Road - (BLM Road 109) No services are available so bring food, water and fill up with gasoline. This dirt road can be difficult to travel when wet and it has a reputation of being wash-boarded and the rocks on the road are hard on tires. Take the proper equipment and be prepared to change a tire if needed. Locate the dirt road to Toroweap, which is off Highway 389, between Fredonia (8.5 miles west of Fredonia) and Pipe Springs, Arizona.
Nampaweap Petroglyphs - This large display of rock art is found in the Grand Canyon-Parashant National Monument. A stone was used to hit another stone, pecking away flakes from the basalt rock and exposing the lighter color beneath to make these pictographs.
Driving Instructions - Drive 46 miles from Highway 389 toward Tuweep. Turn right at the signed road to Mount Trumbull and continue 4 more miles, as the rocky path climbs toward the summit. Look for the sign indicating the "Nampaweap Rock Art Site". Turn left and travel one mile to the parking area.
Nampaweap Trail - An information kiosk describes the short .75 mile trek to the petroglyphs. Thousands of defined etchings can be found on the boulders that sit above the floor of the dry streambed. This canyon is called Billy Goat Canyon by the locals due to the numerous "billy goat" petroglyphs found on the rock and it is considered to be the largest rock art site on the Arizona Strip. Do not climb on the rocks and damage the petroglyphs. Be aware that rattlesnakes are commonly seen and heard among the fallen basalt. Stay in the wash below, where the drawings can easily be seen.
GPS Coordinates WGS84 Datum
Turnoff from Mt. Trumbull Rd
Nampaweap Parking and TH
Shaman's Gallery (Gordon's Panel)
Snake Gulch - A step back into history surrounds hikers with an amazing array of writings, etchings and structures left behind by ancient Native American inhabitants who once thrived in this canyon tributary of Kanab Creek. The paintings and other remnants date back as far as 500 BC, yet are amazingly well preserved considering the relatively exposed location, not just to the elements of weather, but also to modern human interference.
Directions to the Grand Canyon North Rim - From Zion National Park, travel SR-9 to Mt. Carmel Jct., then turn south on US-89 to Kanab. There is only one stop light in Kanab; this is where US-89 changes to SR-89A. Fredonia, Arizona is just a few miles away, across the Utah - Arizona border. Take SR-89A to Jacob lake (36 miles), then take SR-67 to the Grand Canyon North Rim park entrance.
North Rim Grand Canyon Location - The North Rim of the Grand Canyon is 85 miles from Mount Carmel Junction, which is located on the east side of Zion National Park. Many who visit the National Parks of Southern Utah add the North Rim of the Grand Canyon to their travel plans and those visiting the North Rim of the Grand Canyon often visit Zion National Park.
Grand Canyon North Rim, Arizona
History of the Thunderbird
Stay in the heart of the parks, Mount Carmel Junction, and visit the treasures of the Southwest and Utah.
North Rim Grand Canyon Information