Black Mountain

Rock art is by far one of the most unique and fun parts of hiking in Southern Utah. Stumbling upon ancient petroglyphs and pictographs makes adventures exciting and different. While hikers must search far and wide for some artwork, occasionally an easily accessible destination contains an abundance of rock art in one spot. Little Black Mountain Petroglyph Site is one of those destinations.

Little Black Mountain Petroglyph Site is technically located in Northern Arizona just outside of Saint George, Utah. Hikers should take River Road South from Saint George, continuing as it turns to dirt. A few moments after the road turns to dirt, a sign for Little Black Mountain signals drivers to make a left turn. The road then continues for three miles before opening into a parking area with a picnic table, an outhouse, and a small information panel. Any passenger vehicle should be able to make the drive. There are a few free, unmaintained campsites past the parking area.

The hike itself is very easy and more of a stroll around the mile long trail. Behind the parking area, huge sandstone boulders sit in a large circle. Hikers can start where they please and meander around the rocks in any direction. The site boasts hundreds of different petroglyphs carved into the sandstone. It is incredibly interesting to observe and interpret all of the individual pieces of rock art. From drawings of suns to goats to feet, this treasure trove tells a tale that only few will hear.

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Some of the glyphs are better preserved than others. Bullet holes and graffiti among the rock art sends a solemn reminder to respect ancient artifacts. This incredible art has been passed down thousands of years. If we want our children and our children’s children to be able to enjoy these images, we play an important role in protecting the petroglyphs. Please refrain from climbing on, drawing on, or shooting at any of the glyphs. Defacing rock art is against the law and a punishable offense.

The flat, gravel trail is easily accessible to individuals of all ages and fitness levels. Dogs are allowed as well. It is a great place to take your time and really immerse yourself in the rock art. One can see that there are different styles of drawings among the rocks, with newer images scratched over glyphs from older tribes. It is easy to be transported back in time while reading the story scribed across stone. We can infer so much about ancient people from their artwork. Moments like these make me wonder…how will we be remembered?

Written by Lauren Kehoe