The Maze Rock petroglyph site is located off House Rock Valley Road near the northern border of Arizona. House Rock Valley is the passageway to many famous hikes such as Buckskin Gulch, White Pocket, and the Wave. Maze Rock may be a less popular site but is easily accessible and offers beautiful views. Two-wheel drive vehicles can make the trip as long as the road is dry and they take their time. A Bureau of Land Management sign on the left side of the road makes the trailhead easy to spot. There is a parking area across the road from the trailhead.
The trail starts on the left side of House Rock Valley with the parking lot to the right. It is about 1.5 miles round trip with 200 feet of elevation gain. The trail is rated easy, though hikers may want to take their time going downhill as it can be a bit slippery and rocky. Hikers should allow for about an hour, though it may be completed sooner. Dogs are allowed on or off leash and children should be able to keep up with ease. The path is well defined and simple to follow, heading off to the east of the trailhead.
The hike leads uphill through a few short switchbacks. The top of the climb stops near a cattle gate. Be sure to pass through and close the gate securely. The path continues and crosses the plain toward a hillside of rich red rocks. It is a quick climb to the top of the hill and the giant sandstone rocks etched full of carvings. The top of the trail allows beautiful panoramic views of the surrounding valley.
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The rock is an enormous canvas for the abundance of petroglyphs. The images are clear, deep, and well preserved. A square maze-like formation in the top left corner offers an inkling of how the site acquired its name. Other noticeable images include a stick figure with earrings (likely someone of royalty or importance), many swirls (related to life), deer and bighorn sheep. The Anasazi rock art is thought to date back to between 850 and 1300 AD.
Please do not touch or write on the rock art. The site has aged incredibly well and is free of graffiti. Recently the Bureau of Land Management has erected a short wooden fence between the trail and the rock. It serves as a reminder to enjoy the images from a short distance. The more that we respect it, the longer it will be around for others to enjoy. The Maze Rock is an important piece of history that details the way of life of ancient people through art.
Written by: Lauren Kehoe