Utah — Petroglyphs at McConkie Ranch

Growing up on the East Coast, petroglyphs were something I’d never actually seen in person. When I was in Utah recently, I had the chance to spend a morning at McConkie Ranch just west of Vernal in the area now known as Dinosaurland.

Even though McConkie Ranch is privately owned, the public is welcome to explore the petroglyphs and pictographs on the property. Don’t know the difference between the two? Petroglyphs are images chipped into the rock. Pictographs are painted onto the rock. The petroglyphs here were made by the Fremont people about 1,000 years ago. Trails are well marked and it’s easy to get around.

One of the many petroglyphs at McConkie Ranch

One of the many petroglyphs at McConkie Ranch

Petroglyph People

Petroglyph People

On the sunny, crisp morning when my daughter and I visited McConkie, we had the place practically to ourselves. Payment is just $4 per car and on the honor system. A metal trash can full of walking sticks for loan is available. Inside the little cabin at the entrance is a metal cash box and a fridge full of beverages. Post-it notes and business cards from visitors wallpapered the inside of the cabin. I left mine too. Everyone is supposed to register in the guest book — there were people from around the globe who’d recently stopped in.


The petroglyphs were abundant — it seemed at every turn, we saw a new image.

The rock formations here were spectacular as well, as were the blooming cacti along the trails.


Cactus in bloom

One of many cool rock formations at McConkie Ranch

Cool rocks and sky

Incredible contrast between rock and sky

McConkie Ranch is just one of Vernal’s gems…keep posted for more! If you can’t wait to see more, check out the following website: