Fremont Culture Petroglyphs

Two bighorn sheep images carved into red rock wall, along with a small spiral and another figure, with a round, black border on the entire photo.
These (and many more) bighorn sheep petroglyphs are visible from the main petroglyph panel boardwalk on Utah Highway 24. Bring binoculars for a closer view.

NPS/ Shauna Cotrell

The Fremont Culture lived in what is now Utah for about one thousand years, from 300-1300 Common Era (CE). Petroglyphs (images carved or pecked into stone) are one of the most visible aspects of their culture that remains. Archeologists named these people the Fremont Culture, for the Fremont River canyon where they were first defined as a distinct culture.

The Fremont Culture petroglyphs along Utah Highway 24 are accessible by two wooden boardwalks. Depending on the time of day and which panel you view, some of the petroglyphs might be harder to see. Bring a pair of binoculars to get a closer view, and usually the longer you spend looking, the more petroglyphs you will notice. The shorter boardwalk provides views of large, anthropomorphic (human-like) petroglyphs, as well as bighorn sheep petroglyphs, and other animals and geometric designs. The longer boardwalk parallels the cliffs, and the petroglyphs along it are closer to the viewer, but harder to see because of a patina that has developed over them.

All archeological sites, including the petroglyphs off Utah Highway 24, are protected. The Archaeological Resources Protection Act of 1979 (ARPA) states that all acts of vandalism are illegal and are punishable by up to 1 year in prison and/or a $20,000 fine.

Anyone with information concerning vandalism within Capitol Reef National Park should immediately contact the National Park Service. Report all crimes or suspicious activity to the Visitor Center or a National Park Service employee, or call the Capitol Reef tip line at (435) 425-4134.
 
Long wooden boardwalk with trees beside it, facing a red rock wall, with a black circle added to it, with enlarged petroglyphs inside the circle.
Fremont Culture Petroglyphs are visible from two wooden boardwalks off of Utah Highway 24. Look closely, and you will notice many more nearby.

NPS/ Ann Huston

 
 
Unable to visit in person? Check out the wayside panels for the petroglyphs:
Signs of a Thriving People
Stories in Stone
If Cliffs Could Speak
 

Last updated: December 20, 2019

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

HC 70, Box 15
Torrey, UT 84775

Phone:

435-425-3791

Contact Us