Hidden Valley Trail
Now I'll admit that there is something special about the Indian history is Southern Utah. Whether it is petroglyphs, pictographs or ruins they are fun to find and explore. If you are like me you also enjoy trying to depict what exactly they are trying to say or portray. Hidden Valley is a great hike that involves petroglyphs, ruins and most importantly a great work out.
Hidden Valley is a great place to take an up close and personal look at some southern Utah Indian history. They say that the Indian rock art (petroglyphs) is thousands of years old and could come from any number of tribes that inhabited the areas surrounding Moab. The different tribes that have called the Moab area home over the past thousands of years include: Paleo-Indians, Archaic, Anasazi, Fremont and most recently the Utes. The only way that archaeologists can attempt to find what tribe may have been responsible for what petroglyphs is by using clues to decide the age of the petroglyphs. "For example, whenever a horse and rider is depicted, we know the date to be after A.D. 1540 when the Spaniards reintroduced the horse to the New World." [source]
**Please remember when viewing petroglyph's and ruins to only look and respect these historic sites by not touching them**
Not only is it petroglyphs that you get to enjoy but also ruins. There are two round circular structures about 2 1/2 feet tall and 10 feet in radius atop one of the rock fins at the end of this hike. The only way to get up and actually stand next to these is to wedge and wiggle your way up and crevice in the rocks. It is doable by those in fit shape and good health.
You will see in the trail directions below that I have done two different parts. Part 1 is to the pass where you can see the Moab Rim Jeep Trail. Part 2 is if you wish to continue to see the petroglyphs and ruins.
- From the main road in Moab head South on US-191
- Follow this for 4 miles
- Take a right onto W Angel Rock Rd. and follow for .3 miles
- You will then come to a yield at a dead-end, turn right
- Follow this road, Rim Rock Ln, for another .3 miles until it turns to dirt and comes to a parking lot
- This is the trail-head for Hidden Valley and Pipeline (a mountain biking trail)
The trail begins just to the right of the trail-head sign. Follow along this well-worn path and you will immediately begin to gain elevation.
Almost all of your elevation gain for this trail is in the first 3/4 of a mile as you follow switch backs and steeply climb up.
Once your are past that part the trail will begin to flatten out and you will come into the first of two valley's. The valley's are both flat until you get to the pass where you can see the Moab Rim Jeep Trail.
You can opt to turn around at this point for a good 4 mile round trip hike. To continue further to see the petroglyphs and ruins continue down the path.
Now that you are just past both hidden valleys and can see the Moab rim jeep trail ahead of you in the distance there is a worn footpath to your right. Begin following this and it will bring you up to the large rock fin that you can see off to your right. This rock fin is where the petroglyphs begin.
Hiking to the end of this rock fin you can either turn around at this point or continue to see more petroglyphs and ruins. You will see a worn foot path that goes down to another large rock fin immediately on the other side of the one you just walked along. The end of this fin, near the top, is where you can crawl up and see one of the circular ruins.
After checking out the ruin you can walk along the tall flat walls of this fin and see more petroglyphs.
At this point you can continue exploring along the sandstone fins in the area like we did or head back the way you came.
IF ANYONE HAS FURTHER QUESTIONS ABOUT THIS HIKE OR WOULD LIKE A MORE EXACT ROUTE FEEL FREE TO EMAIL ME AT EXPLOREWITHHEATHER@GMAIL.COM!