Newspaper Rock State Historic Monument is a Utah state monument located in San Juan County. It features one of the largest known collections of petroglyphs, which were carved into the rock by Native Americans over 2,000 years ago. The petroglyphs are a fascinating glimpse into the lives and beliefs of the people who lived in the area long before it was settled by Europeans.
Visitors to the monument can view the petroglyphs up close and learn about their significance. The monument is located along Utah State Route 211, about 28 miles northwest of Monticello and 53 miles south of Moab. There are no fees or permits required to visit the monument, although there are fees to enter nearby Canyonlands National Park.
The petroglyphs at Newspaper Rock State Historic Monument are a unique and important part of Utah’s cultural heritage. Visitors to the monument can gain a deeper understanding of the area’s rich history and the people who lived here long before it became a popular tourist destination.
History and Significance
Newspaper Rock State Historic Monument is a Utah state monument that is home to one of the largest known collections of petroglyphs, which are rock carvings made by Native Americans. The monument is located in San Juan County, along Utah State Route 211, 28 miles northwest of Monticello and 53 miles south of Moab. The site is called Tse’Hane in Navajo, which means “rock that tells a story.”
Native American Heritage
The petroglyphs at Newspaper Rock are believed to be between 1,500 and 2,000 years old, and were created by the ancestors of the present-day Pueblo, Ute, and Navajo tribes. The images depict a variety of subjects, including animals, human figures, weapons, tools, and abstract shapes. These petroglyphs provide an important glimpse into the lives and beliefs of the Native Americans who lived in the area long ago.
Exploration and Naming
Newspaper Rock was first discovered by European Americans in the late 19th century. The site was named “Newspaper Rock” because of the large number of petroglyphs on the rock surface, which resemble the pages of a newspaper. The site was designated a state historical monument in 1961 and has been protected ever since.
The area surrounding Newspaper Rock is also of historical significance. The Indian Creek Corridor Scenic Byway, which runs past the monument, was an important route for Native Americans, and later for European American explorers and settlers. The area is also home to the remains of the Anasazi and Fremont cultures, which flourished in the region hundreds of years ago.
Overall, Newspaper Rock State Historic Monument is a fascinating and important site that provides a glimpse into the rich history and culture of the Native Americans who once called the area home. Visitors to the site can explore the petroglyphs, take in the stunning natural beauty of the surrounding landscape, and learn more about the history of the region.
Visiting Newspaper Rock
Newspaper Rock State Historic Monument is a must-visit destination for anyone interested in ancient rock art. This unique site is located in San Juan County, Utah, along the Indian Creek Scenic Byway, about 28 miles northwest of Monticello, Utah. The site features a rock panel carved with one of the largest known collections of petroglyphs.
To get to Newspaper Rock, visitors can take US 191 to Utah State Route 211, which is also known as the Indian Creek Scenic Byway. The site is located about 15 miles west of US 191 along this scenic byway. Visitors can park at a small turnout and take a short, paved trail that leads to the petroglyphs.
Facilities and Activities
Newspaper Rock State Historic Monument is a day-use area with no fee for visitors. The site has a small parking area, but there are no facilities or picnic areas available. Visitors should plan to bring their own food and water if they plan to spend time at the site.
While at the site, visitors can enjoy a short walk to see the petroglyphs up close. Along the way, informative signs provide context and help visitors understand the significance of the site. Visitors should be respectful of the site and avoid touching or climbing on the rock panel.
Overall, a visit to Newspaper Rock State Historic Monument is a unique and educational experience for anyone interested in ancient rock art.
Geology and Ecology
Newspaper Rock State Historic Monument is a petroglyph panel located in San Juan County, Southeastern Utah. The rock panel is carved with one of the largest known collections of petroglyphs. The rock is made of Wingate Sandstone, which is a type of sandstone that is about 200 to 300 million years old. The Wingate Sandstone cliffs, where Newspaper Rock is located, are part of the Colorado Plateau, which is a large geologic region that covers parts of Utah, Colorado, New Mexico, and Arizona.
The area around Newspaper Rock is a desert environment, characterized by hot summers and cold winters. The desert varnish, which is a thin red to black coating on the surface of the rocks, is a natural occurrence common in arid regions. The varnish is created by the slow oxidation of iron and manganese minerals in the rock. The desert varnish protects the rock surface from erosion and helps to preserve the petroglyphs.
The Needles, which is a distinctive rock formation in Canyonlands National Park, is visible from Newspaper Rock. The Needles are a series of spires and pinnacles that rise up from the desert floor. The rocks that make up The Needles are also made of Wingate Sandstone, which is the same type of rock that Newspaper Rock is made of.
Overall, the geologic and ecological features of the area around Newspaper Rock State Historic Monument make it a unique and fascinating place to visit. Visitors can learn about the natural history of the region while exploring the petroglyphs and enjoying the beautiful desert scenery.
Understanding the Petroglyphs
Newspaper Rock State Historic Monument is home to one of the largest collections of prehistoric petroglyphs in the country. These petroglyphs, or rock carvings, were created by Native American tribes over 2,000 years ago and offer a glimpse into their culture and way of life. In this section, we will explore how to interpret the symbols found on the rock face and what they can tell us about the people who created them.
The glyphs found on Newspaper Rock come in a variety of forms, including abstract shapes, animal figures, and human figures. Some of the most common symbols include spirals, circles, and dots, which may represent the sun, moon, and stars. Other glyphs depict animals such as deer, bighorn sheep, and snakes, which may have held special significance to the tribes that created them. Human figures are also commonly depicted, often in hunting or ceremonial scenes.
Interpreting these symbols can be challenging, as their meanings may have varied depending on the tribe or region in which they were created. However, by studying the context in which they were created and comparing them to other petroglyphs from the same time period, scholars have been able to make some educated guesses about their meanings.
One thing that is clear about the glyphs on Newspaper Rock is that they were created as a means of communication. Whether they were used to record important events, convey religious beliefs, or simply tell stories, the glyphs offer a window into the cultural practices of the tribes that created them.
By studying the glyphs, we can learn about the daily lives of these people, their beliefs and values, and the natural world that surrounded them. We can also gain a greater appreciation for the rich cultural heritage of the region and the importance of preserving it for future generations.
Overall, the petroglyphs found at Newspaper Rock State Historic Monument are a fascinating glimpse into the past and a testament to the creativity and ingenuity of the Native American tribes that created them. By taking the time to understand their meanings and cultural significance, we can gain a greater appreciation for the complex and diverse history of the American Southwest.
Last Updated on December 26, 2023 by Cool Rad Weird