Newspaper Rock

This area is actually not part of Canyonlands National Park but you are passing by on your way to the Needles district. Formerly a state park, Newspaper Rock is now designated a State Historical Monument. The rock is a part of the vertical Wingate sandstone cliffs that enclose the upper end of Indian Creek Canyon, and is covered by hundreds of ancient Indian petroglyphs (rock carvings) - one of the largest, best preserved and easily accessed groups in the Southwest.

The pictures at Newspaper Rock have been inscribed into desert varnish, a blackish manganese-iron deposit that gradually forms on exposed sandstone cliff faces owing to the action of rainfall and bacteria. The older figures are themselves becoming darker in color as new varnish slowly develops. The first carvings were made around 2,000 years ago, the main groups have been assigned to the Anasazi (AD 1 to 1300), Fremont (AD 700 to 1300) and Navajo (AD 1500 onwards).

Directions

Starting either at Mohab or Monticello, drive towards Needles district using 191 and then exit onto 211. Follow 211 for about 12 miles and you will arrive at the parking area of Newspaper Rock.

Selected Pictures

Location Map

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