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Where are the funnies?
Newspaper Rock in southeastern Utah is one of the most well known of the "newspaper rocks" across the western United States. Covered with rock art dating back thousands of years, this well-visited location on the way to Canyonlands National Park. While not a "hike" in most senses of the word, this quick stroll to a roadside attraction is well worth the little effort it takes to get to. There is a pit toilet at the trailhead, but no water available.
Around 2000 years ago, people of the Archaic culture gathered around Indian Creek and left carvings on the tan rock walls surrounding the Cottonwoods. Their art remains today on the slab of sandstone covered in desert varnish. They were the first of many - the Fremont, Anasazi, Navajo, and Ute all carved their marks in the rock. Some makes sense to us today - bison, tracks, men riding horses. Others have meanings that are lost - swirls, spirals, and horned creatures. In the 20th century more humans left their mark - too many. The ancient art was slowly being lost, so in 1961 Utah declared Newspaper Rock a State Historical Monument. There is now a developed parking area and pit toilet, along with signage telling visitors about Newspaper Rock and the surrounding canyon country.
There isn't much of a hike. Park your vehicle. Walk south to the big rock wall protected by a low fence, covered in petroglyphs. Stare. Oooh. Ahh. Return to your vehicle. Use the bathroom if you need to (before getting back in your ride). That's it!
None - Newspaper Rock is within the Indian Creek Special Resource Management Area. Camping is only allowed in designated locations.
Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.