Documenting this hike was a challenge that I enjoyed. I had to go out three different times before I finally found what I was looking for on this hike. The first trip took me (I would later find out) right past one of the slot canyons with some of the most significant petroglyphs. The second trip I found one of the petroglyph sites and stopped my search just short of finding the other three. The third trip I slipped my little baby girl in her sling and went out determined to find all of the petroglyphs and make a trail worth following! At last I conquered, and I’m proud to present my report.
Ever since I was a kid I have had a sense of awe when I’ve seen petroglyphs, or any historical site for that matter. I feel like I’m stepping into the past and witnessing the result of someone’s great efforts to create something that was meant to last for later generations. I think part of the reason it has been so hard to find a documented hike that takes you to these sites is because of the fear that people will disrespect and deface these precious artifacts. I trust you more than they do. Respect these sites. They are beautiful and sacred, and should be preserved for your children and grandchildren to see!
Park in the cul-de-sac at the end of 4200 N (be respectful of the access needed by those that live here) and step over onto the trail that heads west toward the Park. The trail will open up after a couple of minutes and you will meet a dirt road. Head left and follow the trail(road) south until you meet up with a step over into the park. This hooks you into the Gila (hee-la) Trail. Follow the trail as it meanders through the lush desert foliage. There are spectacular views of the Park and Red Mountain from this trail. After winding around for a couple of miles you will crest a hill. Watch closely for the trail to fork and take you down across the slick rock toward the petroglyphs in the slot canyon. They are easy to miss, but if you watch for the State Park marker it will lead you where you need to go. After you have viewed these, head north on the trail toward Sinking Ship Rock (about 3/4 mile away).
The other petroglyphs can only be accessed by following unauthorized trails or “bushwacking”, which is not approved by Snow Canyon State Park. I’m hoping that with some community support, the Park will help open “official” routes to view these sites.
As you head back to your vehicle, I just want to remind you that you still have one more great site to see though, so continue up the slick rock until you are back on the dirt and moving toward the black plateau in front of you. Now, turn around and look back…what a view! You can’t buy that view or the experience you just had with all the money in the world. Consider yourself lucky. I know I do, every time I head outside and have a chance to spend time in the amazing creations that surround me! Now continue up the hill and you will see the boundary fence again. Cross over and you can make your way back to your vehicle.
Until next time…Remember, your next adventure is just out your door!