Road Trips,  UTAH

McConkie Ranch Petroglyphs

McConkie Ranch Petroglyphs

Hiking McConkie Ranch Petroglyphs

Visiting Vernal Utah is a unique experience and one of the best day trips in the area is hiking the McConkie Ranch Petroglyphs. They’re a fabulous representation of the Fremont People’s petroglyphs and has 200 feet of ancient native American art. It is owned and maintain by the family who owns the land so be respectful of the properties around the trail. They don’t have to allow people to visit and if people are destructive they will close it down to the public. For now, it’s open.

Address: 6228 McConkie Rd, Vernal, UT 84078
Trail Distance: .8 Miles
Dog Friendly: Yes, on leash


Take a screen shot of this, sometimes the canyons can be spotty and you may lose service.

McConkie Ranch DirectionsGoogle Maps

The drive through Dry Fork Canyon is gorgeous and there’s a lot of rock formations and amazing views along the way.

You’re going to see this sign at the turn off for McConkie Ranch. The Road will twist and turn along the way and you’ll see houses and fences. The McConkie’s still own the land and generations have built homes there so don’t be discouraged. The trail goes back behind the homes and along the cliff face. As long as you mind the trail and signs you wont be disturbing anyone.
McConkie Ranch Petroglyphs


The parking lot has a lot of horn sheds on the fence. You’ll see a small building for visitors and park benches if you want to stay and have something to eat while you’re there.McConkie Ranch Petroglyphs

This is the “visitor center.” It isn’t manned but there are letters from people all over the world and business cards left by guests. Go ahead and sign the guest book and leave behind a memento for the next people to see and know that you were there. They do ask that you leave $5 per group to help maintain the trail and upkeep.

What To Expect

The Picture below is of the entire range you’ll be hiking along. The left side is where you’re going to park, the circled rock formation is where you’re going to see the Three Kings. It’s kind of confusing, I grew up here and had to visit several times in order to find the panel that even brought National Geographic to the trail in order to see the the famous Three Kings petroglyphs. On the left of the image you can see the shed horns that mark the parking area. The mountain range stretches through the image, and at the end in the distance is a rock formation that has the Three Kings Panel. It’s not much of a walk but you can spend a lot of time here. I’ve been going up there my entire life and still haven’t seen all of the petroglyphs along this one rock wall.
McConkie Ranch Petroglyphs

However, because this is private property and the McConkie family still owns the land there are homes here which is going to seem strange but they are wonderful people and they want you to explore and see these amazing Native American treasures. As long as you respect that this is their home than they welcome everyone.McConkie Ranch Petroglyphs

At the parking lot is this wooden structure that leads to the first trail. It goes up to the rock wall where you’re going to find several amazing petroglyph examples. It’s a short hike and there are some steps where the trail can be a little rough. I’d wear good shoes if you want to explore the boulder field and see more petroglyphs that aren’t visible from down below.

Trail 1

Here are some examples of the types of images you’re going to find here.McConkie Ranch Petroglyphs

Because there are houses along the trail this area is a bit of a one way. Technically, you could follow the cliff wall all the way down but the trail is very rugged and the boulders get difficult to pass. Once you’ve see this piece of the ridge I’d head back to the parking lot and head south on the road.McConkie Ranch Petroglyphs

Trail 2

The road is a driveway so if you go too far you’re going to come right up on someone’s house but along the road to your right is a fence and about half way to the house is a gate. It looks like this.

Go through the gate so the fence is now on your left. It’s an easy hike from here.

McConkie Ranch PetroglyphsMcConkie Ranch Petroglyphs

McConkie Ranch Petroglyphs

There’s a second gate to go through that looks like this. It has a chain on it so please rechain the fence.

Close The Gates

Livestock are raised here and they need to stay in the fields they’re in so if you leave the gate open they may get out and have to be tracked down. Hopefully, before they make it to the road. Better safe than sorry, even if you don’t see any, they tend to hide in the trees.

Along the way, you’re going to start seeing more petroglyphs on the cliff face. There’s another gate but its a zig zag one so no chain to unlock, you just have to weave through the pole. It confuses the cows so they don’t get through. They might be hard to see at first but once you see one you’ll start to see them everywhere.
McConkie Ranch Petroglyphs

Don’t Get Lost

There’s one part of the trail that goes back up right against the wall, it gets a little rocky the closer you get to the cliff but the trail is easy to see and follow. This hike has many panels and so many images at the McConkie Ranch. Signs marking the location of big petroglyphs, such as the Mountain Lion petroglyph. McConkie Ranch Petroglyphs

This panel has a lot and as long as you have the time explore a little. There’s so many individual images and markings here. The lion is gorgeous and one of my favorites.
McConkie Ranch Petroglyphs

The Trail Get’s Tricky

Now, this is one of the mistakes I made the first time I came here looking for the Three Kings. There’s a sign near the Mountain Lion Petroglyph that says trails ends. McConkie Ranch Petroglyphs

I was disappointed and assumed I missed the panel but I hadn’t. When you see this sign, you’re going to have to go back down to the trail and follow it around the corner.

It’s there to prevent people from following along the boulder field, after this point it gets rough and difficult to pass. There’s another small canyon but don’t go down it. Well, you can, it’s beautiful but you want to stay heading south back towards Vernal.

Three Kings

You can actually see the Three Kings panel from every spot in McConkie Ranch, but it’s hard to find if you don’t know it’s there. LOOK UP. There’s another cliff face that will stretch back down the canyon. On the right end of a curved cliff face is this rock formation.
McConkie Ranch Petroglyphs

This is the Three Kings panel. See the flat surface at the top and a small ledge. Imagine climbing to that ledge and making the panel. That’s kind of the trick to finding petroglyphs, not looking for the images but looking for where antient people would have stood. Where would you want to get to if you could climb anywhere on this cliff and then look for images about eye level with that spot. Some are faded and blend it with the rock face so until you find them you might not see them. The closer you look, the more you’ll see it.
McConkie Ranch Petroglyphs

Can you see the panel now? There’s one figure with a black back drop that’s easier to see and you can see where there might be more.

McConkie Ranch Petroglyphs

How about now.

This is the best panel at the McConkie Ranch but if you don’t know where to look or don’t know what you’re looking for they can easily be missed.

It took me three trips to find them and my mom is best friends with a McConkie. She even told us where to find them and I still couldn’t right away.


There are also a lot of wild life around at the McConkie Ranch. I saw deer, wild turkeys, and hawks. This place is phenomenal and one of the best locations for petroglyphs in the country. It’s such a fantastic experience and I highly recommend it.

Fortunately, there are more pictures than I could possible post so if you want to see more check out my Instagram Alltrails or TripAdvisor. Trip advisor will have a lot of places to stay in the area but there’s also a lot of public land so if you’d prefer to camp you can camp for free. But I’ll post a few more shots below so you can see some of my favorites.

More From Dashboard Destinations

As per usual, I took way more pictures than I could possibly post on here so if you’d like to see more I have several accounts that I’ve posted more images on.

P interest

Happy TravelsMcConkie Ranch Petroglyphs
See you out there

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Dashboard Destinations Travel Writer
McConkie Ranch PetroglyphsMcConkie Ranch Petroglyphs

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  • 1shaula

    Looks like a nice day out.

    I used to go on many outdoors adventures as a child. We lived in a rural part of the country and nature was at my doorstep. It was wonderful. Have you always loved the outdoors?

    Nowadays less people spend their days walking trails of nature, discovering the land by foot. It’s nice to know there are some that still love it so much.

    • NJKuhr

      Oh, so so so so much. It’s my passions but growing up in the Uintah basin in eastern Utah kind of left it in my blood. I’m glad you enjoyed it. Hopefully, it can inspire you to get back outdoors.

  • Marthin Louw

    That really looks like a nice way to spend a day for a small get away, I used to love the out door when I was younger but have to admit I don’t get to do is as often anymore.

    A couple of the destinations that you mention here I am taking note of and I am thinking of planning a road trip for me and my family one day to visit them.

    • NJKuhr

      I love hearing that. The whole reason I started Dashboard Destinations was to inspire people to go on more road trips and explore this amazing place we live in. I’m glad it’s working.

  • Lea

    Hello, fascinating article to find out about the nature of your area and its attractions. I immediately wanted to fly there and take a closer look at these rock drawings with my own eyes. But unfortunately, travel is now at a standstill. The nature of your area seems very interesting to me, and you could spend days just going in the heart. We do not have such rocks in Estonia, and I would have an experience, especially since old Indians probably made them. The stories read about them from childhood would become true.

    • NJKuhr

      The Uintah county has so much to offer, it really is the most underrated travel destination in Utah and i’m trying to get the word out. When travel does open I hope you can make it here. it’s amazing.

  • Mitch

    What a beautiful place; the pictures are fantastic. I love being out in the great outdoors with nature; this is a place I would love to visit.

    I  also have a love for Native American culture. I find it fascinating, beautiful, colourful, vibrant and extremely wise; just from this post, my desire to one day visit a place like this has is even more so after reading this post.

    I would find the  Petroglyphs fascinating, and it would be an incredible experience for me to see them.

    The people and their homes would not bother me one bit, and it would enhance the visit.

    Your post gives so much info about what to expect, which would help make the trip a lot easier knowing what to expect.

    Beautiful  👌🏽

    Mitch X:-).

    • NJKuhr

      Than you’ll be happy to know this is only one of dozens of petroglyphs and Native American Sites in the area. Uintah county really is them most underrated travel destination. We have dinosaurs, native American history, old western history, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance kid hid here in between bank robberies and it’s an outdoorsman’s paradise, Hiking, fishing, rafting, boating, go cliff jumping from a rock ledge that has ancient dinosaur tracks imbedded in the rock face. It’s an amazing place to visit.

  • Jerry

    What an interesting article! I had heard about hieroglyphs, but not about this one. Now I know what it is or how it is done. By the way, is there information about what these petroglyphs represent in detail? Just to look at a rock with carvings is one thing, but knowing what the message is or the story behind might make it more interesting.

    Strange that there might be people out there trying to destroy this valuable piece of history.

    • NJKuhr

      There are some items that have bee studied and we know the meaning of but a lot of the information and history was lost. The Dinosaur National Monument has a book full of identified petroglyphs and the meanings behind them.

  • Boi

    Hello Norma

    Thank you so much for such a great article. I do have that one friend who is always either hiking or talking about it. Ever since the covid-19 pandemic and all the lockdowns she has been talking about it more about it and I think she is very stressed coz I don’t even remember the last time she went on hiking.

    From your post I believe Vernal Utah is a must-visit place. My friend would really love the place and I believe once the lockdown restrictions are eased, she will be on her way. I very much love the Three Kings Panel and will want to hike with her.

    • NJKuhr

      Oh it is, there is so much to do here. The history is amazing between Butch Cassidy and the Sundance kid hiding out here and all the prehistoric dinosaur and natural science discoveries in the area it’s fascinating. There’s also two new documentary series being filmed in the area. History Channels The Secret of Skinwalker Ranch and a brand new Discovery plus show called Blind-Frog ranch. And the outdoor activities is world class. Hiking, fishing, camping, rafting, boating. This place has a lot to offer.

  • Joyce Easton

    Thanks for the informative post! I admire the trick to finding petroglyphs and believe many natural beings are waiting for me to see there. Finding some cool time to walk trails of nature is, of course, a yardstick to discovering the land more and more. Going on several outdoor adventures has been my favorite all along. Do you have a similar feeling? Thanks again.


    • NJKuhr

      Oh, I do. It’s my favorite thing to do. The Uintah county has so much to offer, and there’s more hiking than you can do in the weekend.

  • Jean

    Awesome article thank you very much. Hiking trips are truly one of my favorite things to do, I have never been to any destination that feature these petroglyphs but it would sure make the trip worthwhile. Enjoying a day out with family and friends, taking pics of these amazing images. This would definitely make an awesome memory. 

    • NJKuhr

      The Uintah county has so many petroglyphs and the hiking is beautiful and breathtaking. There are more undocumented Petroglyphs than documented ones. It’s a great place to explore.

  • Nina

    I would love to visit McConkie Ranch because I have a deep respect for Native American heritage, so I believe visiting this ranch and seeing these petroglyphs is definitely a wonderful adventure.
    Thanks for this great presentation and all the instructions. You say you live here nearby and you had to visit several times to find all the ways? Then it’s probably all the more complicated for tourists from afar, and it’s really nice of you to write this article with descriptions.
    I wish you much joy in your further research and look forward to future posts with great ideas for tours.
    Friendly greeting,

    • NJKuhr

      It was and I know most people don’t have the time I do to explore and find everything. So i wanted to help them get the full experience without missing out.

  • LineCowley

    It is wonderful to discover another nature trail, and this one is even with petroglyphs. It is awesome that the McConkie family allow people to walk on their land and follow the trail. My dad loved the outdoors and as kids he was always taking us on hikes in the mountains, so I have always enjoyed walking in nature. 

    Is this a steep trail or is it fairly level walking?

    • NJKuhr

      most of it is fairly even and easy to follow but some of the petroglyphs are hidden behind boulder fields that fell from the cliff so there are some spots you’ll have to navigate through.

  • Stephanie

    I have been to Utah so many times that I have lost count, but I have never had the opportunity to visit the McConkie Ranch, even though I’m not so much into hiking because it truly scares me, when I read content like this I immediately think twice about not wanting to experience these types of adventures and what I may have been missing. The thing that I appreciate the most is that you can bring your dog with you and knowing me, I don’t like to travel or be on the outdoors alone for long periods of time, so because of that, my dog always comes with me. It’s nice knowing that they’re welcomed in places like this. 

    • NJKuhr

      Than this is just the place for you, it’s not a back country, summit a mountain kind of hike. It’s really just a trail around some houses and field so it wont feel like serious hiking. More like a pleasant walk. And we love dogs, so please bring your puppy, he’ll be just fine and will get tons of attention.

  • Matiss

    I really loved the pictures. It kind of makes me want to pack my bags and go right now. It just sounds like such a fascinating place for me. To that end, I think $5 is an absolutely reasonable contribution to keep this thing going. Plus, I think that’s very likely well-worth the experience. Other than that, I really appreciate the instructions, especially the one about the “end of trail” sign. I’m really looking forward to seeing that Three Kings panel in the flesh. And I’m a sucker for wildlife, looking forward to the hawks and deer as well. I really appreciate the blog, thank you!! 

    • NJKuhr

      I’m glad I could help. It’s one of those places people don’t know about but should be getting more attention. I was disappointed the first time I went and couldn’t find the panel so I wanted to make sure others didn’t leave without seeing it either.

  • Rose

    I am fascinated by people like the McConkie’s and their community to preserve prehistoric and beautiful places as this.

    You are blessed in having the chance and passion to explore places like this. 

    I haven’t explored in my young age. I came from a low income family with 9 siblings. I had the chance to explore on my second job with my officemates but I am not yet fascinated with beautiful places then for other priorities.

    I am 49 now and possibly I will get the chance to explore when my husband have his early retirement. I am not free to go alone even with friends now that I have physical disabilities. 

    I may be delighted reading your posts and exploring places with rocky trails and mountain views, Probably, I can visit beaches with limits on where to go, plus less risky places. I will continue to refer to your posts.

    • NJKuhr

      I’m sorry to hear that. That’s one of the reasons these places are so important because you can experience the history and culture for free. Though that’s one of the reasons I love this place, is easily accessible, and not difficult to walk. I hope you get the chance to explore some, and find places like this that are manageable.

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