Fremont Indian State Park |

Sevier Valley

Hiking Fremont Indian State Park - Sevier ValleyRoadside Attraction Fremont Indian State Park - Sevier Valley Hiking Fremont Indian State Park
Sevier Valley

Overview | Getting There | Route | Photos | Maps | Comments

Overview

RATING: Roadside / Short Hikes
LENGTH: 1+ hours

Sat

42 | 18

Sun

47 | 31

Mon

40 | 30

Tue

36 | 20

Wed

35 | 17

View Full Weather Details
SEASON: Any, hot in summers.
GEAR: Standard Hiking Gear

Sat

42 | 18

Sun

47 | 31

Mon

40 | 30

Tue

36 | 20

Wed

35 | 17

View Full Weather Details
Hundred Hands Cave - Fremont Indian State Park

Hundred Hands Cave - Fremont Indian State Park

Fremont Indian State Park is one of the often-overlooked gems in Utah. It is an amazing state park that anyone with an interest in Indian culture, history, or art should put high on their list to visit. I have visited Nine Mile Canyon many times over the years. When I finally visited Fremont Indian State Park, I was dazzled by the amount and quality of rock art lining the canyon walls. To me, it was as fascinating to visit as Nine Mile Canyon, though with easier access. Even on a holiday weekend, we felt we had the park mostly to ourselves, with few other visitors.

Note: The park has 2 campgrounds. We were very regretful we had not planned to camp in the park on our visit. The Sam Stowe campground is right in the heart of the park and a great spot to have close access to all the trails and panels in the park.
History: As early hunters and gathers began growing corn and settling down, they began to build homes and communities. These people are known today as Fremont Indians because the first site modern day explorers found was along the Fremont River. Clear Creek, where the Fremont Indian State Park is located, was clearly a special place to the Fremont Indians. The walls along the creek are covered in a wide variety of rock art and pictographs. It is easy to see how the abundant water and protected nature of the site made it a beautiful place to have a community. The park has an excellent museum/visitor center with information about the history of the canyon.

Arch of Art Viewpoint Area

Arch of Art Viewpoint Area

Getting There

The park is located off I-70 in Clear Creek Canyon at exit 17. This is about 20 miles west of the town of Richfield.

Arch of Art Viewpoint - Pictographs and Petroglyphs

Arch of Art Viewpoint - Pictographs and Petroglyphs

Route

Rock Art and Historic Site Etiquette
Rock art and historic sites are fragile, non-renewable cultural resources that, once damaged, can never be replaced. To ensure they are protected, please:
  • Avoid Touching the Petroglyphs: Look and observe, BUT DO NOT TOUCH!
  • Stay on the Trails: Stay on the most used trails when visiting sites, and don't create new trails or trample vegetation.
  • Photography and Sketching is Allowed: Do not introduce any foreign substance to enhance the carved and pecked images for photographic or drawing purposes. Altering, defacing, or damaging the petroglyphs is against the law -- even if the damage is unintentional.
  • Pets: Keep pets on a leash and clean up after them.
  • Artifacts: If you happen to come across sherds (broken pottery) or lithics (flakes of stone tools), leave them where you see them. Once they are moved or removed, a piece of the past is forever lost.

If you only have time for a short visit... (1-3 hours)
The park has an excellent museum and trail system that starts at the visitor center/museum. If time for your visit is short, I recommend going straight to the visitor center and hiking the trails there. They give the best bang for your buck time wise.

If you have a full day...
Below are brief descriptions of the hikes and roadside panels that we found particularly enjoyable in the order I would recommend them. All of these plus the visitor center trails can be visited in 1 day, though if rock art is of great interest to you, it is easy to spend a couple of days visiting the panels and soaking in their details.

Arch of Art Viewpoint
This stunning wall has excellent rock art visible from the road with binoculars, or a short walk up to see them up close. I thought the panels here were particularly interesting.

Cave of a Hundred Hands
This short hike (0.7 miles round trip) crosses under the highway and visits a cave on the south side of the canyon that has handprints in it. It is dramatic and a favorite of many park visitors.

Sheep Shelter Trail (and Indian Blanket Viewpoint)
These two sites start at the same trailhead and share the first part of the trail. The Indian Blanket Viewpoint is a short hike to a view across the canyon of a large pictograph that looks like a blanket. Bring binoculars and a telephoto lens to better see the panel. From the Indian Blanket informational sign, this fascinating story:

Many years ago, according to legends, a group of Paiute Indians passed through Clear Creek Canyon on the way to their winter camping area. While they were in the canyon, a recently born baby of a young woman died and was buried near here. During the winter, the mother was troubled by the thought of her baby being alone in the cold. The following spring she returned to the burial site. Nearby, she painted a blanked on a rock face so the baby could use the blanket to keep warn during cold winters at this lonely place.

A short distance uphill from the Indian Blanked Viewpoint is the Sheep Shelter is a fascinating place to visit. Excavation found use of this small overhang dating back as far as 3700 B.C.

Skinner Canyon Rock Art Sites
Visiting these sites requires driving on a bit of dirt road. The first site is reachable by most vehicles, the second will require high clearance. It is a short walk from the pavement to visit both sites, and walking makes a good alternative if you do not want to drive down the dirt road. The upper site was one of our favorites of the trip.

Centennial Picnic Area and Cabin
This is a lovely area for a picnic and makes a great lunch spot during the day.

Canyon of Life Rock Art Trail
This was our first stop of the day, and turned out to be more of an adventure than we were expecting. From the trailhead, follow the trail a couple of minutes to where it forks. Right goes over to an excellent panel. Left heads north, then quickly west to a steep loose gully. There is a large panel at the top of the gully on the right on the flat surface. You can JUST make it out from below, binoculars help. A trail climbs up the gully to get a better view of it, but it is steep, loose, and definitely not for beginners. Not recommended for most, it is difficult to go up and even more difficult to go down. We had an old park brochure that described the route, or we would not have attempted it.

Newpaper Rock Viewpoint
You are not allowed to climb up to Newspaper Rock, so this viewpoint is the best way to see it. Binoculars and a telephoto lens required.


Maps

Printable Maps:
Newspaper Rock ViewPoint

12S 382417mE 4270616mN

N38° 34' 34" W112° 20' 59"

Canyon of Life Trailhead

12S 382817mE 4270641mN

N38° 34' 35" W112° 20' 43"

Canyon Of Life Panel1

12S 382880mE 4270704mN

N38° 34' 38" W112° 20' 40"

Canyon Of Life Panel2

12S 382751mE 4270769mN

N38° 34' 40" W112° 20' 46"

Cave of 100 Hands Trailhead

12S 384108mE 4270854mN

N38° 34' 43" W112° 19' 50"

Canyon Overview Trail Panel

12S 384012mE 4270937mN

N38° 34' 46" W112° 19' 54"

Arch Panel Pullout

12S 384423mE 4270952mN

N38° 34' 46" W112° 19' 37"

Sam Stowe Campground

12S 384936mE 4271111mN

N38° 34' 52" W112° 19' 16"

Sheep Shelter trailhead

12S 385942mE 4270949mN

N38° 34' 47" W112° 18' 34"

Coyote Canyon Panel

12S 383955mE 4271017mN

N38° 34' 48" W112° 19' 56"

Panel

12S 384094mE 4271189mN

N38° 34' 54" W112° 19' 51"

Panel 2

12S 384031mE 4271203mN

N38° 34' 54" W112° 19' 53"

Upper Jct

12S 384076mE 4271179mN

N38° 34' 54" W112° 19' 51"

Meditation Sprial

12S 384070mE 4271051mN

N38° 34' 49" W112° 19' 51"

Cave of 100 Hands

12S 384374mE 4270789mN

N38° 34' 41" W112° 19' 39"

Cathedral Slot

12S 384150mE 4270955mN

N38° 34' 46" W112° 19' 48"

Skinner Canyon

12S 386996mE 4270941mN

N38° 34' 47" W112° 17' 50"

Skinner Canyon Panel

12S 387052mE 4271248mN

N38° 34' 57" W112° 17' 48"

Skinner Canyon Panel 2

12S 387193mE 4271408mN

N38° 35' 02" W112° 17' 43"

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