Buckhorn Wash Art Panels |

San Rafael Swell

Roadside Attraction Buckhorn Wash Art Panels - San Rafael Swell Roadside Attraction Buckhorn Wash Art Panels
San Rafael Swell

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


TICKS & TODOS: 5 Todo Lists / 6 Ticks
RATING: Easy Walking
LENGTH: 1+ hours.
MAPS: Bottleneck Peak, UT; Bob Hill Knoll, UT
Thu Hi:27 Lo:18 Fri Hi:32 Lo:17 Sat Hi:33 Lo:9 Sun Hi:33 Lo:11 Mon Hi:32 Lo:15
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Buckhorn Wash has some phenomenal petroglyphs and pictographs and is one of the most popular roadside attractions in the San Rafael Swell. All panels have easy access, and should be accessible to most. Visiting Buckhorn Wash is a great family outing most any time of the year, and one I highly recommend. In addition, the towering walls and vibrant colors that make up the walls of Buckhorn Wash are stunning and worth visiting in their own right.

Note: There are many great primitive campsites in Buckhorn Wash, and the San Rafael Campground is at the south end of the wash. The campground does not offer water, but does have picnic tables, fire pits, and pit toilets.

Getting There

You can access Buckhorn Wash from either the north or south. Either route is passable by car under most conditions.

  • From the North
  • Just before the town of Castle Dale, at milepost 39.4, go east on the signed San Rafael Swell Access road. Reset your odometer as you turn off the highway onto the dirt road. ( 12S 500218mE 4341289mN / N39° 13' 15" W110° 59' 51" )
  • Continue on this road, passing a cattle guard after 12 miles, and reaching a 4 way junction at 12.7 miles. ( 12S 518059mE 4336281mN / N39° 10' 32" W110° 47' 27" )
  • Continue east at this 4 way junction for 2.4 miles to the signed Buckhorn Wash road. Turn right to go down Buckhorn Wash. ( 12S 521483mE 4335782mN / N39° 10' 16" W110° 45' 05" )
  • From the South
  • Take I-70 west from Green River about 30 miles, to exit 131. Take the exit, turning right. This road goes east, paralleling the freeway for a couple of miles before turning north. ( 12S 529541mE 4303709mN / N38° 52' 54" W110° 39' 34" )
  • Follow this road 19 miles to where the San Rafael campground is, and the bridge over the river. The cattle guard marks the lower end of Buckhorn Wash. ( 12S 529065mE 4326048mN / N39° 04' 59" W110° 39' 50" )


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.

There are several great attractions in Buckhorn Wash. Below is the mileage either from the top of Buckhorn Wash (northern approach) and the bottom of Buckhorn Wash (southern approach).

0.0 From the South / 9.4 From the North
Cattle guard.

3.75 From the South / 5.65 From the North
Buckhorn Wash main panel. This area has information signs, a pit toilet and is a great place for a picnic lunch. The panel used to be heavily vandalized, but has been restored in recent years. Please treat the area with respect, and do not touch the panel.

5.2 From the South / 4.2 From the North
Matt Warner inscription on the right. One of the bandits that roamed the area back in the old days.

7.0 From the South / 2.4 From the North
Right before a cattle guard (if coming from the south), find a pullout and trail heading east a short distance to a panel. This is a great panel.

7.9 From the South / 1.5 From the North
A pullout just up canyon from a bend leads to a short trail that ascends a short distance above the road on the east. There is a dinosaur track here in the slickrock floor if you look carefully.

9.4 From the South / 0.0 From the North
Top of Buckhorn Wash.

No map needed.


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