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Utah’s Great Gallery displays spectacular rock art

The Great Gallery in Utah’s Horseshoe Canyon, about 330 miles northeast of Las Vegas, is one of the most significant rock art sites in the Southwest.

This remote area of Canyonlands National Park features life-size anthropomorphic figures painted on the cliff walls in what is known as the Barrier Canyon style.

To see the pictographs, you’ll need to drive along a 30-mile gravel road to the trailhead.

From there, the hike is about 6½ miles round-trip. It is moderately strenuous and involves following a route with well-placed cairns to guide you through the slickrock as you make your way down to Horseshoe Canyon. There’s about an 800-foot drop in elevation from the trailhead to the canyon.

Once in the canyon, go right and head upstream. There are several smaller pictograph sites, starting with the High Gallery, located about a third of a mile down the left side. The next three sites will be on your right: Horseshoe Shelter, Alcove Site and, most spectacular of all, the Great Gallery.

Camping is not allowed in Horseshoe Canyon, but dispersed camping is allowed on Bureau of Land Management land at the trailhead. There are no amenities except a vault toilet.

Check the weather forecast before heading out on the gravel road or the hike. Contact the Hans Ranger Station at 435-259-2652.

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