Mansard Petroglyphs Trail

Kanab, UT

Just a few miles east of Kanab is a nice hike to an interesting alcove containing a panel of ancient petroglyphs, called the Mansard Panel.  The hike is just under five miles out and back and presents a challenging gain in elevation (more than 1,000 feet).

To get to the trailhead we drove east on US-89 for six miles (just past mile marker 59) and turned left (north) on Vista Drive Road.  Looking north you can see the alcove in the distance.

View of the alcove from Vista Drive Road

A quick right turn on Grande Vermillion Ave. and then two left turns will lead you to the parking area.  Sounds tricky, but the route to the trail is clearly marked on the street signs.

Nice large parking area

Mansard Trailhead

The route begins with roughly a mile slope up a steep grade before arriving at the top of the Vermilion Cliffs.  Once at the top, you follow a sandy plateau to the base of the White Cliffs.

The saddle above us is the end of the steepest section of the trail

The most difficult section is an eight foot scramble up some rocks, but there are enough hand holds and steps to make this a pretty easy climb.  The trail is pet friendly but dogs may have a difficult time getting up this section.

Once up at the saddle there is a great view of the White Cliffs, where the petroglyphs are located.

The next half of the hike is a more gradual gain, at times through loose sand.

As you approach the base of the cliffs the path joins a Jeep road for a short time.

A short distance down the Jeep road leads to the end of the road, with the alcove just over a sandy ridge.

A marked path leads you down along the base of the cliff to the alcove.

Approaching the alcove

This site is unusual compared to most sites we have explored.  The drawings are not high up on a rock wall, but on a smooth, sloping sandstone rock at ground level.  Also, there are two long slides carved into the rock that are very unusual and not found at any other site.

John and Pam standing next to their motorcycle

Lunch with a view – the saddle is left center of the photo

The nimble hiker bounds down the rock scramble

Back down the steep section below the saddle

Colorful flowers grew all along the trail, especially the lower section.

Yellow Sego Lily

We planned to depart Kanab the next day (Sunday) but heavy rain is in the forecast, so we have extended our stay here a few days to let the weather clear.  There are a number of adventures we still have to do so the longer stay is not a problem.

More on those adventures later . . .

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24 Responses to Mansard Petroglyphs Trail

  1. exploRVistas says:

    Looks like a fun hike! Did you see any snakes?

  2. Jeff Pierce says:

    A bit of a challenge to reach the alcove, just makes it more rewarding. Thinking of those unique long slots … maybe that is an early version of the ‘gravity racer’ (soapbox) track … 🙂

  3. For once this looks like a trail we can hike, thank you for the detailed direction John.
    When we get there we will searched for a John and Pam in motorcycle petroglyph, who knew:)

  4. Gorgeous photos. I’m always amazed at the vastly different areas in the US- it really has everything!

  5. Jim and Barb says:

    That trail seems to offer it all; great views, some scrambling, and petroglyphs. Great find!

  6. Loving your photos of blue sky and sunshine!

  7. Gay says:

    Great hike and adventure! It’s always amazing to me that these petroglyphs with stand the test of time and weather. These are quite unusual. I’ve never seen a yellow Sego Lily…very pretty.

    • placestheygo says:

      Thank goodness so many petroglyphs and pictographs were done in the back of deep alcoves so they are preserved. I did research the yellow Sego to make sure it was really a Sego lily. There are several colors with white being the predominate color.

  8. Laurel says:

    What a beautiful hike! And even better, we don’t need a Jeep to get to the trailhead, LOL! I’m loving your blue skies and red rocks. I’ll be ready for the desert next spring after this year on the east coast.
    I believe that’s the first time I’ve seen a motorcycle petroglyph. 🙂

  9. We are finally settled in at our housesit in Albuquerque and I’m catching up on blogs. What a nice surprise to see yours active again with all the red rock hike photos. Enjoy the rest of your trip!

    • placestheygo says:

      Thanks, Gayle! Have a wonderful time with your house sit in Albuquerque. There will be lots to keep you busy and time to see how you enjoy the sticks and bricks again.

  10. georgeyates says:

    What wonderful area to explore love your photos.

  11. DCT Or says:

    We’ve search through sites to see the scramble on Mansard hike. Your photo nailed it! Thanks for sharing. We are hitting the trail tomorrow.

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