Rochester and Molen Rock Art
Rainbows, Monsters and Humanoids
By Dave Webb
photo albums for large, detailed photos.
The Rochester site is one of the most impressive in Utah. Rock panels
there are covered with strange figures: humanoids, monsters, gods, animals
- who knows what the artists intended for the figures to represent.
Virtually every inch of one huge rock face is covered with figures. Nearby
rocks also have images. An arch or rainbow decorates the main panel. Or
is it there to shelter and protect the humanoids, which are surrounded
by dragons and wolves and snakes?
The panel is located on top of a ridge overlooking Muddy Creek, near
the town of Emery, 50 miles south of Price. It is easy to find. From Emery
drive north on Hwy 10 for about 3.5 miles, to the signed, paved road that
heads east to Moore. Turn east onto that road and follow it for about
.5 miles to a gravel road that leads to the trailhead. The gravel road
is signed and easy to find. Follow the gravel road for about 4 miles to
the trailhead parking area.
(If you are coming from the north you'll see a spur road signed for Moore,
but it takes you east of the rock art. Do not take that spur but continue
south for another 5.5 miles to the main Cutoff Road. Check a map for details.)
trail leads down the canyon and then along a ridge to the panel. You've
got to hike about 1 mile (round trip) to see the art.
Images there have been carved by a variety of cultures, over centuries,
but the dominant figures are attributed to the Fremont people.
A few miles east along the Moore Cutoff road you can see more figures,
on boulders along the north side of the road where it cuts through the
Molen Reef. The Moore Cutoff becomes gravel at an intersection in the
community of Moore. From that intersection follow the Cutoff road east
for about 4 miles until it cuts through the Reef. On the east side of
the Reef you will find a parking area on the north side of the road. From that parking area
you can easily see the main rock art panel.
Inspect other boulders in that area and you'll find more rock art figures.
Two rocks have very prominent snake figures.
Castle Country Travel says there are dinosaur tracks on top a boulder near the rock art, but I couldn't find them. If you are interested, inquire locally for directions. (The Castle Country website has good info about this area, but not enough detail about the dino tracks. I helped them make their website and we included the best info they had available.
You need to linger for a few minutes at rock art sites, soaking in the
scenery. I find that I see more and more detail, the longer I sit quietly
and stare at the images. Rock art isn't something you can grasp in a hurry.
Copyright Dave Webb, 2007