The Dye Clan
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  • TR: Sep 2011

Rochester Panel

Closeup of some anthropomorph petroglyphs at the Rochester Panel.

The Rochester Panel is a beautiful petroglyph panel located near Emery, UT. Much of the rock art was created by Fremont Indians. The Rochester Panel is easily accessible via a 0.5-mile hiking trail.

Trip Report: September 9, 2011


Rochester Panel at EveryTrail

The Rochester Rock Art Panel consists of a large number of petroglyphs of various ages. Some are prehistoric rock art, probably of Archaic (Barrier Canyon Style), Fremont, and Ute origin. Others are probably modern, depicting horses, for example. And some are arguably of very recent origin, most likely the work of white explorers, settlers, and/or tourists. There is a great deal of graffiti near the main panel that is obviously of fairly recent origin. The majority of the panel is covered with a dark desert varnish which contrasts nicely with the light sandstone that is exposed when the petroglyphs are pecked into the surface. There are several sections of very light stone in the center of the panel where it appears some of original stone was removed, probably by collectors who were after the figures inscribed there.

From Emery drive north on Hwy 10 for about 3.5 miles, to the signed, paved road that heads east to Moore. The turnoff is located between mile markers 16 and 17 on highway 10 between the towns of Emery and Ferron. Take the paved road heading east to Moore for about half a mile to a gravel road that leads to the trailhead. There is a sign at the turnoff.

Rochester Panel Fremont Indian Petroglyphs

Turn south onto the well-graded road and drive for about 3.6 miles, passing a radio tower on the way.

Rochester Panel Fremont Indian Petroglyphs

From the parking lot, an obvious hiking trail of about a half mile leads along the side of a small canyon to the panel. The trailhead is located at 38°54'24.29"N, 111°11'42.53"W.

Rochester Panel Fremont Indian Petroglyphs
Rochester Petroglyph Panel Rock Art
Rochester Petroglyph Panel Rock Art

Along the trail are several sandstone caves and arches.

Rochester Petroglyph Panel Rock Art
Rochester Petroglyph Panel Rock Art
Rochester Petroglyph Panel Rock Art

After about 10 minutes, you'll be able to see the Rochester Panel in the distance.

Rochester Petroglyph Panel Rock Art

The first "petroglyphs" are located at 38°54'14.9"N, 111°11'49.4"W. I suspect that these are modern.

Rochester Petroglyph Panel Rock Art

At 38°54'13.4"N, 111°11'51.2"W are some initials. EA and RA

Rochester Petroglyph Panel Rock Art

From the top of the ridge, Muddy Creek becomes visible to the west.

Rochester Petroglyph Panel Rock Art

In addition to the main Rochester Panel, there are also several other smaller panels. This panel is on the same boulder as the Rochester Panel but on the north face of the rock. The same EA and RA intials appear here too.

Rochester Petroglyph Panel Rock Art
Rochester Petroglyph Panel Rock Art

The Rochester Panel is located on the east face of a large boulder.

Rochester Panel Fremont Indian Petroglyphs

The petroglyphs include strange figures: humanoids, monsters, gods, animals - who knows what the artists intended for the figures to represent.

Rochester Panel Fremont Indian Petroglyphs
Rochester Panel Fremont Indian Petroglyphs
Rochester Panel Fremont Indian Petroglyphs
Rochester Panel Fremont Indian Petroglyphs
Rochester Panel Fremont Indian Petroglyphs
Rochester Panel Fremont Indian Petroglyphs

Virtually every inch of one huge rock face is covered with figures. 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?

Rochester Petroglyph Panel Rock Art
Rochester Petroglyph Panel Rock Art

Immediately to the left of the Rochester Panel on the lighter rock are some impressive petroglyphs.

Rochester Panel Fremont Indian Petroglyphs
Rochester Panel Fremont Indian Petroglyphs

I'm not sure what this little guy is. He's basically the only petroglyph on the north face of the boulder to the south of the Rochester Panel. I'll call him Trio.

Rochester Petroglyph Panel Rock Art

Around the corner from Trio is a very large panel with lots of humanoids, animals, and geometric patterns. BJ and LB added their initials in 1943, and MJ added his/hers in 1941. LJ is also there as well as an incomplete animal added in 1932. The bears, deer, and bighorn sheep appear authentic although they're probably of varying ages.

Rochester Petroglyph Panel Rock Art
Rochester Panel Fremont Indian Petroglyphs
Rochester Panel Fremont Indian Petroglyphs
Rochester Panel Fremont Indian Petroglyphs
Rochester Panel Fremont Indian Petroglyphs
Rochester Panel Fremont Indian Petroglyphs

A picture shoing the two main panels (Rochester Panel is on the right and slightly hidden).

Rochester Petroglyph Panel Rock Art

At least LGA, RA, and HA had the courtesy of finding their own rock to vandalize instead of destroying historic artifacts. This rock is located on the southern tip of the "peninsula".

Rochester Petroglyph Panel Rock Art

These scratchings are located on the western side of the "peninsula".

Rochester Petroglyph Panel Rock Art