– Newspaper Rock
Stories carved in sandstone

Moab/Utah (2008). – Whenever I travel to two of the most beautiful National Parks in America, "The Arches" and "Canyonlands" in Utah, I always choose for my sleeping accommodation the little city of Moab . The small resort town with its great scenery is located conveniently right in between these two parks and makes visiting them easier and so much more convenient. During my last stay in Moab, I discovered somehow "accidentally" that the surrounding area of this Utah town has so much more to offer than hotels and motels and the streets to the National Parks. For example the coolest rock art at the "Newspaper Rock". Whole stories are carved in sandstone and since most of them are high up on huge rocks, they are all well preserved.
Collection of petroglyphs on the Newspaper Rock in Utah/USA
Sometimes you just stumble on good stuff
 I'm sure I could have read about rock art and petroglyphs somehow when planning my trip to the parks in Utah, I guess I was too focused on the arches and needles to look left or right. Big mistake! I consider myself lucky to have overheard a conversation about the rock art one day in the Moab hotel lobby where I stayed. Having never seen real petroglyphs in my life before, this instantly sparked my interest. So I did what every good tourist does, I asked the front desk clerk and was more than surprised from what I've heard. He told me about the most famous petroglyphs rock in Moab, the "Newspaper Rock". A rock full of drawings and very close by the city. Having spent a good part of my life as a newspaper editor, I thought it was more than appropriate to start my journey to the petroglyphs with the stories written in sandstone at the "Newspaper Rock". I was very excited to see what kind of story this rock would tell.

The Newspaper Rock – A work in progress for many generations
The "Newspaper Rock" is a 200-square-foot - almost 20 square meters - sandstone formation with incredible rock art and indeed very much worth to see. The best way to find the "Newspaper Rock" is when visiting "Canyonlands National Park". The monument is located right to the east of the park, on Highway 211, about 30 miles northwest of Monticello and about 50 miles south of Moab. 

Formerly a state park, the "Newspaper Rock" is now designated a State Historical Monument and known for the largest known collection of petroglyphs. The visitor finds hundreds of ancient rock carvings done by Native Americans most likely around 2000 years ago. Historians believe that the cultures of the Anasazi, the Fremont and Navajo are the ones who are mainly responsible for this impressive kind of newspaper making. The "Newspaper Rock" was a "work in progress" – one culture started with their "drawings" and the next continued. The name for the rock might come from the Navajo language; they called it the "rock that tells a story". Some of the images depict past events and indeed kind of tell a story on a really big solid newspaper.

Even though historians looked into this, nobody really has an explanation why there are so many carvings on this particular rock. This remains a mystery until today. The "Newspaper Rock" indeed is packed with about 650 carvings of different animals like deer, buffalo and antelope, also riders on horses, symbols and patterns to name only a few, which makes it to one of the most coolest rock art monuments.

If you are interested in this kind of art, check out the " Moab Rock Art Tour Guide ". 
Collection of petroglyphes on the Newspaper Rock in Utah/USA


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