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  • Writer's pictureDan Wagner

Explore Utah's Birthing Scene Petroglyph

Visit Moab, Utah for more than a few hours and you'll understand why it's such a special place. Situated along the Colorado River, its stunning red rock formations, dramatic natural arches, adrenaline pumping canyons, and rich history offer endless outdoor adventure opportunities and plenty of oohs and aahs. You could spend multiple lifetimes in Arches and Canyonlands National Parks alone. Hell, spend a few hours driving the Shafer Canyon Road, hike through Pritchett Canyon in search of the elusive Solstice Snake, or catch a sunset at Dead Horse Point and you'll be hooked. Whatever your trip to Moab entails, one spot you shouldn't leave without seeing is the Birthing Scene Petroglyph, one of the area's most accessible and unique Native American rock art sites.

Birthing Scene Petroglyph

Located roughly six miles from the center of downtown Moab along Kane Springs Rd, the Birthing Scene Petroglyph requires zero hiking to view. Simply punch it into Google Maps, park at the pull-off, walk down about fifty feet, and you're front and center. Super simple. Once you're there you'll find a placard with a snippet of information about the panel.

Birthing Scene Petroglyph

The large, four-sided boulder represents a variety of rock art styles dating from the Archaic (8000 BC to 1000 BC) to the Ute Period (1000-1800s AD), including the Abajo-La Sal style unique to the region. The Birthing Scene is located on the near side of the boulder and very easy to spot. As you may have guessed, the petroglyph depicts a woman giving birth with her arms in the air and her legs spread eagle, and unique in the sense that it's the only known rock art depicting such an event. On the same panel you'll find other carvings of centipedes, human feet, anthropomorphic figures, and more.

Birthing Scene Petroglyph

Walking around the boulder counterclockwise, the next panel you'll see includes a carving of a snake and more anthropomorphic figures.

Birthing Scene Petroglyph

The next side of the boulder has significant weathering, but a zoomorphic figure can be seen among a few others.

Birthing Scene Petroglyph

Finally, the last panel depicts a larger number of carvings, including a snake and various anthropomorphic figures.

Birthing Scene Petroglyph

All-in-all, this is a zero effort, big reward visit. If you're interested in seeing more in the immediate area, the easy to reach Moonflower Canyon Petroglyphs are back down Kane Springs Rd closer to Moab, the Moab Man/Golf Course Petroglyphs are only a few minutes away, and Courthouse Wash Pictographs are about fifteen minutes away. All are worth checking out, especially Courthouse Wash. Definitely check out Courthouse Wash. Or, check out our Ten Days in Southern Utah: The Mighty Five & Beyond for more awesome things to see.

Courthouse Wash Pictographs

Have a blast, be safe, and make a ton of memories on your next adventure.


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