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  • Writer's pictureDan Wagner

The Curious Case of the Intestine Man Pictograph Site

Located just off Rt 313, 15 minutes from downtown Moab, sits one of the more peculiar pictograph panels in the area, Intestine Man. It's a quick roadside attraction whose meaning has baffled archaeologists for decades.

Trailhead elevation

Water None

Don't miss the sheep panels east of the Intestine Man panel

Hiking to Intestine Man

This is more of a roadside attraction than anything, but to view all of the rock here you'll rack up a miniscule quarter mile of walking. The parking area is located on the north side of Rt 313, about 2.8 miles from Rt 191 near coordinates 38.648343, -109.723907. Here you'll find a small, six or so vehicle pull off that doubles as the parking area for the nearby Snake in Mouth Panel. The site is pretty simple. Follow the far left path from the parking area to the cliff and look up about a dozen feet. It's not a terribly large panel and can be tricky to find, but the photo below shows where to look.

Intestine Man pictographs

A close up photo shows the detail of the panel, which includes three anthropomorphic figures with three distinct designs. The center figure is Intestine Man, which for all intents and purposes, looks like a bag full of intestines. The figure to the right of Intestine Man appears to be holding some type of plant, so maybe there is some sort of harvest scene being depicted. Who knows. As with much Native American rock art, the artist's intentions behind this panel are unknown.

Immediately to the right of the three figures is a depiction of an animal and a cluster of what appear to be six anthropomorphic figures, some of which are holding hands.

Intestine Man pictographs

Slightly further to the right you'll find a small cluster of six more human-like figures, some more faded than others, with a snake above them and an indistinguishable and very faded image below. Below and to the right of these images you'll find various petroglyphs as well.

From the Intestine Man panel, follow the trail that runs along the base of the cliff to the right until you reach the fenced off area. Near the fenced off area you'll find several petroglyphs including and handful of box sheep, a circular object, what appears to be a reptile of some sort, and a few other images. There is some graffiti to the panel, but it's in good condition overall.

Intestine Man panel

Pretty easy visit that doesn't take much time and is very interesting to see in person. It's best viewed later in the day when the sun isn't shining directly on the panel. If you have free time you might consider hiking to the Snake in Mouth Panel which is located on the opposite side of the road. You wouldn't have to move your car to do so.


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