What a wonderful surprise on private property, open to the public. We stopped here one day after already having a long day at Dinosaur National Monument in Vernal. After seeing how cool this place was, we seemed to catch a second wind of energy.
McConkie Ranch Address: 6228 McConkie Rd, Vernal, UT 84078
There is a small parking area, enough for maybe six or seven cars. There was only one other when we got there, and maybe three others when we got back to the lot. You will also see a small shed with a guest book and donation box. This is free to the public, but they do request donations. Considering they could be keeping these wonderful petroglyphs and pictographs all to themselves, it’s worth a donation. We put a fiver in, but then rounded back with a ten when we had such a fun experience.
These trails are nicely laid out, some areas with rope pathways to help you know the way. There are also occasional signs. Very soon into our hike up, we were met with a “LOOK UP” sign. Confused, we slowly brought our vision up only to be met with the first petroglyph we’d see on this adventure. That great joy set the mood for the rest of our visit.
The trail is very well marked all along the way, and you’ll eventually reach a fork where you can keep going, or head to the parking lot. If you keep going, the trail does get more narrow and steep, but some of the coolest petroglyphs are in this leg, so if you have the ability, definitely keep going here to see all there is that McConkie ranch has to offer.
You’ll also find signs along the way where they’ve given some of these panels different names.
This hike is pretty much full sun, so I would suggest going in the morning if you have the chance to do so! Bring water and wear good hiking shoes. These are dirt/rock/sand trails, so be prepared for that. I don’t recall how long it took, but I would say probably 1 to 1.5 hours with a few rests here and there to take photos. (click the photos below for larger versions!)
All in all, a really cool place with an incredibly concentrated amount of petroglyphs. Definitely worth a stop if you’re in the area, but more importantly, if you’re a lover of petroglyphs, worth the trip itself.
Again, the address is 6228 McConkie Rd, Vernal, UT 84078 and you will have to turn onto a dirt road that drives further onto the property. It is a little blended in, but keep your eyes peeled because there is a sign for McConkie Ranch, so you’ll know you’re turning at the right place. It was easy enough to find by plugging the address into our GPS, then watching for that sign to know where to turn, as we got closer.
Have you ever been to McConkie Ranch? This is honestly one of the coolest locations I’ve seen so far with such a concentrated area of petroglyphs and pictographs. If you’re in that area, it is so worth a stop!