Wolfe Ranch and Petroglyph Trail
The Wolfe Ranch Petroglyph Trail is a short little hike past a historical homestead, to a section of beautifully preserved petroglyphs. This trail is family-friendly and a great way to connect with and learn about the history of this area and the People indiginous to this land. Remember to be respectful of these artifacts, never lean on or touch any petroglyphs as we want to preserve them for future generations.
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Route Description for Wolfe Ranch and Petroglyph Trail
The Wolfe Ranch Petroglyph Trail is a short, family-friendly hike past some impeccably preserved petroglyphs in Arches National Park. This trail gets hot and sunny so wear sunblock, a good sunhat, and bring lots of water. The petroglyphs along this trail are hundreds of years old, please do not touch or lean against these glyphs, and do not leave any drawings or depictions of your own. Let’s keep this piece of history alive and well for future generations to appreciate and learn from.
This trail is a great opportunity to get out and learn a bit about the history of this beautiful part of the United States of America. These glyphs, depicting a hunting scene, were drawn by the Paiute and/or Ute Peoples who are indiginous to this area.
From the Broken Arch Trailhead, follow the path northeast. Just 122 m down the trail, you will pass the Wolfe Ranch Cabin, a homestead from 1906. Continue over the bridge across the Salt wash, just after the bridge, the path will divide. This is the beginning of the loop past the Petroglyphs. Take a right here to follow the trail counterclockwise. Just a few hundred feet down the trail, you will see the path divide once more—stay left to continue on to the petroglyphs.
The petroglyphs are easy to spy from the trail. Take a moment to admire this piece of human history before finishing off the loop and following the main path back to the trailhead.
The Wolfe Ranch homestead was established by John Wesley Wolfe and his son Fred Wolfe in 1898. However, the cabin that still stands today was not built until John’s daughter Flora joined the family out west with her own husband and children in 1906. Flora was horrified by the ramshackle structure that John and Fred were surviving in, so the family built the sturdier, more hospitable cabin that summer. Six Wolfe family members lived in this house and ranched the surrounding land until they sold it in 1910.
The petroglyphs along this trail were drawn by the Paiute and/or Ute Peoples indigenous to this area. The drawings depict a rider on horseback surrounded by bighorn sheep and dog-like creatures. These drawings were made sometime between the years 1650 and 1850 CE. These petroglyphs are in excellent condition; let’s work together to keep them this way. Do not touch or lean against these glyphs, and do not leave any markings of your own in this area or any area of the park.
Insider Hints for Wolfe Ranch and Petroglyph Trail
- If you are looking to spend more time in this area: the Wolfe Ranch Petroglyph Trail connects with the trail to Delicate Arch
- This trail is in a very popular area, arrive early to snag parking
- This trail is flat and relatively easy—it is a great hike for kids of all ages
Getting to the Wolfe Ranch and Petroglyph Trail Trailhead
From the Visitor Center off of highway 191, follow Main Park Road northwest for approximately 18.8 km. Take a right at Delicate Arch Road. Follow Delicate Arch Road for 1.9 km and take the first turn off on the left. Park here. The Wolfe Ranch Petroglyph Trail begins at the Delicate Arch Trailhead.
Wolfe Ranch and Petroglyph Trail Elevation Graph
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