Somewhere off in the mountains and red rocks of Santa Clara lies the Anasazi Ridge Petroglyphs. This 3.5 mile hike up the desert hillside takes you on an adventure through black lava rocks and the Santa Clara River. Along the Santa Clara River Reserve, there are more than 600 miles of trails that are perfect for hikers, mountain bikers and equestrians to enjoy the scenic desert landscape.

The trailhead to the Anasazi Ridge Petroglyphs is located off Highway 91 just west of St. George, near Santa Clara and Ivins. There are two trails that take you up to the top, the Tempi’po’op Trail from the Anasazi Trailhead or the Tava’atsti Trail.

The Tempi’po’op Trail is the shortest, only 3.5 miles round trip, and has portions of steep climbing with mostly dirt terrain. At the top of the climb are prehistoric art petroglyphs said to be written by ancient Indians that lived in the area. The art written by the Indians covers numerous rocks, placed in various spots that you have to walk throughout a maze to find.

It was incredible to see the writing of the Native Americans and to interpret what they were trying to say on the rocks. Looking down the mountainside, I was amazed to see the view of the Santa Clara river, along with the white-capped mountains mixed with the red rocks standing elegantly in the distance.

If you are interested in this once-in-a-lifetime hike, visit the Anasazi Ridge Petroglyph’s website.

3-10-15 Indian Writing (Ariana Berkemeier) (7 of 18)
Some of the petroglyphs written by the ancient Indians who lived in the area. (Ariana Berkemeier / The Signpost)
3-10-15 Indian Writing (Ariana Berkemeier) (5 of 18)
The black lava rocks in the foreground against the red rocks in the distance along the trail. (Ariana Berkemeier / The Signpost)
3-10-15 Indian Writing (Ariana Berkemeier) (9 of 18)
The Santa Clara river running through the black lava rocks and red rocks along the trail. (Ariana Berkemeier / The Signpost)
3-10-15 Indian Writing (Ariana Berkemeier) (8 of 18)
Ancient writing from the Indians found on the black river rocks. (Ariana Berkemeier / The Signpost)
3-10-15 Indian Writing (Ariana Berkemeier) (11 of 18)
Ancient petroglyphs written by Native Americans during the 1800’s found by BYU archeologists. (Ariana Berkemeier / The Signpost)
3-10-15 Indian Writing (Ariana Berkemeier) (13 of 18)
Goats mark the walls of the black lava rocks on the top of a Santa Clara hillside. (Ariana Berkemeier / The Signpost)
3-10-15 Indian Writing (Ariana Berkemeier) (12 of 18)
The black lava rocks covered with ancient writings of the Indians. (Ariana Berkemeier / The Signpost)

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