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Southwestern USA Hiking Trails including Scottsdale, Phoenix, Northern Arizona


Petroglyphs Trail, Heber, AZ

Directions: Turn right on Buck Canyon Rd from highway 260 in Heber, AZ. Continue about 100 yards to the Country Store, turn right onto Black Canyon Rd. You'll continue on Black Canyon Rd for 4 miles, until you see the turn off for the trail.

About the trail: Look for this sign marking the trail head. Head down the trail one-eighth of a mile to the petroglyph wall.

You will not travel far before seeing the first blue diamond trail marker on a pine tree.

Past the pine tree follow the trail another 100 feet taking a slight left alongside a large boulder. Follow the steps upward to the landing.

From the landing, you will see a rock cliff with an overhang to your immediate right.

The first set of petroglyphs are etched into the top of the the overhang.

Most of the rock art you'll find in the Apache-Sitegreaves National Forest dates back at least 600 years. The oldest petroglyphs are found in over hangs like this to protect them from the elements. It is thought that these were made by Native Americans some 600 - 2000 years ago.

Depicted on the rocks is a spiral that is believed to represent the travels or migration of the clan. A lot of animals were painted either to indicate a successful hunt or fertility. The markings were also made to indicate territorial clan boundaries.

The roof of the cliff overhang has many different petroglyph markings. Click on the arrow within the picture below to scroll through the different images.

You will find a few more petroglyphs high on the cliffs by venturing further on the path to the Ponderosa Pine with the blue diamond. Look up straight ahead and you will find them.

This hike is about finding petroglyphs not getting in a long hike; however, you can continue to boulder up through the rocks to the top. From there you will take in some beautiful views of the Apache-Sitegreaves National Forests abundance of Ponderosa Pines. Although the trail isn't clearly marked you can walk along the rim of the canyon for a couple of miles.

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