The Santa Clara Petroglyphs is an area filled with fantastic petroglyphs, along a family-friendly trail. It is amazing to have so many Anasazi petroglyphs available to see! The Santa Clara Petroglyphs are along the Anasazi Valley Trail, which is great for trail running or mountain biking. Be sure to bring water and will probably want to get an early start so it doesn’t get too hot. The last minute or so of the drive here is on an improved dirt road. As long as there haven’t been recent rains, it should be easy enough to do in any car.
This isn’t all that steep so if you want to make it shorter, take one of the off-shoots that head to the right up about a minute into the trail. That path is also a clear trail and easy enough for most skill levels. The winding trail will be about three miles round trip to the top and the straight shot will be just over a mile round trip. Young children will need to hold a hand when exploring the petroglyphs, and to make sure they don’t wander too close to the edge at the top, but most of either trail is great for families. We saw several lizards and a couple rabbits, but most of them were too fast to catch a photo.
When you get up higher on the mountain than there are a few signs that highlight the Anasazi ruins and petroglyphs. When you get to to the Petroglyph sign, head straight out beyond the sign, which is right of the main trail. You will see some petroglyphs on a large rock. From there, head right around the rock and you’ll see a path that leads down about ten feet to a lower level. Be sure to take this trail so you can see all the amazing petroglyphs that are there! Most of them are on the backside of the rocks you can see from the main trail.
These are only a few of the petroglyphs! Many of them are quite large and clear! The “Stormtrooper” above is a fun one!
There are also beautiful views of the surrounding cliffs! Even though you aren’t on a peak, it kind of feels like you have the view from a peak! If you continue another few minutes to the top you can look over and have a beautiful view of Santa Clara.
Stats: Distance – 1.2 – 3.0 miles round trip
Approximate hiking time – 30-120 minutes
Elevation gain – 331 feet
Difficulty – Easy
Trail – well maintained trail of dirt and rocks
Bathrooms – At trailhead
Seasons to hike – Year Round
Permits needed – None
Pets allowed – Yes