About 10 miles from an Ancestral Puebloan village site called “West Bench Pueblo” near the Arizona/Utah border, is the Maze Rock Art panel. It is located in a fallen jumble of sandstone boulders, overlooking a small valley of dessert scrub. It features Archaic and Ancestral Puebloan petroglyphs depicting anthropomorphic, zoomorphic, and abstract designs. The writing hints at an ancient hunting ground, where bighorn, mountain lion, deer, and other game was plentiful. There is also the image of an animal that looks suspiciously like an armadillo.
The site is noted on the National Geographic map, but the trail is unmarked and undeveloped. The site is accessible by a .5 mile meander from unpaved House Rock Road to the western face of Coyote Buttes. Before viewing the panel, we wondered if the panel may have received its name from the maze-like route through sagebrush one has to traverse in order to find the site. The BLM has proposed developing a trail to diminish the erosion caused by the braided network of footpaths being imposed on the landscape by explorers trying to find Maze. We were fortunate to see the panel at a time before it is separated from its natural setting by informational kiosks.
We now know that the panel received its name because it features a large and prominent image of a maze. We both (Jim and Dusty) have a favorite image, that of a person wearing earrings who appears to be playing some kind of horizontally held instrument.
Photography by: Death Valley Jim