Newspaper Rock is a petroglyph panel etched in sandstone that records perhaps 2,000 years of human activity in the area. Etched into the desert varnish are symbols’ representing the Fremont, Anasazi, Navajo and Anglo cultures. The exact nature of these symbols meaning is still not clearly understood. But they are typical of many sites throughout the U.S. in their use of universal symbols, be it graffiti or a true “newspaper,” recording events of the times and earlier.
The area is right next to Utah Route 211, 24 miles northwest of Monticello on the main road into the Needles section of Canyonlands National Park. It is usually bypassed by travelers hurrying elsewhere. They are missing one of the finest displays of Indian rock art to be found anywhere in the U.S. This is also one of the few petroglyph sites that is so easily accessible and can be viewed and that photographed at close range.