There are endless adventures that await along the side roads in the Moab region, but most require a high ground clearance vehicle to traverse. There are a few exceptions to this rule and one such touring route is Kane Springs Road, which is paved along the Colorado River and the dirt road section is smooth enough for regular passenger cars all the way out to the remote BLM Ledges Campgrounds. From this point onward, in order to continue further on the very challenging rough dirt trail section through the Kane Creek Anticline region, 4x4 high ground clearance vehicle will be needed and a modified ATV would be an even better choice. For those who are not into doing a grueling safari style Jeep ride, the long smooth section of Kane Springs Road from central Moab city to the Ledges will still offer countless amazing experiences, plenty of scenic splendor and an opportunity to view one of the most famous ancient native rock art panels in the entire west!
When starting in the town of Moab, there are all sorts of RV camping and glamping options to be found along the Colorado River on Kane Springs Road, which are a nice choice for an extended stay. The Birthing Mother Petroglyph Panel is located on the roadside a few miles into the smooth dirt road section of Kane Springs Road and there are a few famous side trails to be found along the way. The Birthing Mother signage is easy to spot and there is ample roadside parking, while overcrowding is far from a problem because the majority of Moab visitors only tour the two neighboring big National Parks. This high desert wilderness area boasts the same towering red rock bluff terrain as in Canyonlands National Park, so the journey is guaranteed to be a feast for the eyes. There are lush green areas where the creek runs through the canyons and this is where wildlife abounds, so be sure to keep a camera ready for one of those once in a lifetime photo opportunities.
The Birthing Mother Petroglyph Panel certainly is fascinating to see, because there simply is no other ancient rock art that can be compared to this unique theme. The character representations leave room for interpretation, so be prepared for spending plenty of extra time scratching the noggin while there! Everything from prehistoric events, tribal klan symbols and hunting quests can be seen in the artwork, while there are even depictions of local insects too. Of course the Birthing Mother is the star of the show, so when doing a native heritage tour of Moab, be sure to make note of this ancient sacred place before turn onto Kane Springs Road!
On a sad side note, the Birthing Panel was recently defaced and scarred with graffiti. The penalties are steep for this type of federal crime, yet this was not enough of a deterrence to keep vandals away. For those who are planning a Kane Creek venture, stiffer ancient native heritage protections will likely be in place, so the close-up views of the petroglyphs may no longer be an option. As a social responsibility, it is important to report vandalism on public lands, so be sure to make note of the local BLM or park service headquarters phone numbers when planning a trip. Taking pictures of those involved from a distance or acting as witness is the best way to ensure that the criminals will be caught.
Leave no trace!
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