There are several places to view petroglyphs in the park, including Mouse's Tank and Atlatl Rock. In both areas, the images have suffered from weathering and from vandalism. It is important that you do not touch the remaining images, as oils from the hand can be damaging over time.
While we were there, we witnessed school children on a field trip, trying to write on the rocks. The teachers would get them to stop, but as soon as they turned their backs, the children would go back to writing on the rocks. I realized that they did not respect my authority, either.
This rock is along the way to Mouse's tank. Many of the petroglyphs are high up and are hard to see. I have provided a few detail pictures on this rock below.
The trail to Mouse's Tank takes you past so many wonderful images, including animals, people and hand prints. Many different images can be seen in one area. There are many circles inside of circles as well as snakelike images. I found the dotted trails to be interesting.
At the end of the trail, you arrive at where Mouse hid out. There is a small water supply that he survived off of, though it looks a bit unappetizing. We did not see any more petroglyphs after this area.
To get back to the parking lot, you must hike back along the same trail you came in on. We saw many images in the rocks that we did not see on our way in because we were at a different vantage point.
There are many rocks with images on them in the Atlatl Rock area. We stopped in the area and had a picnic lunch at the sheltered tables, then wantered the trails. This area had a lot of wonderful images, though like the Mouse's Tank area, vandals have defaced a lot of the art. Even in the image below, you can see modern graffiti on the lower part of this wall.
Protecting the Past
Though we found that parents let their kids scramble up the rocks and hoot and holler from above, we recommend that you not climb on the rocks because some are a bit loose and some have images on them that could be damaged.
It is unfortunate that this rock art can last for hundreds of years, and then one person writes their name across an image and ruins it forever. We found this to be a problem in many of the state parks in the area, including Red Rocks.
The parks do not have the budget to have a ranger sit out in these areas and make sure that we do not damage the art. I felt like I had to take as many pictures as possible, because the images on the rocks might not be around for future generations.
Out of respect to the Native Americans of the area, it is important that we do not deface what their ancestors have left behind.