If you want to spend a weekend photographing petroglyphs in the middle of a semi-desert landscape, Nine Mile Canyon is a must-see option.

nine mile canyon

This 46-mile-long canyon is known as the longest outdoor art gallery in the world and is home to an impressive collection of prehistoric petroglyphs and other forms of rock art. Here’s everything you need to know about this amazing destination.


Nine Mile Canyon Petroglyphs

Nine Mile Canyon is believed to have been inhabited by the Fremont Culture around 1,000 years ago, and many of the famous rock art panels found in the canyon today are remnants of their presence [10]. However, the canyon also contains art from Archaic and Ute tribes as well.

Petroglyphs / Nine Mile Canyon

The canyon was used by Native American tribes as a thoroughfare, and later by cowboys who used the area for cattle drives.


Nine Mile Canyon at Daddy Canyon

The canyon is home to an impressive collection of prehistoric petroglyphs and other forms of rock art, some of which are the finest examples in the United States [5].

Rock art of Nine Mile Canyon #51  [explore]

The historical structures and ranches located throughout the canyon also provide insight into the area’s rich history. The Nine Mile Ranch, for example, is the only campground in the area and offers visitors a basic parking spot with available water, flush toilets and a dump station [6].

Petroglyph / Nine Mile Canyon

Getting There

petroglyphs, Nine Mile Canyon, BLM Lands, Carbon County, Utah 12

Nine Mile Canyon is located about 125 miles outside of Salt Lake City [3]. To get there, visitors should head northeast along Soldier Creek Road from Wellington, UT [2].

Planning Your Visit

A Once-Proud Ranch House

When planning your trip to Nine Mile Canyon, be sure to bring plenty of water, snacks, and sunscreen.

It’s also a good idea to wear comfortable walking shoes, as there will be plenty of opportunities to explore the area on foot. Additionally, visitors may want to check out the Nine Mile Mini-Book, which offers detailed information about the area’s many attractions [7].

Petroglyphs / Nine Mile Canyon

With plenty of attractions to explore and beautiful scenery to take in, it’s no wonder this canyon has been featured in National Geographic [1]. So, pack your bags, hit the road, and get ready to experience one of Utah’s most incredible treasures!

@gelatoforpigeons Nine Mile Canyon Tour Part 6: Pregnant Buffalo (preggo buffo for us idiots) #archaeology #pictographs #history #utah #petroglyph #fremont ♬ original sound – Jessie


Why is it called 9 Mile Canyon?

Despite being 40 to 70 miles long, the canyon is called Nine Mile Canyon because, in 1872, the explorer and surveyor John Wesley Powell led his expedition to the area, and the canyon was the site of a nine-mile triangulation for surveying purposes.

The maps were labeled Nine-mile Creek, and the name stuck [17]. Another theory suggests that the name comes from the nine-mile transect, which was a method used to map the area [12].

What town is closest to Nine Mile Canyon?

Nine Mile Canyon is located off Utah’s Highway 191, not far from the Utah/Colorado border and near the towns of Helper and Price [16]. Among these two towns, Price is closer to Nine Mile Canyon.

How far from Price is Nine Mile Canyon?

The distance between Nine Mile Canyon and Price is not far. Nine Mile Canyon is about 3 hours southeast of Salt Lake City and about 2 hours southwest of Dinosaur National Monument [16].

How long is 9 Mile canyon Utah?

Nine Mile Canyon is a 40 to 70 miles long canyon [11][19] located off Utah’s Highway 191, not far from the Utah/Colorado border.

Is the Nine Mile Canyon free?

As per the information available on various websites, Nine Mile Canyon is a public outdoor museum with free admission [13][14][15].

What city is closest to Grand Canyon West Rim?

The Grand Canyon West Rim is closest to the city of Las Vegas, Nevada, which is about a 2-hour drive from the West Rim.