Did you know you can hike to see pictographs in Centerville? No way, right?! We’re used to seeing them in other places like southern Utah, so it’s fun to know there are some in Davis County.
The pictographs are modest in comparison to some of the others we’ve seen. But the fact that they’re local for us makes them unique and exciting. We love educational hikes where we can learn and discuss a bit of the area’s history. This hike is relatively short (1.1 miles), but much of it is moderate to intense in some spots. But if I can do it with my boys, so can you.
Pictographs vs Petroglyphs
But first, a quick lesson on the difference between pictographs and petroglyphs. Before being educated by our followers, I was calling these petroglyphs. They are not. Pictographs are painted pictures, using natural pigments, on surfaces such as rock, usually done in caves and other places protected by the wind. Petroglyphs are etched or carved in stone.
Finding the Pictorgah Hike Trailhead
Take Parrish Lane (main freeway offramp) east to the mountains. Go as far east as you can until the road branches; take the left (north) road. You’ll spot a parking lot. The trailhead is just up the hill. Go up the terraced trail (1), At the sign, go left on the Shoreline Trail (2). It’s a well-groomed trail and easy to follow all the way to the bridge (3).
Beautiful Centerville Views
We lucked out with the beautiful fall weather, just after a one-day, early snowstorm in October. Even if you don’t hike all the way to the falls, you’ll enjoy some great views of Centerville and Parrish Canyon.
The trail is easy going until you get to the red bridge. It’s a beautiful walk along the stream. We loved listening to the water gurgling as we walked nearby. Even if you just stopped at the bridge, this would be a fun walk.
At the end of the bridge, take the trail that’s right behind it. It doesn’t even seem like a trail, but it is. And it gets steep pretty quickly.
You’ll climb over some rocks, and the path is more like a suggested trail. You’ll still be following the stream on your right. Keep going until you come to the first waterfall. No pictographs there, but it’s a gorgeous spot for pictures.
Two Waterfalls on Pictograph Hike
In spots, the trail is narrow and right next to the stream. In the spring, water levels are undoubtedly higher than what we encountered in the fall when the flow was very low. At one point, our dog slipped a bit and would have gone right into the stream had he not been on a harness and leash. I was able to easily pull him back to the trail. But I would caution anyone about bringing small children or pets who won’t be able to handle the terrain.
Keep going until you find your way to the second waterfall. You’ll pass lots of little waterfalls in the stream. Those aren’t what we’re talking about it. It’s a big waterfall, and you’ll know it when you see it.
At the second waterfall climb up the mountain to see the pictographs. They’re in a natural, protected alcove.
Arriving at the Pictographs
This part is worth the climb, so don’t give up. Scramble up. You’ll spot the marker first. There are probably some pictographs right at the marker that we just couldn’t see. But to the right and up a bit, you’ll spot the obvious pictographs.
Overall, we thought the hike to the pictographs was pretty cool. Just give yourself ample time to get up and back. It took us about two hours round trip. We took our time and stopped to enjoy the sights. We also didn’t have very accurate instructions, so we originally walked back and forth on the trail to the left of the bridge, looking for the pictographs. So your adventure should be quicker–about an hour and a half.
Also, if you go on this hike, PLEASE do not touch the pictographs or harm them in any way. Do we even need to say this? So many people are visiting Utah’s amazing locations that some areas are being damaged or destroyed. The Centerville pictographs are in great shape. Let’s keep them that way.
Have you been on this hike? We’d love to hear about your experience too.