Photos capture pictographs, petroglyphs on Utah’s San Rafael Swell
Published: May 7, 2013 10:43AM
Updated: May 1, 2013 09:58AM
This photo, taken June 18, 2012, shows rock art drawn with an unique color. Bailey notes chalk-like rocks of this color are found below and around the panel. Photo courtesy Jonathan Bailey.

Photographer Jonathan Bailey has been hiking the San Rafael Swell in central Utah. Just don’t ask him to be more precise.

Bailey has been photographing pictographs and petroglyphs on what locals call “The Swell.” Some of the rock art has been vandalized over the decades. Bailey is protective of the sites and doesn’t want to share their locations with anyone.

But he did agree to share some of his photographs with the Hiking Utah blog. The work particularly highlights the Barrier Canyon Style of rock art found on the San Rafael Swell.

Not much is understood about the meaning of the images on The Swell. In captions accompanying photos, Bailey notes some images appear to be of creatures; others of flute players. To enhance his photos, Bailey sometimes used techniques such as double exposures and artificial lighting.

Find more of Bailey’s work at

— Nate Carlisle

Twitter: @UtahHikes