Carved over thousands of years by prehistoric groups who made their living hunting and gathering in the Bighorn Basin, the petroglyphs of Legend Rock are a unique piece of Wyoming’s history.
Nearly 300 images appear on the rock, most of which archaeologists associate with the Dinwoody tradition. Found west of the Bighorn River in the Bighorn and Wind River basins, Dinwoody tradition rock art is known for its distinctive figures pecked into the rock surface. These include large human or human-like figures with headdresses whose torsos are often decorated with patterns of lines. Despite having suffered some defacement, Legend Rock includes the oldest and best-preserved examples of Dinwoody tradition rock art known in the world.
The site is administered by the Wyoming Department of State Parks and Cultural Resources, and was named to the National Register of Historic Places on July 5,1973.
- Francis, Julie and Lawrence Loendorf. Ancient Visions: Petroglyphs and Pictographs of the Wind River and Bighorn Country, Wyoming and Montana. Salt Lake City: University of Utah Press, 2002.
- “Legend Rock,” accessed 9/9/11 at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Legend_Rock
- Rea, Tom. “Pictures on Rock: What Pictographs, Petroglyphs Say about the People who Made them,” accessed 9/19/11 at /essays/pictures-rock-what-pictographs-petroglyphs-say-about-people-who-made-them
- Thermopolis, Wyo., Hot Springs. “Petroglyphs: Legend Rock—Hot Springs Country State Historic Site,” accessed 9/9/11 at http://www.thermopolis.com/WebPage44.aspx
- The photo is by Tom Rea.