Do you want an experience you cannot find anywhere else in the world? Thermopolis is lucky enough to have numerous one-of-a-kind natural attractions including one of the most impressive petroglyph areas in the world – the Legend Rock Petroglyph Site. This protected site approximately 23 miles west of Thermopolis contains at least 283 different petroglyphs on 92 individual sandstone “panels.” It must be seen to be believed!
Archeological tests have discovered that some of the ancient rock art dates back 10,000 years! The remote location of the Legend Rock Petroglyphs adds to the overall experience. Once you are among the thunderbirds, elk and strange figures wearing horned headdresses, it truly feels like you have been transported back 10,000 years and that the ancient people who carved the petroglyphs will appear over the horizon or step out from behind the rocks!
To visit the site, you must obtain a key from Hot Springs State Park headquarters at 538 Hwy. 20 North, the State Bath House or the Thermopolis-Hot Springs Chamber of Commerce. To get to the site take Hwy. 120 from Thermopolis toward Meeteetse for 21 miles. Turn left at the second Hamilton Dome turn-off (Cottonwood Creek Road) and drive west about five miles. Once you arrive at a crossroads, you will continue west on Cottonwood Creek Road until you reach the second of two cattle guards. Turn left immediately after the second cattle guard. Follow that road until you reach a fork in the road. Stay to the left and the road will lead to a locked gate. Use the key you obtained in Thermopolis to open the lock, continue on the road and down the hill until you reach the dirt parking area.
The majority of the petroglyphs are located up the hill from the parking area. Be sure to bring your own drinking water as none is available at the site, but there is a restroom available.