Cody Photographer Rick Blanchard captured some mind-bending bits of ancient rock-art on a recent trip to Legend Rock near Thermopolis (Rick Blanchard)

Some pictures are worth a thousand words. Others are worth a thousand questions: “What in the world is that supposed to represent?” for example, and, “Why is there a hollywood-style alien figure among ancient Native American rock art?”

Legend Rock, a Wyoming State Petroglyph Site 29 miles northwest of Thermopolis boasts more than 300 such wonder-inducing images, each etched into a 437 yard long sandstone cliff band. Some of the petroglyphs are believed to be many thousands of years old and representative ancient Native American belief systems. Others are much more contemporary. In all the rock art collection is believed to span millenia and to have been sacred to multiple cultures.

Rising from the sage of the Bighorn Basin, the site can be quite hot, and snake-filled, during the summer, making spring an ideal time to visit. When possible, it’s particularly enlightening to tour the site with someone who is knowledgeable of its history and significance, as photographer Rick Blanchard of Cody did Saturday April 6 on a field trip with esteemed archaeologist Dr. Larry Todd.

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Matthew Copeland is the chief executive & editor of WyoFile. Contact him at or (307) 287-2839. Follow Matt on Twitter at @WyoCope

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