Mention several of Wyoming’s State Parks like Glendo, Curt Gowdy, Buffalo Bill or Keyhole and you’ll find that these sites are not only well-known, but highly popular especially to people from their region of the state.
However, there are other sites, like Medicine Lodge State Archaeological Site and Legend Rock State Petroglyph Site, that are not only among Wyoming’s best examples of historical and pre-historical rock art, but also some of the state’s best kept secrets.
That may change for Legend Rock, a site near Thermopolis that features hundreds of mysterious images associated with the Dinwoody and other rock art traditions, and is a place of great spiritual significance to Native Americans.
Listed on the National Register of Historic Places since 1973, Legend Rock is featured on this year’s Wyoming Archaeology Awareness Month Poster. The site is also the subject of a special exhibit on display in the lobby of the Barrett Building through October.
Through the cooperative effort of nearly every program within the Wyoming Department of State Parks and Cultural Resources, the exhibit in essence brings Legend Rock to Cheyenne.
Information provided on replicas of interpretive panels from the Legend Rock Visitor Center, as well as stone tools and animal bones from the site provided by the University of Wyoming Archaeological repository, part of Office of the Wyoming State Archaeologist, allows the visitor a chance to gain as much knowledge of the site as possible without actually being there.
Staff members from the Wyoming Division of State Parks, Historic Sites and Trails; State Historic Preservation Office; State Museum; State Archives and the Department’s Public Information Office, as well as the Office of the Wyoming State Archaeologist all were involved in the putting the exhibit together. The BLM also provided a series of panoramic photos showing the entire cliff face.
According to information provided by WYDOT Archaeologist Julie E. Francis, Ph.D., radiocarbon dating of several panels at the site suggests the petroglyphs were created between 200 and 11,000 years ago which indicates Legend Rock was a popular destination for an extended period of time.
The Barrett Building is located in Cheyenne at 2301 Central Avenue.