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Petroglyph Canyon via Mouse's Tank Trail

A short, easy hike to an incredible petroglyph panel and natural water tank.

Hiking Easy

1.2 km
30 m
30 m
0-1 hrs
Low Point
619 m
High Point
633 m
Petroglyph Canyon via Mouse's Tank Trail Map

If you are looking for a short and easy hike that offers a glimpse into the ancient history and culture of the Native Americans who inhabited this area, then the Mouse's Tank Trail to Petroglyph Canyon is a great option. This 0.7-mile out-and-back trail follows a sandy wash through a narrow canyon filled with red sandstone formations and hundreds of petroglyphs carved into the dark desert varnish. The petroglyphs depict various figures, animals, and symbols that are believed to be over 2,000 years old. Some of the most common interpretations are provided on an informational sign at the trailhead, but you can also use your imagination and try to decipher the meanings yourself.


The trail ends at Mouse's Tank, a natural basin of water that collects rainwater and runoff from the surrounding cliffs. The tank is named after a renegade Paiute Indian who used it as a hideout in the 1890s. The water level varies depending on the season and rainfall, but it is usually not very deep or clear. However, it is an important source of water for wildlife in this arid environment, so you might spot some birds or lizards near the tank.

The Mouse's Tank Trail to Petroglyph Canyon is suitable for hikers of all ages and abilities, as long as you can handle walking on sand and avoid climbing on the fragile rocks. The trail is well-marked and easy to follow, but you should always stay on the designated path and respect the petroglyphs by not touching or damaging them. The best time to hike this trail is in the cooler months, as the canyon can get very hot and exposed in the summer. Bring plenty of water and sunscreen, and enjoy this unique and fascinating hike in Valley of Fire State Park.

Sources: Petroglyph Canyon Trail | Valley of Fire | Hikespeak.com. https://www.hikespeak.com/trails/mouses-tank-hike-petroglyph-canyon-trail-valley-of-fire-nevada/. Mouse’s Tank Trail | Valley of Fire State Park. https://www.utahsadventurefamily.com/mouses-tank-trail-valley-of-fire/. Conversation with Bing Chat



Walking along a well-kept trail that’s mostly flat. No obstacles are present.

Low Exposure

1 out of 4

The path is on completely flat land and potential injury is limited to falling over.


2 out of 4

Away from help but easily accessed.

Best time to visit

all year round


  • Historical
  • Picturesque
  • Water features
  • Family friendly

Similar routes nearby

Guidebooks in this area