Judaculla Rock, Cullowhee

Categories: Geologic Formations, Nature & Parks
Inspirock Rating:
4.1/5 based on 35+ reviews on the web
Judaculla Rock is a curvilinear-shaped outcrop of soapstone with quarry scars and petroglyphs. It is located on a 0.85-acre rectangular-shaped property, owned by Jackson County, approximately 60 meters east of Caney Fork Creek, a major branch of the northwestward-trending Tuckasegee River, in the mountains of western North Carolina.The petroglyph boulder occurs within an artificially created bowl-shaped depression. Today this is covered with mowed grass (it was previously cultivated as a corn field) and bordered on the west by a thicket of river cane (Arundinaria gigantea). Slightly upslope and east of the boulder are a few smaller outcroppings of soapstone bedrock, at least two of which show definite scars left by quarrying for soapstone bowl manufacture.DescriptionThe surface of the westward-slanting main boulder with petroglyphs, which measures roughly 22m2, also includes scars left by soapstone bowl extraction. Three depressions show stem extraction and there are also three hollow scallops. Numerous petroglyph designs are pecked and incised into the boulder. The densely packed nature of the motifs, especially along the upper two-thirds of the rock, in many instances makes it difficult to distinguish among motifs. Nonetheless, a minimum count of motifs is possible. Altogether, the following motifs have been identified: 1,458 cup marks; 47 curvilinear units; ten bowl-shaped depressions; ten stick-like figures; nine rills; three concentric rings designs; three curvilinear motifs; three deer tracks; two claw-like imprints; one arc; one cross-in-circle motif; and one winged shape.
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  • We've heard a great deal about this adventure. One evening we ventured to see it. It's just a rock and not much else. Vandals essentially destroyed anything interesting. You might take a picnic to thi...  read more »
  • It's worth the drive out of town to see this piece of American pre-history! No one is sure when the petroglyphs were carved in the rock that was even earlier mined for making bowls. But we do know thi...  read more »
  • The Rock is just a few miles off of Hwy 107 near Cullowhee, NC, at the end of a road. There is a very visible sign off of 107, going both ways. It's worth a detour if you are in the area, but I wouldn...  read more »
  • This is a great hidden gem, off the beaten path and full of local lore. Set in a remote area up a gravel road, Judaculla Rock is the site of once sacred boundary lines involving a mythic giant. Thousands of years old petroglyphs adorn this local wonder. Well maintained and teeming with information. A great side trip and worth the detour.
  • Judaculla Rock is a sight to see. It is secluded but not difficult to find.
  • Beautiful place. The view on the drive out is gorgeous, you are nestled right in the mountains. The rock itself has obviously seen a lot of wear and tear over thousands of years but it is still very interesting. It is great that they display earlier photographs so you can see the figures more clearly.
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