The Great Stone Face is known as the "Guardian of Deseret". This popular tourist attraction is well worth the time, especially if you are a Mormon. The Mormons were driven out of Nauvoo, Illinois and their beloved prophet and leader Joseph Smith was killed at the hands of a mob while in the protection of government authorities. After trekking several hundred miles by wagon train and handcarts, across uncharted and hostile mountains, the pioneers settled in this western wilderness. They yearned to be left alone so they could practice their religion. Imagine their surprise when they rounded the corner of a lava flow and saw the image of their recently slain prophet naturally carved in stone. He appeared to be watching over them, like a sentinel sent from God.
Of course, the same area was populated for hundreds of years before the pioneers by local Indians who, most likely, saw their great chieftains portrayed in the Great Stone Face. Petroglyphs are located along the road to the site. A historical marker at the site explains that scholars believe the writings on the rock are an agreement dividing up water and hunting rights in the Sevier River area.
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