The rock art was probably made by people of the Fremont culture (about AD 650 - 1150) and the Ute (about AD 1200 - 1881). No one has been able to positively identify the significance of the paintings, however, they were probably made to mark significant events or for religious purposes. The Fremont people were described in a Rangely Museum brochure:
The Fremont people built villages, farmed the valley areas and on high points located watchtowers. In hidden places on the cliffs are still found cisterns and granaries where they stored corn and seeds. Petroglyphs of corn stalks are at a number of these sites. Later the Utes hunted the area and used the valley until they were moved to a reservation in 1881.
There is evidence that some of the petroglyphs may be of astronomical significance. The markings may indicate the significance winter or summer solstice but more data is required to verify these results.