“Palmetto Wash” Petroglyphs

It is a nice site. Hopefully it sees no more damage.

Over the years, I have visited this small petroglyph site many times. It is not too far from the road, so it makes for a nice spot to take a break.

During a recent visit with my family, we were saddened to find some drill holes have been made into the volcanic rock adjacent to some of the ancient petroglyph panels. What a shame! I’m not sure if someone was attempting to steal the petroglyphs or if someone was taking core samples to study the volcanic rock. Either way, it was careless and a federal crime. I hope whoever caused the damage faces some punishment and restitution so repair work can be done.
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Bald Mountain Wash Petroglyphs

Cowboy signatures.

Brownie Sam and Emmett Rosse, two Shoshone cowboys, stopped alongside this huge volcanic boulder in late October of 1932. It is a place where their ancestors had camped many times. The ancients had carved numerous symbols on this rock, they decided they would too. They stood on the backs of their horses and added their names to the record above the petroglyphs below.
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Jayhawker Spring Petroglyphs, Death Valley National Park

That's Jayhawker Spring.

The Jayhawkers are famous for their harrowing journey through the unexplored lands of Death Valley in 1849 on their way to reach the fabled gold fields of California’s Mother Lode. They made it, but only after burning their wagons and ditching some of their possessions. They are likely the first white people to set foot in the vast alkali valley and are credited for giving Death Valley its name.
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Honeymoon Hill Petroglyphs

At the top of one hill is a isolated petroglyph site.

Last summer, we visited a pair of petroglyph sites out in central Nevada collectively called Honeymoon Hill. They are close together on nearby hills and have fantastic views of the areas they overlook, which is probably why people were here; hunting and keeping watch over the surrounding terrain.
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Freight Wagon Petroglyphs

It is a long and lonely walk into the wilderness of the Mojave desert to get to this isolated petroglyph site. Most of the petroglyphs here are of abstract design but a few are different and quite interesting. One in particular appears to be a crying face or mask. You have to look carefully to find it.
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Law’s Spring

Very nicely engraved Laws Spring.

Over the summer, we were exploring in the Ponderosa pine forests of northern Arizona. One of the spots we visited was Law’s Spring. It’s an old campsite along the historic Beale Wagon Road.
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Clamshell Petroglyphs

We arrive at the Clamshell.

The Clamshell petroglyphs are an easy to reach Anasazi site just outside of Fredonia, Arizona. These petroglyphs and pictographs are so old they are hard to see at all. There are some interesting designs though; including some anthropomorphic figures, a water glyph, a six toed footprint and spirals. Lots of spirals. Obviously, an important symbol here.
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Quail Point Petroglyphs

Overlooking the site.

I met up with friends Rick Colman and Rob S. to explore a lesser-visited petroglyph site in Arizona. We didn’t know what we would find. We discovered Quail Point has hundreds of petroglyphs and was certainly worth the trip.
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Marble Bath, Death Valley National Park

The entrance to the real Marble Bath.

There is a place way out in the backcountry of Death Valley National Park called Marble Bath. Actually, it is two places.

Why there are two Marble Baths is a bit of a story. The real Marble Bath is a narrow marble canyon that contains some potholes (also called tinajas) that usually hold water long after it rains. These are the only semi-reliable source of water for many miles in an otherwise very arid stretch of desert. They don’t call this Death Valley for nothin’, ya’ know.
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Newberry Cave Pictographs

I did some color enhancement on this photo to show the colors a little better.

Nestled high in the mountains above Barstow, Newberry Cave sits quiet and unassuming. Caves and pictographs are both rare in the Mojave desert; this is a unique and amazing place.
The cave was first discovered by locals in the 1930s but wasn’t excavated until 1953 by Dr. Gerald Smith working with the San Bernardino County Museum. They found atlatl shafts, projectile points, sandals made from willow and juniper bark, cordage, fire drills, quartz crystals painted green and stone tools. They also found five figurines of deer or bighorn sheep made from willow and sticks. The figurines were pierced by miniature spears. It is suspected they were used in rituals promoting a successful hunt. The figurines have been carbon dated to 3,000 to 4,000 years ago.
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