Joshua Tree “Cowboy” Petroglyphs

A few weeks ago, we wandered out to this remote corner of Joshua Tree to check out an unusual set of petroglyphs. Unlike most of the abstract petroglyph panels I come across, these had a few human figures. A couple of them are a horse and rider, and another appears to be a woman in a dress!

I’ve dubbed them the “Cowboy” petroglyphs and they certainly are rare. In fact, I can’t think of another horse and rider in the nearby area. It’s possible that the Cahuilla carved these symbols relatively recently when they saw the Southern Pacific Railroad survey crew in the Indio area in the early 1870s, but no one knows for sure.

Regardless, they are a unique site for Joshua Tree. I’m not providing directions to this site. If you come across them, please respect them and enjoy.

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Last Updated on March 6, 2021 by Guy Starbuck