Hiking and exploring backcountry locations of the Western United States.

Category: Southern California Coast and Mountains (page 1 of 1)

Southern California Coast and Mountains

Cary Ranch Pictographs

A few years ago, my friend Rick and I were invited out by Dick Cary to visit his historic Cary Ranch and examine some of the pictographs there. The ranch area was first inhabited by the Mountain Cahuilla Indians. The site is near a natural pass and an old Indian trail that connects inland Southern California shrublands to Anza Borrego country of the Sonoran Desert.

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Moreno Maze Pictograph

Western Riverside County has a handful of unique Native American rock art maze drawings. The most well-known of them is the Hemet Maze. It is a petroglyph of complex design carved directly into granite. There are however other lesser known rock art mazes and one of them is the Moreno Maze pictograph. The meaning behind these mazes is vigorously debated among rock art researchers but it remains a mystery.

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Mockingbird Canyon Pictographs

Nestled in a rural neighborhood in Riverside, the Mockingbird Canyon pictographs are a hidden gem. Believed to be the work of the native Luiseno Indians, this is an impressive set of San Luis Rey style polychrome pictographs painted on the ceiling of a granite rock shelter. The circles, nets, and lines are thought to represent the night sky and the Milky Way.

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Cave of the Four Horsemen

This is an impressive set of pictographs inside of a rock shelter high in the Santa Monica mountains above Malibu. The cave itself is a natural overhang near a local landmark. The site is particularly interesting because it portrays four mounted riders.

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Motte Rimrock Reserve Pictographs

These are a spectacular set of pictographs located inside of the University of California Motte Rimrock Reserve. The Reserve is private and set aside for study and research only. I was enough lucky to be invited on site. There is a caretaker living here at all times. Please do not trespass.

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