Tag Archives: petroglyphs

Rings Loop Trail

Today’s #FridayFieldTrip was hiking the Rings Look Trail in the Mojave Preserve.

It’s a short hike that begins from the parking lot of the Hole in the Wall Visitor Center; it’s about a mile, that takes you past some great rock art, through some fantastic landscape, and then up over a series of steep pour overs with these metal spikes and rings to help you along. It wasn’t easy, but I’m glad to say I did it.

After the hike, I talked to a ranger. Mitchel Caverns (part of the state park in the middle of the Mojave), now has a full-time caretaker, many of the infrastructure projects (water, solar power, lighting of one of the caverns) have been completed. There’s no budget to staff the place at the moment, so it won’t be open to the public in this physical cycle. At least there’s a caretaker, so the damage and theft should now stop. So, it’s good news.

Shooting Gallery

14202726_10154383563161145_5959439791452368374_nFor my #FridayFieldTrip, I returned to the Alamo area and searched once again for the Shooting Gallery Petroglyph site and this time I found it. Without GPS coordinates (and general mileage numbers), it would be virtually impossible to find the turn off. (Even with those it was pretty rough. Then, a portion of the second road has been washed out. Luckily, others had gone before me and blazed a bit of desert path as a bypass.

14322655_10154383563211145_1491018150718291557_nI was pretty excited when I found the registration box. I headed out, followed the directions I had, but spotted something up in the hills. So, I scrambled up the mountain of boulders and was rewarded with some excellent petroglyphs that weren’t in the GPS list. Plus, I got a good view of the valley.

I headed back down to the desert floor, followed the boulders to the west, and found an alcove that I know has been a village spot. I sat under an ancient juniper and mediated for quite a while, enjoying the shade of the old tree and the great energy of the place.14238258_10154383563241145_4598199050077403964_n That’s also where I found this petrolyph that really spoke to me.

Eventually, I got back into the wash and found several other glyphs. I didn’t climb up into the rocky canyon to get close to the Parhaganet Men, and I also never found the starburst antler deer. I thought I’d find them on my way back, but ended up in the wrong wash (there were at least three washes that converged into the valley.

14222341_10154383563196145_2202717405215141743_nOn my way back to my truck, I suffered a bit of heat exhaustion and spent about an hour resting in a shady, sandy spot with my head filled with the knowledge that this was probably a place with big cats. (I’m reading Life of Pi, so big images of big cats fill my head!)

Anyway, I recovered, discovered I was walking up the wrong wash, and, using GPS, found my truck and then my way back out to the main road.

I don’t know why this site has caused me so many issues (two trips to find it, not seeing the “famous” rock art, heat exhaustion, et. al.) I do think I’ll go back in cooler weather and see if I can’t find the star burst and hike that side canyon, too. For now, I’m just happy to be alive to take another Friday Field Trip next week.

Grapevine Canyon

14068049_10154336882991145_2966787848766762657_nOf all the petroglyph sites I’ve visited this summer, Grapevine Canyon was about the best for both number and quality of rock art. While most of the art in this canyon wasn’t representational (human or animal), the designs are quite numerous and many quite different from the other sites I’ve visited.

I got the sense while there that this was a 14034699_10154336883086145_2836455009977989840_nfrequently used site, perhaps seasonally. There is a waterfall at the end of a hike that would run in the spring.

This hike is well marked (there’s actually a sign, unlike most sites). There’s a nice parking area and a restroom. If you choose to visit, I recommend that you not walk up the wash. Instead, stay on the rim of the wash. There’s a well-traveled path there and it’s easier walking than the soft sand and upward incline of the wash. (I walked in the wash and out the rim and recommend the rim!)

20160826_133121I also had the opportunity to drive Christmas Tree Pass to get to the site. I chose the “long way.” It’s a well-graded road with some amazing views.