Of 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 frequently 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!)
I 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.
The #FridayFieldTrip was Keyhole Canyon. On the drive, I discovered great progress is being made at creating the new 93/95 interchange between Railroad Pass and Hoover Dam.
Keyhole Canyon is, as it’s name implies, a small, bent canyon. It does have several amazing features including a 50 foot spillover, rubbed smooth from the rains rushing down off the mountain. Another thing it’s got going for it is a huge collection of rock art. There are great panels on the patina rock faces. This one looks to me like a collection of shields. But, it might be lots of things.
I also had a close encounter with a rattle snake. I heard the tail warning and gently backed away. Never did see the snake, which is just fine with me. I did see a few rabbits, lots of birds whose names I don’t know, and a yellow butterfly hung out with me the entire time I was there. It even tried to get in the car with me. I wonder what dead friend or relative that one was?
Spent my Friday Field Trip exploring some of the rock art (petroglyphs) at the sites around Mt. Irish in Nevada. It’s one of my favorite things to walk in sites where I know that ancient peoples have walked.
So many folks talk about the idea that America doesn’t have history like Europe. This is partially true, we
certainly don’t have the architectural history of European cities or China or Egypt or the Middle East. And, yet, we do have a long history of human activities in the US.
Research indicates that people have been living at Mt. Irish for nearly 2000 years: “the numerous petroglyphs, along
with scatters of chipped and ground-stone, pottery and rock shelters, suggest the sites were occupied from 1000 B.C. to the 1860s. Most of the petroglyphs are of the Great Basin Representational system (A.D. 1-1500) often depicting bighorn sheep and deer.” (LincolnCountyNevada.com)
We do have a rich history, it’s just different from other parts of the world.
I’m often alone on my field trips, but on Friday there were lots of folks visiting Mt. Irish, maybe because of the July 4th holiday weekend. It’s a mixed blessing to see people. Sometimes it’s nice to talk to them, but mostly, I’d rather just be on my journey without strangers.