Posts Tagged ‘petroglyphs’

Volcano Trails hike

Like so much of the country, Albuquerque is in a record setting heat wave. So we left early for our hike, and found one close to where we are parked. We hiked the Volcano Trail in the Petroglyphs National Monument early in the morning. The three dormant volcanoes (JA, Black and Vulcan) we walked around or over are about 130,000 years old

This hike is in the open sun, no shade. It is 3.2 miles long and we had an elevation gain of around 500 ft. Most of it was packed sand and gravel, some pretty rough rocks and steep. We had some great panoramic views, especially from the top of Black. Normally you’d have a great view of Albuquerque, but the heat haze limited visibility somewhat.

We noticed some interesting plants, including a plant that looked dead but had pretty purple flowers….. and in the same plant yellow berries. These are silverleaf nightshades, also known as desert berries.

Ancient peoples of the Southern USA

October 29, 2017 Leave a comment

While touring through Arizona and New Mexico, we had the privilege of visiting a few of the amazing sites of ancient peoples.  A few that stood out:

Montezuma Castle National Monument protects a set of well-preserved dwellings located in Camp Verde, Arizona which were built and used by the Sinagua people, a pre-Columbian culture closely related to the Hohokam and other indigenous peoples of the southwestern United States, between approximately 1100 and 1425 AD. The main structure comprises five stories and twenty rooms, and was built over the course of three centuries.

Tuzigoot National Monument preserves a 3-story pueblo ruin on the summit of a limestone and sandstone ridge just east of Clarkdale, Arizona, 120 feet above the Verde River floodplain. The Tuzigoot Site is an elongated complex of stone masonry rooms that were built along the spine of a natural outcrop in the Verde Valley. The central rooms stand higher than the others and they appear to have served public functions. The pueblo has 110 rooms.  The ruins at Tuzigoot incorporate very few doors; instead, they use trapdoor type openings in the roofs, and use ladders to enter each room.
At this site, remains of pithouses can be seen as well as petroglyphs, although the petroglyphs can only be viewed on certain days of the week.

Bandelier National Monument is located near Los Alamos, New Mexico. The monument preserves the homes and territory of the Ancestral Puebloans of a later era in the Southwest. Most of the pueblo structures date to two eras, dating between 1150 and 1600 AD.  Human presence in the area has been dated to over 10,000 years before present. Permanent settlements have been dated to 1150 CE. The distribution of basalt and obsidian artifacts from the area, along with other traded goods, rock markings, and construction techniques, indicate that its inhabitants were part of a regional trade network that included what is now Mexico.

During World War II the monument area was closed to the public for several years, since the lodge was being used to house personnel working on the Manhattan Project at Los Alamos to develop an atom bomb.




Valley of Fire, Nevada

May 24, 2014 2 comments

The Valley of Fire is located less than an hour north of Las Vegas, close to Lake Mead. It gets its name from the bright red rock formations, but also because it gets to be over 120F (50C) in the summer.

One area is known as “Mouse Tank” and contains a valley filled with Indian petroglyphs. Even though time is starting to erode them, it is still possible to make out the huge amount of indian art.

But there is more to it. There are many geologic formations of different colors and different shapes, giving an erie effect to the landscape. Perfect for hiking, and photography.

Very sandy in many places.

Very sandy in many places.

Slot Canyon

Slot Canyon

Baby arches (?)

Baby arches (?)

"Fire Wave" - unique formations

“Fire Wave” – unique formations

fire2-14 Hard to see, but lots of petroglyphs[/caption]

Indian petroglyphs

Closer view of Indian petroglyphs

Lava formations as far as the eye can see

Lava formations as far as the eye can see

Petroglyphs in the Superstition Mountains

October 19, 2011 Leave a comment

For 2,000 years, local Indians have carved a record of their lives on rock faces in the mountains.  They leave behind a legacy that is fascinating, yet hard to decipher.  We have seen great petroglyphs last year in Utah, now we have found some in Arizona.

The way to the canyon was rough and rocky but easily passable.  It would have been easier if it wasn’t so blasted hot, but then, this is Arizona…

The petroglyphs are in the canyon, uop ahead

It wasn't all smooth walking to get there....

Now we get to see some

You can see the relative size here

Lots of petroglyphs

A cave where Indians sheltered for centuries

Indians used these holes to grind their corn

Lots of these little buggers, all at ankle height!

A collared lizard watches us head back

Hiking, rafting and history

May 31, 2010 1 comment

About a 1/2 hour drive from our campsite is McKee Springs, yet another great petroglyph (Fremont indian rock etching) site.  Obviously, the Fremont Indians were quite the artists as you can find lots and lots of artwork.  So off we went to explore this, and some other sites in the area.  Our new car got a great introduction to off pavement driving!

Most of the road to McKee Springs is gravel

But once there you will find some of excellent Fremont artwork

A second panel of artwork

But the Petroglyphs had to share top billing with a spectacular flowering cactus

A short ways down the road from McKee Springs is Rainbow Park.  This is a smallish campsite and is used primarily by rafters, who put in here for a day trip down the Green River.  It may look peaceful here, but there are class 3 and 4 rapids just around the bend…

A great early morning view. But don't let the image fool you, that water is moving, and fast. That surface is deceiving!

Rafters, getting ready for their adventure

And they're on the way

Once around the bend in the distance they will be in some major rapids

About 5 miles further down the road is the now abandoned Ruple Ranch.  This area was homesteaded in the mid 1800’s by the Ruple family, who eventually sold this property to the National Park Service where it is now part of Dinosaur National Monument.  This is the back side of Split Mountain, where we are camped.

The road in ends up as a rutted wagon trail, and although we have 4 wheel drive we sure didn’t have the clearance to go much further so we parked and walked the last mile to the trail.  It is an easy trail, although very rough as it isn’t used much and most of it is in a sandy wash literred with rocks.

This is as far as we got. Yes, we have 4 wheel drive, but not the required high clearance needed to traverse this old farm road.

Some of the old (but not original) buildings of Ruple Ranch

Once out of the car we hiked up the wash.

A really strange desert plant. Only saw one of these. The tall "stem" was way out of proportion to the leaves below.

All in all an interesting day.  Some nice hiking, some history, some scenery, and great weather.

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