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| Susan & Elwood Berry | Trip Reports

2004 Trip Report - Little Petroglyph Canyon

Little Petroglyph Canyon

April 25, 2004
Escorted by Maturango Museum volunteers
Reported by Susan and Elwood Berry

Four vehicles and fourteen participants all passed the security check quickly. There are many security requirements, Do’s and Don’ts related to protecting our troops and the Historical Landmark. Most of these requirements are common sense. Others are not so clear. The current method of dating the petroglyphs is to measure the thickness of the desert varnish. Climbing on the rocks (and there are petroglyphs on some of the flat rocks along the bottom of the canyon), tracing or touching the petroglyphs could prevent them from being dated. A number of the Don’ts are to keep trash and litter out of the canyon. We may not understand the need for all the requirements, but the Navy controls the access to the site and they make the rules.

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We were on the road to Little Petroglyph Canyon by 10:00 AM. By 11:00 we were at the canyon. It was cool and windy at the parking area. However in the canyon the wind turned into a welcome breeze. We started down the canyon in small groups with our escorts. The escorts pointed out many of the outstanding petroglyphs. It was clear that the canyon exceeded any thing we have seen in any other location. The variety and number of petroglyphs is remarkable. The human effort that went into the creation of all these symbols, the archaeological and yes the religious significance is beyond our imagination. The only way to understand this is to see it. Pictures or words can not convey what is there.

The whole group made it down the water fall by noon. We stopped in the shade of the canyon for lunch talking with our escorts about the different petroglyphs and what they may symbolize. One of the escorts pointed out a few pictographs on the canyon walls at our lunch stop. These pictographs are the only ones known in the canyon.

After lunch we proceeded to the end of the canyon. Not every one made the trip to the end, four or five turned around to make certain they could get out without any problems. The hike up the canyon turned out to be much easier than the hike down. We didn’t even notice passing the water fall going up. A snake did drop from the rim of the canyon in front of one of the escorts, but it was a harmless type. After the hike we caravaned back to the heat of Ridgecrest. Around 3:30 we said thank you and good by to our escorts.

Anne thank you , it was a lot of work but it was an outstanding trip and experience.

Susan and Elwood