Located only 11 miles from Interstate 8 is the Painted Rock Petroglyph Site, developed and maintained by the B.L.M.  Facilities include trash receptacles, picnic tables, a large covered shelter, interpretive signs, and outhouse-style bathrooms.  There is a small $2 day use fee.  Adjacent to the petroglyph site is a large B.L.M. campground.

The parking lot is gravel, but a paved road leads directly from the interstate to the site.

The petroglyph site itself is rather limited, a single small hill of volcanic basalt.  A gravel walking path circles the base of hill, and simply walking the path would take no more than five minutes.  What is fascinating about this site, the density of rock art.  Practically every usable space on every rock is covered with pecked symbols and figures.

Although the environment and scenery appears barren and isolated in these photos, the surrounding area is actually quite developed with power lines, paved roads, modern agricultural farms and ranches, a large reservoir, and a large solar power farm.

In addition to the prehistoric images, some as old as the Archaic Period, there are also marks left by historic travelers.

Although opportunities at the petroglyph site are rather limited, I would love to revisit the area with more time and resources for exploring the nearby B.L.M. wilderness areas and open lands.


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