Pahranagat National Wildlife Refuge - 06/27/2019 Trip Notes

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This page last updated on 06/27/2019
(Fig. 01)
06/27/2019 Trip Notes: Today, Jim Herring and I visited the Pahranagat National Wildlife Refuge and its Black Canyon Petroglyph Area. In addition, we drove the Old Buckhorne Road, sometimes labeled the Black Canyon Road, to the intersection of Alamo Canyon Road, in search of some petroglyphs. We stopped at the visitor center to gather some info, but it was closed. Before attempting Old Buckhorne road (Fig. 01), we drove beyond the visitor center to the old "Petroglyph Cabin" (Fig. 02).
Side Note on the "Petroglyph Cabin": There is nothing known about this unique building, built on the edge of a sparsely populated desert valley, a distance from either of the east or west roads that ran the length of the valley. The beveled doorway opening and decorative course of rock crowning the building are the possible signs of a commercial building. The window frames were shaped with hand tools and joined with unique triangular notching. Its large fireplace and imposing chimney were used for cooking and for heat. Inside there is a loft that could have been used to store supplies and hold things from the wooden planks that support it. It was probably built in the 1870s., but all of these things is really unknown. It was restored in 2009 to its original appearance. 
(Fig. 02)
We then hiked the area of the Black Canyon. My last visit here was in 2015. When I hiked the Black Canyon, I was informed that it was off limits to the general public for now, but that there were plans to construct a parking area, trails, rest areas, interpretive signs, and barriers designed to protect cultural and archeological resources. Today I was amazed at the result. There are trails around the area that lead to vantage points where you can view some of the better known petroglyphs (Fig. 03). They have also planted many trees and shrubs, altered and cleaned up the waterways and directed the flow of water through the canyon (Fig. 04). Because I have many pictures from previous visits, I didn't take any pictures of petroglyphs. Refer to the following pages ... Black Canyon Petroglyphs - Summary Page. We then started driving out on Old Buckhorne Road that is adjacent to the Black Canyon parking area. The view in (Fig. 01) is about a couple of miles out. We were amazed about the quality of this dirt road. Unfortunately, we didn't notice any petroglyphs on any of the boulders surrounding the sides of the road. About 6-7 miles out we came to a road that led us to the Alamo Canyon Road. We turned west and headed back to route 93. Refer to the map in (Fig. 05). Again, the quality of this road as it snaked its way through the Hiko Range was surprising. We were surrounded on all sides by views of the cliffs and mountains. Other than a pleasant ride through the mountains we didn't find anything. This is the only sign of life we saw all day (Fig. 06).

(Fig. 03)
(Fig. 04)
(Fig. 05)
(Fig. 06)


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