Tuesday

Bird Spring Petroglyphs

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This page last updated on 08/06/2019
(Fig. 01)

Directions
:
 The trailhead for this trip begins at the intersection of S.Hualapai Way and highway 160, roughly 20 miles outside of Henderson. From the turn onto S. Hualapai Way to the place where we found the petroglyphs is roughly 10 miles. 

Description of AreaStill not really sure what to call this place. It is located on the east side of the Bird Spring Range. The Bird Spring Range runs north-south along the eastern flank of Mt. Potosi and the eastern flank of Cottonwood Valley, forming the southwestern margin of the Las Vegas Valley. At an elevation of only 5,298 feet, Bird Spring Mountain is little more than a hill compared to some of the nearby Spring Mountains. Many years ago some of the earliest users would normally try to follow the seeps and springs along the Bird Spring Range as much as possible to be able to supply the needed water, a place to camp, and food from the plants and animals that lived near and around the springs. The area we visited is a rocky outcrop a few miles north of the Bird Springs on the east side of the Bird Spring Range.

Background and History: One of the major springs on the east side of the range is Bird Springs, and at one time it was supplying up to 50 barrels of water per day, though today the spring looks pretty dry. Some of the earliest known users of Bird Springs were the Anasazi followed by the Paiute and the Shoshone, and then came the Spanish and finally the white explorers. After the explorers came the settlers, and with the settlers came wagons and stage lines, and the Indians were forced out. Once the settlers realized that life at Bird Springs was too difficult, they left and the Paiutes could return.

08/06/2019 Trip Notes: There are a series of dirt roads that stretch across the desert valley (Fig. 01) that lead to the outcrop (Fig. 02) that contains the petroglyphs. The dark, tree covered mountain in the distance is Mount Potosi. You can see the radio towers on top of Potosi in the closeup in (Fig. 03). On our way to the outcrop with the petroglyphs, about seven miles out, there was a burned out car (Fig. 04). Upon close inspection we found two long eared rabbits hiding beneath it (Fig. 05), taking advantage of the only shade in the area. One was a younger rabbit and a mother. When the mother noticed us it took off like a bullet running along the small mound behind the car, trying to grab our attention away from her baby. As we continued on, the object of our destination became more prominent (Fig. 06). Once we reached this rocky outcrop we drove all the way to its northern tip. Here there were several boulders that contained a variety of petroglyph elements. The largest, a stand along boulder (Fig 07), contained the most elements, and had no less than eight desert horned sheep (Fig. 08) along the bottom edge close to the ground. Zoom in on this picture and see if you can find all eight of them. (Trip notes Continued below)

(Fig. 02)
(Fig. 03)
(Fig. 04)

(Fig. 05) 
(Fig. 06)
(Fig. 07)
(Fig. 08)
Trip Notes Continued: Some of the many individual elements have been put into collages, as in the example in (Fig. 09). We found two additional boulders in this area that contained some more petroglyphs (Figs. 10 & 11).  On the way back, closer examination of some more boulders near the edge of the road Bob found three more rocks that contained some petroglyphs, including a couple with some rather nice desert horned sheep (Fig. 12). As you can see from the last picture, this was a very dirty, dusty trip. Check out the slideshow at the end of this page. There are 46 pictures of petroglyphs taken at this site.

(Fig. 09)
(Fig. 10)
(Fig. 11)
(Fig. 12)
(Fig. 13)
(Fig. 14)


Play a Slide Show
Clicking the picture-link below will open OneDrive in a new window and a folder containing 46 pictures taken of trip to the petroglyphs east of Bird Spring Range. To view the show, click on the first picture in the folder and you will get the following menu bar:

Clicking the "Play slide show" will play a fullscreen window of the slide show.


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