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Little Petroglyph Canyon (AKA Renegade Canyon) Messages in this topic - RSS

dsefcik
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12/3/2012
dsefcik
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I was fortunate enough to be invited to go tour Little Petroglyph Canyon (AKA Renegade Canyon) this last weekend. Little Petroglyph Canyon has the largest known concentration of petroglyphs in the western hemisphere and is located on the China Lake Naval Air Weapons Base. You can only visit this site with Navy approved guides and tour dates are limited to certain times of the year. You can find out more information about touring the site from the Maturango Museum website.

Recommended Reading about the Coso Range Petroglyphs

This was an amazing site with probably thousands of petroglyphs. Probably one of the most amazing parts of the petroglyphs is the obvious difference in dates of all the petroglyphs. You can clearly see many that have patina dating back thousands of years and some that apear to be probably only a few hundred years. Some dating techniques recently used suggest some of petroglyphs are 14,000-16,000 years old!

In the 3-1/2 - 4 hours we spent in the canyon I took almost 1,000 photos, there were petroglyphs everywhere! I trimmed down the collection to mostly all unique photos and you can view them all here Little Petroglyph Canyon Photos

Here are a few of my favorites

Really,really old petroglyphs






I call this guy "Ziggy"


Family Petroglyphs




Medicine Man


The Hunter


Bighorn Sheep Kill



Now all I need to do is finish writing up my TR from Thanksgiving..!

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tommy750
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12/4/2012
tommy750
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Wow, nice side trip. Amazing collections of petroglyphs. Took me 20 minutes just to skim through your pics link! Looks like a clean site with not a lot of vandalism. So, do you have to make every site a restricted military base to keep it pristine? Tom
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surfponto
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12/4/2012
surfponto
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Wow the detail is amazing! What an amazing area!
Would like to go check that out sometime.
Looks like the next tour is in the Spring
The Spring schedule for Petroglyph tours will be placed on the website on February 18, 2013.

How old is the one you labeled "Family Petroglyphs"?
edited by surfponto on 12/4/2012
edited by surfponto on 12/4/2012

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hikerdmb
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12/4/2012
hikerdmb
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Wow Daren. That is excellent. There is a bill lard on 395 that shows a picture of that area but I never imagined there would be many.
David
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anutami
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12/4/2012
anutami
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Wow! If I would Have known. A few of my customers have done work on the base and I had an opportunity to get up there but turned them down. If you are on the base can you check them out on your own?
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ziphius
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12/4/2012
ziphius
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Awesome display Daren! Your camera must have been smoking! Some of the positioning of the glyphs is impressive. I'm imagining the artist leaning into the rock, on a ledge no wider than a foot, 25 ft above the deck, chipping away.

I'm with Tom, the Navy takes its resource management very seriously and has done a great job protecting these sites. As a biologist, I wish that the military owned MORE land in California.... the animals and cultural sites ultimately are better-protected than if the land were public (imagine if Camp Pendleton were suddenly open to developers ....). The preponderance of bighorn glyphs made we wonder how many bighorn (if any) still occur in the China Lake area. I read this morning that over 50,000 bighorn petroglyphs have been found in the Coso range alone. As recently as 2005, there was a translocation effort to supplement China Lake with bighorn from Mojave National Preserve:

http://theguzzler.blogspot.com/2005/12/relocation-project-planned-for-bighorn.html

In 2005, the bighorn population at China Lake was pretty small, 17 rams and 2 ewes. Haven't found any more recent info. - Jim
edited by ziphius on 12/4/2012

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dsefcik
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12/4/2012
dsefcik
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Nolan wrote:
Wow! If I would Have known. A few of my customers have done work on the base and I had an opportunity to get up there but turned them down. If you are on the base can you check them out on your own?

I don't believe so, you need a Navy approved guide and they have a million rules, like pants, no shorts, vibram soled shoes, rubber tipped walking sticks, etc...I guess someone a few years back with shorts scraped his legs or something and made a bloody mess and they shut the place down until a renegotiation was approved and the pants rule took effect. They are serious about keeping the place pristine. Our guides were very vigilant in making sure we only walked on dirt or sand as even the small rocks near the surface have many petroglyphs on them.

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dsefcik
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12/4/2012
dsefcik
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@ziphius:
We saw many feral horses on the drive out to the site but no bighorn. This site is well worth the hassle of getting there.

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dsefcik
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12/4/2012
dsefcik
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surfponto wrote:

How old is the one you labeled "Family Petroglyphs"?

Can't say I am knowledgeable enough to know but based on the patina (or lack of) inside the etched area it is newer than say the ones I labeled as really old. Even the styles are different. There were literally thousands of pictos everywhere you looked, almost too many.

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mrkmc
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12/4/2012
mrkmc
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I did that drip a few years ago. It is a special place and worth the visit. Great pics!
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dsefcik
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12/7/2012
dsefcik
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Here is a great article about the canyon, I wish I had read it before I went.

http://www.cnic.navy.mil/navycni/groups/public/@ca/@cnrsw/@clake/documents/document/cnicp_a198728.pdf

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ziphius
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12/7/2012
ziphius
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Boy, what I wouldn't give for the chance to walk that canyon 14,000 - 16,000 years ago. I also like the sentence: One small deer-figure is found at eye level on the east wall (5). It has weathered back to the original color of the native rock and appears only when the sun strikes it obliquely. smile

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dsefcik
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12/7/2012
dsefcik
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Jim (ziphius) wrote:
Boy, what I wouldn't give for the chance to walk that canyon 14,000 - 16,000 years ago. I also like the sentence: One small deer-figure is found at eye level on the east wall (5). It has weathered back to the original color of the native rock and appears only when the sun strikes it obliquely. smile


I went back thru my photos to try and find that deer petro but there are many that fit that description. One that stood out to me since it had "delicate proportions" like it also described (you did not cite) is this one


There are many very cool looking ones, here are a few more of my favorites




There are a few double headed sheep pictos


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