Anza Borrego

Hiking To The Pictographs At Indian Hill

What started out as a quick day trip to see the wildflower bloom in Anza Borrego, turned into a trip back in time.
Our original plan was to do some hiking and take pictures of wildflowers but at the last minute I decided we would try to find the pictographs at Indian Hill. There are numerous sources on how to find this magical place but most are sketchy at best. Many feel that the less exposure this area gets the better.

There are numerous caves in the area

That being said this is not a post on “How do I find Indian Hill and the pictographs?. Rather it is a virtual tour of the area that you can take from the comfort of your computer chair. If you do decide to venture out to the desert to find Indian Hill, do the research, study the history and most important leave no trace that you have been there.

The weather could not have been more perfect. Brilliant blue desert skies with barely a hint of clouds welcomed us as we headed north up the S2 into the Anza Borrego Desert State Park. We turned off at Mortero Wash and proceeded to the trailhead. The desert seemed strangely quiet, and I remarked that most are probably up near Borrego Springs hunting for wildflowers.

The hike took us straight up a large wash which was covered with tiny yellow desert wildflowers which I believe are called “Wallace’s Woolly Daisy” or Eriophyllum wallacei. We really had to pay attention to where we were stepping in order to avoid crushing them.

Wooly Daisies lined our way to the Indian Hill pictographs

After a mile or so large mounds of rocks began to appear. I knew one of these was Indian Hill so we began to look around. Kaiel and I climbed up some of the huge boulders to see if we could find anything. No luck the problem was there were numerous rock hills in this area. Which was the correct one ?
Finally after going back and forth between various hills in the area, Mary spotted a rock that looked similar to a picture we had found on the Web.
Bingo!, we were getting closer and after some more searching found the “Blue Sun Cave”.

The cave was truly incredible! Numerous pictographs covered the wall in an attempt to tell a story of long ago. I counted three “sun” paintings of various colors including the “Blue Sun” which gives the cave its’ name.

Blue Sun Pictograph at Indian Hill Anza Borrego Desert
The Blue Sun Pictograph which gives the cave its’ name

While this area was used by Native Americans as far back as 3000 BC, the pictographs themselves are a relatively recent addition of the last 300 to 400 years. We spent some time taking pictures and exploring the other caves and rock carvings before hiking back to the Toyota FJ Cruiser.
This is an awesome hike and one that is relatively easy.

Follow us on our photo journal below.

The Search For The Hidden Solstice Cave

The Mysterious Carrizo Gorge Pictographs

Native American Rock Art and Artifacts in Anza Borrego

Important Notes

  • Do not disturb pictographs or petroglyphs.
    • Carving, painting over, or removing rock images is illegal.
    • Even touching them can be harmful, because the oils in your skin damage the surface.
  • Please remember all artifacts are protected by both state and federal law.
  • Most site locations are not published due to threat of vandalism.
  • All items you discover should be left for others to enjoy.

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