Golden Hills Pictographs


The Golden Hills pictograph site is located high in the Tehachapi Mountains, it was discovered in the 1970s during a housing boom in the Golden Hills area of Tehachapi. The rock shelter has remained untouched since its discovery, and has been thoughtfully taken care of by members of the community. The area is fenced in, a path has been carved including railroad tie stairs that lead you down to the pictographs.

With such close proximity to civilization it is amazing that this site is vandalism free, however it has seen been a victim of the elements. One of the panels is not well sheltered from rain and snow, thus causing the fading of most of the panels designs. The second and largest panel is under a rock shelter that was also used for building fires. The smoke from the fires has caused most of the designs to disappear under a thick layer of soot.

Researchers believe the Golden Hills pictographs to date back to 800 AD, and would have been created by the Kawaiisu tribe which are the native people to the Tehachapi Mountain Range.


Interested in visiting this site?

BOOK OPTION: The Golden Hills Pictographs are  featured in Secret Places in the Mojave Desert Vol. III. Detailed maps, and GPS coordinates are included.  Order your copy now.



About the author

Jim Mattern

Jim is a scapegoat for the NPS, an author, adventurer, photographer, radio personality, guide, and location scout. His interests lie in Native American and cultural sites, ghost towns, mines, and natural wonders in the American Deserts.