Hidden Valley Pictographs (Joshua Tree National Park)

Hidden Valley Pictographs - Unenhanced image.
Hidden Valley Pictographs - Hidden somewhere in this vegetation is a small pictograph site.

Hidden Valley Pictographs – Hidden somewhere in this vegetation is a small pictograph site.

 

Less than a half-mile from where today’s tourist set up their tents, make fires, and sing songs is this small pictograph site. It is hidden behind an array of flora, and tucked neatly into the corner of one of Joshua Tree’s famous granite boulder piles. It isn’t a large site, but that doesn’t make it any less significant.

This land was once the home of the Chemehuevi, the Serrano, and the Cahuilla.  Archeologist believe that the first native people came to this region as few as four-hundred years ago. The primary village site for both the Chemehuevi and the Serrano was the Oasis of Mara, or rather Twenty-nine Palms as we call it today.  The Chemehuevi was known for leaving their base village during the spring and summer, setting up small camps and villages in various other locations, while searching for food. The small camps and village sites are likely the many places that we find pictographs hidden away in the Wonderland of Rocks.

I’ve included both enhanced, and original images. Many of the designs are so faded that they are barely visible without enhancements.

Hidden Valley Pictographs - Unenhanced image.

Hidden Valley Pictographs – Unenhanced image.

 

Hidden Valley Pictographs - Unenhanced image.

Hidden Valley Pictographs – Unenhanced image.

Hidden Valley Pictographs - Unenhanced image. (Possible bighorn sheep depiction)

Hidden Valley Pictographs – Unenhanced image. (Possible bighorn sheep depiction)

 

Hidden Valley Pictographs - enhanced image. (Possible bighorn sheep depiction)

Hidden Valley Pictographs – enhanced image. (Possible bighorn sheep depiction)

 

 

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.

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