“Noose Wash” Pictographs & Petroglyphs (Sand to Snow National Monument)



I came across these amazing pictograph and petroglyph sites totally by chance. I was in Homestead Valley doing some scouting for a hike that I’m planned to do in the coming week or so, this hike would take me to the top of a large lava covered butte. Rumor is, that the butte has over 500 petroglyphs on top of it, but there are no publicly available photographs of these petroglyphs.

I have used a false wash name to protect the site from further vandalism, there is already enough evidence of trash dumping, and graffiti. Most of the rock art panels have been spared, with the exception of the most obvious panel. Luckily a majority of the ancient art is hidden or not obvious to the untrained eye.

In the wash there are at least five petroglyph panels. Some panels consisting of as few as one or two designs, while the larger panels consist of a maximum of ten designs. There are a number of sun symbols present at the various locations. One of the larger more obvious panels contains a few elements of modern graffiti, as well the year 1884 inscribed into it.


Petroglyph panel in "Noose Wash"

Petroglyph panel in “Noose Wash”


There are three pictograph panels, most of the elements are faded on these panels. The largest of the three  panels contains some interesting elements that I have not come across previous to this location.  Another of the panels has heavy smoke damage.  Some small designs made from a red paint still manage to stand out despite a thick layer of black soot that covers them. The third panels consists of mostly fingerprints, utilizing only the index finger, the middle finger, and the ring finger.


Pictograph panel in "Noose Wash"

Pictograph panel in “Noose Wash”


It is not clear the time frame this rock art was created, but it is likely that it had been painted and pecked by members of  the Serrano Tribe that had occupied this area of the Mojave Desert for nearly 2,500 years.

The gallery below consists of both regular and enhanced images of the pictographs. I utilize Dstretch software to make the enhanced images. The numerous pictograph panels are included, as well as images of the wash.


Interested in visiting this site?

BOOK OPTION: “Noose Wash” Pictographs/ Petroglyphs are featured in Secret Places in the Mojave Desert Vol. IV. 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.