Palakuc Pictograph Site (Lake Isabella, CA / Kern River)

The Palakuc (pronounced palah-kooch) Pictograph site in the Lake Isabella area is a product of the Tubatulabal Tribe (Translated as “Pine-nut Eaters or Gatherers”), and have been dated to between 1001 to 1022 A.D.. The site was a traditional fishing site of these indigenous people of the South Fork Kern River Valley.

The territory of the Tübatulabal includes the Kern and South Fork Kern Rivers drainages extending to the high mountainous terrain in the north to about 41 miles below the junction of the two rivers in the south.

The Palakuc Pictograph site came under fire in October of 2009 when a local Native American came forward and claimed that the painted designs had been made in 1934 by Virgil Parker, a local native boy. This rumor was quickly squashed by Dr. Alan Gold (Garfinkel) by his providing of carbon dating proof, and documentation that dated back as far as 1929.

The site now sits on private property at the Lodge at Painted Rock.


Interested in visiting this site?

BOOK OPTION: The Palakuc Pictograph Site is 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.