Sheep Springs Petroglyphs

Like many of the petroglyph sites (Steam Wells, Terese) in the area, the petroglyphs at Sheep Springs date back to the era of the Kawaiisu. Some of the petroglyphs have a “Coso style” to them which may date them to pre-AD 100. It is thought that the Sheep Springs petroglyphs were created by only a few shaman over a long period of time. The images depicted here are not always easy to make out, there are obvious designs like bighorn sheep, and anthropomorphic figures, but there is a high concentration of abstract designs.

There are also several milling stations and grinding slicks scattered among the petroglyphs. These milling stations were used to grind nuts, seeds, and even the bodies of small animals.

Sheep Springs now runs underground, with one location where the water surfaces.










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.

  • Amargosa

    Is it a good idea to advertise the location of sensitive cultural areas to people you don’t even know?

    • This location is out there and well known. It is in books, it is online. It’s great to want to preserve something, but it’s also being greedy to not want to share with like minded individuals and people that want to see history.

      If the location is not already readily available like the Indian Wells Pictographs I have kept from sharing this information.

      • Thomas Kavenaugh

        In some cases the more people who visit the less damage is done. I found a place in Ivins Utah that had some great petros, lithics and other artifacts in pristine condition. It is also the location numerous locals have used to target practice, but not on them. I share information on locations with people I know who have an interest, not teenagers with spray cans, New Agers with chalk or Archeologists who are the worst pot hunters of all

  • statia13

    Hi Jim. I was just out at Sheep Springs last weekend. What can you tell me about the medicine wheel that I saw there? It seems to me if it really were that old, that all those little rocks would have been moved by weather or covered up by now. So, what do you think? And what is the rock in the middle? Does it represent something? Is it a meteor, or a sacrificial stone? I’d really like to know. Is it too much to ask that you email me privately? To Thank you! Statia