1268-Petroglyphs – Ridgecrest, CA

Click here for a Gallery of larger Petroglyph photos

A couple of months ago I travelled with a  group of motorcyclists up over the Sierras from the Mojave Desert to the Central Valley of California. Our first stop was in Ridgecrest, CA where we spent the night readying ourselves for the grueling ten-hour 10,000 turn climb over the mountains. One of the brochures in the hotel was for the Ridgecrest Petroglyph Festival coming up in a few weeks. I was intrigued, so when I returned from the bike trip, Janine and I made reservations to return to Ridgecrest to see the ancient carvings.

We traveled to Ridgecrest, CA, spent the night so we could take the early morning tour when the photographic light would be long and gentle. We gathered at the Maturango Museum and loaded in vans for the 90-minute ride across the Navy base up into the hills. Every step of the way we were monitored by security personnel from far away as well as within the group.

It turns out that Little Petroglyph Canyon outside Ridgecrest has one of the largest collections of petroglyphs in North America with more than 20,000 carvings created over a 10,000 year period. The petroglyphs lie within the confines of China Lake Naval Weapons Center (NWC), the U.S. Navy’s largest research and development facility and thus special permission is required for the few open times within the year when tours are available. The entire area is littered with ordnance debris from a century of bomb and missile testing. Our guide told us that a few years ago a Navy plane practicing low-level bombing crashed a little farther down the canyon than where we were. The crash started a fire that burned much of the brush within the canyon exposing hundreds of new petroglyphs.

The petroglyphs have been the subject of various interpretations to their meaning and function. Some see the carvings as individual shamanic vision quests and others have seen the metaphoric images as part of a hunting religion based on sheep cult ceremonies. Either way, the drawings were haunting in the early morning light as the camera attempted to steal the soul of each creature. One could see the shadows of ancient peoples climbing the rocks scratching out their stories.

Make sure you click on the Gallery Link above to see larger images of the petroglyphs.

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DSC_6591This is Little Petroglyph Canyon with all of the carvings on both sides.


DSC_6594This proves that all of these petroglyphs were created by aliens with advanced intelligence.