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Please join CDAS Archaeology Technician John Case and Site Steward Laurie Brindle for a half-day trip to the Clark Dry Lake Petroglyph site, CA-SDI-2536.


The petroglyphs are associated with the Cahuilla People, who lived in this area “since the beginning of time” or at least for the past 12,000 years. The petroglyphs are pecked, not painted, into the heavy desert-varnished boulders. There are processes, such as (VML) – Varnish Microlamination that can be used to date petroglyphs, however these have not been dated. Nor is it possible to understand the meaning of this rock art. Some say shamans did it, others think it may have been associated with puberty rights, and still others believe they may have been directional sign posts or have celestial meanings. The quest for understanding the past through what others have left behind continues.

We will meet at the Park Visitor Center at 8:00 am and carpool/ride share 9.5 miles on S22 (Palm Canyon Dr) to Rockhouse Canyon Rd, turn left and then 8 miles along Rockhouse Canyon Road, a very rough, washboard road that may have some soft sand. 4WD is necessary. Parking is limited, so the fewer vehicles the better. The hike from here is of moderate difficulty, approximately 3.5 miles round trip hike with an assent and descent of around 450 feet going up and down several washes.

Limited to 15 people - $10.00 fee. There are no facilities on this trip. Please be prepared with suitable footwear, hats, sunblock, your own water, and food for lunch. The field trip will conclude back at the Visitor Center at 2:00 pm.