In Northwest Phoenix, in the urban village called Deer Valley, you'll find a unique preserve. Part of The Center for Archaeology and Society and managed by the ASU School of Human Evolution and Social Change in A.S.U.'s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the Deer Valley Petroglyph Preserve is a protected area with the highest concentration of petroglyphs in the Phoenix area.
What do the primitive drawings mean? Were they messages? Maps? Markers? Doodles?
While it isn't difficult to get here, you'd likely never just drive by the place on your way to something else. It is off the beaten path.
Check out the video and indoor exhibits before you venture out on the trail. The background information helps to explain why this is here.
The Path to the Boulders
The path is not paved, and is uneven in places. There is a picnic area here, too.
The Deer Valley Petroglyph Preserve is in the Sonoran Desert Preserve.
You Can't Climb These Rocks
When is the optimal time to go? Actually, a day without bright sun is probably the best.
Do You See Them?
Take your time, and look at the boulders from different angles to see the petroglyphs.
During Wildflower Season
During wildflower season you'll see splashes of color on the trail.
When is wildflower season in Phoenix? Here's my best guess.
Ancient Rock Art
Can you see the etchings on the boulder? They are thousands of years old.
Learn more about the Deer Valley Petroglyph Preserve and read my ten tips about visiting the site.
Stick Figures and Fish
Were our native residents documenting how many fish they caught? We can only guess.
Squiggles and Wavy Lines
Are these drawings about the weather? Water patterns?
47 Acres of Sacred Hillside
It's a large site, covering 47 acres. You'll only walk about 1/2 mile total. Of course there are desert flora and fauna in the area, so watch for animals and enjoy the desert plants.
What Are We Looking At?
Signage on the path provides a description of what scientists understand about this place and where you should be looking to see the petroglyphs.
Bring binoculars and see how many petroglyphs you can find. You might be here all day....