Deer Valley Petroglyph Preserve in Phoenix, AZ

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One Mile Ahead

Deer Valley Petroglyph Preserve
© Judy Hedding

Listed on the National Register of Historic Places

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.

Learn more about the Deer Valley Petroglyph Preserve and ten tips about visiting the site.

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Indoor Exhibits

Deer Valley Petroglyph Preserve
© Judy Hedding

Check out the video and indoor exhibits before you venture out on the trail. The background information helps to explain why this is here.

Learn more about the Deer Valley Petroglyph Preserve and ten tips about visiting the site.

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The Path to the Boulders

Deer Valley Petroglyph Preserve
© Judy Hedding

The path is not paved, and is uneven in places. There is a picnic area here, too.

Learn more about the Deer Valley Petroglyph Preserve and ten tips about visiting the site.

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Natural Beauty

Deer Valley Petroglyph Preserve
© Judy Hedding

The Deer Valley Petroglyph Preserve is in the Sonoran Desert Preserve.

Learn more about the Deer Valley Petroglyph Preserve and ten tips about visiting the site.

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You Can't Climb These Rocks

Deer Valley Petroglyph Preserve
© Judy Hedding

When is the optimal time to go? Actually, a day without bright sun is probably the best.

Learn more about the Deer Valley Petroglyph Preserve and ten tips about visiting the site.

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Do You See Them?

Deer Valley Petroglyph Preserve
© Judy Hedding

Take your time, and look at the boulders from different angles to see the petroglyphs.

Learn more about the Deer Valley Petroglyph Preserve and ten tips about visiting the site.

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During Wildflower Season

Deer Valley Petroglyph Preserve
© Judy Hedding

During wildflower season you'll see splashes of color on the trail.

Learn more about the Deer Valley Petroglyph Preserve and ten tips about visiting the site.

When is wildflower season in Phoenix? Here's my best guess.

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Ancient Rock Art

Deer Valley Petroglyph Preserve
© Judy Hedding

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.

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Stick Figures and Fish

Deer Valley Petroglyph Preserve
© Judy Hedding

Were our native residents documenting how many fish they caught? We can only guess.

Learn more about the Deer Valley Petroglyph Preserve and ten tips about visiting the site.

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Squiggles and Wavy Lines

Deer Valley Petroglyph Preserve
© Judy Hedding

Are these drawings about the weather? Water patterns?

Learn more about the Deer Valley Petroglyph Preserve and ten tips about visiting the site.

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47 Acres of Sacred Hillside

Deer Valley Petroglyph Preserve
© Judy Hedding

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.

Learn more about the Deer Valley Petroglyph Preserve and ten tips about visiting the site.

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What Are We Looking At?

Deer Valley Petroglyph Preserve
© Judy Hedding

Signage on the path provides a description of what scientists understand about this place and where you should be looking to see the petroglyphs.

Learn more about the Deer Valley Petroglyph Preserve and ten tips about visiting the site.

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Bring Binoculars!

Deer Valley Petroglyph Preserve
© Judy Hedding

Bring binoculars and see how many petroglyphs you can find. You might be here all day....

Learn more about the Deer Valley Petroglyph Preserve and ten tips about visiting the site.

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