Northern California Hiking, Nature February 06, 2018
This Hidden Trail In Northern California Leads To A Magnificent Archaeological Treasure
It’s no secret that Lava Beds National Monument is a unique geologic wonder. Thousands of visitors come to the park to experience its bizarre landscape. However, not many people are aware of the cultural history behind this fascinating monument. Located just outside of the park is a place where you can view this history with your own eyes. Petroglyph Point is the site of an incredible archaeological treasure. Take this hiking trail to view some truly magnificent gems from thousands of years ago.
You'll find Petroglyph Point located on the northeast perimeter of Lava Bed's main area. You can get to the trail head by driving along County Rd 111 and then turning on County Rd 126. You'll eventually reach a parking area next to Petroglyph Point.
At less than a mile long, the hike to view the petroglyphs is short and sweet, making it suitable for hikers of all ages and skill levels. The trail passes along the base of Petroglyph Point where many of the ancient rock art is. It then takes you to the top of the formation where you'll witness incredible views of the surrounding basin.
The history of Petroglyph Point is truly remarkable. The petroglyphs cover what used to be an island located in the ancient Tule Lake. Centuries ago, the Modoc people would reach the island by canoe. They left behind some fascinating rock art at the base of the island.
A chain-link fence was put up in the 1930s to protect the area from vandalism. However, you still have an amazing view of the beautiful petroglyphs.
It's been difficult for archaeologists and historians to pinpoint exactly how old the petroglyphs are. The rock art suffered extreme weathering with the rise and fall of Tule Lake's waters. It's been agreed that the petroglyphs are somewhere between 2,000 to 6,000 years old.
The petroglyphs have fascinated experts because unlike many other examples of ancient rock art, these pictures depict shapes and patterns rather than people or animals. The meaning behind these petroglyphs still remain a mystery.
Petroglyph Point was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1975. There's something about viewing these ancient works of art up close that is unexplainable. This place is an incredible look into California's past, and everybody should experience it at least once.
Have you been to Petroglyph Point? If you think this place looks amazing, be sure to check out these
8 Fascinating Archaeological Sites In Northern California.