Mount Irish Site VI

Round Trip Distance: 0.5 miles
Difficulty: Easy
Elevation: 5735 - 5780 feet
Cellphone: 0-3 bars
Time: 45 mins.
Trailhead: Mt. Irish MM 9.1
Fee: none
Attractions: petroglyphs

The Mount Irish Archaeological District is located just north of Crystal Springs in Lincoln Country, Nevada. Comprising 640 acres the district protects eleven major rock art sites as well as other items of archaeological interest such as rock shelters and middens. Most of the sites can be reached from the main road that passes through the area with a short hike.

Sites V and VI are about a half mile past Site IV. Watch for a road that branches off on the left at the 8.9 mile point from Highway 318.

Site VI comes up first on the right hand side of the road at the 9.1 mile point. Site V is on the left hand side of the road after another couple hundred feet. We splashed some blue arrows on this photo to show that there are petroglyphs scattered all around the bouldery knob. To get to the one we call the Pahranagat Man you have to hike way around the knob on the right and then scramble up the hill a little. The blue arrow isn't pointing exactly where the Pahranagat Man is at but rather just in the general direction.

There are at least 7 panels of petroglyphs that are designated with trail markers but there are many more petroglyphs to see if you look around.

We made a rough tracing of the figures at panel 7 on our computer that are representative of the Pahranagat Style of rock art that is unique to Lincoln County Nevada. This image has a large rectangular body with geometric designs and stick-figure arms. It looks a little different from the reproduction in the brochure but when we zoomed in on it on the computer more details seemed to appear. It's always hard to tell though and the extra details could always have been imagined.

The brochure mentions that almost half of all the depictions of bighorn sheep in the Mount Irish area are found at Site VI. The images in this photo are secluded away in a nearby group of boulders away from the main knob of the hill.

Near panel 1 is another Pahranagat figure that looks like an ancient version of the boogeyman.

Sometimes dots represent rain, especially when falling from a cloud symbol, and dots within a closed shape represent a body of water. There's no telling though what they represent here. It's nice to be able to see so much detail remaining with images that are probably thousands of years old.

The brochure mentions two styles of Pahranagat figures that represent people. One has a solid pecked body and the other has a rectangular shaped body with geometric designs. After seeing this panel we are wondering whether the solid pecked body figures could represent males and the other style females.

To get to panel 5, the one we call the Pahranagat Man, you need to follow the faint trail around the north side of the knob and then scramble up the hill. There are a few metal trail markers that help with the route finding along the bottom of the hill but when it comes to finding the best route up you're on your own.

A keen eye might be able to spot the Pahranagat Man on a large outcropping boulder from the bottom of the hill. The iconic image is the same one that the metal trail markers are modeled after. Here too you might notice the figure off to his right that has the rectangular shaped body with geometric designs that might just be his female mate.

It is a lot of fun hiking around Site VI exploring all the nooks and crannies in search of petroglyphs. Be sure to avoid touching them or doing anything else that might cause damage. The images are so old that the passage of time is already taking a major toll on them. Due to the rarity and uniqueness of the Pahranagat Style of petroglyphs and the fine examples that can be found at Site VI we gave it an extra star and think that it is a site well worth visiting by anyone interested in rock art in general. If you would like to see it for yourself then all you have to do is 'Take a hike'.