Mount Irish Site IV

Round Trip Distance: 0.2 miles
Difficulty: Easy
Elevation: 5600 - 5617 feet
Cellphone: 0-3 bars
Time: 30 mins.
Trailhead: Mt. Irish MM 8.7
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 through the area with a short hike.

Site IV is about 1.8 miles past Site III or 8.7 miles from highway 318. It sits right on the side of the road and with another Mount Irish Archaeological District sign and trail register it is pretty much impossible to miss.

As you hike around the boulders there are 8 separate locations that are marked with metal plaques. There are also quite a few petroglyphs that can be found between each of these locations.

This line of dancers suggests that this site may have been used for an annual festival that occurred during the early inhabitants seasonal migration into this area.

As the top layer of rock gradually peals away like the skin of an onion fragments of the images and the history they represent become lost. These images are so old that even the slow growth of lichens is beginning to mask their presence.

Depictions of animals, especially bighorns, are some of the most common images found in the area.

Among the stick-figures in this panel is one that is hunched over a little like a kokopelli.

Here is a stick-figure with what looks like a shield. Perhaps a warrior?

And then there is this small figure surrounded by what might be representations of all the places he has journeyed.

The people that made these images had a message to share that was intended maybe for only their contemporaries but perhaps also for their descendants and all others that would come along.

According to the brochure these stick-figure portrayals of people are part of the Basin and Range tradition of rock art.

Site IV is probably the easiest of all the Mount Irish sites to visit and hike around. As we were driving along the road we were able to spot other boulders with petroglyphs in the area that weren't part of Site IV. On this trip we didn't allow time to get a closer look but perhaps we can stay a little longer on our next visit and do some more exploring. If you would like to see it for yourself then all you have to do is 'Take a hike'.