Mount Irish Site V

Round Trip Distance: 0.1 miles
Difficulty: Easy
Elevation: 5715 - 5725 feet
Cellphone: 0-3 bars
Time: 30 mins.
Trailhead: Mt. Irish MM 9.2
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.

Site V is about 9.2 miles from Highway 318 at the end of a short spur road right across from Site VI. The BLM recommends a high clearance vehicle for accessing the Mount Irish Archaeological District. Most vehicles with careful drivers should have little trouble making it to Sites I through IV and getting within a quarter mile of Sites V and VI during good conditions. Sites VII through XI are a little over a half mile down a 4wd road that is much more primitive in nature. I don't know if that would be 'cave exactoris', driver beware, or 'tourum periculo', at your own risk. In either regard the roads are multi-use so get there however you can.

As you work your way around the boulders at Site V there are 4 or 5 little Pahranagat Man metal markers that point out the different groups of petroglyphs. With a little search we discovered that Pahranagat (pronounced - Pah-ran-ah-gut) comes from the Paiute word meaning "place of many waters".

This is an interesting sideways panel that has a solid bodied Pahranagat style image of a person beside a rectangular style image of a person. The rectangular person has rows of dots above it and the whole thing looks like it is tipped over on its side. We weren't paying enough attention while we were there to know whether or not this boulder was once positioned upright.

Site V is a fun place to hike around even without all the petroglyphs.

This panel has two more rectangular bodied Pahranagat Style images with geometric designs that have an image of a bighorn sheep between them. Off to the left is a smaller stick-figure person.

Nearby is another solid bodied person with a slightly small rectangular bodied person on the right and a much smaller rectangular bodied person on the left and a fragmented image above. It looks a bit like the typical family photo type petroglyph panel.

This oval bodied person with hash marks goes almost unnoticed. It's as though it is slowly dissolving away as the lichens overtake its spot on the rock.

Panel 4 has an interesting array of stick-figures and once again, solid bodied persons standing side by side with rectangular bodied persons that have geometric designs.

A little higher up is a panel that has a concentric circles image along with a big hand that has very long fingers.

The Pahranagat Style of rock art is more and more intriguing the more that I look at it. It is really nice to find something so completely unique. Who knows whether the people responsible for the style were not also as unique as their art. We didn't see a lot of the solar calendar type rock art or things like spirals that are typical throughout the southwest so maybe the people here were more isolated and had a culture that was different than most. The whole idea seems worth considering as you visit the Mount Irish Archaeological District. If you would like to see it for yourself then all you have to do is 'Take a hike'.