Petroglyph Wall

Round Trip Distance: 0.2 miles
Difficulty: Easy
Elevation: 4551 - 4565 feet
Cellphone: 2-5 bars
Time: 30 mins.
Trailhead: Willow Springs
Fee: $15/vehicle or annual pass
Attractions: rock art

Petroglyph Wall is a short trail in the Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area just west of Las Vegas, Nevada that leads to a panel of petroglyphs (pecked onto the rock) as well as a few pictographs (painted onto the rock). The rock art is estimated to be at least 800 years old and was probably created by the Southern Paiute Tribe or their ancestors the "Desert People".

One route to get to the Willow Springs trailhead would be to head west from Las Vegas on US-95 for 4.5 miles and take exit 81A for the Summerlin Parkway. Continue on Summerlin Pkwy. for 5.6 miles before exiting onto the Bruce Woodbury Beltway. After another 2.17 miles take exit 26 for Charleston Blvd/NV-159. Continue on NV-159 for 5.18 miles and turn right onto the Red Rock Canyon Toll road. Continue on the Scenic Loop Drive for 7.15 miles and turn right onto the Rocky Gap Road where it is just under 1 mile to the trailhead. Entering Red Rock Canyon in your driving app for turn by turn directions always works best.

The pavement ends at the picnic area where it is another hundred feet or so to where the trail begins. There is room for one or two vehicles to park right at the trailhead without blocking the Rocky Gap Road.

From the trailhead it is a short hike across the wash to the cliffs on the opposite side. Hikers have been following multiple routes making hard to find any official trail but it is still easy enough to end up at the petroglyphs.

There is a short fence to keep visitors from getting too close to the rock art and inadvertently, or otherwise, causing damage.

Most of the petroglyphs are clearly visible and easy to photograph even from a short distance away behind the fence.

A kiosk explains the difference between the two types of rock art that are found at Petroglyph Wall.

Among the pictographs are a few painted handprints.

Mixed in with the red paint are some black markings that were probably made from wetted charcoal.

The darker lines look older as part of the rock has pealed away since they were made. After that time the image that looks reminiscent of the caduceus symbol of medicine was added.

There are a few more petroglyphs off to the right that are partially obscured by the brush that grows along the cliff.

We read one persons review of Petroglyph Wall from a person that was underwhelmed by what he saw. Some people will react in that manner while others will wonder at seeing prehistoric images left by people hundreds and sometimes thousands of years before communicating with mysterious symbols for which the meaning of is mostly lost. What was life like in this place for those people? How did they survive and what message did they feel was important enough to spend so much time and effort to leave behind? Most likely it was integral to their beliefs and customs. If you would like to see it for yourself then all you have to do is 'Take a hike'.