Petroglyph Canyon

Round Trip Distance: 0.8 miles
Difficulty: Easy
Elevation: 1996 - 2024 feet
Cellphone: 0-3 bars
Time: 1 hr. 30 mins.
Trailhead: Mouse's Tank
Fee: $10/vehicle
Attractions: petroglyphs, scenic canyon

Petroglyph Canyon is located in the Valley of Fire State Park near Overton, Nevada. Within the short scenic canyon hikers are treated to hundreds of petroglyphs that were pecked and etched into the patina that covers many of the smoother surfaces of the canyons sandstone cliffs and rocky fins. The trail ends at a large pothole known as Mouse's Tank that is nestled in a narrow crevice above a spillover.

The trailhead is right at 1 mile north of the Visitor Center on the White Domes Road.

A kiosk at the trailhead depicts possible translations for some of the petroglyphs. By studying the images and their possible meanings visitors can enrich their visit by being on the lookout of the images as they hike through the canyon and viewing them in context with the many other petroglyphs that they are associated with.

At the top of the cement ramp leading down to the wash look to your left to see some of the first petroglyphs.

The images are becoming badly worn but you can still make out a tortoise in the middle of this panel.

A little further down the canyon is a sandstone fin that has a dark patina on one side where there are scores of petroglyphs with many of them stretched out along the top edge of the rock forming a long chain of images.

All of the petroglyphs that we noticed were on the left side of the wash. One of the reasons for that might be that the sandstone on the left is a little smoother and has more flat surfaces.

Some of the surfaces are showing a high degree of weathering that sadly to say is slowly disappearing images and all.

Striated surfaces like this probably required a little more effort to make images upon.

While examining panels like this one it's almost as if the story being told is right on the tip of your tongue but not quite clear.

The trail ends at a spillover where a pothole manages to retain some of the areas scarcest resource.

Petroglyph Canyon would be a nice short hike even without all of its rock art. Of course, they would have had to give it a different name in that case. There are quite a few more images that are worth checking out on the cliffs straight across the road near the picnic area as well as a few on the cliffs just south of the trailhead. If you would like to see it for yourself then all you have to do is 'Take a hike'.