Grapevine Canyon Petroglyphs

Round Trip Distance: 0.5 miles
Difficulty: Easy
Elevation: 2387 - 2401 feet
Cellphone: 0 bars
Time: 1 hr.
Trailhead: Grapevine Canyon
Fee: none
Attractions: numerous petroglyphs

Grapevine Canyon is located about 8 miles west of Laughlin, Nevada within the Spirit Mountains. One needs to only walk about a quarter mile up a broad sandy wash to find the rocks, high and low, on both sides of the canyon, covered with hundreds upon hundreds of archaic style petroglyphs making it one of the earliest and largest such sites in Southern Nevada.

From Laughlin travel west on Nevada Highway 163 for 6 miles and turn right at the sign for Christmas Tree Pass. Continue on the well maintained gravel road for 1.9 miles and turn left for the last tenth of a mile to the large trailhead.

About a quarter mile from the trailhead a gap in the cliffs is reached where the petroglyphs will be found on both sides of the wash.

The petroglyphs can be found from the lowest boulders at the edge of the wash all the way up to some of the highest areas of the ridge.

The greatest majority of the images are geometrical designs.

Even this anthropomorphic image incorporates a geometric design. This particular design is found more than once in Grapevine Canyon.

Some of the boulders are covered with images like a body wrap on a vehicle.

This is a closer look at how images are wrapped around the boulders.

If hard pressed to come up with a name for this very unique image 'Cylinder Man' would probably be on the top of the list. The central image of a vertical line with 3 circles is also found by itself nearby. It apparently has a special meaning all in itself.

These images are so densely packed it's difficult to tell how much they might overlap.

It would be interesting to know how much Mesoamerican influence there might be in this style of rock art.

 Up to this photo everything has been of south side of the wash.

The north side of the wash is just as interesting and as densely packed with images.

These images are high up on the north side of the wash.

Slightly different style.

On the day that we made this visit to Grapevine Canyon the temperature was already at 100 F by 9 AM. Maybe since the hike was so short, or for whatever other reason, it didn't seem too bad. If it would have been cooler we might have explored more of the canyon. We did see one cave that we noticed from a distance had black soot on its roof showing signs of habitation. According to the map there is a spring a little further up the canyon. Right where the petroglyphs are on each side of the canyon there is a depression that may have held enough water at one time to form a nice pool. Especially if the climate was a little wetter back then. The Grapevine Canyon petroglyphs are in almost pristine condition and well worth going out of the way to visit. There are also petroglyphs nearby at Hiko Spring, Bridge Canyon and down by the Colorado River. If you would like to them for yourself then all you have to do is 'Take a hike'.