Chidago Canyon Petroglyphs

Round Trip Distance: 200 feet
Difficulty: Easy
Elevation: 4443 - 4459 feet
Cellphone: 0 bars
Time: 30 mins.
Trailhead: Chidago Canyon Petroglyphs
Fee: none
Attractions: petroglyphs

The Chidago Canyon Petroglyphs are located along the Fish Slough Road 16 miles north of Bishop, California. Scores of petroglyphs can be found on many of the basalt boulders that are heaped up against a short hill at the northeast corner of where the Fish Slough Road crosses Chidago Canyon. 

A four-way intersection results from 4wd roads that go both up and down Chidago Canyon. The shortest route to the site is to drive north from Bishop on the normally washboardy Fish Slough Road. If doing a tour of the other sites in the area the best approach is to drive up US-6 for 18 miles, stopping at the Chalfant Petroglyphs, and then continuing for 2.2 more miles to the Chidago Canyon Road, stopping at the Red Canyon Petroglyphs, going out and back to the Yellow Jacket Site, and then driving back south on the Fish Slough Road, stopping enroute at the Serpent Site, and then arriving at the Chidago Canyon Site. From there you can continue south toward Bishop, stopping at the Fish Slough Caves and Fish Slough Petroglyphs sites.

There is a pole fence that is a little over 100 feet long in front of a stretch of the cliff where there are petroglyphs. At present there are no signs that say you can't walk behind the fence and it is easy enough to walk around the ends. The fence seems to be more for keeping vehicles away from the cliff. As in all cases, be sure not to climb on the petroglyphs, touch them, or do anything that might damage them even accidentally.

There are probably more petroglyphs on boulders that are on the outside of the fence than those behind the fence.

Large numbers of images wrap some of the boulders like a blanket.

Decorated circles and other abstract geometrical shapes are the most common. There are some snakes, anthropomorphic, and shaman like images in the mix on this boulder.

This panel has a couple of petroglyphs of hands as well as other meaningful looking shapes.

An 8x8 grid.

Some of the circles are decorated exactly like others and some are a little less common.

The images on this boulder wrap around to areas of the rock that can't easily be seen all at the same time. It's like the person that made the images was more concerned with recording a message than making it all viewable from any one spot.

The lower right image might be a shaman or god.

 These boulders are on the west portion of the site.

The bighorn in the center is connected by dots to some of the other images.

They look like a string of balloons or kites.

High up on the east end of the pile is this large boulder with a deer or elk. Just below it are some concentric circles. We could have taken a much better photo from below with our long lens but somehow we missed the opportunity.

It is a little more than 1 mile down the canyon to the east to where the Chidao Canyon forks and just over 3/4 of a mile up the side canyon to the north to the Mno-66 site. We are under the impression that there are a few other petroglyphs that can be found along the way in the main canyon. The road down the main branch of the canyon leads all the way out to US-6 but we can't speak to what its condition might be. The Chidago Canyon site is probably worth a long road trip by itself but considering all the other major sites in the proximity like Red Canyon and the Chalfant Petroglyphs a person might get petroglyph fatigue before the day is over. If you would like to see them all for yourself then all you have to do is 'Take a hike'.