Serpent Site

Round Trip Distance: 0.2 miles
Difficulty: Easy
Elevation: 4713 - 4727 feet
Cellphone: 0-3 bars
Time: 30 mins.
Trailhead: Serpent Site
Fee: none
Attractions: petroglyphs

The Serpent Site is located 2 miles south of the Red Canyon Petroglyphs just off of the Fish Slough Road. Although the site boasts multiple petroglyphs of snakes it is known mostly for a prominent one that zigzags its way along the narrow side of an upright slab of rock.

To get to the Serpent Site first find your way to the Red Canyon Petroglyphs and then drive 2 miles south on the Fish Slough Road. Look for a basalt outcrop that is a couple hundred feet off of the west side of the road. The site comes up a short distance before the Fish Slough Road passes through a gap between a couple of small hills. At present there isn't an official trailhead, or even a trail, so visitors need to pull over to the side of the gravel road and hike toward the petroglyphs which should be partially visible from the road.

The serpent is easy to spot snaking its way up, (or down?), the narrow side of the boulder. 

There are a few other petroglyphs, like feet and crossed circles, intermingled with the segmented serpent.

The side of the slab has several simple looking anthropomorphic images and geometric patterns.

There are a lot more petroglyphs on the cliff face and some of the other boulders at the site.

On this panel another snake can be seen zigzagging down the rock head first.

Shapes containing dots within their borders, and even fields of dots that aren't within a shape, appear multiple times.

Years ago we learned from a Paiute source that dots within circles usually represented a place with water but we don't recall anything being said about shapes like this with dots.

Here is a snake that lends itself to the side and middle of a couple of shapes.

And here we have a lizard, some serpents, and some dots. There might be an atlatl but if it is it is a little different of a design from what we are accustomed to seeing.

There are at least 9 or 10 sites that can be visited one after another by driving up US 6 from Bishop and then heading down the Fish Slough Road. The Serpent Site was number 6 for us. The next stops down the road while heading back toward Bishop are the Chidago Canyon Petroglyphs, the Fish Slough Caves Site and the Fish Slough Petroglyphs Site. If you would like to see them for yourself then all you have to do is 'Take a hike'.