Yellow Jacket Site

Round Trip Distance: 0.3 miles
Difficulty: Easy
Elevation: 5207 - 5217 feet
Cellphone: 0-3 bars
Time: 1 hrs.
Trailhead: Yellow Jacket
Fee: none
Attractions: petroglyphs

The Yellow Jacket Site is located about 1 mile due west of the Red Canyon Petroglyph site, in the Volcanic Tablelands area, about 25 miles north of Bishop, California. According to Wikipedia 'The site includes over 200 petroglyphs created by Paiute inhabitants of the region between 2950 B.C. and 1850 A.D.' The Yellow Jacket Site is also listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

To get to the Yellow Jacket site first find your way to the Red Canyon Petroglyph site. From there continue north on the Fish Slough Road for 4 tenths of a mile. At that point the Fish Slough Road is crossed by the Chidago Canyon Road. Turn left and follow the Chidago Canyon Road for about 9 tenths of a mile. At this spot the Chidago Canyon Road turns sharply to the right as it bends around a point of cliffs. Right at this bend turn left onto a 4wd road. Follow the 4wd road for about a quarter mile and take the left fork. Continue for about another 6 tenths of a mile and the trailhead will be on your left. The 4wd road was in good enough condition when we were there last to be passable by 2wd vehicles with moderate ground clearance.

The first group of petroglyphs can be found along the rocky ridge that is just to the right of the trailhead.

Petroglyphs can be found high and low along the west side of the ridge for about 200 feet.

The next concentration of images is across an open space between the first ridge and the next. Here the first point of rocks that you come to on the left has panels on all sides seemingly pretty much everywhere you look.

Surfaces of the rocks that are higher up appear to have been a favorite location for placing images.

With many of the images facing almost skyward they are harder to see from ground level. As mentioned on the sign at the trailhead be sure to avoid climbing on the images, touching them, or harming them in any way.

The mountains provide a nice backdrop to this boulder, the left end of which, from this angle, looks a lot like the head of a dog.

The largest concentration of images are probably on the southeast boulders where they seem to carpet the rocks.

Here too the mountains provide a nice backdrop.

There is a cute little joint between some of the boulders that is wallpapered with petroglyphs.

Compared to the images in other states that we are most accustomed to contemplate much of what we see in this area of California is almost like a foreign language or dialect. I say dialect because many of the places that we have been in Nevada and Utah were also Paiute sites. If you would like to see the Yellow Jacket Site for yourself then all you have to do is 'Take a hike'.