Birch Creek Petroglyphs

Round Trip Distance: 0.2 miles
Difficulty: Moderate
Elevation: 4068 - 4135 feet
Cellphone: 0-3 bars
Time: 1 hr.
Trailhead: Tinemaha & Birch Cr. Rd.
Fee: none
Attractions: petroglyphs

The Birch Creek site is located on the cliffs of a small volcanic hill that is near the junction of the Tinemaha and Birch Creek Roads, in the Fish Springs area, south of Big Pine, California. The site includes numerous petroglyphs that are on the cliff face and basalt boulders that overlook the road below.

To get there from Big Pine head south on US-395 for 4.8 miles and turn right onto the Fish Springs Road. Continue for 2.1 miles and go right onto the Tinemaha Road cutoff. (The four Fish Springs petroglyph sites are along the cutoff road.) After another 0.37 miles there is room enough to park out of the way on the right side of the road across from the Birch Creek site.

The petroglyphs are all along the face of the cliff. From this parking spot it is easiest to climb up to the bench above the road on the left side of the hill.

For this post we followed a trail that went around the left side of the hill and led all the way up on top where we could look for pit houses or small rooms.

While hiking around on the west side of the hill, to get down below the cliff to see the petroglyphs, we noticed a large piece of pottery. (Be sure to leave items like this where you find them.)

Petroglyphs begin appearing on the rocks as soon as you start around the west side of the hill.

This panel is made up of almost the same geometric shape laid out in different patterns.

This is one of the panels that is all the way up on the rim of the cliff. The long figure in the middle looks anthropomorphic. Of course, once I started imaging eyes and horns it was hard to think otherwise.

I'll just call this the 'white tornado' and give up at that.

Another one of the larger panels.

It's easy to miss images that are on some of the smaller rocks.

From this photo you can see where we were able to park off of the pavement. This is a blind curve but fortunately the traffic is light. For orientation purposes, the Birch Creek road branches off on the right up by the power pole in this photo. That road leads to the Iny-393, 394, 395 and 396 sites. 
As far as the Birch Creek Petroglyphs go, we thought it was actually a fun site to visit with lots to see and think about. If you would like to see it for yourself all you have to do is 'Take a hike'.