Bloody Hands Site

Round Trip Distance: .24 miles
Difficulty: Easy
Elevation: 4466 - 4503 feet
Cellphone: 0-3 bars
Time: 30 mins.
Trailhead: Mill Creek Road & US-395
Fee: none
Attractions: pictographs

The Bloody Hands site can be found on the side of a small cliff northwest of Bishop, California, within one hundred yards or so of US-395N. The site includes one main panel, of a dozen or so painted hand pictographs, and another single painted hand that can be found separately, off to one side, a few feet away.

This is the same trailhead that we used for the Mill Creek Boulders. Measuring from the junction of US-395 and CA-168, in Bishop, drive north on Main Street/US-395 for 0.86 miles and keep left on US-395 N. Continue on US-395 N for another 8.6 miles and turn right onto the Mill Creek Road. Ample parking will be found on the right. In this photo the location of the Bloody Hands panel is down the cliff, probably less than 100 feet, behind the trees. There are places down below along the Mill Creek Road, where the trees aren't blocking the view, from where the pictographs can be spotted.

The easiest route up to the panel is to walk along the Mill Creek Road at least until on the other side of the sign in this photo, spy out the panel, and choose which way to get up there.

A little scrambling through the brush and around the boulders that cover the hillside is required.

A small bench around the base of the panel makes it easy to move around once that level of the cliff is reached.

Although some of them are a little faded there are at least 13 painted hands in this panel.

It seems there must be a difference between hands painted with a hollow palm and those that have a solid palm, but we are unaware at present of what that might be.

There is one more panel off to the right with one solitary painted hand.

This one is another of the 'hollow hand' variety.

There is a house almost directly below the panel, but not quite. We tried to ascertain whether the panel was on private property even though there are no signs indicating that to be the case. There are the remains of a short section of old fence amongst the boulders that is fallen down and mostly buried. The public/private lands layer of Caltopo seems to show the whole area as private land even though it isn't posted. That said, the pictographs are, like we mentioned, visible from below and photograpable with a good zoom lens. If you do decide to scramble up to the panel it would be good to be very quiet and respectful to the folks that live in the house regardless of whether it is private land or not. The house is completely secluded by trees making it almost impossible to see. If you would like to see it for yourself then all you have to do is 'Take a hike'.