Three Brothers Site

Round Trip Distance: 0.2 miles
Difficulty: Easy
Elevation: 4590 - 4597 feet
Cellphone: 0-3 bars
Time: 45 mins.
Trailhead: Three Brothers
Fee: none
Attractions: rock art

The Three Brothers Site is located about 4 miles west of Lone Pine, California in the Alabama Hills National Scenic Area. Being near the base of Mt. Whitney (14,505 ft.) the scenery is every bit of spectacular. The easy to get to site has both petroglyphs and pictographs. Although a little faint, the pictographs include two large anthropomorphic images and what looks like a dragonfly.

From Lone Pine head southwest on the Whitney Portal Road for 2.7 miles and then turn right onto the Movie Road.

Follow the Movie Road for just over 1 mile and turn right. There is a brown mylar marker with a '1' on it right before the turn.

After turning right off of the Movie Road there will be another fork where you will want to stay to the right. As you continue a little further the boulders representing the 'Three Brothers' will be visible on the right. There are places to park where primitive camping is permitted so if one isn't available all you have to do is drive on around until you find an opening.

It is a bit of a precarious scramble getting up to the Three Brothers boulders but if you do you will find faint petroglyphs on 2 of them. The view of the surrounding area is much better than the petroglyphs.

What you will want to search out is the small alcove where there are some pictographs. The alcove is closer to the road on the north side of the Three Brothers and is probably easiest to access from the parking spot on the east side. It is fun walking around the area so it doesn't much matter where you park.

The coolest parts of the pictographs are 2 large anthropomorphic images and what looks like a large dragonfly. There is also a large snake and a few other smaller images.

The dragonfly is higher up toward the top of the alcove where there is a natural circle in the rocks surface. When you zoom in on the photo you can see quite a bit of detail of the body.

The larger of the 2 anthropomorphic images has what looks like a sun for a head. The lower part of the body is harder to make out but you can see the neck, torso, arms and hands.

The other anthropomorphic image still shows quite a bit of detail that is rather fascinating. It has bird feet and bird hands. Between the legs you can see what look like tail feathers. It has what we would call a 'moon head'. Similar in style to many Barrier Canyon Style images it appears to have a bird resting on one shoulder. The heads of both images have different numbers of concentric circles that in some cases are said to represent a god symbol. There is also a little of the symbolism of shamans taking the form of a bird when they travel from place to place. We are inclined to interpret them as 'sun god' and 'moon god' or as shaman representing the same.

There are also a few petroglyphs including one of a hand and one of a small snake.

 The view alone might be worth the visit.

On this trip we were parked right in front of the Three Brothers where as you can see from the map we pretty much made a circuit around the area. The map should give a better idea of where the alcove is than our feeble description. After going over a few of our photos once we got home we couldn't swear that we hadn't missed something else so be sure to look around good if you make a visit. If you would like to see it for yourself then all you have to do is 'Take a hike'.