“Birthday Canyon” Petroglyphs

Back in the fall of 2006 I met up with Cori and Lewis for a hike up “Birthday Canyon” to visit several panels of Coso Style petroglyphs. The moderate hike was an interesting one up a remote desert canyon that opened and closed itself freely making the overall trek a real joy with its ever changing topography. Both sandy washes and boulders graced this canyon and as nearing its head, basalt cliffs and basalt boulders, a favorite palette of the Coso people, rise out of the canyon floor and quickly draw the canyon to a close.

No one is certain when or how the first people (paleoindians) visited the Coso region, though many archeologists believe the Coso people came across the Bering Strait during the last ice age and scientific tests show that some Coso rock art dates back at least 12,000 years; though most of it dates from 1,000 to 3,000 years old. Today’s Coso Paiute Indians believe that their ancestors emerged from the mud of the Coso Hot Springs.

If you happen upon this site in your travels, as with all sites, please respect it and take only photos!

Off we head up 'Birthday Canyon'. Off we head up '...
Looking up 'Birthday Canyon'. Looking up 'Bir...
The first petroglyphs we encounter. The first petroglyph...
Plenty of bighorn petroglyphs! Plenty of bighorn pe...
A lone bighorn sheep petroglyph. A lone bighorn sheep...
More bighorn petroglyphs. More bighorn petrogl...
A large fat bellied bighorn petroglyph, common style of the Coso people. A large fat bellied ...
Even more bighorn petroglyphs. Even more bighorn pe...
A closeup of a bighorn petroglyph. A closeup of a bigho...
More fat bellied bighorn Coso style petroglyphs. More fat bellied big...
More bighorn sheep petroglyphs. More bighorn sheep p...
More bighorn sheep petroglyphs. More bighorn sheep p...
Lewis in front of a boulder covered in bighorn sheep petroglyphs. Lewis in front of a ...
A large panel of bighorn sheep petroglyphs grace this boulder. A large panel of big...
More bighorn sheep petroglyphs. More bighorn sheep p...
This petroglyph appears to represent a hunting scene. This petroglyph appe...
A few more bighorn petroglyphs. A few more bighorn p...
Another lone bighorn petroglyph. Another lone bighorn...
Looking down on another large boulder with petroglyphs. Looking down on anot...
A this point in the canyon the petroglyphs seem to start to change from zoomorphic and anthropomorphic figures to more abstract figures. A this point in the ...
Lewis enjoying the shade provided by this Joshua Tree and an overcast day. Lewis enjoying the s...
A faded bighorn petroglyph down in the wash. A faded bighorn petr...
Lewis finds the remains of a Burro. *Insert random comment about Lewis's manhood here* Lewis finds the rema...
Some older petroglyphs. Some older petroglyphs.
A lone petroglyph. A lone petroglyph.
Ever feel like you are being watched? Ever feel like you a...
Another large panel of petroglyphs. Another large panel ...
Birthday Canyon petroglyphs. Birthday Canyon petr...
Birthday Canyon petroglyphs. Birthday Canyon petr...
Birthday Canyon petroglyphs. Birthday Canyon petr...
A big eyed anthropomorph. A big eyed anthropom...
Zoomorphic or anthropomorphic in nature? Zoomorphic or anthro...
An interesting petroglyph resembling a modern day Easter egg. An interesting petro...
Birthday Canyon petroglyphs. Birthday Canyon petr...
Birthday Canyon petroglyphs. Birthday Canyon petr...
Zoomorphic snake petroglyph? Zoomorphic snake pet...
Birthday Canyon petroglyphs. Birthday Canyon petr...
Birthday Canyon petroglyphs. Birthday Canyon petr...
Birthday Canyon petroglyphs. Birthday Canyon petr...
Birthday Canyon petroglyphs. Birthday Canyon petr...
Birthday Canyon petroglyphs. Birthday Canyon petr...
Birthday Canyon petroglyphs. Birthday Canyon petr...
More zoomorphic or anthropomorphic petroglyphs mixed in with some abstract. More zoomorphic or a...
Birthday Canyon petroglyph. Birthday Canyon petr...
Birthday Canyon petroglyphs. Birthday Canyon petr...
Birthday Canyon petroglyphs. Birthday Canyon petr...
Birthday Canyon petroglyphs. Birthday Canyon petr...
Birthday Canyon petroglyphs. Birthday Canyon petr...
Birthday Canyon petroglyphs. Birthday Canyon petr...
Birthday Canyon petroglyph. Birthday Canyon petr...
Lewis ensures Cori doesn't fall while photographing some petroglyphs on a basalt ledge. Lewis ensures Cori d...
A possible hunting blind near a small offshoot of the canyon. A possible hunting b...
The elements have taken their toll on this panel of petroglyphs. The elements have ta...
Birthday Canyon petroglyphs. Birthday Canyon petr...
Birthday Canyon petroglyphs. Birthday Canyon petr...
Looking up at a few more panels of petroglyphs. Looking up at a few ...
Birthday Canyon petroglyphs. Birthday Canyon petr...
Birthday Canyon petroglyphs. Birthday Canyon petr...
Birthday Canyon petroglyphs. Birthday Canyon petr...
Birthday Canyon petroglyphs. Birthday Canyon petr...
Birthday Canyon petroglyphs. Birthday Canyon petr...
Foot and hand petroglyphs. Foot and hand petrog...
Two (6 toed!) human feet petroglyphs. Two (6 toed!) human ...
A single left hand petroglyph, perhaps its matching right hand has been stolen. A single left hand p...
Birthday Canyon petroglyphs. Birthday Canyon petr...
We find a lone mortar. We find a lone mortar.
As we hike back down the canyon we find more bighorn sheep petroglyphs we missed on our way up canyon. As we hike back down...
Birthday Canyon petroglyphs. Birthday Canyon petr...
Another big eyed anthropomorphic petroglyph. Another big eyed ant...
One final bighorn petroglyph on our way out. One final bighorn pe...

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