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The Mojave Desert Sights

Petroglyph Canyons

  • Canyon
  • Fodor's Choice

Updated 05/18/2015

Fodor's Review

Two canyons in the Coso Mountain range, commonly called Big Petroglyph and Little Petroglyph, hold a superlative concentration of ancient rock art, the largest of its kind in the Northern Hemisphere. Thousands of well-preserved images of animals and humans are scratched or pecked into dark basaltic rocks. The canyons lie within the million-acre U.S. Naval Weapons Center at China Lake. Only the drawings of Little Petroglyph can be visited, and only on a guided tour arranged in advance through the Maturango Museum. Tour participants must be U.S. citizens over 10 years of age, and must supply birthdate, birthplace, and Social Security information before visiting. Because vehicles caravan during the tour, a valid ID, vehicle registration, and proof of insurance must be presented upon arrival.

Sight Information


Ridgecrest, California, 93555, United States



Sight Details:

  • $40
  • Feb.–June, and mid-Sept. or Oct.–early Dec.; call or check website for times

Updated 05/18/2015


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