Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Grapevine Canyon - Nevada

We just spent two weeks in the desert around the Colorado river in the Mojave Desert.  We stayed near a town called Needles. One day we drove about 30 miles upriver to Laughlin, Nevada. Laughlin is a pretty good sized gambling town, with several casinos right on the Colorado River in the middle of nowhere. VERY casual, when compared to Las Vegas. I think Laughlin is most famous though, for a major fight and shootout between the Hell's Angles and Mongols motorcycle clubs here several years ago.  Our intent was not to go to Laughlin to gamble (we did though). Our intent was to hike up to a place called grapevine canyon....

Our destination was the mountains several miles up this road.

We parked and hiked up this wash for a while and then headed uphill. My wife is out front trailblazing (sort of).

To see this!

And these! (embiggen to see what I mean)

Petroglyphs, everywhere...

Quite a climb to get to this group. These are about 1000 years old. (embiggen please)

This was the best group. (embiggen)

This is as far as we hiked. You can see the wash we started on in the distance. I'm getting too old for this stuff.

Ancient Alien?

They call this guy the chief. Do you see it?

More petroglyphs

We got out of there just before a thunderstorm moved into the canyon. It would not be a safe place during a downpour due to flash floods.

For reflections by other photographers go to Weekend Reflections sponsored by James.



  1. Ancient alien - I like that! Great shots, Pat. And if you can still do it, you're not too old for anything.

  2. wow i would love to climb those rocks like when i was a kid

  3. Tough place, great photos! But i just watched a movie on cable TV, i think it is titled something like "126hour or was it days" ! Where a young man hiking alone in a place similiar to these, he fell into the valley of rocks and the have to cut off his hands he finally surivvied the ordeal and made it back to civilization. He got married, have a kid and continue to hike and do rock climbing BUT he always leaves a note of where he is going !!!!!

  4. Wow, really interesting, and great photos. Whenever I see your pictures they always make me want to come back to America and do more exploring. So far, I’ve only had five days in San Francisco. One day though, I’ll see more of the place.

  5. The petroglyphs are so powerful. Incredible that the people not only found a way to survive in this landscape (where they almost seemed to harvest food out of bare rock) but they were also artists. Your pictures tell it all.

  6. Awesome drawings on those stones. But aliens? Perhaps children? ;)

  7. Love to go on a road trip with you, Patrick! I have a picture I've been meaning to send you. Look for it soon!

  8. I can't believe some kids defaced this beautiful scenery. what? hold on a second... scratch that last statement. I can't believe that graphity has been an issue for this long.

    Great pics as always.

  9. These Petraglyphs are awesome indeed, Patrick, and your photos are fantastic! Love the detail you've captured and the "spaceman". What a fun hike! I've been to Needles several times, but never visited these, sorry I missed them! Hope your week is going well!


  10. Great pics and so interesting, especially that alien drawing! You're only as old as you feel! :)

  11. Pat, you took me back a bit in memory today. Just five years ago (on the 24th) Frank and I were married in Laughlin, Nevada and honeymooned in the area. We did manage to avoid the casinos though.

    Great photos and thanks for the trip down memory lane.

  12. How awesome Buddy. Makes you realize just how SMALL we are--and also How YOUNG as a race!!!

    Thanks my friend-

    John Boy

  13. That would be an awesome wilderness adventure. Great pics as usual.

  14. Amazing sights Pat! Thanks for taking that tough hike just to show them to us :-)

  15. Those are so cool Pat! I think some of those are the earliest blogs!

  16. Interesting and beautiful. Thank you for sharing.

  17. The are amazing photos and the thought of things surviving for so many years is equally amazing. I think the chief stole Richard Nixon's nose!

  18. "The Chief" has a nose just like Bob Hope! How cool to see those petro-thingies. Are you saying they are 1000 years old? Artists today make images digitally that disappear after a few hours.

    Thanks for all the nice comments aboard Steadfast!

  19. What a magnificent place to roam through, those rocks must tell one whale of a history tale.
    Great shots, Pat.
    cheers :)

  20. That for sure is an ancient alien...those petros were amazing. I could have spent all day hiking that stuff. Any chance you found a small piece you could spirit away to the RV or would that be frowned upon? Not saying to break anything just a possible scrap? Cool trip Pat!

  21. Looks like a really nice place to visit. Bet there are some great hiking trails there.

  22. Maybe the alien was jumping for joy to find friends and then they killed him. I dunno. Looks like very exhausting, but very fun stuff.

  23. Ancient aliens? I think it's pesky teens.

  24. way beyond cool!! these are great photos and, like always, you've got me itching to travel and explore!

  25. Alex - I just finished watching that series on the history channel! It was pretty interesting. I can still do those things, but it takes a little longer to recover. Thanks James!

    becca - Me too! There's another desert jewel we'll be visiting soon (Joshua Tree). When I was a kid we camped there all the time (real camping) and we climbed everywhere.

    Wong - I saw that movie also. The place where the guy got stuck was about 500 miles from here in the state of Utah. Can you imagine cutting off your own arm with a pocket knife? Wow! That is one tough human being. My wife and I take some chances in our jeep and really need to stop doing so.

    TBFKA - Hey there! There is just too much to see here! I'd say a few days in San Francisco is a great start. It's an amazing city. In some ways, it's the best we have. Thanks so much! I hope you do make it back here someday.

    Margaret - There was quite a list of ancient tribes that inhabited this area. I didn't post any photos of it, but there was a natural spring up at the head of the canyon. That is what drew the ancients to it. I also didn't post a ton of other photos of more petroglyphs. there were hundreds of them.

    Clarissa - Or perhaps alien children?

  26. Bossy Betty - Thanks Betty! We try to avoid the tourists (usually) and find the stuff off the beaten path. I'm looking forward to whatever it is you're sending me.

    TexWisGirl - It sure was! It's amazing to think that there were full on socities in these areas so long ago. They adapted and survived (for a while anyway).

    Budd - HA! It's amazing that modern day "kids" haven't defaced these things. Actually, you see very little graffiti in the desert.

    Sylvia - Thanks Sylvia I appreciate it. I'm going to do a post on Needles pretty soon. I remember it from when I was a kid. It's almost a ghost town now, when compared to then. Things are great here, hope the same is true with you.

    Marguerite - Thanks Marguerite! Sometimes, I feel old, sometimes young! I need to catch up at your place, but even just seeing your name makes me hungry!

    Rita - My pleasure Rita! Congrats on the wedding. We stopped at a casino on our way back for a little while.

  27. Bonjour Pat,
    This is a great article, wonderful pictures!
    The petroglyphs is very interesting!
    ***Thank you so much for your friendship and your kind words in our blogs. :)

    purrs and love from kitty LUNA

  28. John - thanks John! We are indeed small and are newcomers to this place.

    Cal - Hey there Cal! We try to make an adventure of everything we do these days. Thanks for the nice words.

    Nat - Thanks Nat! It's always my pleasure to share these things.

    Brian - Thanks so much Brian! I hadn't thought of that. One of them did kinda look like word verification...

    Glenn - Thanks so much for saying that! I appreciate it.

    Ms. A - Thanks so much my friend! The ancients didn't live very long, but they sure knew how to survive in poor conditions (poor, to us anyway).

  29. Rosemary - I thought it looked like Bob Hope also! Things last a long time in the desert because it's so dry and not humid at all. My pleasure about the comments.

    Pam - Thanks Pam! It sure was Pam. I'm going to look up some of those images to see if anyone has figured them out.

    Chuck - It kinda looks like one to me! Once I saw those things, I forgot all about my knees and that I was tired. There was some stuff laying around and no one to stop people from stealing them, but it all seemed to be intact. I couldn't take anything (I know you were just kidding anyway). Thanks buddy

    kay - You could add it to your list of awesome hikes. There are many trails, most of them hot and rough though.

    Baby Sister - He might have crash landed there! I've been on many rougher hikes, but this one involved a lot of climbing over and around boulders. The more you did so, the more you saw. Lot's of fun though.

    Jesse - I think you may be correct. Lucky for them that i didn't have my spray paint on me.

    Sarah - Thanks Sarah! If I inspire, I feel like I've done a good thing. I'll be over to catch up!

    Leia - Bonjour Leia! Thank you very much for the nice words. That place was very interesting. You are most welcome my friend.

  30. that's amazing indeed!

    such interesting finds! petroglyphs (greek word) always amaze me.

    great post, pat and terrific shots as usual!

  31. The petroglyphs are really cool, I've never seen one before.

  32. These are great. How very interesting for you to see.
    Have taken the family to several places to see aboriginal art in the past.
    I found it to be a very spiritual experience

  33. they look so cool - especially the alien

  34. How cool is that! You guys went out there then hiked to see those awesome petroglyphs. It's an outdoor museum!

  35. Hi Pat. I LOVE these pics! How cool! They were definitely worth the climb. So intriguing... the alien, the chief, awesome photos, as always! :)

  36. Considering I was reading this while in a windowless office, I am both envious, and enjoying the pictures even more for it.

    Really love the pictures, and it looks like it's worth the hike!

  37. I would hike up there, too, to see the petroglyphs. They are amazing...1000 years. That is even more amazing. The roads look rugged....appears to be lots of sand blown onto them. Loved the selection of photos you showed us this week. genie

  38. Wow! The Petroglyphs are amazing! Great shots! I never went back to Vegas after my first trip to Laughlin. I think it's a relaxing place.

  39. Olá!
    Gosto dessas paisagens desérticas.
    É emocionante estar tão perto dessas pinturas rupestres!...
    Boa quinta-feira!
    º° ✿♥ ♫° ·.

  40. Betty M - It sure is! Thanks so much Betty.

    Wayne - I would have had to say the same thing a couple of years ago. But, in the pat couple of years, I've seen a ton of 'em!

    Mynx - Thanks! I totally agree with you. It's as if the essence of the past inhabitants lingers.

    baygirl32 - I thought so also. There were too many of them!

    Stickup Artist - It was an awesome place. I'm surprised you haven't been there.

    Pam - Hi Pam! Thanks so much. If it's just normal things, I don't post 'em!

  41. Tim - Thanks Tim, I'm glad you liked it. Oh yeah, it was worth twice the hike.

    Genie - It was truly amazing. The road wasn't covered with sand, the road IS sand. Thanks Genie!

    James - Thanks James! I like Vegas better, but you are right Laughlin is much more relaxing. I'm never going there during the summer though.

    Magia - Thanks so much Magia! I appreciate it.

  42. You guys are awesome to hike up that hill! Great photos, Pat!

  43. Oh Pat, What a wonderful trip you all have had... I'd love to see those petroglyphs... Awesome--thinking that some of them might be 1000 yrs. old. Bet that was a 'hard' hike... BUT--oh how much fun!!!! Thanks for sharing.

  44. Who are you kidding, Patrick? It's this stuff that is keeping you YOUNG! (Never mind the creaking bones and aching joints.) Fabulous shots of an interesting place. Eye candy for me, as my current location cannot be described as picturesque.

    Yeah, we've both been sporadic in posting. The difference is that you've been out and about having fun. ;-) I am and have been behind the Great Firewall of China and only recently found an anonymous proxy to bust out... but it's hellishly sloooooow and hinders blog posting and hopping. But otherwise I'm okay; not great, just okay.

    Hey, since Blogger/Google removed the option to subscribe to comments, I wonder if your replies to people are being read...? Stay well, my friend.

  45. The canyon is a place I would love to be right now!

  46. 1000 years old!!
    how cool is that
    I love The Chief, I can see it so clearly
    wonderful place to share, thanks

  47. I love petroglyphs -- they're wonderful to see. I've seen that 'alien' figure in a couple of places -- not this one -- it really makes you wonder. I'll try to look up my posts and send you a link to them, so you can see. Thanks for sharing these, b/c I don't think we could make that hike any more. We have been in Laughlin, but didn't know about this hike back when we could have done it. Drat.

  48. The first glimpse I ever had of California in my life was of Needles in 1983 from the window of a Greyhound bus! I was taking a bus across the country to visit my folks, who had moved to San Jose!

    I was listening to the song "Never Been To Spain," by Three Dog Night, an old favorite, and I caught a line I'd never caught before: "Well I headed out to Vegas, but I only got to Needles..." Made me think of that town.

    Also, if you remember in "Peanuts," Snoopy's brother Spike lived in Needles.

  49. Brilliant shots Patty... what a fascinating place.. glad you got out in time..plenty of people get caught out.. ask that guy from 127hours... lol

    Great work mate!

  50. Cool shots! Looks like it was an exciting adventure! :-)

  51. Wow, that is so cool, Pat. I'm fascinated by petroglyphs. And look at those skies!

  52. very very cool.

    we used to take our boat to Havasu in the 90s. it was still a dump then. i hear it's been built up tho' to what extent...

    we used to see the bikers headed to Laughlin. H-D held an annual rally and maybe still do. I'll never forget one of my sons looking out the window at all the motorcycle riders asking,

    "Why are they all old and fat?"

  53. Pat, I would enjoy this petroglyps area. So many of them and I hope no one would vandalize them,like what I have read about the ones in Joshua tree. Some movie company filming in the area had to "colorized" them because they were light and pale.

    We only drive pass Needles on the way to AZ.

  54. That hike looks so hot and deserted. It almost looks like you might find the remains of those who did not survive the journey along the way. But the ancient carvings definitely were a great reward. Thanks for all those blog comments!

  55. That is an impressive collection of petroglyphs. It looks like a beautiful day to enjoy the desert.

  56. Awesome pictures as usual!!

    I'd love to get out to see some petrogyphs!!

  57. Beautiful pictures, I love those beautiful petroglyphs, interesting, a really surprising. Greetings.

  58. Brilliant photographs as always, Pat. They take me back to my first home, the desert. Thanks for the trip!
    Ann Best, Author of In the Mirror & Other Memoirs

  59. You sure know how to savor life, Pat. You're inspiring me to dream of retirement. The pictures are fascinating. I appreciate all these gems that I never saw before, though I'm a native Californian. And I have no muscle aches to show for it either. Thanks, Pat!


  60. Some wonderful shots Pat!!! Love the hieroglyphics!!!

  61. Lovely shots Pat of some great, rugged scenery!

  62. Are these protected sites, a valuable piece of the past, worth preserving for future generations. I saw the big chief, reminded me of the heads in Easter Island

  63. That is amazing. It would be well worth the hike to see those in real life. I need to put this on my must do list!

    Play off the Page

  64. Hi Pat:
    I have never been to this petroglyph site, but it reminded me of the Three Rivers area of New Mexico. Every rock covered with galyps for a quarter of a miles on a high ridge.

    Thank you for sharing

  66. Great.Pictures
    Thank you for sharing

  67. Love these shots. Even the rocks tell stories. Great post.

    Darryl and Ruth :)

  68. Icy BC - Thanks so much, if I can do it, it must not be THAT hard. Thanks!

    Betsy - Thanks Betsy! It was worth every bit of effort, that's for sure!

    Francisca - I hear you! If you don't use it, you lose it! So, I'll keep right on hiking. I really do need to pick up on my blogging, I have a lot of pics to post and also a lot of written posts in the works. As to the comments, I hope everyone knows they are back!

    EG CameraGirl - I'm with you! It's going to start getting might hot there very soon though!

    Dianne - As my granddaughter would say, "A thousand years old? They are almost as old as you!" My pleasure.

    Sallie - I love them also! There are alot of PG's that kind of look like aliens. Very interesting. This spot is very close to Laughlin. Laughlin has grown a lot in the last few years.

  69. Kim - Thanks Kim! It's an awesome place...

    Johnny Yen - Hey buddy! Needles is the first place a lot of people coming into California see. I think people are expecting greenery and things like that when they cross the border. All that is there, but there are hundreds of miles of desert to cross first! I remember that song...

    Anthony - Thanks Anthony! Rainstorms are nothing to be taken lightly in the desert. That story (127 hours) gives me the goosebumps. Wow!

    Blue Wave - It sure was! There are a ton of them here. You weren't too far from here when you went to Vegas last year.

    Talli - Thanks Talli! A lot of times, the sky is just stark blue and not so good for photos. In my opinion that is...

    California Girl - Thanks so much! Havasu has it's good spots and it's bad spots, but overall, I'd say it has good spots and bad spots! LOL! There are several MC rallies to Laughlin. I remember when the Hell's Angels and Mongols had a major donnybrook and shootout in one of the casinos. Scary stuff for granny sitting at a penny slot machine...

  70. Ebie - I think there was some vandalism several years ago, bot not too much. There are too many PG's for anybody to ruin them all. There isn't much to stop in Needles for, at least not these days there isn't.

    missing moments - Thanks so much! We sure do try to...

    Sharon - It was deserted, but not too hot yet. In a week or so, it will be. Thanks so much Sharon.

    Martha - There are hundreds or maybe thousands of them here spread out over a large area. It was a beautiful day.

    Nariane - Thanks so much! I appreciate the nice words.

    Leovi - Thanks Leovi! It was a great spot.

    Ann - Thanks so much Ann! I love the desert...

  71. Robyn - Thanks Robyn! We do our best to have a good time. Retirement is great, that's for sure. It was a long, strange trip getting here. I know, I know...Not it's not my line.

    TheChieftess - thanks so much! I appreciate it.

    Liz - Thanks Liz! There are more square miles of rugged country in the southwest than a person can even imagine.

    Rek - I thought the same thing about Easter Island when I saw the chief.

    Mary - I agree! It was well worth the hike. How hard it is, all depends on how far back and up into the canyon you go.

  72. pitchertaker - This place sounds very similar to that one. Now I'm wondering if anybody has ever counted them all?

    SKIZO - Thanks so much! I appreciate it.

    Darryl and Ruth - So true! I know some of the images are of things they saw in their world, but some of them are very odd. I wonder what they mean. I need more time to research these things! Thanks so much you guys...

  73. You know how people go to Europe to do castle tours?

    I always wanted to do a petroglyph tour. Looks like you're beating me to it, though!


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