It has also been used as a large graffiti canvas, bonfire area, and trash dump. We can't blame it all on the young though. The next to last time I visited, there was ATV tire tracks all over the wash. I was deeply saddened by what I saw. I gathered up all the trash I could carry and left. What I took, barely made a dent.
Years ago, many rocks were dynamited and used for road bed fill, by a construction crew. Many of those rocks contained petroglyphs!
I first visited this place about 50 years ago when it was pristine (the petroglyphs anyway). The next few times I saw it over the years, it was also pristine. Somewhere in between then and now, that all changed. It has become nothing short of an eyesore.
What follows are several examples of what I saw there. As you can see, some graffiti had been removed, only to have more painted on top of it. Also, I used DStretch on some of the photos, so you could see old graffiti. There is some good news these days, I'll tell you about that at the end.
The Good News:
There is a group of people (most of them local) who have taken it upon themselves to protect and champion Coyote Hole. Feel free to follow this link to visit their FB page. "The Friends of Coyote Hole" spend a lot of time restoring, protecting, and educating folks about how important this great place is. Because of them, most if not all of the graffiti in these photos has been removed. No government agency will claim this place (to the point of protecting it), so these fine folks have gone above and beyond, to do it themselves.
Now, if you don't mind, a little rant...
If I was the current, or past superintendent, archaeologist, or other official at nearby Joshua Tree National Park. I would be embarrassed to admit that I had sat idly by and done nothing, while this ancient cultural treasure was being trashed. To me, it doesn't matter if it isn't within the NP boundaries. It is darn close! They should have been involved! The same thing applies to the local governments.