Monday, August 22, 2016

Indian Rock Shelter - Joshua Tree National Park

If you are doing a car tour of the park, this would be a good stop.
This site is just off the parking lot for the trail leading up Ryan Mountain. It is a rock shelter that was used for many centuries by Indians traveling along an ancient trail from the Colorado River towards the coast. The site is signed and less than a hundred yards from where you park, just off the main road.

The shelter is behind the bush near the right side of the photo. 

 The opening is on the left. Love that tree! Nature always finds a way.

Inside the shelter is this rock with a mortero and a few cupules. 

 Also a "slick" or "metate" used for grinding food. You can tell by the very smooth surface that it was used for a very long time.

Tay standing inside the shelter. There are/were pictographs also. Unfortunately, they are hidden, or were destroyed by soot and pitch, from centuries of fires. I couldn't find any trace of them. I'm not giving up yet...

 Here are two photos taken in the mid 1970's (not by me). I don't see any sign of them in either photo. Not even with DStretch.

 Can you see anything?

Tay doing what she does best. 

This photo was taken just outside my jeep, that is parked in the Ryan Mountain parking lot. It is very much worth a visit if you are driving through the park.



  1. the formations in the first two photos are really lovely, Pat! Hope you're well!

  2. That's actually a good sized shelter. Sorry all the pictographs were gone due to the fires, but that means the place was well used.

  3. Thanks for the tip, I hope to visit one day.

  4. Sounds like the perfect place for people to visit IF they can't or don't want to hike. What a great rock shelter.

    Hope you are feeling well.

  5. Looks like a great place to explore.

  6. I did my best with the two photos, but even though humans are supposed to be masters of pattern recognition, I had to give in. BTW - this area must be wonderful for evening photography.

    I hope all is well! And take care.

  7. Those are amazing photos and sweet Tay puts the size of the formations in perspective!

  8. DEZMOND - Thanks DEZ! I am doing well, same to you...

    Alex J. Cavanaugh - It is pretty good sized. There are many well worn, prehistoric trails in the desert. These spots were like "Motel 6" (back in the day).

    Wayne - My pleasure! I hope you do get here one day.

    Betsy Adams - Yep, just imagine people crossing the desert on foot, resting here for a while. Oh yeah, and it was a thousand years ago. Blows my mind. Thanks Betsy!

    Kay - It is Kay!

    visualnorway - I can't even find the sailboat or whatever, in those 3D posters. So, I had no chance with these! All is well, and I hope the same for you.

  9. Hello Pat, it looks like a fantastic place to explore. Nice that the shelter is close to the parking lot too. Especially if you are there on a hot day. That leaning tree is neat. Great photos. Happy Monday, enjoy your new week!

  10. So beautiful. I always love reading about the places we haven't seen in JT (and which we couldn't access even if we were there), but it is also great fun to see a place where we have been ... reminds me to be grateful that we were in the Park and surrounding area a few times.

  11. So pretty - that's definitely worth a visit.

  12. Brian - thanks Brian! Yep, it's hard to visualize how large the boulders are there, with a comparison (or actually being there).

    elieninmd - Hi Eileen! thanks! It is an especially nice stop for those taking a driving tour, or don't want to walk much.

    Sallie (FullTIme-Life) - This is a very easy spot to get to. My next several posts also relate to easy spots to stop and see, if you are just doing a JT drive through.

    William Kendall - It is an amazing place!

    Al - You are right on both counts Al.

  13. I like to travel in the Joshua Tree National Park even it's only virtually, just looking at your photos and reading your words.

    Like the formations of rocks, they are stunning and very interesting.

    All best to you, Pat.

  14. Kaya - Thanks for saying that Kaya! It is an amazing place.

  15. Beautiful shots! You always find interesting places!!!

  16. As always, Pat, spectacular photographs of the beautiful area in which you live!

    "Love that tree! Nature always finds a way."

    Yes, right you are. And that's exactly what I was thinking when I saw that photograph - amazed by how nature always finds a way. And I think that often living in a city whenever I see a patch of grass pushing itself through a crack in a cement sidewalk!

    Have a great week, Pat!

  17. Pat...Buddy and I are sitting here drooling over these pictures. He said this is the one place he would like to visit more than any other park...but we are in VA and not California. Do not think my back could take a car, train, or plane flight that far. So you are just going to have take more pictures and share them with us. These are beautiful. If you pass some more pictographs, please include them. genie

  18. TheChieftess - Thanks! Lots of them out there.

    Ron - Thanks Ron! I know just what you mean, unfortunately nature always finds a way to grow things in between my pavers!

    genie - Thanks to both of you! I will most certainly keep posting photos from JT. If you ever are able to get out here, let me know...

  19. love the tree too. :) And the rock. Tay looks very comfortable in the shelter :)

  20. Wow! It is so beautiful there. Those rock formations are stunning. I love seeing Tay there on such a nice journey.

  21. that tree found a way to survive just as did those who sought shelter in the rocks in that harsh climate. Enjoyed the trip into the desert.

  22. NatureFootstep - Thanks! Yep, she is more comfortable climbing boulders, or crawling underneath them, than she is eating a green been.

    robin andrea - I agree Robin, it is so beautiful I'm always amazed that there are so many people, that won't even drive through the desert. I also love seeing her out there. She loves the wilderness.

    sage - Thanks! Yep, everybody and everything did just fine before the Euros arrived.

  23. I don't see anything. But, I'd like to imagine something really terrific hidden somewhere. Just the rocks are cool. As always on your adventures.

  24. I do like that tree too - I got some (poor) images of grinding stones from the Northern Territory.

    Cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne

  25. I come here whenever I need a glimpse of wide-open spaces. Great photos, once again. A veritable travel guide, you are.

  26. Looks awesome mate. Great colours, composition and light.
    That tree is pretty special. Indomitable forces!

  27. Sharon Wagner - Me too! thanks Sharon...

    Stewart M - Looking forward to seeing your photos.

    The Geezers - Wow! Thanks for the nice words. I'm really you glad you enjoy this stuff.

    Anthony J. Langford - Thanks Anthony! Nature can't be stopped!

  28. I so enjoy your posts Pat, my mind begins whirring into action and I can imagine inhabitants grinding away on that metate. It's a pity about the paintings but we always knew that the sands of time were bearing away on these places.

  29. Mandy Southgate - Thanks Mandy! My mind does the same exact thing!

  30. So beautifulI I love the landscape and the rocks. You take amazing photos! xoxox

  31. More Kato Noel - Thanks so much for the nice words!

    Lady Fi - Thanks!

  32. What a beautiful place to visit!
    Enjoyed seeing all the photos.
    Thanks for visiting me.
    Have s Happy Weekend!
    Peace :)

  33. Chandra - Thanks for the comment. It is a beautiful place, that is for sure...

  34. Those rocks are beautiful, and the shelter is actually bigger than I thought it would be. I'm glad you had Tay stand in there, it gives a good size comparison. Nature is amazing, I'm reminded that every day with my job. That tree is awesome.

  35. Also, I just realized I am now caught up on your blog. Wohoo! :)

  36. Baby Sister - Thanks! It is an amazing place. Thanks so much for taking so much time to "catch up" and comment! I REALLY appreciate it.


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