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Valley of Fire State Park in Nevada
page 2 of 3 - Petroglyph Canyon Trail to Mouse's Tank

Petroglyph Canyon Trail to Mouse's Tank (1/2 mile round trip) - Many fine examples of prehistoric Indian rock art (Petroglyphs) were within easy view of the trail. Trail markers identified several common desert plants and other natural features in the canyon.

the sandy bottom of the Petroglyph Canyon Trail
great texture design in the cliff

Petroglyph Canyon at Valley of Fire State Park is probably the most accessible way for visitors to view petroglyphs. The walk was short and very easy in the sandy bottom of this narrow canyon. Everyone must resist the temptation to touch the petroglyphs because they are easily damaged and cannot be repaired or replaced.

Absolutely no one alive today knows for certain what these ancient markings mean, but there was an informational sign at the trail entrance which explained some of the most commonly accepted interpretations.

As the two RV Gypsies walked through this canyon, it was easy for them to imagine that they were transported back in time. The grandeur and solitude (if you're as lucky as the two RV Gypsies were on this date) of these brilliant red sandstone cliffs was almost overwhelming. In the summertime, the heat in this canyon is stifling and intense and therefore best viewed early in the morning or just before sunset; daily summer highs usually exceed 100 degrees, and 120 degrees is considered common. Carry water with you year-round.

Petroglyphs
Petroglyphs
Petroglyphs
Petroglyphs
Petroglyph Canyon Trail cliffs
Lee Duquette at Petroglyph Canyon Trail cliffs
Petroglyph Canyon Trail cliffs
Petroglyph Canyon Trail cliffs
the sandy bottom of the rail
white stuff on the cliffs

Can you see the ELEPHANT and the scary faces in the photos below?

elephant in the cliff
scary faces in the cliffs
panorama of the cliffs at Valley of Fire State Park

The petroglyphs in the two photos below are fairly easy to spot because they were always in a dark spot of the rock.

petroglyphs
petroglyphs
a big window in the cliffs
bright red cliffs
the two RV Gypsies at Peroglyph Canyon trail
the two RV Gypsies at Peroglyph Canyon trail
cliffs at Petroglyph Canyon trail
cliffs at Petroglyph Canyon trail
cliffs at Petroglyph Canyon trail
cliffs at Petroglyph Canyon trail
Karen Duquette by cliffs at Petroglyph Canyon trail
Karen Duquette by cliffs at Petroglyph Canyon trail

The two RV Gypsies reached the end of the trail - Mouse's Tank, which was named for a renegade Southern Paiute Indian who gave other Indians and settlers in this region great trouble during the 1890's. One of his favorite hideouts was this wild and (then) inaccessible canyon. The "tank" is a stream worn basin hidden among the rocks which traps and hold precious water during long dry periods. There is a small route up the left side of the hill and some people climb up there to get a better view of it, but the two RV Gypsies did not.

Mouse's Tank
cliffs at Valley of Fire State Park

Now the two RV Gypsies hurried out of this trail and back to the car because it looked like it was going to rain. On their way back to the car, they saw several people just entering the trail, despite the weather. The two RV Gypsies got in their toad and continued driving through the park, and were soon caught in a flash flood. They wondered if the people on the trail were okay.

Please continue to page 3 of 3 at the Valley of Fire- THE FLASH FLOOD