The videos we have here are of the Petroglyph Canyon tour which is so unique and popular today. The size (and quality) of the videos is low to keep your bandwidth requirements minimal, the files are about 3 - 4 Mbyte each, which is still a long time to wait for if you've a dial up connection. We'll have varying sizes and types of movie files here soon. Currently there are WIndows media files in .WMV format. Stay tuned!
Our videos start with the easy entrance to the canyon from the parking area, a distance of about 400 feet, and a walk over soft sand, no rocks. The incline down into the canyon proper is about a 20% incline and only 30 feet in length at the most. Once in the canyon bottom there is a choice in directions; north east toward the canyon's and into the mesa, or south west for about a mile in length to a 100 foot drop onto the valley's floor. The canyon toward to NE is sandy with minimal rocks to step over. The canyon's SW length is comprised of small rocks, brush and several solid rock "waterfall" areas that are difficult to hike over without some use of hand holds and need for balance. For the discerning observer there are a multitude of rock engravings, some subtle and barely discernible to ones that stand in stark contrast to the native rock.
The questions we all have are "What do the petroglyphs mean?" and "Why were they done?". Native Americans today have their interpretations, but it would appear the peoples that carved these images were long gone before present-day settlers inhabited this area. Still some images are of relatively current times, such as a human figure on horseback which would have to be recent within the last five hundred years when horses were introduced and used. Dating techniques based upon chemical composition and subject matter put the petroglyphs up to 16,000 years before present. Quite a heritage and history we all still can appreciate and wonder at.
The images speak of a time when people were in awe of their environment, understanding animal inter-relationships and habits probably better than we do today. The knowledge these people held of the flora and fauna that they existed upon for sustenance would have to have been vast; but these same people probably hunted their main staple of food (the Desert Big Horn sheep) to near extinction with the introduction of the bow and arrow which replaced the atlatl, and which was so much more effective at an increased range. Increased effectiveness in hunting along with the changing environment with the temperate lake-filled area becoming dry and arid helped change the food supply necessary to exist. These people were not farmers either, so they traveled following the game they existed upon, and depended on harvesting a food supply that could easily be affected by changing seasons.
The petroglyphs in this canyon tell us of a people living by the best of their capabilities and understanding, striving for harmony and understanding of their environment. These are not idle images; these are from a time when these simple symbols were all-powerful and held a tribe's survival in balance. Deeply engraved sheep outlines in stone speak of repeated actions, drawing strength from the form and seeking knowledge of the prey. Perhaps these lines were traced each season by countless hunters and their sons through ages long gone by, or by the returning tribe shaman on a vision quest to find what his people needed.