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“Amazing hidden gem! The petroglyphs are amazing and the tour is well done.”

Little Petroglyph Canyon
Ranked #2 of 12 things to do in Ridgecrest
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Attraction details
Owner description: Cosos Mountains canyon containing rock paintings that pre-date Native Americans.
Reviewed 11 March 2013

My wife and I just got back from our scheduled tour of Little Petroglyph Canyon with the Maturango Museum. The Maturango Museum is wonderful with how they handle the painful process of entering the China Lake Military Base. You only go on the tour with 20 people and 4 guides who make sure that you respect the area and the wonderful petroglyphs that will leave you speechless. The tour is $40 and you carpool with 7 cars caravaning to the glyphs. Prepare for a stop and briefing from the gate of the military base. Its pretty funny because they act like you're entering Area 51. I would only recommend driving your high clearance vehicles. Trucks or Suvs. We stayed at the America's Best Value Inn that is band new about 1/2 mile away from the museum. $60 total for Saturday night. Great value to spend the $ that you save at the museum. Enjoy!

1  Thank Lumerian
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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32 - 36 of 38 reviews

Reviewed 15 November 2012

This is a must-see but it's limited to U.S. citizens since the Little Petroglyph Canyon is on a military base. There are petroglyphs seemingly on every rock and every direction you look - even under your feet. It's an amazing experience!

About half of the mile-and-a-half canyon is a rock and sand dry riverbed easily navigated by most inexperienced hikers but the "falls" section is more demanding requiring climbing up and down smooth rocks and walking on ledges while crossing some water hazards if it rained recently but your effort is rewarded when you see the elaborate petroglyphs (and one pictogram) in that section of the canyon. The tour is organized and guided only by the Maturango Museum in Ridgecrest and needs to be scheduled far in advance. If you plan to take pictures, bring a good camera with a zoom lens as climbing the rocks to get closer to the petroglyphs is discouraged.

4  Thank Randy_K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 July 2012 via mobile

Nice little hike thru a canyon. Its a good way to spend a morning hiking and learning from the guides about the history of the area.

Thank cna2209
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 May 2012

The best collection of Coso-style rock art, maybe best collection of undisturbed rock in the world! Many thousand petroglyphs, some dating back to the ice ages at least; distinct style from Great Basin.

1  Thank j w
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 March 2012

Although archeologists cannot agree on the exact messages, it is evident the Native Americans that lived or traveled in the Mojave Desert, definitely had something to say. Over 5,000 petroglyphs in one canyon alone tells their story of life of survival over 5,000 years ago. Books state the images could be as old as 16,000 years but more likely 2,000 to 3,000 years is more accurate. But the real jewel is viewing the big-horn sheep, spirals, ladders and interesting figures letting the viewer get a visual experience of what life like was long ago.

Thank avidhiker2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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