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Painted Rock Petroglyph Park Site

Near Gila Bend, Arizona, USA

George and Eve DeLange

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Painted Rock Petroglyph Park Site, Near Gila Bend, Arizona, Travels, & Tours, Pictures, Photos, Images, & Reviews.
Painted Rock Petroglyph Park Site, Near Gila Bend, Arizona. Photo January 29, 2010.
Painted Rock Petroglyph Park Site, Near Gila Bend, Arizona, Travels, & Tours, Pictures, Photos, Images, & Reviews.
Painted Rock Petroglyph Park Site, Near Gila Bend, Arizona. Photo January 29, 2010.
Painted Rock Petroglyph Park Site, Near Gila Bend, Arizona, Travels, & Tours, Pictures, Photos, Images, & Reviews.
Painted Rock Petroglyph Park Site, Near Gila Bend, Arizona. Photo January 29, 2010.
Painted Rock Petroglyph Park Site, Near Gila Bend, Arizona, Travels, & Tours, Pictures, Photos, Images, & Reviews.
Painted Rock Petroglyph Park Site, Near Gila Bend, Arizona. Photo January 29, 2010.
Painted Rock Petroglyph Park Site, Near Gila Bend, Arizona, Travels, & Tours, Pictures, Photos, Images, & Reviews.
Painted Rock Petroglyph Park Site, Near Gila Bend, Arizona. Photo January 29, 2010.
Painted Rock Petroglyph Park Site, Near Gila Bend, Arizona, Travels, & Tours, Pictures, Photos, Images, & Reviews.
Painted Rock Petroglyph Park Site, Near Gila Bend, Arizona. Photo January 29, 2010.

The Painted Rock Petroglyph Park Site can be found on the eastern edge of the Painted Rock Mountains and about 18 miles west by northwest of Gila Bend, Arizona.

During prehistoric times the Gila River flowed west out of the Mountains of western New Mexico, and then made a wide turn near the modern day town of Gila Bend and then continued west on its journey to empty into the Colorado River.

It is thought that the Hohokam were the first people to settle along the Gila & Salt Rivers of Arizona.

It is known that the ancient Hohokam people once lived and farmed here. Evidence or ruins of their culture have been found in the area. Some date from their late Pioneer Period (AD 350-AD 550). Some villages dating into their Early Colonial Period (AD 550-AD 700) are found towards the north and west of Painted Rock. In addition village ruins of their Sedentary - Classic Period (AD 900-AD 1400) are found to the south and east.

The Painted Rock Site is the largest known petroglyph site in the area with about 800 images pecked onto weathered basalt boulders overlaying a granite outcrop. There are about 40 smaller sites in the general area.

The outcroping forms an oval structure about 400 feet long which runs in an east to west direction. The oval pile of boulders is about 20 feet tall. The majority of the petroglyphs are located upon the boulders along the eastern edge. However the petroglyphs face away in all directions from the edge.

This is a very easy way to actually visit some ancient Hohokam petroglyphs in Arizona.

Although considered a Hohokam rock art site, Painted Rock is on the extreme western edge of the Hohokam cultural area. As you travel east from Painted Rock the petroglyphs take on more typical Hohokam Culture characteristics, and as you travel further west, the petroglyphs take on more typical Patayan Culture characteristics.

Also found here and in other nearby areas of the Gila River are other petroglyphs of even more Archaic origin.

Painted Rock also bears the inscriptions of several other Historic passers-by. For example, Juan Bautista de Anza passed near here in the 1700's, followed later on in the 1800's by members of the Mormon Battalion, the Butterfield Overland Mail, and others. Then during the 1900's George Patton used this area as headquarters for his WWII tank training.

The Painted Rock Petroglyph Park Site, which dates from the Hohokam Classic Period or Salado period (a.d. 1200-1450), was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on November 25, 1977.

A Google Earth Map search marks the center of the Parking Lot of the Painted Rock Petroglyph Site at 33o 01' 23.25" N 113o 02' 50.75" W. The elevation is about 577 feet.

According to oral tradition, the Hohokam may be the ancestors of the historic Akimel O'odham and Tohono O'odham peoples in Southern Arizona.

The Hohokam people migrated north from present day Mexico around 300 BC and settled in the Gila and Salt River valleys of southern Arizona.

They built rectangular pit houses from earth, rather than stone, and lived in small villages. They cremated their dead and placed the ashes in a specially prepared pit Although the Hohokam relied a great deal on hunting and gathering, they also were skilled farmers and excellent engineers. They were a peaceful people who cooperated to build large canal networks. Some of their canals were over ten miles long and used gravity to control water flow and to flush out the silt.

Between the 7th and 14th centuries they built and maintained these extensive irrigation networks along the lower Salt and middle Gila rivers that rivaled the complexity of those used in the ancient Near East, Egypt, and China. These were constructed using relatively simple excavation tools, without the benefit of advanced engineering technologies.

These highly successful agricultural techniques produced a surplus of food. Villages and populations grew. Over the next 1500 years the Hohokam expanded their settlements into the Tucson Basin, then to the Phoenix area, and as far north as present-day Flagstaff.

To Get There:
Exit Interstate 8 at Painted Rock Dam Road (Exit 102) approximately 12.5 miles west of Gila Bend. Travel north on Painted Rock Dam Road (paved) 10.7 miles to Rocky Point Road (unpaved). Painted Rock Petroglyph Site is 0.6 miles west of Painted Rock Dam Road on Rocky Point Road.

CONTACT:
Bureau of Land Management
Phoenix District Office
Lower Sonoran Field Office
21605 N.7th Avenue
Phoenix, Arizona 85027
(623) 580-5500

If you are planning to visit the Painted Rock Petroglyph Site. And if you are coming from outside of Arizona, you could fly into the Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport and then rent a car.

There are many hotels and motels in the area.

We have some links to Priceline.com on this page since they can arrange all of your air flights, hotels and car.

We also have some links to Altrec.com on this page since they are a good online source for any outdoor camping gear and clothing that you may need.

We of course, appreciate your use of the advertising on our pages, since it helps us to keep our pages active.

Explore this Fall at Altrec Outlet

Painted Rock Petroglyph Park Site, Near Gila Bend, Arizona. Hikes, Travels, & Tours, Pictures, Photos, Images, & Reviews.Painted Rock Petroglyph Park Site, Near Gila Bend, Arizona. Hikes, Travels, & Tours, Pictures, Photos, Images, & Reviews.
Painted Rock Petroglyph Park
Near Gila Bend, Arizona
Painted Rock Petroglyph Park
Near Gila Bend, Arizona
Painted Rock Petroglyph Park Site, Near Gila Bend, Arizona. Hikes, Travels, & Tours, Pictures, Photos, Images, & Reviews.Painted Rock Petroglyph Park Site, Near Gila Bend, Arizona. Hikes, Travels, & Tours, Pictures, Photos, Images, & Reviews.
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Painted Rock Petroglyph Park
Near Gila Bend, Arizona
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Near Gila Bend, Arizona
Painted Rock Petroglyph Park Site, Near Gila Bend, Arizona. Hikes, Travels, & Tours, Pictures, Photos, Images, & Reviews.Painted Rock Petroglyph Park Site, Near Gila Bend, Arizona. Hikes, Travels, & Tours, Pictures, Photos, Images, & Reviews.
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Near Gila Bend, Arizona
Painted Rock Petroglyph Park
Near Gila Bend, Arizona
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Painted Rock Petroglyph Park
Near Gila Bend, Arizona
Painted Rock Petroglyph Park
Near Gila Bend, Arizona
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Painted Rock Petroglyph Park
Near Gila Bend, Arizona
Painted Rock Petroglyph Park
Near Gila Bend, Arizona
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Painted Rock Petroglyph Park
Near Gila Bend, Arizona
Painted Rock Petroglyph Park
Near Gila Bend, Arizona
Painted Rock Petroglyph Park Site, Near Gila Bend, Arizona. Hikes, Travels, & Tours, Pictures, Photos, Images, & Reviews.Painted Rock Petroglyph Park Site, Near Gila Bend, Arizona. Hikes, Travels, & Tours, Pictures, Photos, Images, & Reviews.
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Near Gila Bend, Arizona
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Near Gila Bend, Arizona
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Painted Rock Petroglyph Park
Near Gila Bend, Arizona
Painted Rock Petroglyph Park
Near Gila Bend, Arizona
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Painted Rock Petroglyph Park
Near Gila Bend, Arizona
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Painted Rock Petroglyph Park
Near Gila Bend, Arizona
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Painted Rock Petroglyph Park
Near Gila Bend, Arizona
Painted Rock Petroglyph Park
Near Gila Bend, Arizona
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Painted Rock Petroglyph Park
Near Gila Bend, Arizona
Painted Rock Petroglyph Park
Near Gila Bend, Arizona
Painted Rock Petroglyph Park Site, Near Gila Bend, Arizona. Hikes, Travels, & Tours, Pictures, Photos, Images, & Reviews.Painted Rock Petroglyph Park Site, Near Gila Bend, Arizona. Hikes, Travels, & Tours, Pictures, Photos, Images, & Reviews.
Painted Rock Petroglyph Park
Near Gila Bend, Arizona
Painted Rock Petroglyph Park
Near Gila Bend, Arizona
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Painted Rock Petroglyph Park
Near Gila Bend, Arizona
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Near Gila Bend, Arizona
Painted Rock Petroglyph Park
Near Gila Bend, Arizona
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Near Gila Bend, Arizona
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Near Gila Bend, Arizona
Picnic Area, Rest Rooms
Painted Rock Petroglyph Park
Near Gila Bend, Arizona

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