animals camping leisure the sky snow water wheels road trips cali maps

Activities | Camp | Camping | Destinations | Deserts | Mojave | Black Canyon


An example of a big horn sheep is stained by red paint & seems to be the result of someone taking a rubbing.

native american rock artIf you ever find yourself in the high desert near Barstow with some serious time to kill, and the factory outlet mall just isn't your scene, Black Canyon may be a better option.

Tucked way up in an ancient lava canyon deep in the Mojave -- the indian art of Inscription Canyon. It's gonna take you a while to get here. Northwest of Rainbow Basin, about 10 miles, on rugged dirt roads. Black Canyon is easily accessible from the south via Hinkley Rd from National Trails Highway. Mojave Desert Maps, topographic maps & GPS are highly advised. A good sense of direction is always helpful when traveling the earth.

Nearly 10,000 petroglyphs & pictographs can be found in Black Canyon & the surrounding regions. Scattered through the area one can discover stone circles, dead end canyons, small springs, caves, lava, and even defaced rock where vandals have stolen a piece of ancient history (totally illegal).

indian rock artwork

While motorized travel is prohibited in some canyons leading to wilderness areas, hikers can leave the main dirt road to discover mysteries of those who once roamed this ancient land.

sad but true: Some of the ancient rock art suffers from man-made damage. Many petroglyphs are marred by graffiti & bullet holes. Big portions have been destroyed by idiots attempting to chisel them off.

rock art California

hike to indian artifacts

If you plan to backpack and camp overnight in the designated Wilderness Area, contact the Mojave BLM Barstow field office for wilderness permits and BLM maps. They can inform you about any possible restrictions, trails closures and advise on the best spots for viewing more native rock art in the Mojave.

mojave petroglyphs

California Atlas

Primitive Camping
along Backroads

A Barstow back roads topo map of the area is very helpful when exploring the vast and remote desert land. Open dispersed camping is allowed on dirt roads (but OHV traffic is common), so choose a private camp site wisely. Up against a rock wall, far from the main drag. The only campground back in here with facilities is Owl Canyon Campground located in Rainbow Basin.

View Larger Map
Mojave Desert Map
Mojave Desert Map
Mojave Map NatGeo
NatGeo Mojave Map

Total Escape California Camping


California Weekends

Total Escape has been an AmazonAssociate for 20 years!
Earnings from purchases keeps this site alive.

Copyright © 1996-2024 Total Escape, / All Rights Reserved.

classic | lodge | recreation | destinations | journey | ads | sitemap | outside | maps | gear | mobile