Wonderland Pictographs and the Black Butte Mine -

Joshua Tree National Parkphotos

rocky viewLong before Joshua Tree National Park's Wonderland of Rocks area became a fashionable destination for rock climbers, photographers and city dwellers looking for a weekend get away, its rocky mazes, twisting stone corridors and spectacular granite formations made it a favorite hang-out for prehistoric people. Casual hiking in the area will almost certainly result in the discovery of widely scattered pottery fragments and petroglyphs. However, pictographs are quite a bit more difficult to locate, even though they are a more recent form of rock art. They seem to have been placed in hidden nooks in boulder jumbles, under rock overhangs or on the back walls of rock shelters. The palpable magic of these painted images from the past is what's brought us here this morning and we can hardly wait to get hiking! Even if we don't find any, we know that we'll still enjoy the stunning beauty of the area.

Black Butte MineWe're also planning to save a bit of daylight for a hike up to the Black Butte Mine. This site is old and may possibly date back to the 1890's. Records show that around 1911-12 this gold prospect was being worked by Bill Thornton and U. C. Wirz and at that time was called the Gold Tiger Mine. Apparently, Bill Keys relocated the mine in 1936 and renamed it the Black Butte. Several shallow open cuts, shafts and tunnels reportedly are found at the site.

So, whether you're a fan of rock art or old mines, today should be a winner! As usual, you can join us in this cyber quest by clicking on the photo link below. Don't forget to bring along your enthusiasm and sense of adventure!




Click here for photos.