For a gateway into the cultures of the past, come explore the wondrous world of rock art at the Deer Valley Petroglyph Preserve. The museum, just minutes from Cibola Vista Resort and Spa, offers a variety of tours. Stroll the quarter-mile Desert Trail to hear the sounds of quail calling in the distance. Watch the bobcats and coyotes roam the grounds of the 47-acre park. At Deer Valley Petroglyph Preserve, visitors can find an array of desert plants along the trail. Nature lovers can get up-close and personal with roadrunners, jackrabbits and great horned owls here in the Valley of the Sun.
About Deer Valley Petroglyph Preserve
Deer Valley boasts the largest concentration of American Indian rock art in Arizona. The Center houses a museum, nature preserve and archaeological site with over 1,500 petroglyphs on upwards of 600 boulders. After your trip to Deer Valley, you will gain a greater knowledge and appreciation of the early cultures of the American Southwest.
Archaeologists use the term Rock Art to describe images on rock surfaces that were created during prehistoric times. Often considered a ceremonial or ritual artifact, Rock Art forecasts clues to spiritual aspects of American Indian tribes. Rock Art can be used to tell a story or make a symbolic reference to one’s culture from the past. Some of the images may date back 5,000 years. Put on your detective hat and try to figure out the meaning of these rock carvings. Though the images may be hard to decipher, you will surely have fun coming up with your own stories.
Deer Valley Petroglyph Preserve is the location of the Hedgpeth Hills, a sacred Indian petroglyph site. Petroglyphs are known as the oldest form of Rock Art and were designed by carving or scratching away the dark layer of rock varnish on a rock’s surface to reveal the lighter rock underneath. The Hohokam Indians most likely made the petroglyphs that are found at Deer Valley Petroglyph Preserve. These farmers and skilled craftspeople made their home in the Sonoran Desert of central and southern Arizona around 200 A.D. The Hohokam petroglyphs show life-size human figures and animals such as deer, birds and snakes. In addition, you will find petroglyphs drawn by the ancient Patayan people and earlier archaic nomads.
The Center is home to both permanent and temporary exhibits. The archives of the American Rock Art Research Association can also be found also here. Tour experts will guide you through the museum exhibits and provide some education on the historical significance of the ancient engravings along the trail.
Native Americans consider Rock Art a sacred link to past traditions. Rock Art was made be people who are long since gone, and preserving its history has become all the more important. An ongoing campaign forges on in order to preserve this indelible historical marker of ancient Native American tribes.
Deer Valley Petroglyph Preserve