More Pictograph & Petroglyph Sites
on the east margin of the San Joaquin Valley
(click the images below for more detail)

In remote areas of the Southern Sierra Nevada Mountains on the southeast side of the San Joaquin Valley, there are art galleries hidden away in sandstone caves and beneath the overhangs of solitary rock outcrops. These galleries are the work of the Patwisha (Balwisha) Monache, the Wukchumni Yokuts, and the Kawaiisu, who traded with the Tulumne Yokuts and Yowlumne Yokuts of the valley floor. Their rock art ranges from simple pictographs and petroglyphs with geometric designs to complex multicolor images of animals and events that they encountered in their everyday lives. Some believe that these images were created by shamans for religious or ceremonial reasons, possibly to influence spirits to intervene in human affairs, or perhaps for those spirits to simply stay away. Others believe that these images are the work artisans simply seeking an outlet for their creativity. But no one knows for sure, and these works of art stand out as vivid reminders of a way of life that is no more.

 

| Hospital Rock | Petroglyph Canyon | Rocky Hill | Lake Kaweah | Painted Rocks | Tomo-Kahni | Glossary |

 

 

Hospital Rock (Sequoia National Park) is a rock shelter located on Highway 198, above the Foothills Visitor Center. There are pictographs here, and nearby are bedrock mortars, and a "prayer stone", which is a boulder dimpled with numerous cupules. The rock art here is likely the work of the Patwisha Monache.

 

Little Petroglyph Canyon -
The petroglyphs here are attributed to an ancestral Koso (Coso) people, who spoke a Paiute-type language like the Mono, Kawaiisu and Tubatulabal, but lived in the region thousands of years before the others came. The collection of petroglyphs here is one of the finest in North America.

(More Info coming soon)

 

Rocky Hill is one of a handful of boulder-strewn hillsides in Tulare County with boulders adorned with pictographs. Although most of these sites are on private property and show signs of vandalism, Rocky Hill, which also has bedrock mortars, is preserved and protected. The rock art here was likely the work of the Wukchumni (Kaweah River) band of the Foothill Yokuts.

 

Lake Kawaeh and the Terminus Dam is an important archaeological site near Three Rivers in Tulare County. It had pictographs and hundreds of bedrock mortars that were destroyed in 1962 by the Army Corp of Engineers when they built the Terminus Dam and Lake Kaweah Reservoir. The rock art here was likely the work of the Wukchumni (Kaweah River) band of the Foothill Yokuts.

 

Painted Rocks (Tule River Indian Reservation) is a giant rock shelter located near Porterville in Tulare County. Rock shelters may have had religious significance, like this one, which contains pictographs. The rock art here precedes the creation of the reservation, and is likely the work of the Yaudanchi (Tule River) band of the Foothill Yokuts.

 

Tomo Kahni -
The rock art here is likely the work of the Kawaiisu.

(More Info coming soon)

 

| Hospital Rock | Petroglyph Canyon | Rocky Hill | Lake Kaweah | Painted Rocks | Tomo-Kahni | Glossary |

 

 



Copyright 1999-2018 - Southern Sierra High Adventure Team