The Rodman Mountains Petroglyphs
Lucerne Valley / Barstow Area
by Frank Rodrigue


Situated in the Mojave Desert about 30 miles north-east of Lucerne Valley lies a historic wash where Indians once came to leave us reminders of the past. These "rock art" engravings were put here by Native Americans over the past 12,000 years using stone tools. Some  believe the rock art was left by the Cahuilla or the Chemehuevi Indian Tribes. We may never know for sure. Over the years the petroglyphs site has been visited by hundreds of people. The BLM is keeping the access roads open, marked and available but the exact location is still somewhat unadvertised to help keep the destructive weekend warriors away. There is unfortunately a part of society that is not content with viewing and observing the beauty and history surrounding us.
The petroglyph visiting rules are quite simple: Only take pictures and leave footprints.


A vehicle with good ground clearance is recommended. 4WD is not necessary. At the entrance there is a clearing with plenty of parking.

Don't forget your camera and film.
Click on the image to see a larger view.
Petroglyphs are found here due to the presence of lava rock and minerals suitable for "rock art" activities.
 (ptr-glf) n.
A carving or line drawing on rock, especially one made by prehistoric people.
Source: The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
Copyright © 2000 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Today, the largest threat to cultural resources is unintentional damage caused by visitors.
Many archaeology sites are scattered across the desert landscape.
Although they have been present for thousands of years, they are not indestructible.
Time and effects of nature are slowly erasing these precious traces of our past.
The impacts of man accelerate this natural decay.
When visiting archaeological and historical sites, please use minimum impact techniques.
You may say, it's just a couple of us and it's just this time, but there may be thousands of visitors saying the same thing.
If you do enter a archaeological or historical site, you should first STOP, LOOK, and THINK.
Many sites have fragile artifacts lying just beneath the surface. Try to visually identify each part of a site so you can avoid walking on it. If a trail has been made across a site, stay on it.


Remember, cabins and can dumps are archaeology too. The desert is dotted with the remains of old mining cabins, stage stops, and homesteads. The preservation of historic and prehistoric sites is equally important. The more time you spend within a site, the greater the chance for serious impacts to occur. Archaeological sites should not be used as picnic areas or camp sites.

Archaeological sites are protected by law. If you discover any illegal activity, please notify your local BLM office.

Click HERE to read about what can happen to looters.

Lucerne Valley Website

visitors since 5/16/2002