Gila Bend, Arizona
category : Archaeology
Painted Rock Petroglyph Site, just south of Gila Bend and approximately 90 miles southwest of Phoenix, Arizona, provides visitors the opportunity to view an ancient archaeological site containing hundreds of symbolic and artistic rock etchings, or "petroglyphs," produced centuries ago by prehistoric peoples. There are also inscriptions made by people who passed through during historic times. Many well-known events in Arizona history occurred near the Petroglyph Site, including the expedition of Juan Bautista de Anza that founded San Francisco, the Mormon Battalion and the Butterfield Overland Mail. Formerly a unit of the Arizona State Park system, jurisdiction of Painted Rock Petroglyph Site reverted to the Bureau of Land Management in 1989.
Picnic tables, barbeque grills, steel fire rings and a vault toilet are provided for picnicking and primitive camping. A ramada is available for group activities. No potable water, trailer hook-ups or dump stations are provided -- these facilities are available nearby in Gila Bend. During October through April, a Campground Host is on site.
- Painted Rocks Petroglyph Site receives the greatest visitation from October through April. At other times, the area receives little use.
- Winter Temperatures vary from freezing at night to near 80 F during daytime. Summer temperatures vary from near 70 F at night to near 120 F during daytime.
- Drinking water is not provided at Painted Rocks Petroglyph Site, so bring plenty.
- You may encounter rattlesnakes or other poisonous creatures; watch for them and be careful where you put your hands and feet. Do not harass reptiles. Most bites result from people playing with, collecting, or attempting to kill them.
- Help to preserve this important archaeological site by not climbing or marking on the rocks. Many rocks have been broken or tumbled due to people climbing on them and several have been defaced.
Exit Interstate 8 at Painted Rock Dam Road (Exit 102) approximately 12.5 miles west of Gila Bend. Travel north on Painted Rocks Dam Road (paved) 10.7 miles to Rocky Point Road (unpaved). Painted Rocks Petroglyph Site is 0.6 miles west of Painted Rock Dam Road on Rocky Point Road.
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