2019-01-11 Corn Springs Petroglyphs and Blythe Intaglios

2019-01-11 Corn Springs Petroglyphs and Blythe Intaglios

Today we headed west to Corn Springs located in the Chuckwalla Mountains, in the Colorado Desert, Exit 201 off highway I-10. Early 19th C settlers named it Corn Springs because of the wild corn found growing in and around the spring.

Corn Springs, a desert oasis with fan palm trees, was a major site of prehistoric occupation. There was an east west trail, still visible, used by many prehistoric people including the Chemehuevi, Desert Cahuilla and Yuma bands.  The petroglyphs have a wide variety of elements from different cultures with the earliest dating back 10,000 years.  Much of the rock art is located alongside the road and wash closer to the campground. Also we found some petroglyphs down the wash to the left and right of the road near the entrance to the campground.

A mile past the campground is an old mining cabin that you can wander through. The area apparently has some remains of old mines but we didn’t take the time to search for them. After we found the cabin we headed out, stopping a couple of times along the road to see if we could identify any prehistoric camping sites… we didn’t…then continued on to the Hauser Geobeds to find Jade’s bed which was left behind the day before. We found that, explored a bit more before heading for the Blythe Intaglios – located about 15 miles north of Blythe and west of the Colorado River.

The Blythe Intaglios are geoglyph figures believed to have been made by the Mohave and Quechan Indians. They are somewhere between 450 and 2000 years old, and possibly represent Mastamho, the creator of life. They were made by scraping the dark rock of the desert ground to expose the lighter soil underneath.

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