Fort Piute 7 (Piute Pass)

California Rock Art Sites

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The Southwest, including Southern Nevada, has a significant amount of Native American Petroglyph / Rock Art Sites. Our web site will concentrate on the rock art of Southern Nevada which extends back over 1500 years, and was typically created by either the Paiute, Shoshone, Chemehuevi, or the Anasazi people.


Preservation through Education


We believe that rock art on public lands does not - and should not - belong to just a few select people or groups.  However, due to the fragile nature of many rock art sites, it is not realistic to have a large number of people visiting most of them. What we are attempting to do with our website is to provide visual access where those with the interest or the curiosity can go to see and appreciate a small piece of Native American history. Our beliefs are that by educating people to the historical significance of the rock art, people will be more inclined to respect, and preserve, the sites for the enjoyment of everyone for a long, long time.

Fort Piute 7 (Piute Pass)


Fort Beale (later known as Fort Piute) was established late in 1859 by Captain James Carleton, 1st Dragoons. The fort was located at Piute Spring along the Mojave Road and was manned by a handful of soldiers until the start of the Civil War. During the civil war it was garrisoned by state militiamen from the California Volunteers until the end of the war when it was once again manned by troops from Camp Cady, California and renamed Fort Piute. The fort only stayed in business for a short time until it was once again abandoned by the middle of 1868.


Fort Piute, CA is an incredible place. Not only do you have the military history, but there is a hiking trail through Piute Gorge, wild flowers during the spring, wildlife, and some of the best petroglyph sites that I have seen in a while. They are literally everywhere. What I strongly recommend is using a National Geographic topo map or some other topo map of the area. On it you will see three marked petroglyph sites plus the fort. Use these locations as a starting point and go from there; that is exactly what we did and we found tons of rock art.


A few things: We made two trips during April 2011. The temperatures were perfect and the wildflowers were great, but some kind of giant mutant biting flies ate me alive. During the summer, the temperatures are over 100 degrees so have a lot of water. Take a topo map, a GPS, and a high-clearance 4WD is recommended. Fort Piute is located approximately 5 miles south of the Nevada border in California and about 8.5 west of US 95.


The petroglyphs seen in Ft Paiute 1 – 14 are on the way to, around, near, or not to far from the ruins of old Fort Paiute.


Piute Pass is part of an archaeological district located along Piute Creek in eastern San Bernardino County, California and includes the historic Fort Piute area. The Patayan and the Chemehuevi were the indigenous people, and were probably the ones to create the rock art over the last 200 to 1,000 years or so.


Click on the image below to enlarge