Rock Spring aka Camp Rock

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.

Rock Spring aka Camp Rock


Rock Spring aka Camp Rock is located in the Mojave National Preserve, which is administered by the National Park Service. The preserve was created in 1994 and is approximately 1.6 million acres or over 2,400 square miles making it the third largest park system in the contiguous United States.


Rock Spring aka Camp Rock was home to both the Mojave and Chemehuevi and much later the US military. The military was there from 1866 to 1868, and was called Camp Rock Spring. The National Park Service maintains the area along with the “Rock House” built by Burt Smith in 1929.


The following description of the area was taken from the National Park Service website:


The Rock House was constructed by Bert Smith in 1929. He came to this area to recover from poison gas exposure suffered during World War I. Doctors told him he didn't have long to live, but the dry desert air proved so beneficial to Smith's health that he lived here for 25 more years! The second long-term resident was artist Carl Faber, who lived and worked at the rock house in the 1980s, selling his artwork to passing travelers.


A few minutes into the hike, the remains of a milling operation from the 1930s are visible near the trail. Rich mineral deposits of gold, silver, copper, and other precious metals have been found across this region. Rock from nearby Watson Wash was hauled here and crushed to release the copper. The project met with little success and didn't last long. Prospectors often just walked away from such sites, leaving everything behind.


The trail continues to Rock Spring, one in a series of springs that dot the Mojave Desert every 20 to 30 miles, forming a natural travel corridor. This route eventually became known as the Mojave Road. Water means life in the desert, so humans and wildlife depended on this spring, as did the livestock later introduced by miners and ranchers. Exhibits near the spring describe the Mojave and Chemehuevi Indians who formerly lived in the area, and Camp Rock Spring, an army outpost active briefly in the 1860s to protect mail and early travelers that passed along the route. Water is almost always present here, but rainfall determines if it's a slow trickle or several deep pools.


Click on the image below to enlarge