Sky Rock Petroglyphs

The Tioga Pass into Yosemite opened on Saturday but I had one more trip to make into the desert. I was determined to find the secretive Sky Rock Petroglyphs down in the Owens Valley before the summer came on full bore.

The Sky Rock Petroglyphs are among the few that rest on top of a large slab, facing towards the heavens. Believed to be Paiute in origin, I’ve been unable to find much definitive information about them.

I left Lee Vining and headed down towards Bishop and made my way to the volcanic outcroppings on top of a large plateau. It was almost dusk when I arrived and I hurriedly scuttled over the volcanic rocks, occasionally finding what I thought were human markings only to find they were weather-worn patches.

Thoughts that I might not find them were honing in on me, while I was taunted by what I must be missing up in Tuolumne Meadows while I was fruitlessly searching in the desert. Surely the light is incredible in the meadows right now the haunting voice said.

Early the next morning I was back on the plateau looking. So many places that we photograph are easily accessible and crowded that I was actually relishing being by myself looking for something elusive. And there is was. I hopped over one rock and caught my first glimpse of the petroglyphs. It was a fine moment.

Sky Rock Petroglyphs

I stayed in the desert for the night and while the light was never sensational I did relish being in such a place and made what images I could.  You can find the images here in the Eastern Sierra gallery.


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