Map Rock Petroglyphs

On Saturday we went for a drive. Our destination was a spot close to the Owyhees that I had hiked a while back. The only problem was I had no idea where it was, what it was called, or how to get there at all. I basically told Dustin to drive “that way” and pointed towards the mountains. We made it to the Snake River and turned on a road parallel with the river called Map Rock Rd. We drove a few miles trying to find a bridge to cross over to the other side when suddenly we came across a wooden sign on the side of the road, so we slowed down to read what it said but it was so faded that it was completely illegible. We were about to take off when my eyes focused in on a huge boulder next to the sign…and I yelled for Dustin to stop the car. The boulder was completely covered with petroglyphs!
We had just stumbled upon Map Rock. I had read about this rock once before when I was looking up petroglyphs in Idaho. Apparently there are unmarked petroglyphs that can be found all along the Snake River. However, this particular one is significant because it’s believed to be a map of the entire valley which was used by migrating Native Americans long before Europeans ever stepped foot on this continent. It was discovered in 1872 and believed to be as much as 12,000 years old. You can distinctly see deer, maybe antelope, what looks like a river, and human-like figures carved into the side of a giant Basalt boulder. It gave me chills to know that I was standing in a spot that people from ancient civilizations have visited thousands of years before me. You could probably say that about almost anywhere on this planet…but tangible evidence, like Map Rock, makes it resonate with you so much more than reading about it in a history book.

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Safe Travels, xx


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