We had been planning this trip for some time. I think it was this quote from David Whitley's book, A Guide to Rock Art Sites: Southern California and Southern Nevada, that made this a must do trip, "Because of harsh desert conditions, only experienced, physically fit, properly equipped hikers should attempt this trip, and then only during relatively cool weather." We always did like a challenge! Besides, McCoy Spring is the largest rock art site in southeastern California. There are over 2,000 petroglyph boulders at this large and spectacular site. The spring was the only permanent water source in the area, and probably sustained a permanent village here. Brush hut foundations can be found here as well as numerous prehistoric trails that attest to the significance of this location. Heavy revarnishing of the older petroglyphs indicates ages of 5,000 or more years. Obviously this would be at the top of anybody's trip list! However, there are some problems.
McCoy Spring now lies within the newly formed Palen-McCoy Wilderness. A round trip desert hike of over ten miles is now the only way to get there. This requires a serious level of planning, preparation and fitness that precludes the trip for many people. Click on the photo link at the end of this article to get an idea of what you might see there. If you are still interested, I would recommend David Whitley's book for directions and for information about the site itself. Maybe it was just the endorphins kicking in from the hike, but this was truly a magical spot!
In response to a request for more photos of the petroglyphs from this site, we have added a second photo album.