Trip Report
Short spring hike for: Wildflowers, Petroglyphs: and rock in Idaho's high desert.
Saturday June 18, 2011 9:08pm
The S. Idaho forecast today was 20% rain after noon and 60% thunderstorms and rain by evening.

Heidi and I met up with Stein to do a "off-trail" adventure in Idaho's high desert.

I have been exploring obscure Idaho rock art sites for the last ten years. Stein became a enthusiast three years ago. There is enough rock-art to keep us occupied. It will be a lifetime quest.



After our cold-wet spring: the wild flowers are "best ever."

Here's a photo report on our "cut short by rain" day.

Larkspur closeup.
Larkspur closeup.
Credit: Fritz

This tower did not invite climbing.   <br/>
This tower did not invite climbing.

Credit: Fritz

Stein photographing Arrowleaf Balsamroot
Stein photographing Arrowleaf Balsamroot
Credit: Fritz

Bitterroot blossom with small ant included.
Bitterroot blossom with small ant included.
Credit: Fritz

We encountered a slow three feet long "Gophersnake" and at long range, a "fat coyote"---but the lava rock (volcanic Tuff, I think) was not a good palette for Petroglyphs.

Finally we found a nice south-facing basalt cliff, high above the valley, with a fair number of petroglyphs.

Credit: Fritz


More to follow------time for dinner!


  Trip Report Views: 2,120
Fritz
About the Author
Fritz is a trad climber from Choss Creek, ID.

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neebee

Social climber
calif/texas
  Jun 18, 2011 - 11:47pm PT
hey there say, fritz... wonderful trip report... i have to come back to see the pics, but wow, thanks for the share!...

:)
Fritz

Trad climber
Choss Creek, ID
Author's Reply  Jun 18, 2011 - 11:55pm PT
neebee!

Thank you.

I do shrink my photos to "small format" 300-500 kb. to make it easier for you to upload and view them.
Fritz

Trad climber
Choss Creek, ID
Author's Reply  Jun 19, 2011 - 09:09pm PT
We worked along the half-mile long basalt cliff and found more petroglyphs that were not "that wonderful."

After a long walk back to the vehicle, we had time to go to another nearby petroglyph site I had found in 2010.

The rainstorm was definately nearing as we made it to the next site.

This petroglyph panel has been somewhat defaced by "whitey."    Cowboy...
This petroglyph panel has been somewhat defaced by "whitey." Cowboys and sheepherders did like to try some art too.
Credit: Fritz

Credit: Fritz

One of the rarer motifs in Idaho.  Is it a lance, or a phallis?
One of the rarer motifs in Idaho. Is it a lance, or a phallis?
Credit: Fritz





Camas
Camas
Credit: Fritz

On the way out, a small meadow full of blooming Camas caught our attention. Camas bulbs were a staple food for the Shoshone & Bannock Indians, prior to white settlement. The last Indian war in Idaho started a few miles away: after the Indians discovered white settlers had turned large herds of hogs loose to "root up" Camas bulbs.

Here's a link to a Wikipedia article on the war. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bannock_War

edit: The above Indian War was the "next to last" Indian War in Idaho. The Sheepeater War of 1879 involved small U.S. Cavalry forces trying to track down a band of Shoshone that lived in the remote Middle Fork Salmon area. During a summer-long pursuit, one white was killed in a skirmish, however many soldiers became very ill from "tick-fever". The Indians finally surrendered after the Cavalry seized most of their stored-up food for winter.

Camas likes wet meadows in the high desert.
Camas likes wet meadows in the high desert.
Credit: Fritz

Then it started raining!
Timid TopRope

Social climber
the land of Pale Ale
  Jun 19, 2011 - 01:58pm PT
NIce place Fritz. Phallic rock art is fairly common in the Southwest, especially Fremont culture. Some Jack Mormons once took nita and myself to their favorite spot in the San Raphael Swell. Fertility/birthing/copulation had to be just as primal a driving force as hunting/gathering.

Petroglyph in San Raphael Swell
Petroglyph in San Raphael Swell
Credit: Timid TopRope
San Raphael Swell fertility art
San Raphael Swell fertility art
Credit: Timid TopRope

Thanks for posting. Hope you have a lot of discoveries ahead.
Fritz

Trad climber
Choss Creek, ID
Author's Reply  Jun 19, 2011 - 03:55pm PT
Timid TopRope.

A few years back, I was looking for petroglyphs about 10 miles west of yesterday's foray. Looking across a small canyon I spied a vertical column with petroglyphs.

Credit: Fritz

The petroglyph motif was unusual and the location was also not typical. I decided, it perhaps marked a burial site.

Credit: Fritz

When I got home I shared the photos of the site with Heidi and a well-read and worldly neighbor. Without hesitation, she pronounced it a Yoni & Lingam site. Once I thought about the site: it made perfect sense.

Stein just emailed me some photos from yesterday. The man's an artist with a camera.

Gopher Snake
Gopher Snake
Credit: Stein

Heidi & Fritz
Heidi & Fritz
Credit: Stein

Arrowleaf Balsamroot
Arrowleaf Balsamroot
Credit: Stein


Credit: Stein
Wayno

Big Wall climber
Seattle, WA
  Jun 19, 2011 - 03:35pm PT
Cool stuff, Fritz. It looks like a great area to explore, and those petroglyphs are a nice bonus. Is that anywhere near Owyhee?
Fritz

Trad climber
Choss Creek, ID
Author's Reply  Jun 19, 2011 - 03:52pm PT
Wayno: These are in the Bennett Hills. It runs east-west, just north of the Snake River plain.

The Owyhees have hundreds or thousands of petroglyph sites too. The terrain there is a little more challenging and remote.

I love the Owyhee place names though.

Some of my exploring has been up Rattlesnake Cr, then north into Nit & Louse Creeks, which are just south of Crab Cr.

Funny, how you never run into tourists out there.

Cows,lots of cows, and lots of ticks.

We did a heavy tick patrol after our Bennett trip yesterday. Heidi and I each had one, and Stein reports two.
woodtick under glass.
woodtick under glass.
Credit: Fritz



Ezra Ellis

Trad climber
North wet, and Da souf
  Jun 19, 2011 - 08:04pm PT
NIce Fritz, TFPU,
Is this towards sun valley from your house?
Fritz

Trad climber
Choss Creek, ID
Author's Reply  Jun 19, 2011 - 09:11pm PT
Ezra: Good to hear from you. It is on the way to Sun Valley. North of Gooding.
chammomiles

Social climber
hailey, idaho
  Dec 1, 2012 - 03:53pm PT
Fritz...
I am interested in some preliminary direction, in search of petroglyphs in the Bennett Hills area, and or the Little City of Rocks area! I understand the sacred and or perhaps secret nature of some of these sites...but would be grateful for any tips...places to begin!
Thanks kindly,
Miles
BASE104

Social climber
An Oil Field
  Dec 1, 2012 - 06:09pm PT
Beauty is everywhere if you just open your eyes, ya know.

Fritz

Trad climber
Choss Creek, ID
Author's Reply  Dec 1, 2012 - 07:26pm PT
Miles: I am hesitant to divulge petroglyph locations on a blog site. However, the BLM has shared one great location in the Bennetts. Do a search for Indian Writing Waterhole and I'm sure you will find links. I've found over 100 petroglyph sites in the Bennetts, which include stuff north & west of Little City of Rocks.

One of the first petroglyphs I ever found in the area is about 4 miles NW of Little City of Rocks. I get the rattlesnake shivers when I think about it, since it is real brushy there and I had my first ever 2-rattler day.
Maybe a thunderstorm?
Maybe a thunderstorm?
Credit: Fritz
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