This month's "We Know Tucson" feature requires a little trip outside the City limits. Bizzy recently spent the day hiking and checking out petroglyphs west of Tucson.
Long ago, residents of the area used petroglyphs, images carved into cliffs and boulders, to communicate and record scenes from daily life. Seeing these images up close and personal is a fun way to experience the desert and history from long ago.
The Signal Hill Picnic Area at Saguaro National Park West is one place to check out prehistoric Hohokam petroglyphs. If you've never been to Saguaro National Park West, the drive up and over Gates Pass is worth the trip. Directions: Take Speedway Boulevard west. Speedway becomes Gates Pass Road soon after you pass under I-10. Follow Gates Pass Road through Gates Pass and when you dead end into Kinney Road take a right and head north. After about 3 1/2 miles look for signs to Saguaro National Park. Park at the Signal Hill Picnic Area. The trail gently climbs to a hill covered with dozens of 800 year old petroglyphs.
The Picture Rocks area also boasts petroglyphs. The Picture Rocks petroglyphs are along a short trail at the Redemptorist Renewal Center at 7101 W. Picture Rocks Road.
The center’s website notes that visitors are welcome to view the petroglyphs, but visitors are asked to check in at the front office and refrain from climbing on the rocks.
Also, please note that oils from your hands can actually damage the petroglyphs. Visitors may take lots of photographs, but are asked not to leave any fingerprints.