Painted Rocks – Ancient Art in the Desert

Painted Rocks Arizona Rock Art Site

Painted Rocks

A little bit out of the way this one, being around 90 miles west of Phoenix off interstate 8. So it may best be treated as a stop off on the way to Yuma and Southern California. On the other hand for rock art aficionados this is an extraordinary place. Situated in the exposed desert floor is an extensive area of rocks of varying sizes covered in a huge array of rock art. Clearly this was a place of some importance in the past, perhaps a staging post on the way to mesoamerica. Be aware that there are few facilities and no water. The site is looked after by the BLM who have provided a loop trail. There are also a number of picnic ramadas which will also provide some welcome shade in the summer months. Information, including detailed access directions can be found on the BLM site, here.

The small town of Gila Bend is situated off the interstate close to the site. Aside from the opportunity to stock up with provisions the town hosts the Best Western Space Age Lodge, a piece of classic roadside americana. It is easy to spot by the flying saucer shaped roof and the geodesic dome that contains the restaurant.

painted rocks

Rock art at Painted Rocks