register help

Picture Canyon - Dead Mountains Wilderness, CA

Guide 3 Triplogs  0 Topics
  5 of 5 
no permit
26 3 0
clicktap icons for details
Difficulty 2 of 5
Route Finding 3 of 5
Distance Round Trip 6.83 miles
Trailhead Elevation 1,182 feet
Elevation Gain 876 feet
Accumulated Gain 876 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 4 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 11.21
Interest Off-Trail Hiking, Historic & Seasonal Waterfall
Backpack Possible - Not Popular
feature photo
Photos Viewed All Mine Following
6  2018-03-24 azbackpackr
17  2018-03-13 azbackpackr
3  2018-02-28 azbackpackr
Author azbackpackr
author avatar Guides 27
Routes 434
Photos 5,260
Trips 792 map ( 5,707 miles )
Age 68 Female Gender
Location Moab, UT
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
Expand Map
Preferred   Feb, Nov, Jan, Dec → 9 AM
Seasons   Late Autumn to Early Spring
Sun  4:25am - 6:57pm
Official Route
1 Alternative

Picture this!
by azbackpackr

The hike
Once you have found the parking spot in the wash, next to the BLM boundary fence, it's easy enough to walk up Picture Canyon. This fence also marks the state line. You will be parking in Nevada, and hiking in California.

This canyon, as you can see from the topo map, passes all the way through the Dead Mountains. Although it is a designated wilderness, you will find tracks from four-wheelers in the canyon. These tracks also constitute your trail, although you may find the going is quite a bit easier if you walk off to the side where the ground is a bit harder, instead of in the wheel tracks, which are soft sand.

About 2 miles from where you parked, if you are very sharp-eyed, you may find a couple of petroglyphs. Further on, a little less than three miles in, there are many nice panels of rock art. A lot of them are up very high on the sides of the canyon. Some hikers may want to climb up, but most people will be content to view from below. Other hikers have also reported pictographs. Pictographs are PAINTED onto the rock, whereas petroglyphs are PECKED or chipped, into the rock.

The seasonal recommendation is important in the Mojave Desert. It is not recommended to enter this area during the hot season. This is one of the hottest areas in North America, and can easily reach 120 degrees in mid-summer.

General information
Do not touch any type of rock art because the oils from your fingers can damage it. It is a felony to deface rock art, and also it is illegal to add "art" of your own.

Like most sites of this type, it is likely not possible to date the petroglyphs. They appear to have been made over a period of many years. They are made by chipping or pecking the rock, sometimes using another rock or a fire-hardened antler tip. It was a time-consuming project to make each one. If you have viewed many petroglyphs throughout the West, you will often notice similarities.

Animals and birds known to this area include bighorn sheep, red-tailed hawks, and prairie falcons.

The area has historical as well as archaeological significance. Jedediah Smith crossed the Mojave Desert in 1826 and 1827. On both trips he visited the Mojave Indian villages along the Colorado River, and then turned west to cross the desert to the Spanish-held part of California. On his second expedition 10 of his men were killed by the Mojave Indians. There is some information here quoted from Smith's journal.

Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.

Leave No Trace and +Add a Triplog after your hike to support this local community.

2018-03-16 azbackpackr
    WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.

    Permit $$

    Map Drive
    Strictly 4x4

    To hike
    From Kingman, Arizona, on I-40, take exit 48 to merge onto US-93 N/W Beale St toward AZ-68 W/Las Vegas
    Continue to follow US-93 N
    Pass by Wendy's (on the left in 0.4 mi),3.7 mi.
    Take the AZ-68 W ramp to Bullhead City/Laughlin, 0.7 mi.
    Continue onto AZ-68 W, 27.4 mi.
    Turn left onto Bullhead Pkwy, 9.8 mi.
    Turn left onto AZ-95 S, 2.8 mi.
    Turn right onto Aztec Rd.
    (Entering Nevada.)
    2.5 mi, to Avi Resort and Casino.
    Turn left onto Aha Macav Parkway, go 1.5 miles to Needles Highway. Turn right (north) on Needles Highway. (Entering California.) Go 2.5 miles to the Nevada state line. From the Nevada state line it is 3/4 mile to an unmarked dirt road on the left. This is the historic Mohave Road. Use this GPS Route to get to the trailhead, about 1.8 miles from the highway. Four wheel drive is needed for the sand, plus high clearance for the ruts and rocks.
    page created by azbackpackr on Mar 16 2018 6:10 pm
    90+° 8am - 6pm kills
    help comment issue

    end of page marker