Painted Rock Petroglyph Site



Located west of Gila Bend, between Yuma and Tucson in Southern Arizona this historic site is home to an incredible collection (approximately 800 images) of early petroglyphs etched on a mound of black rocks. The Hohokam people once lived and farmed in this region.

The Juan Bautista de Anza expedition of 1775-1776 called this site Agua Caliente, after the hot spring of water. It was here that De Anza selected a Native, whom he called Carlos, as Governor of the Cocomaricopa tribe who later traveled with the expedition to solidify peace with the tribe in Yuma. You can walk around the painted rocks and read the interpretive panels covering the De Anza Expedition, as well as the Mormon Battalion (1840s), and Butterfield Overland Mail expeditions which also traveled through this historic corridor. The area was also used by General George Patton as headquarters for tank training during World War II.

Painted Rock Petroglyph Site was listed on the National Historic Register of Historic Sites on November 25, 1977, and is currently managed by the Bureau of Land Management. Overnight camping is allowed at the adjacent Painted Rock Petroglyph Campground. There are shaded picnic tables with grills.


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