A Visit to the Blythe, Ca. Intaglios


Driving a very bad road to a really cool site!


About 20 miles north of Blythe, Ca. on Hwy 95, there is a protected area of the desert containing several  ‘geoglyphs’ or intaglios.  Geoglyphs are huge structures carved into the desert by early (very early) people in the area.

These geoglyphs were created by scraping away a layer of the desert rock to reveal the sand beneath.  In this area, the rocks are very dark (minerals leach out in the sun, leaving the top layer very dark) so the contrast makes a very striking image.  There are 3 geoglyphs left, surrounded by protective fencing along a very rutted, almost washed out road. There are pullouts at each site so that you can park and walk over the desert to the fenced in sites.  While they’ve suffered some damage, considering their age, it’s somewhat surprising how well they still show up.

Like similar structures in other parts of the world, they are on a scale that makes appreciating them difficult from the ground (some are over 100 feet long).  This begs the question of why the creators of these pieces made them so big when they didn’t really have anyplace from which to really view them. 

I really wished that I could have flown over the area in an ultra-light or a helicopter; I think it would be the only way to really appreciate the images.  Very worth seeing and wondering about the people who made them so long ago.

The first picture is mine; the second is an aerial view shown on a plaque by the geoglyph; you can see the fencing that outlines the figure.


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After viewing the geoglyphs, it was time for another relaxing afternoon by the river.


A few minutes after this picture was taken, Scruffy jumped out of Julie’s boat;  he did not enjoy the paddle very much after that.  While ducks can seemingly run along the surface of the water, Cairn Terriers can not.

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  2. Good post. Scruffy is so cute. Our dogs love to go out kayaking.

    1. Maybe someday he'll learn to love it too! He loves to get in the boats on land - his dunking cooled his appreciation for actually being out on the water!


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