Friday, February 17, 2012

California Desert: Blythe Intaglios

The Blythe Intaglios are a group of gigantic earth figures found on the ground near Blythe, CA. These intaglios are east of the Big Maria Mountains, about 15 miles north of Blythe - just west of Highway 95 near the Colorado River. The intaglios are best viewed from the air, and that is exactly how they were discovered. In 1932, local pilot George Palmer was flying over the Colorado River into Blythe when he accidentally spotted the formations below him.

Intaglios are gigantic human, animal and geometric figures on the ground surface.  The ground drawings are situated on two low mesas or terraces, but not too worry, it’s an easy hike.  There are several figures in three locations. The figures include two large humans, a feline and a concentric circle and a spiral. The largest human figure measures 171 feet from head to toe. 

The dates of origin remain a mystery but the figures are believed to between 450 to 2000 years old. According to the Native Americans of the lower Colorado River area, their oral histories believe the human figures represent Mastamho, the creator of all life. The animal figures represent Hatakulya, one of two mountain lions who helped in the creation. Sacred ceremonial dances were held in the area in ancient times to honor the creation.  The Blythe Intaglios have been fenced to prevent further damage.  We don’t want to spoil it for everyone else, so we only posted the man; you will have to go see the others… ;)

Of course since we were already in the Big Maria Mountains, we had to scout out the area.  Unfortunately, most of the trails had been closed, so we only found a few to explore.  High clearance vehicle recommended to explore the back country, however not to get to the intaglios.

Metal Detecting = Nails ;(

Do you see the "dragon"?

Where's the road?
It seems Max puts all his energy into exploring the back country, as soon as he knew we were heading home – it’s nap time.   This time was NO different!!  Oh, until he heard river!  Yes, we saw a river not far from the road when driving to find the intaglios, so we were talking about finding access to let Max swim.  It turned out to be the Palo Verde Diversion Dam, a very deep and crystal clear dam.  And yes, Max got to swim!! =) 

Are you watching me?

Spring is coming, so it want be long and we will get to join Max for a swim!

“You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough.” ~ Mae West


  1. OMG! I am so going there! I think I spotted two others - should I look for more?


  2. There is a total of six in three fence areas, however we didn't want to spoil it for everyone. We only wish we could see it from the sky to get the true effects. :( The scenery is just beautiful and so peaceful!! Enjoy

  3. Wow, seems like you guys have got quite a bit of exploring under your belts in this area. Nice to see you guys enjoying your toy and it's great that Max found a few water holes to play around and burn off some of his energy. ~Holly

  4. Yes,finally we are learning where there are some interesting areas to scout out, which are mostly in the back country. As you know that is right up our ally, as well with Max, as he gets to go hunt for new things to eat. I must say; this place is starting to grow on me, as I wasn't too sure at first. =) People have gotten a kick watching Max and his love for water! It has been amazing how much Max has changed since being here, as he has learned to excepted people more, which we can allow him to roam around more freely. However, he still doesn't like people to come up to the RV or Toy, which we are okay with, as he is only protecting the property. Hope all is going well with you. ~Deb

  5. Gives me some ideas of where to ride out there. Been on the bucket list for a while now.

    1. What type of riding are you looking for - atv, off-road, motorcycles,etc?