Thursday, January 26, 2012

Apache Flat - Pine Canyon, Sierra de las Uvas

Apache Flat
Pine Canyon
Apache Flat is a petroglyph site near the Massacre Peak of the Sierra de las Uvas,very close to the Dona Ana-Luna county line. There are actually 2 groupings( that I know about) about a mile apart. Despite the fact that one is right on a road and the other in close proximity to a large cattle tank these sites were not well known until recently.There is another site about 5 miles to northeast at some natural cisterns that I found by accident while hiking to the back entrance of Pine Canyon. Nearby  in a small, parallel arroyo are a few more images. I was looking for pinon trees not rock art that day.   In addition  to the rock art, I also stumbled upon a strange area with many alcoves in the volcanic rock. I have found a few more of these areas over the years since that winter morning. No navigable or open road( that I know of) comes within  a couple miles of that site and probably very few people  have taken the trouble to visit it. I don't know if I would again.I did find one of  the very few,or perhaps even the last of the piñon pines that are left in the Sierra de las Uvas in Pine Canyon. So in the end it was a happy day despite a long, off trail hike.
  At Apache Flat there is one quite stunning geometric design plus the usual assortment of Mogollon abstracts,animals and occasional humanoids.More naturalistic images of  horses and men plus a few crucifixes( Venus?) were probably left by Apaches and or colonial era Spaniards.Then there is the modern,but still quite old graffiti pecked into the rock near and on some of the petroglyphs, some sobering, some good for laugh. Happy wandering.UPDATE: It has recently come to my attention that at least one and probably both of the petroglyph sites north of Tajaino Pinto Tank and south of the Pine Canyon Saddle are on  private property.Though it is un-posted at this time, there is the risk of being considered a trespasser. NOTE: forgive the image quality here.  Many of these photos  were either taken with an old Advantix film camera, or an early digital camera that had less than 1 megapixel of resolution.

The alcoves











Massacre Peak





Petroglyph site is in this small canyon north of Tajaino Pinto tank





 Only pinon tree I've found in the Sierra de las Uvas












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