Top 15 California destinations
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Little Petroglyph Canyon, Naval Air Weapons Station, China Lake Near Ridgecrest, Kern County( Manuel Nunez )
No one knows for sure who decorated Little Petroglyph Canyon with images out of a dreamscape, some thought to be more than 10,000 years old. Or why the basalt walls of a narrow wash in the bone-dry Coso Mountains at the northern edge of the Mojave became a magic canvas for flocks of bighorn sheep, hunters with bows and arrows poised and more. But the area is probably the richest Amerindian rock-art site in the hemisphere. To see the canyon, you must contact the Navy base or join a tour offered by Maturango Museum. It's a rough 40-mile drive to the trail head, followed by a hike and a scramble along the canyon. Visits only in spring and fall.
Info: Maturango Museum, 100 E. Las Flores Ave., Ridgecrest, CA 93555; (760) 375-6900. Private tours through the Naval Air Weapons Station, (760) 939-1683.
-- Susan Spano