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Mt. Irish Archaeological District
Rock Art Around Las Vegas
Rock Art at Mt. Irish Archaeological Area
Rock art is a precious resource. Please help protect and preserve these sites.
 
Sites in the Archaeological District
Echo Rock Paiute Rock Shaman Knob Shaman Hill
Logan Canyon Road
Lower Logan Canyon Rd (view W); broad and smooth

Overview

The Mt. Irish Rock Art and Archaeological District is a broad, open area at the top of the bajada below the Mount Irish Range, of which Mt. Irish is the highest peak. Scattered about the area are many boulder piles and low bands of cliffs formed from rhyolite (a hard, light-colored volcanic ash-flow tuff) that are covered with desert varnish, a naturally occurring dark patina that forms on the surface of rocks in the desert. Native peoples created petroglyphs by pecking away the desert varnish to reveal the underlying light-colored rock. A few bits of painted artwork (pictographs), stone flakes, pot shards, and living areas can also be found in the district. There are four main public sites: Echo Rock, Paiute Rock, Shaman Knob, and Shaman Hill.

Links to Area Overview Map and Site Map.

Logan Canyon Road
Upper Logan Canyon Rd (view W);
narrow and not so smooth

The BLM and Lincoln County opened this area to the public, and Lincoln County printed a 55-page brochure with information about the site (including GPS coordinates) as part of their Get Primitive tourism campaign. Download the brochure from Lincoln County or snatch a copy here. There are four main sites in the District, plus many petroglyphs off the beaten path. In order of arrival, the main sites are: Echo Rock, Paiute Rock, Shaman Hill, and Shaman Knob. Trails at the later three sites have numbered signs corresponding to information in the brochure.

Access is via Logan Canyon Road, which is a maintained dirt road subject to washout at a broad wash in the rock art district. High-clearance vehicles should have no trouble with the road, and assuming the road is not washed out, carefully driven sedans should make it to Paiute Rock (second BLM sign).

first blm sign
First BLM sign (view NW)

There are many rock art panels in the district that are easily accessible from the dirt access road.

Visitors in sedans should park at Paiute Rock, but those in high-clearance vehicles can continue up the road another minute or two to a junction where a spur road to the left runs south to Shaman Hill and Shaman Knob. Sedans can be driven to the end of the spur road too, but low-hanging parts (bumpers, under carriage, mufflers, tailpipes, etc.) will hit bottom and scrape on rocks at two gully crossings (note the voice of experience here).

Echo Rock
Echo Rock (view S from Logan Canyon Road)

Location

Mt. Irish Rock Art and Archaeological District is located in the Pahranagat Valley, about 110 miles north of Las Vegas.

From town, drive north on Interstate 15 to US Highway 93 (Table 1, Site 0674). Turn left onto US Highway 93 and drive north past the towns of Alamo (95 miles) and Ash Springs (102 miles) to the intersection of Highways 93 and 318 (107 miles; Site 0677). Gasoline is available in Alamo and Ash Springs.

Turn left onto Highway 318 and drive west for 0.7 miles to Crystal Spring, which is marked by a stand of tall cottonwood trees (Site 0676). The road forks here, stay to the right on Highway 318. The other fork, Highway 375 (the Extraterrestrial Highway), continues west towards the secret military base at Area 51 and the town of Rachael.

Mt. Irish Archaeological Area
Paiute Rock and second BLM sign (view NW)

Drive north on Highway 318 for another 2.5 miles to an unmarked dirt road (Logan Pass Road; Site 1130) with a barbed-wire gate on the left (west) side of the road. The turn is just north of the Hiko Post Office and about 0.2 miles north of the right turn to the Nesbitt Lake Unit of the Key Pittman Wildlife Area.

Open the barbed-wire gate, drive through, and close the gate behind you.

Drive west and up the hill on Logan Pass Road for 6.8 miles to the Archaeological District, the beginning of which is marked by a large BLM sign (Site 1131) announcing the area.

shaman knob
Shaman Knob (view E from Shaman Hill)

Just beyond the first sign, look for a wide spot in the road (Echo Rock Parking; Site 1132) opposite a large rockpile out in the wash on the south side of the road. This is Echo Rock, which has some nice petroglyphs.

Continuing on about 0.3 miles past the first BLM sign, the road crosses a broad gravel wash. This is where the road sometimes is washed out and could pose a problem for sedans. Farther along, continue straight at a fork (Site 1133) where the left fork is marked with a Mt. Irish Wilderness Area.

At 1.7 miles beyond the first BLM sign, the second BLM sign (Site 1134) marks Paiute Rock, a nice rockpile with many spectacular petroglyphs. Be sure to walk all the way around the boulders.

shaman hill
Shaman Hill (view W from Shaman Knob)

Continue up Logan Canyon Road for 0.3 miles to a fork in the road (Site 1135). In a sedan, park here; otherwise, stay to the left (south) and drive about 300 yards to the end of the road and an outhouse. The boulder-covered hill on the right side of the spur road is Shaman Hill (Site 1136), and the isolated rock pile left of the road is Shaman Knob (Site 1137). There are hundreds of petroglyphs in the area; wander about and look for them.

These sites are just the tip of the iceberg. Wander around and explore the area looking for petroglyphs and other evidence of past human use of the area. Remember, however, petroglyphs are national treasures that are easily damaged. Please take care of the area and leave it as you found it for generations to come.

mt. irish

Hours

The area is always open, but it probably should be considered day-use only. There are no established camping areas.

Fees

None.

 
Table 1. Highway Coordinates based on GPS data (NAD27; UTM Zone 11S). Download Highway GPS Waypoints (*.gpx) file.

Site # Location UTM Easting UTM Northing Latitude (N) Longitude (W) Elevation (ft) Verified
0674 I-15 at Hwy 93 689188 4028063 36.38091 114.89089 2,215 Yes
0676 Hwy 318 at Hwy 375 656355 4155179 37.53219 115.23044 3,803 Yes
0677 Hwy 93 at Hwy 318 657363 4154834 37.52891 115.21911 3,831 Yes
1130 Hwy 318 at Mt Irish Rd 656276 4158994 37.56657 115.23051 3,844 GPS
1131 Mt Irish Rd at BLM Sign #1 646336 4163120 37.60538 115.34220 5,169 GPS
1132 Mt Irish Rd at Echo Rock Parking 646228 4163120 37.60542 115.34346 5,185 GPS
1133 Mt Irish Rd at Ash Cliff Rd 645112 4162865 37.60327 115.35610 5,368 GPS
1134 Mt Irish Rd at BLM Sign #2 643676 4163153 37.60610 115.37231 5,651 GPS
1135 Mt Irish Rd at Shaman Rd 643284 4163380 37.60821 115.37670 5,746 GPS
1136 Shaman Rd at Shaman Hill 643202 4163232 37.60688 115.37767 5,769 GPS
1137 Shaman Rd at Shaman Knob 643213 4163196 37.60656 115.37755 5,734 GPS

 
Note: All distances, elevations, and other facts are approximate.
Thanks for coming to visit!
© 2014 Jim Boone; Last updated 120214

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