Petroglyphs and Pictographs
Several impressive, but extremely fragile, rock art sites exist in White Pine County. All sites in White Pine County are very difficult to access and require a high-clearance vehicle just to get to hiking distance.
These extremely sensitive sites are easily destroyed by touching or applying any foreign substances (water, chalk, aluminum powder, etc.) to them. Please do not touch them in any manner. "Take Nothing But Photographs and Leave Nothing But Footprints" so others may enjoy this wonderful and irreplaceable art too.
The easiest Petroglyph site to access is in Jakes Wash, on BLM public lands. This site is called City of Rocks or Honeymoon Hill. There are numerous anthropomorphous (human forms) and geometric designs pecked into the rocks. The location is on a high point which affords a panoramic view of the surrounding area. The high position may indicate that the site was used for calendric and seasonal observations of the suns position on the horizon. Take US 6 about 15 miles south of Ely, turn on a (good weather only) dirt road and proceed about 5 more miles. The site can be found by hiking uphill for about a quarter of a mile.
Raised Springs site is located about 45 miles southeast of Ely on the west flank of Wheeler Peak. Several slabs of rock have been pecked with elaborate designs. Access to this site is extremely difficult.
Ohio Springs or Windy Peak site is situated a few miles north of the Raised Springs site and at an altitude of 10,000 feet. The rock art here includes "pit and groove", anthropomorphic and geometric designs scattered along an unusual rock "sill". A two-mile hike, steeply rising over 1500 feet, is required to reach this site. The visitor is rewarded with a spectacular view of Spring Valley.
Finally, Tunnel Canyon, a pictograph (painted designs) site, has stunning and elaborate polychrome (red, black, yellow and blue) geometric designs. Some rock art observers believe some of the designs may be maps, counting devices, or have other meanings. Tunnel Canyon is about 65 miles straight northeast of Ely on the east-facing flank of the Antelope Range. Access is from the old Lincoln Highway at Tippets. A high-clearance, four-wheel drive vehicle is required. Access should only be attempted in good weather.