Grapevine Canyon Petroglyphs

Nearest city        Laughlin, Nevada

Coordinates       35.2271°N 114.6856°WCoordinates: 35.2271°N 114.6856°W

The Grapevine Canyon Petroglyphs are located in Grapevine Canyon on Spirit Mountain near Laughlin, Nevada, and are listed on the United States National Register of Historic Places. The area is also known as Christmas Tree Pass. While the petroglyphs extend through the canyon, a significant concentration lies at the entrance to the canyon which is at an elevation of 2,395 feet (730 m). The area features over 700 petroglyphs and many rock shelters.

History

For centuries, Native American tribal shamans have visited Grapevine Canyon to receive and renew their powers. The site represents the largest concentration of petroglyphs in southern Nevada and contains rock art many believe to be more than 1,000 years old. A result of hundreds of years of ceremonies, many of the markings are covered over. Geometric shapes, human figures and animals can be deciphered in the many
markings.

After a short 1/2 mile hike from the trail head, thousands of petroglyphs come into view, beginning at eye level and extending up the canyon wall, but there’s more to this desert canyon than culture. Wild grapevines cover large sections of the canyon wall and during rainy seasons, three separate, spectacular waterfalls cascade from the walls. If you visit Grapevine canyon please remember this is a holy site for the Aha Macav people. Leave no trace.

In March 2010, David R. Smith, accompanied by two other individuals, defaced 30 areas of petroglyphs by shooting them with an automatic paintball gun. He was sentenced to serve time in federal prison and pay almost $10,000 in restitution.

The canyon itself is located in the Bridge Canyon Wilderness Area and the Spirit Mountain Wilderness as well as partially being in the Lake Mead National Recreation Area.

Lake Mead/Lake Mohave National Recreation Area

Two powerful forces molded this hospitable landscape – nature and technology – one over millions of years, the other in the last few decades. Lake Mead National Recreation Area provides spectacular scenic vistas of the lakes and rugged and isolated back country. Striking and dramatic physical features include deep canyons, dry washes, sheer cliffs, distant mountain ranges, the lakes, colorful soils and rock formations and mosaics of
different vegetation.

A network of back country roads has been developed to provide access to the lake shore and other areas of interest in the back country. Approved roads are signed with yellow arrows.

HUALAPAI MOUNTAINS

The Hualapai Mountains, located near Kingman, are where area locals go to escape the heat. Encompassing more than 2,300 acres with elevations ranging from 4,984 to 8,417 feet, visitors can easily experience the cool and clear beauty of pine country. Hualapai Mountain Park was first developed during the early 1930s by the Civilian Conservation Corps and is now maintained by the Mohave County Parks Department. The roads, trails, picnic and camping areas, along with the stone cabins and pavilions, are still much as they were 50 years ago, helping to give the park its own unique character.

The name “Hualapai” means “pine tree folk,” and is derived from the name of the Indian tribe that once called these mountains home until they were relocated by the military in the 1870s. There are plenty of hiking trails, picnic areas, camp sites, horseback riding trails, ATV trails, group recreation areas, scenic look-out areas, wildlife viewing and more.

Hualapai Mountain Park is located 14 miles southeast of Kingman, Arizona, at 6250 Hualapai Mountain Road. For more information, or to make reservations, call the campground at 928-757-3859 or resort at 928-757-3545.

BLACK CANYON

You can find rivers and lakes near Laughlin, as well as desert hot springs. The springs found in Black Canyon, with water temperatures ranging from about 55 to 136 degrees, come in many forms — large seeps with wet rock faces up to 100 feet long, spring fed brooks that discharge into the Colorado River and those that discharge water from the Black Canyon walls directly.

A few of these features, such as Nevada Hot Springs and Arizona Hot Springs, can be reached by hiking. Others such as the springs in Boy Scout Canyon, can only be reached by boat. Nevada Hot Springs, accessed via a trail head located off Highway 93 on the Nevada side of Hoover Dam, is located within Goldstrike Canyon. This spring (actually series of springs, located on Bureau of Reclamation land) produces a number of picturesque pools of varying temperatures, as well as lovely waterfalls.

Arizona Hot Springs, located about 4 miles south of Hoover Dam, can be accessed via a scenic hiking trail located off Highway 93 on the Arizona side of the Colorado River. It produces fairly constant 111 degree water that drops through several small pools.

LAKE HAVASU NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE

Protecting more than 30 river miles and 300 miles of shoreline, the Havasu National Wildlife Refuge, established in 1941, is home to thousands of birds and
animals who rely on the life-giving waters. A great river in a dry, hot land that attracts wildlife and people like a powerful magnet. Today, many thousands of visitors annually flock to the refuge to boat through the spectacular Topock Gorge, watch waterbirds, or hike the Havasu Wilderness Area.

A favorite for many visitors is the 4,000-acre Topock Marsh, created from a historical river meander in 1966 when the South Dike outlet structure was constructed. Presently, the marsh represents over 40 percent of the remaining backwaters of theColorado River and serves as a critical resting place for migratory waterfowl and a home to resident songbirds, waterbirds, and other wildlife. This area is a birdwatcher’s paradise. Kayakers and canoers enjoy the solitude of the marsh and the limited availability to motorized boats.

FRESH WATER RECREATION

Laughlin may be situated in the middle of the Mojave Desert, but it is surrounded by water recreation opportunities. With the Colorado River flowing by and Lake Mohave only minutes away, the hard part is deciding between fishing, boating, jet skiing, scuba diving, kayaking, canoeing or tubing.

Boating , jet skiing & Water-skiing
Those who already own their toys need only registered vehicles and a place to dock. Those looking to rent a little fun for the weekend or a couple of hours have plenty of options. The Lake Mead National Recreation Area, which includes Lake Mead and Lake Mohave, offers concessions
supplying houseboats, ski boats, jet skis and float trips. Boating of all kinds is allowed in Lake Mohave, so long as safety laws and regulations are followed.

Canoeing and kayaking
River guides are available to launch and pick up canoes and kayaks along the Colorado River and Lake Mohave. Popular trips include Davis Dam to
Rotary Park in Bullhead City, Topock Gorge, Black Canyon from Hoover Dam to Willow Beach and still water tours of Lake Mohave. With cool water temperatures year round, kayaking and canoeing can be enjoyed 12 months a year.

Fishing
Largemouth bass, striped bass, channel catfish, crappie, and bluegill are found in both Lakes Mead and Mohave, as well as the Colorado River. Rainbow trout can be found in Lake Mohave and record breaking specimens are often caught at Willow Beach. Cottonwood Cove, Davis Camp and Katherine Landing offer great bass and trout fishing.

Fisherman’s Access Park
Fisherman’s Access Park in Laughlin, located between the Laughlin Bridge and the Riverside Resort was redesigned with several cosmetic improvements and upgrades to better serve visitors at a cost of $5 million. The remodeling project for Fisherman’s Access Park was a joint public-private venture between Laughlin founder Don Laughlin and the Nevada Department of Wildlife. In addition to new asphalt, improvements include reducing water use for grass; making the park more ADA compliant; reconstructing the launch ramp, providing a dedicated law enforcement and new public-use dock; picnic ramadas, a redesign of the Flag Plaza in conjunction with the Laughlin American Legion; providing additional parking spaces for vehicles with boat trailers, and providing an area for people to fish from the bank.

Cottonwood cove
Cottonwood Cove Resort and Marina on Lake Mohave is one of Nevada’s best kept secrets conveniently located on the Colorado River, just
a short drive from Laughlin, NV and Bullhead City, AZ. Cottonwood Cove Resort offers friendly lakeside accommodations, a full-service RV park and nearby campground facilities. For more information about Cottonwood Cove call 702-297-1464 or visit www.cottonwoodcoveresort.com

Scuba Diving

Explore the emerald world of Lake Mohave or the moving waters of the Colorado River with an air tank and scuba equipment. Whether an experienced diver or a novice hoping to get their fins, Lake Mohave offers several diving scenarios. Buses, boats and other underwater adventures await. Scour the bed of the Colorado and see evidence of a bygone steamboat era. Or stumble upon modern pirate booty — lost keys, jewelry and
sunglasses.

Davis Camp
If you’re looking to put a boat in the water, for a campsite with amenities, a place for the kids to burn off energy or if you would like to find a quiet
spot under a tree to enjoy a good book, Davis Camp is that place. Nestled in between the Laughlin Bridge and Davis Dam on the Arizona side of the Colorado River, Davis Camp is the place to relax for a few days or enjoy an action-packed weekend on the river. Maintained by the Mohave County Parks Department, they offer vacation homes for rent, spaces with full hookups for trailers or RVs and they have plenty of campsites along the palm-tree lined beach for campers and tent spots. There is a sanitary disposal (dump station) for park guests, along with shower buildings and laundry facilities. Day use is permitted in the picnic areas, along with swim beaches, fishing along the shores and a boat launch. For more information about the park call 928-754-7250.

Field Trip Friday by David Hall with Fox 5 KVVU-TV in Las Vegas