Blythe Intaglios

On Monday, 5/20/2019 we decided to take our annual road trip to the recycling center in Blythe California. This couple hour round trip for us usually consist of dropping of a truckload of our empty beer cans and having a quick lunch before returning home.  On this day, due to the nice weather and the trip going quicker than usual, we decided to stop at the Blythe Intaglios.

The Blythe Intaglios are: ancient human, animal, and geometric figures drawn in the earth.

I have heard about these before and seen a few pictures.  From what I gathered this is the closest thing to the famous geoglyphs the “Nazca Lines” in Peru, that we have here in the United States.



GPS Coordinates

Latitude: 33.79963

Longitude: -114.53018

Driving Directions:

About 15 miles north of Blythe, California, on California State Route 95.


Intaglios, also called anthropomorphic geoglyphs — gigantic human or animal figures drawn on the ground’s surface — are known throughout the American Southwest, South America. The figures are believed to have been made by the Mohave and Quechan Indians, are somewhere between 450 and 2,000 years old, and believed to represent Mastamho, the creator of life. These were made by the artist scraping the dark rock of the desert ground to expose the lighter soil underneath.

According to Wikipedia:

“In 1932, George Palmer, a pilot flying between Las Vegas, Nevada and Blythe, California noticed the Blythe geoglyphs. His find led to a survey of the area in 1932 by Arthur Woodward, Curator of History and Anthropology at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County. Malcolm J. Rogers subsequently studied and sketched the Blythe Intaglios in 1939. After National Geographic published an article about the Blythe Intaglios in 1952, people began to visit the site which led to some destruction of the intaglios.] The interest in the Blythe intaglios lead to the search for and discovery of more desert intaglios. Th Bureau of Land Management erected fences in 1974 to protect the intaglios and the Blythe Intaglios were placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1982.” (Thanks Wikipedia)

This was a quick stop on our way home and we really enjoyed checking them out. Our thoughts were wondering if these weren’t created by some ancient native that was either hitting the peace pipe too much or perhaps trying to communicate with something in the sky? We may never know.  Whatever the case will be this is probably the closest thing to the famous Nazca Lines in Peru that we will ever be.

From the ground they are almost unrecognizable, unless you know what you are looking at.

We enjoyed the quick detour, if your in the area this free quick stop was definitely worth it.

Thank you Google Earth for the satellite images!

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