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White River Narrows & Mount Irish Petroglyphs

Across the Great Basin and Back | The Loneliest Road (Trip) in America
Rock Art of the Basin and Range National Monument
Friday & Saturday, September 4-5, 2020

Once I left the White Mountains behind, it was time to visit a few rock art sites in the Basin and Range National Monument as I drove back home across the Great Basin. After stopping in Tonopah for gas and food I continued east on US Route 6 for a little while until I reached Warm Springs and then turned off onto the Extraterrestrial Highway. If you want to drive a lonely highway, then this is probably the one for you! I didn’t even have cell phone signal for almost the entire stretch! I made my way south past the Nellis Air Force Range and through through the tiny town of Rachel on my way to Crystal Springs in the Pahranagat Valley. By the time I drove up the Logan Canyon Road into the Irish Mountain Range it was already getting pretty dark out and I found a spot to spend the night just below Logan Pass. The temperature was heating up in the desert again with another heat wave spreading across the southwest, so it didn’t cool off very quickly, even at 7,000 feet at night.

Welcome to the Extraterrestrial Highway!

Extraterrestrial Highway Sign

Kicking up dust as I drove out of the Pahranagat Valley and into the Mount Irish Range at sunset.

Kicking Up Dust

The colorful end of another day in the Great Basin.

Great Basin Evening

I woke up early on Saturday morning and drove down the road a little ways so I could explore some of the petroglyphs at the Mount Irish Petroglyph Site at sunrise. I was going to try to visit as many sites in the area as I could this morning before it heated up outside. I started out at my day the Shaman Knob site and watched the sun come up over the Hiko Range on the other side of the Pahranagat Valley. The light was very orange from the smoke in the air which looked nice on the sandstone and petroglyphs.

Shaman Knob Sunrise

Shaman Knob Sunrise

A closer look at the petroglyphs from the previous photo.

Morning Petroglyphs

The Pahranagat Man at the Shaman Hill site.

Pahranagat Man at Sunrise

Pahranagat Man

Pahranagat Man

Sandstone at Sunrise

Sandstone at Sunrise

Sheep petroglyphs in the shadows.

Sheep Petroglyphs

Mount Irish Petroglyph Site Sign

Mount Irish Petroglyph Site

Paiute Rocks Petroglyphs

Paiute Rocks Petroglyphs

Mount Irish (8,743)

Mount Irish

Monolith Echo Panel

Monolith Echo Panel

When I had visited the main sites along the road near Mount Irish, I headed back down to the highway and made my way over to the White River Narrows. It was starting to get pretty warm out already…

Leaving Mount Irish

Driving through the White River Narrows.

White River Narrows

Narrows II Panel

Narrows II Panel

This large and amazing petroglyph panel is one I’ve wanted to see for a long time, and it was mighty impressive in person!

Wide Panel

A closer look at the left side.

White River Narrows Petroglyphs

Now the right side.

Right Side Petroglyphs

There were a couple of other panels nearby, too.

Narrows Petroglyphs

These petroglyphs hidden around the corner were some of my favorites.

Corner Panel Petroglyphs

White River Designs

White River Designs

Before leaving the area I found one more very large wall covered with petroglyphs.

Big Panel of Petroglyphs

Every area needs a ‘Newspaper Rock’. Maybe this is the Newspaper Rock of the Basin and Range National Monument?

White River Newspaper

Leaving the Basin and Range National Monument as I started my drive back home. I will definitely be returning in the future during a cooler part of the year!

Basin and Range National Monument Sign

I had originally planned to spend the rest of the weekend visiting rock art sites in eastern Nevada and western Utah, but with the high temperatures in the area I thought it would be better for me to come back during a cooler time of the year when I could spend all day exploring the backcountry. So instead I decided it was time to head home early so I could relax for the rest of the holiday weekend. Instead of heading north to US Route 6 again, I headed east on the Great Basin Highway through Caliente to Panaca and then Cedar City where I got back on I-70 for the rest of the drive home. Even though I was cutting the trip a little short, I had a really nice time exploring the Great Basin and can’t wait to return!

>> Mount Irish & White River Narrows Photo Gallery

3 Comments

  1. Skip Fristoe
    Skip Fristoe September 15, 2020

    Randy do you record your routes using any devices? if so, can you forward the .gpx file? That looks like a great bikepacking trip! How many miles?

    • Randy Langstraat
      Randy Langstraat September 15, 2020

      I usually record my hiking routes on a GPS, but since these were all just short walks from the road I didn’t save any tracks.

  2. Steve Riggs
    Steve Riggs September 15, 2020

    Enjoyed all of your Great Basin trip reports! It’s going to be tough on us once you start heading to the Colorado Plateau for your adventures, as it looks almost certain that we will not be able to head south from Canada for our own annual desert trip this year. But- still looking forward to seeing things through your eyes.

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