The desert town of Ridgecrest, Calif., likes to celebrate its prehistoric side. In November, the city will host a festival that brings together an inter-tribal powwow, hog fry and tours of thousands of petroglyphs carved into rocks in the canyons of the Coso Mountains.
Today what's called the Coso Rock Art District is part of the China Lake Naval Air Weapons Station, a sprawling base that allows tours of the spectacular petroglyphs in spring and fall.
Visitors can get a closeup look at drawings of lizards, deer, sheep, people and designs that were etched into the rocks thousands of years ago by people inhabiting this part of the Mojave Desert in southern Inyo County.
This year guided tours of Little Petroglyph Canyon begin Sept. 19 and continue on selected weekends through Dec. 6. They'll also be offered during the Ridgecrest Petroglyph and Heritage Festival on Nov. 7 and 8 too.
The festival will be held at several locations, including the museum, the city's Petroglyph Park and the Historical Society of the Upper Mojave Desert. You can see the artwork firsthand as well as hear what geologists and archaeologists have to say about the desert and the ancient people who created the rock art.