PJSP Petroglyph LbNA # 51189
|Placed Date||Oct 31 2009|
Petit Jean State Park houses one of the largest and most magnificent Bluff Shelters in the state of Arkansas. Accessed via Rock House Cave Trail, the bluff shelter was once home to Native Americans well over a thousand years ago. These bluff dwelling Native Americans used the shelter as their house, and lived as nomads, hunters, and gatherers. They hunted with spears, for they had yet to invent the bow and arrow. The natives also left behind evidence of their existence. Today, evidence can be seen in the form of pictographs located high on the back wall of the cave. These pictographs were painted using minerals from the rocks in the area. The pictures all tell a story that was important to the Native Americans. Today, we can only imagine what they mean. Rock House Cave is an archaeological historical site, protected by state law.
Find your way to Petit Jean State Park in NW Arkansas. Stop at the Visitor Center and pick up a trail map. Locate the Rock House Cave Trail. Follow this short trail down the rock steps, following the pink blaze markers across the turtle rocks. Stop and read the turtle rocks sig on your left, then ontinue to follow the pink blazes to the Rock House cave. Examine the back wall carefully for the pictographs, orange oxide on the stone. After visiting and exploring the bluff shelter, retrace your steps back up the trail toward the turtle rocks. Stop again at the turtle rock sign. Now look over toward your left (west) across the turtle rocks to the stone marker with a white blaze, behind which is a small tree with a white blaze, marking the Boy Scout trail. About a 3 or 4 minute walk along this trail will lead you to the PJSP pictograph letterbox. After passing the stone marker, watch for white arrows painted on the rocks to mark the trail. Count 2 double arrows (pointing in both directions), then 2 single arrows pointing the direction you want to go. The 2nd arrow will be in a large open flat rocky area. Just ahead is a small tree with a white blaze. From this tree, count 15 steps along the trail to a rocky outcropping on the right above the trail. A small dead log with a curly root points to the letterbox, tucked carefully under the rock next to the end of the log, with small rocks covering it. Please replace the box carefully and recover it with the rocks to protect it. As always, please be subtle and try to avoid being seen getting or replacing the box.
If you reach the next arrow, which is pointing back the way you’ve come, you’ve gone too far.