BLM California News.bytes 
News.bytes Extra, issue 557

McCoy Springs Archaeological hike

a group poses at the top of a hill in a rocky landscape
This group photo, taken by George Kline (behind the camera lens), shows from left to right;  Dorothy DeGennaro,  Andrew Pigniolo, Gail Cochlin, Steve Dwyer, Kathleen Shada,  Brian Steffensen, and Scott Findlay.

On the last weekend of October, BLM Palm Springs-South Coast Field Office Archaeologist George Kline led seven members of the Orange County-based Pacific Coast Archaeological Society (PCAS) from a base camp established at the Palen-McCoy Wilderness boundary to the McCoy Springs archaeological site in eastern Riverside County some five miles away.  The McCoy Springs site is the premiere petroglyph site in Southern California’s Colorado Desert, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and features more than 1,700 panels of rock art.

The two springs are believed to have been an attraction to trans-desert travelers for thousands of years. Archaeological evidence, some just recently discovered in the area, show that people have visited the site and used the nearby trails for at least 13,000 years.  Kline led an interpretive hike for the PCAS along a three-mile stretch of a prehistoric trail leading into the site, identifying numerous smaller sites and features along the way.

These sites included lesser petroglyphs, cleared circles, rock rings and alignments, and sites with evidence of food preparation, stone tool manufacturing and maintenance, as well as broken ceramic “potsherds.”

The group camped out Friday and Saturday nights, hiked from sun-up to sun-down on Saturday, and feasted Saturday night on “community chili.”  The group also cleaned-up old trash around the camp site and along the trail, as well as documented two new archaeological sites.

- George Kline, Archaeologist, BLM Palm Springs-South Coast Field Office (Nov. 8, 2012)

BLM California News.bytes, issue 557 -- To subscribe to News.bytes, send an e-mail to: OR visit our News.bytes subscription page.