Carson City District - Stillwater Field Office

Grimes Point Archaeological Area


Grimes Point is an archaeological site which was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1972. It is located seven miles east of Fallon, NV on the north side of U.S. Highway 50.

During the Pleistocene Epoch, this area and most of northwestern Nevada, was covered by ancient Lake Lahontan. Over the last 10,000 years, the level of ancient Lake Lahontan fluctuated widely, at times drying up completely. When above water, the Grimes Point area would have been marshland with a wide variety of wetland plants and animals available for use by prehistoric populations. Grimes Point was first visited by Native Americans perhaps 8,000 years ago or more.

Grimes Point is a field of basalt boulders that are covered with a glossy black patina, commonly called desert varnish. Many of the boulders are covered with pecked or carved rock art called petroglyphs. The antiquity of many of the petroglyphs can be evidenced by how varnish has completely repatinated the carved surfaces.

Visitors today can view examples of petroglyphs along a 1/4 mile, self-guided interpretive trail. The trail was originally constructed by the Youth Conservation Corps and named Nevada's first National Recreation Trail in 1978.  Handicapped accessible restrooms and picnic facilities are available at this popular stop on U.S. Highway 50.

Guided Tours
Contact the BLM Carson City District Office at (775) 885-6000 for more information or to arrange for a guided tour of the site for school or other large groups. Guided public tours are also available at nearby Hidden Cave on the second and fourth Saturday of each month.

Other Related Attractions
Check out the Churchill County Museum in Fallon and the Nevada State Museum in Carson City for additional displays about prehistoric Nevada and Grimes Point and Hidden Cave.

Photo of the entrance sign to the Grimes Point area off U.S. Highway 50, east of Fallon, Nevada.
Entrance sign to the Grimes Point Archaeological Area.
Photo of ancient Native American rock art along the trail at Grimes Point.
Example of Native American rock art on the Grimes Point trail.

Please stay on the trail and help ensure this special place remains for future generations by respectfully viewing the petroglyphs. Take nothing but photographs. Please do not touch, chalk, create rubbings of the petroglyphs, or damage them in any way.