“Places in Austin, NV”
Bookended by 7,000-foot mountain ranges at either end, the route between Austin and Eureka is perhaps the longest, flattest, straightest stretch of the entire trans-Nevada length of US-50, over 70 miles of Great Basin nothingness. Cattle ranches fill the plains, which were crisscrossed by early explorers like John C. Fremont, who passed through in 1845, as well as by the Pony Express and the Butterfield Stage. Such recent history, however, pales in comparison to the relics from the region’s prehistoric past, particularly the fine petroglyphs carved into the rocks on the eastern side of 6,594-foot Hickison Summit, 28 miles east of Austin and 46 miles west of Eureka. Now protected as part of the BLM-operated Hickison Petroglyph Recreation Area, the petroglyphs stand in a shallow sandstone draw on the north side of the highway. A half-mile trail loops through sagebrush, junipers, and piñon pines from the parking area-cum-campground past dozens of these enigmatic figures, some of which are thought to date back as far as 10,000 bc. Somewhat surprisingly, so far they are graffiti-free.
Out in the middle of nowhere, it's a great self guided tour of petroglyphs carved in stone. Some pretty vistas, great rock scrambling for our kids. Small pine trees, picnic area, and pit toilets. No water. There is a campground too, which we didn't visit. I'd give it a lower rating for the facilities, but it's so far away from civilization, I can't imagine there's much of a budget for maintenance. Bring some toilet paper just in case 😉
It's cool, but the place we stopped had more and they weren't ruined by other people's writings. Which is sad.
There are awesome petroglyphs here, just have to do a little hunting. But nice .3 walk. With shade throughout.
This park features a quick hiking trail that highlights some old (like, 10,000 years old) petroglyphs. Stick to the trail for a quick, hour-or-so-long break, or come prepared with a picnic lunch or camping supplies for some super primitive camping... remember to bring lots of water and toilet paper.
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Hickison Petroglyph Recreation Area
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- Bureau of Land Management (BLM)
- Max Length
- 25 ft
Standard Tent Sites