Sun Runner Offers Fall Little Petroglyph Canyon Tour


Joshua Tree, CA-  the northern Mojave Desert, near the town of Ridgecrest, the western hemisphere’s largest concentration of Native American petroglyphs covers the walls of Little Petroglyph Canyon. The site is difficult to visit as it is located on the Naval Air Weapons Station, China Lake, and only limited access is allowed. This fall, The Sun Runner Magazine is leading another tour to the northern Mojave and Little Petroglyph Canyon, to encourage residents of the desert and southern California to explore this portion of the desert region.

The fall 2012 Little Petroglyph Canyon Tour will be offered Saturday & Sunday, November 10 & 11, 2012. Single occupancy and couple pricing is available. Pricing includes hotel accommodations for Saturday, November 10, in Ridgecrest, Sunday breakfast, and the Little Petroglyph Canyon Tour.

This trip, we’re going to meet at Domingo’s in Boron, just off Highway 58, for lunch on Saturday. Domingo’s not only has decent Mexican food, but also is the traditional gathering place for test pilots and space shuttle crews who drop by from neighboring Edwards Air Force Base. You never quite know who may be dining in the booth next to you…

After lunch, the tour will visit the Saxon Aerospace Museum and the 20 Mule Team Museum, then take a short drive to the Borax Visitors Center, located on one of the largest open pit mines in the world.

From there, it’s on up to the Ridgecrest area, where anyone who enjoys microbreweries can partake in a beer tasting at the Indian Wells Brewing Company in nearby Inyokern (our favorite is their Orange Blossom Amber). The beers and sodas are made here with artesian spring water from the same springs that helped save the Manly-Jayhawker parties of 1849 after their ordeal in Death Valley. During the 18602, this location was the site of a stage and freight station for folks going between Los Angeles and the Coso and Cerro Gordo mines.

After the beer tasting, the group can enjoy dinner at the Indian Wells Lodge next door. The Lodge serves great steaks, like the 22 oz. “Diamond Jim Brady,” sirloin, and they also offer seafood and other fare. Those who’d prefer Japanese, Thai, or other food can find something to their liking in nearby Ridgecrest.

The tour will stay at the new Hampton Inn in Ridgecrest, with large, beautiful rooms and the hotel will hold the group’s luggage after check-out on Sunday during the tour.

Sunday morning, there will be a hot breakfast, and then on to Little Petroglyph Canyon. The fall weather should make for a cool hike and the light should be excellent for photography. Please note: Only American citizens are allowed on base, and all personal information for the trip must be submitted two weeks prior to the tour date. Little Petroglyph Canyon is a sacred site, as well as a culturally significant location and we will treat it with the respect warranted.

Those on the tour may choose to extend their stay Sunday night and visit the living ghost town of Randsburg and the Rand Mining District, the Trona Pinnacles, the mining town of Trona, Red Rock Canyon State Park, and other attractions.

Rates for double occupancy/couples have remained the same since the magazine’s last trip at $199 per person, but rates for single occupancy accommodations have gone up to $249 as hotel accommodations have been upgraded significantly. Rates include the Little Petroglyph Tour, hotel accommodations for Saturday night, breakfast Sunday morning, our Saturday itinerary, and admission to the Borax Visitors Center.

For more information, visit or call (760)820-1222.

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