Vasquez Rocks State Park, located in Southern California, was created 25 million years ago by collision and uplift of the North American and Pacific Tectonic Plates. You can see the two people climbing in this shot (Please click to enlarge).
The park was home for thousands of years to the Tatavium Native Americans who left pictographs all over the park, some of which are 9000 years old.
Lying directly above the San Andreas Fault, these rocks were exposed and tilted more recently by movement along The San Andreas. See the person in this shot for scale.
The park is named after Tiburcio Vasquez, an infamous California bandit, who used the rocks to hide from law enforcement from 1873-1874.
The Pacific Crest Trail runs directly through the park.
The park has been filmed in countless movies and TV shows including Star Trek where different areas of the park were used to depict different planets. As a matter of fact filming was occurring at the site when we visited.
The precious ancient pictographs lie all over the park. Concerns have been raised by conservationists about their protection, but the powers that be believe the best protection lies in the fact that most people don’t even know they are there. There is an interpretive center on site and rangers do patrol. Southern California is actually full of ancient pictographs that most people don’t know about. (If you are interested in the pictographs, see the reference at the end of this post).
Cheers to you from the ancient and mostly empty Vasquez Rocks State Park!
115 thoughts on “Between a Rock and a Hard Place: An Ancient Refuge~”
Beautiful Cindy, thanks for sharing…very enlightening! God bless!
So kind & so appreciated! Cheers to you~
What a beautiful park, and nicely descriptive photos of the varied tectonic activities. The people give excellent size perspective. I really like petroglyphs a lot and thank you for this introduction.
So rewarding that you enjoyed it and heading over to correct my mispelling of tectonic!!! LOL & thank you!
Reblogged this on Spirit In Action and commented:
Thank you Cindy! I am fascinated by both geology and petroglyphs so combining both with your gorgeous camera work is a treat to see:-)
You rock!! I am honored and most appreciative!
You should have dropped by. We live near the Park; a dear friend runs it!
Who knew? Lucky you! I have been so impressed with your photos lately! Kudos~
What a beautiful place, no wonder they have used it movies.
Yes it does look otherworldly!
Beautiful post. Pawkiss 🙂
Thanks back at you two!
What a fabulous place. I love rocky ranges of any kind – the colors that run through them amaze me.
Eleenie! Great to hear from you ma deah and thanks much!
25million years ago! You just realize what johnnys-come-lately we are. Fascinating Cindy.
We have kinda messed things up consdering we are such newbies, particularly in comparison with the Natives Americans who lived here for thousands of years without destroying anything~
Cindy – Wonderful, as always.
Muchas gracias mi amiga~
Wunderschöne Bilder ich wünsche einen schönen Samstag und ein glückliches Wochenende Grüße und Freundschaft.Gislinde
Sie sind so freundlich Gislinde! Danke ~
Awesome pictures Cindy.
these are amazing and beautiful, cindy )
We live on such a stunning planet! Thank you~
Did you ask for a walk-on part in the movie that was being filmed ; ?
Dang……didn’t think of it! I’d be famous now……….
Fantastic colours and I love how you have put the tiny people in to show perspective. Awesome
This habitat seems somewhat similar to the outback. Am I correct on this?
I little like it in the ruggedness and awesomeness and the fact that the native people revered these places, but the actual formations are quite unique. Your previous post on Red Rock Canyon was amazing too. When travelling the outback we came across some similar formations, but quite smaller.
Always something interesting around the corner~
That is the truth!!!
25 million years! Now this is what I call ‘seeing’ the past, a kind of time travel. Such things give me goose bumps. Especially thinking what I could have been then. Maybe a rock somewhere.
Yes! Exactly! It puts us in perspective doesn’t it!
That Vasquez – – – he is just a hoot. Thanks for sharing another one of your interesting and educational trips with us. Let me know when you have your coffee table photo book on the market. Anselma Knoke-Adams sounds like a good alias.
These things are amazing – the rock formation and the rock arts. For the rock arts, some do have rudimentary colors. But the amazing thing about them is they last till today!
Thanks again for introducing us…well me…to so many new and interesting places. I would like to visit most of them, but think I will pass up the opportunity to climb these rocks.
I climbed the other side which was easy and afforded panoramic views of the whole area. I would recommend this!
What a fascinating place. Beautiful photos as always, Cindy!
Thank you Linda. I wonder how you like your new camera?
I think I’m going to like it. I have so much to learn. But I’m going to take it a step at a time. I’ll use the auto and semi-auto till I figure out what I’m doing! 🙂
You’ll do it. I’m certain of it!
Amazing to see those old drawings. Lucky they are hard to find so they do not get defaced.
There were so many of them! I had to work hard to select only three! I worry too about them being ruined~
The petroglyphs are fascinating.
Yes decipering their possible meaning is beyond fascinating!
Reblogged this on Cherokee Billie's Blog.
Awwww! Honored and so appreciative! Thank you~
Thank you so much for taking us there, Cindy! The ancient petroglyphs lie all over the park, Wow!
There are places in Borrego that are full of petroglyphs too that hardly anyone knows of……So mysterious. Messages from 9000 years ago! If we were only smart enough to figure them out!
If I see the 9000 years old message, I’d be in tears… I’ve learned so much reading your travel post, it’s always educational and informative. Thank you again, Cindy.
You and I are kindred spirits and we live in the same place! Cheers to you Amy~
Some great images, Cindy. I like the way you captured some of the images with hikers in composition. It shows the great perspective of the size of the rock formations.
Merci! So Cal has a lot to recommend doesn’t it, when you move out of the cities!
Wow. Fascinating. Live to see the Peoria un relationship to the rocks. Gives a true perspective.
Yes I always try to show how small were really are in comparison to nature!
How beautiful! Your photography always brightens my day! Awesome place to see!, Hugz Lisa and Bear
Awww, makes me happy! Hugz back to you guys~
Beautiful. Especially like the petroglyph pictures.
Yes. They are eerie and mysterious. Messages we can’t really decipher~
These kinds of stilling the work of nature and human nature swells my heart. To realize the age of these natural wonders fills me with a renewed sense of hope. Decades ago on my first trip to the Southwest and West Coast I experienced my spirituality soaring. I instantly recalled the first time that I saw petroglyphs, I was stunned and joyful all at once. These are the thought that your wonderful images evoke. I can only imagine your own emotional response, which can be felt in your images.
Oh, you made me tear up. You are an old soul to feel this and it is the wonder and joy and peace I feel when viewing the splendor and power of our natural world. It is deeply spiritual and provides the emotional sustenance that people need in order be happy and at peace. Thank you for knowing this & hugz to you~
Your shots are spectacular, Cindy! The shapes and colors are incredibly alluring and the petroglyphs are fascinating! Thank you for this wonderful post!
Thank you my friend for saying this! We live on an incredible planet. I’ve been sending healing hopes to your sister everyday. You two are such remarkable artists~
The planet is a marvel!
Another marvel is that dear Robyn took her first few steps today and the joy of a new beginning radiates from her face.
Cindy, you are so kind and considerate! I can’t thank you enough for your care and concern. Love Resa xo
Oh my gosh!!! You have NO idea how happy this makes me! YAY!! You tell here GO GIRL for me!
One of our favorite places~
No wonder we get along!
I was a contented resident of California for over 30 years.
There are not many places that I have not been to and loved, from San Diego to San Francisco and everywhere in between~
It has so much to offer once you get out of the cities…..except for SF which is a destination in itself!
Marvelous place and petroglyphs, such an astonishing art to see.
Really incredible isn’t it! Thank you for the appreciation~
what fascinating rock formations…awesome photos!
Muchas gracias mi amiga! Stay warm & snug~
Wonderful images, great title and, for me, an introduction to the word “petroglyphs”. Thanks, Cindy.
So happy to be able to introduce you to something for a change Russel, it’s usually the other way around!! 🙂
Those rocks are so huge, and it’s quite some climb that those people are doing in the first pic. The Petroglyph figures are really cute. 🙂
It amazes me how much people like to climb these huge natural structures. I’m glad they do because it creates the perspective I find strangely comforting of human infinitesimality in face of the vast grandeur of nature. Of course I always have to climb something too in order to get these shots! lol~
Love the petroglyphs. Really interested to see these. RH
Aren’t they just incredible! Messages from 9000 years ago that we can’t fully decipher~
These are such great shoots and this must have been an amazing place to be with a camera.
It was quite a gas and I owe it my clever husband who suggested we go! Last night we were watching a movie, “A Single Man,” with Colin Firth and there were Vasquez rocks as clear as can be. My hubby spotted it before I did!
An unbelievable place like so many places you have visited. Your photographs are so brilliant I feel I am there.
One gets a sense of the biggness of things in places like this. A sense of being just a tiny part of a much greater whole~
you capture the magnificent scale of these formations so well Cindy,
i’m not normally at a loss for words ….
Awwww, how kind…..and how appreciated!
Beautiful pictures!! I saw your comment on another site that you use a Sony DSC-HX300 camera. Are all the pics on this page taken with the HX-300? My Sony DSC-H9 recently called it quits and I am looking to purchase another one. Since my last Sony captured close to 50,000 shots and I feel the quality of the pics are great, I am considering buying the latest model. I would really appreciate your thoughts and opinion!
All my pics since April 2013 have been with the HX300. I love it! Just got an underwater sony for the Caribbean and I’m looking at a faster one for the future for bird shots. I highly recommend the HX300 for general shooting. I clearly am staying with sonys. I find the technology quite advanced. Good luck and let me know what you decide~
Incredible. thank you doe sharing. Susan x
Makes posting worthwhile! Thank you!
There’s just too much out there to see, Cindy. I need to come out there and live for a year or two…
The terrain in this park is fantastic, to say te least. Looks like you’re just having toooo much fun !!!
Gotta grab life by the throat and shake the heck out of it before it’s gone! I don’t want to die without have enjoyed life! I know you understand this better then most Paul~
Wow! What a magnificent park and beautiful scenery! 🙂
I was just over at your blog seeing if I had missed anything!!! We just saw it again by happenstance in a movie last night with Colin Firth called A Single Man……synchronicity!!!
I always love Petroglyphs Cindy and have blogged on them several times. I am fascinated by both the art and possible messages. Peggy and I have visited a number of petroglyph sites in the Southwest. I think you are inspiring me to do another post. –Curt
Oh please do! I find them fascinating and mysterious and can never see too many of them! Post! Post!
Coming up in the next few weeks re your request Cindy. –Curt
Outstanding pictures the nature is breathtaking.l enjoyed the scenery.Best regards and thank you for visiting my blog.jalal
Cheers & thanks Jalal~
Wow, I can’t even begin to imagine the history ….
Remarkable isn’t it!
These photos are stunning !!! Thank You Cindy for admiring my newest Painting !! 🙂 *Cynthia
Thank you and you know I always admire your paintings ma deah!
Love the petroglyphs. 🙂
They are quite mysterious aren’t they!
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