Red Rock Hiking hunts for longest panel of petroglyphs

Man with bow and arrow pointing at big-horned sheep, Kohta Circus Petroglyphs, near Mesquite, Nev., Jan. 6, 2013 | Photo by Angie Amodt, St. George News

MESQUITE, Nev. – Red Rock Hiking meetup group of St. George, Utah, joined up with hikers from Mesquite, Nev., Sunday to take a 3-mile hike in search of the longest panel of petroglyphs in Nevada.

The combined group of 30 were on a hunt for the Kohta Circus Panel of Petroglyphs. The group traveled through a diversity of terrain that presented both difficult driving and hiking conditions. Seeing the ancient scribing of nearby culture proved well worth the struggles it took to get to the remote location.

Watch the video top of this report.

The Kohta Circus rock writings spanned a 50-60-foot flat rock wall. Many different types of drawings displayed a variety of possible interpretations. Big-horned sheep, strong-looking men, curving lines and even a footprint shape all have some sort of deeper meaning than what they are often seen as: art.

Kotha Circus Petroglyphs, near Mesquite, Nev
Kohta Circus Petroglyphs, near Mesquite, Nev., Jan. 6, 2013 | Photo by Angie Amodt, St. George News

Penelope Eicher, a Red Rock Hiking member, has a personal interest in ancient Native American history. She quoted LaVan Martineau, from his book “The Rocks Begin to Speak“: “… It’s not art, it is information about the things that are important to the people.”

In Martineau’s book he explains that he has seen basic common symbols among all of the thousands of petroglyphs from all over America and even Canada displaying a definite linguistic trait.

However, Martineau also carefully reminds his readers that reading rock writings that were written by and for the people from cultures not like our own may be difficult – if not impossible, on purpose – for any stranger to their natives to read.

One doesn’t have to be a cryptanalyst to find the images beautiful or the story they tell moving.

Because of the potential risk of vandalism, St. George News honors a request made that it respect the Native Americans by not exploiting the location in this news story.

Those interested in participating in unique hikes in the Southern Utah area may contact the Red Rock Hiking Meetup Group via the linked website.

Kotha Circus Panel of Petroglyphs
Kohta Circus Panel of Petroglyphs, near Mesquite, Nev., Jan. 6, 2013 | Photo by Angie Amodt, St. George News

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Twitter: @STGnews

Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2013, all rights reserved.

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  • Susan Amodt January 10, 2013 at 7:44 am

    Didn’t know about this hiking area in our back yard, a hike I need to make one day. Enjoyed the video the of Petroglyphs and hike, very interesting.

  • Terry Applegate January 10, 2013 at 10:19 am

    I’m old fashioned and prefer print over e-media but, if web content can be this good I may convert yet!

  • wnorton January 10, 2013 at 1:56 pm

    Great job!! What a fun experience.

  • ACurtis January 10, 2013 at 3:05 pm

    Fabulous job of covering our hike. Very happy to see you kept the site anonymous to protect it…

    • Bob Derpaderskie January 11, 2013 at 2:12 pm

      Your attitude disgusts me. I know where the site is, and your despicable, elitist comment might cause me to go deface the whole thing.

      • Sue January 11, 2013 at 9:16 pm

        What is your problem , what disgusts you so much that you want to deface the whole thing? So sorry you are a miserable person. Just don’t understand your unkind comment.

        • Bob Derpaderskie January 12, 2013 at 7:14 pm

          If ACurtis think the site should just be enjoyed by a select few with privileged information, then perhaps the whole site should be destroyed so that nobody can enjoy it! I find his attitude unacceptable.

  • Tvalencia January 10, 2013 at 3:16 pm

    It never ceases to amaze me, the treasures we have so close to home. We live in one of the most beautiful places on Earth.

    • Bob Derpaderskie January 11, 2013 at 2:15 pm

      It’s just old graffiti by a bunch of savages, nothing special. What is special is the European conquest that gave us this impressive American civilization we enjoy today.

  • marsha glass January 10, 2013 at 10:25 pm

    Nice job. It really made me want to go see it. In fact, I noticed that my Outback Hiking club has been there. In the hike write-up of their trip they mentioned that the site was discovered in 1998 by Bob Ashbaugh, a Las Vegas retired truck driver. He named the area after his Grandmother from Finland, Ali Kohta. The Circus was from all the animals depicted.

  • Nia January 11, 2013 at 7:34 am

    This is great to learn about as we live in Ivins. Have to check it out. Great article.

  • Sue Blake January 11, 2013 at 10:34 am

    Great piece. I have never heard of this area. Looking forward to exploring it myself.

  • Boyd Tangren January 11, 2013 at 10:54 am

    Thanks for the article. You have described a treasure that few people have seen. Your article may be as close as I ever come to visiting it myself.

    Thanks again.

  • Mike January 11, 2013 at 12:44 pm

    Looks like a fun group to be a part of

  • Ginger Farnsworth January 12, 2013 at 11:47 am

    Nice article, Sara, I am not a hiker, myself, but I am a history nut and I love all things ancient. Good job!

  • Charlee January 12, 2013 at 11:59 am

    Well done! I liked the humor from Ms Amodt. “Fellow species”! Stories like this are fun to read and watch! Keep up the great work.

  • Jennie January 12, 2013 at 2:03 pm

    Very interesting! Makes me want to take a drive/hike! Excellent article Sarah and great photos Angie!

  • Michael January 12, 2013 at 2:07 pm

    This is cool! Great story. Makes me want to check that place out. Thanks!

  • Don G January 12, 2013 at 2:48 pm

    I have been here going some 18 years and had not heard of this place. Thanks for bringing it to our attention!
    Great article!

  • Sylvia Baker January 12, 2013 at 3:32 pm

    Nice reporting and filming. Thanks for sharing this interesting spot.

  • Vince Valence January 13, 2013 at 6:05 am

    Good Job, how did you here about this ? next time you interview look more at them , and ask more questions. Keep up the good work.

  • Shauna January 13, 2013 at 8:48 am

    Good job on this, Sara! Well written! Makes me want to go check it out! Great pics Angie!

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