Blythe Intaglios, Blythe

4.2
#9 of 11 in Historic Sites in California Desert
The Blythe Intaglios or Blythe Geoglyphs are a group of gigantic figures found on the ground near Blythe, California in the Colorado Desert. The intaglios are found east of the Big Maria Mountains, about 15mi north of downtown Blythe, just west of U.S. Highway 95 near the Colorado River. The largest human figure is 171ft long. The intaglios are best viewed from the air.The geoglyphs or intaglios (anthropomorphic geoglyphs) were created by scraping away layers of darker rocks or pebbles to reveal a stratum of lighter-valued soil. While these "gravel pictographs" are found through the deserts of southeastern California, human figures are found only near the Colorado River. The figures are so immense that many of them were not observed by non-Indians until the 1930s. The set of geoglyphs includes several dozen figures, thought to be ceremonial in nature. Many of them are believed to date from the prehistoric period, but their age and the identity of their creators are still uncertain. Jay von Werlhof and his collaborators obtained 13 AMS radiocarbon dates for the figures, ranging from 900 BCE to 1200 CE.RediscoveryIn 1932, a pilot flying between Las Vegas, Nevada and Blythe, California noticed the Blythe geoglyphs. His find led to a survey of the area by Arthur Woodward, Curator of History and Anthropology at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County.
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Blythe Intaglios Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.0
35 reviews
Google
4.6
TripAdvisor
  • It was not that far out of Blyth. Just look for Huge sign that says Blythe Intaglios on the Left if you are going towards Needles. The road was dirt and rocks. We do not have a four wheel drive and to...  more »
  • About 15 miles north of Blythe is a marker and a sign for the intaglios. The dirt road is well maintained any car can navigate it. We went to 3 of the 4. Easy walk to the fenced in sites. We thought t...  more »
  • Hard to find and not much to look at once you got there. There were two fenced in areas that I could see and I did not think the trip was worth it.  more »
Google
  • A unique and one of a kind place to visit. The best times to explore and experience are early morning and late afternoon when natures light provides the best effects. An ancient mystery that must be seen to appreciate.
  • I give this 5 stars but only...IF YOU HAVE A DRONE. They are located 15 miles north of Blythe CA and are easy to find. It is pretty country out there and is somewhat desolate. When I went there, there was not a soul around which is great. When I walked up to them, I was very disappointed as you can barely make out the figures from the ground. However, when I launched my drone and got it up in the air, the view was spectacular. I flew around and took a lot of pictures and video. It is the most fun I've ever had with my drone and is the best place to fly a drone I've ever seen. If you don't have a drone, these geoglyphs are worth seeing, but not nearly as interesting.
  • The Intaglios are large figures that have been carved in the desert along the Colorado River. They predate the current Native American tribes that live in the area and were discovered by a pilot flying over the area years ago.
  • Really cool to see. Not heavily traveled. Wish there was a structure so you could get higher though.
  • This is a magical and sad place at the same time. The geoglyphs are a national archaeological treasure. Sadly, they were badly damaged by off roaders in the 1970's and 80's: fully representative of this nation's irreverent attitude toward native people, for whom this site is sacred. So it is also a shameful, black mark on the nation's soul, and a monument to our stupidity and anti-intellectualism. Some of the damage has been repaired and fencing protects the geoglyphs. Still worth the trip, and only a very short driveway off of hwy 95 if you happen to be passing by. Groomed driveway for any car.

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