Blythe Intaglios, Blythe

4.3
#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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Reviews
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
32 reviews
Google
4.6
TripAdvisor
  • July 8, 2017
    My husband, myself, and our 21-month-old visited the intaglios, excited for the opportunity to see the "Nazca Lines of the US". We knew going in to the experience that they were no where near as glamo...  more »
  • May 23, 2017
    The Geoglyphs/Intaglios/Earthworks are amazing. This was my 2nd time here, but the first with a Drone, which made all the difference! Must See!  more »
  • March 16, 2017
    It's easier to find than many of the reviews would have you believe, the gravel road is also in better condition. But, it's still a gravel road. There are two "stops", the first about 2 minutes in. Ge...  more »
Google
  • May 5, 2017
    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.
  • May 27, 2017
    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.
  • March 7, 2017
    Few places like it in the US. Large geoglyphs created by ancient man. Two sites are easy to get to and clearly marked. The third has no obvious trail to get to.
  • October 17, 2016
    Amazing to see. At first it is hard to distinguish what you are looking at, then it appears and it is spectacular! They are figures, essentially cut into the dirt, by Ancient Man.
  • June 19, 2017
    Bring your drone, you are going to need it

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