Picture Rock via Blankenship Valley Sand Dunes

Picture Rock via Blankenship Valley Sand Dunes

Page Type Page Type: Route
Location Lat/Lon: 34.62400°N / 114.434°W
Additional Information GPX File: Download GPX » View Route on Map
Additional Information Route Type: Hiking
Seasons Season: Winter
Additional Information Time Required: Most of a day
Additional Information Difficulty: Hike
Sign the Climber's Log


Picture Rock
Picture Rock is supposedly a rock with Native American petroglyphs on the Arizona side of Lake Havasu near Topock Gorge at the north end of the lake. The website referenced at the bottom of this page says if you approach the rock by boat and look carefully you will likely see remnants of prehistoric petroglyphs. My google search did not reveal any pictures of the petroglyphs, nor did I find any hiking information. By looking at maps and satellite photos, I was able to find a path that took me from Route 95 to the place where Picture Rock was shown on the map but I did not see any petroglyphs. To make the hike longer and more interesting, I took a path through Blankenship Valley where satellite photos showed what looked like sand dunes.

Valley with white dirt
Satellite photos show a valley with white colored dirt near Picture Rock. I hiked to a saddle where part of the valley came to view. To get into the valley, I had to go down a nasty slope the bottom of which I could not see so I just took a picture and left.

Getting There

The map below pinpoints where I parked. This is on the east side of Route 95 north of Lake Havasu City south of the hill with communication tower, across from the sign saying “Entering Lake Havasu City” (who knows how long that sign will remain at that spot). A little south of mile marker 192.

Picture Rock via Blankenship Valley Sand Dunes

This is a description of my hike to Picture Rock. There were no signs and no trails.

Roundtrip Hiking Distance: 14.0 miles

From where I parked, I crossed to the west side of Route 95 and went a very short distance north to get to a nameless dirt road going west. The road quickly went down into a dry wash. I left the road and followed the dry wash going southwest. California’s Chemehuevi Mountain could be seen in the distance.

Chemehuevi MountainChemehuevi Mountain

After a mile, I reached a sign that marked the boundary of Lake Havasu Wilderness. Continuing down the wash, sand dunes appeared to the west. I left the wash heading west to reach the the top of the ridgeline formed by the sand dunes.

Sand dunes and Chemehuevi MountainChemehuevi Mountain
Sand dunes in Blankenship Valley
Sand dunes and Crossman PeakCrossman Peak
Sand dunes and Chemehuevi MountainChemehuevi Mountain
Blankenship Valley sand dunes
Blankenship Valley sand dunes

Went down the other side of the sand dunes veering northwest to reach a big flat area known as Blankenship Valley.

Blankenship ValleyBlankenship Valley

Another big sand dune to the northeast.

Sand dunes and desert mountains

Dead Burro Canyon was also visible to the distant northeast.

Zoomed view of Dead Burro CanyonZoomed view of Dead Burro Canyon

Zoomed view of The Needles to the north.

Zoomed view of the NeedlesZoomed view of The Needles

A look back at Chemehuevi Mountain.

Chemehuevi MountainChemehuevi Mountain

At the north end of Blankenship Valley, I reached a valley that went north among the mountains.

Valley south of the 660 ft saddle

Zoomed view of a wild Burro.

Zoomed view of wild burroWild Burro

The valley became rocky. Went up a slope on the east side.

Near the 660 ft valley
South of the 660 ft saddle

I then reached a broad 660 ft high saddle. The impressive Peak 1557 ft could be seen to the east.

Peak 1557 ftPeak 1557 ft

Interesting formation.

Strange formation

Big white wall.

Big white wall

An arch appeared to the west above a slope.

East face of the archEast face of the arch

Another view of Peak 1557 ft.

Peak 1577 ftPeak 1557 ft

The Needles and Tumarion Peak to the north.

Tumarion PeakTumarion Peak
The NeedlesThe Needles

To the north of the 660 ft saddle, I got into another drainage that slowly made a 180 degree turn heading southwest. I was soon on the other side of the arch that I had seen earlier.

West face of the archWest face of the arch

Big mushroom rock.

Huge mushroom rockMushroom rock

Continuing down the drainage toward Lake Havasu.

Looking down the drainage before Lake Havasu

I then reached where Picture Rock was marked on the USGS Map. Muddy marshland stopped me from reaching the shore of the lake. From where I was, I did not see any petroglyphs.

Lake Havasu near Picture Rock
Marshland near Picture Rock

Marshland near Picture Rock

Looking back at the arch and the valley I had descended.

Looking back at the valley I descended

Valley with White Dirt

At the north end of Blankenship Valley I went up a slope as noted on the above map to reach a saddle where the valley with white dirt came to view.

Valley with white dirtValley with white dirt

External Links




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