Linda and I had the opportunity to take a tour of the petroglyphs at Hidden Cove Park the other day. Mike, our tour guide, contacted me almost a year ago and told me about this wonderful find, within the city limits of Holbrook and asked if I would put some information in the guest guides on our next trip to Holbrook. He had sent me some pictures so we were anxious to see the petroglyphs for ourselves.
We went first thing in the morning while it was still cool and the petroglyphs would be in the shade. We followed Mike up the rugged path, climbing over rocks and making sure we had solid ground under us as we made our way up to the ledge. The area where we were headed didn't look that far up but once we climbed up there, it was up pretty high.
We got to one point, where we were looking straight up at a bunch of petroglyphs and out flew a bird from a nest over our heads. We were perched on the side of a ledge but luckily we had good footing cause it really startled us. The mother bird flew a short distance away and voiced her displeasure at us being so close to her babies.
The city has obtained a grant, contingent on them having a couple of studies done before the end of the year. They have put together a three phase plan that will set up hiking trails throughout the area, preserve the Zuck ranch remains (there are the remnants of a windmill and foundation there) and a bunch of other things that I don't remember the details on. There is a pond there that draws hundreds of species of birds to the area. Mike was headed to that area to do some work, after our tour, but we didn't go up there to check it out.
We felt so privileged to see the petroglyphs up close because once all of the plans are put into place, you will only see them using binoculars from the bottom. If you get to the Holbrook area, call city hall, and schedule a tour. Mike will probably be the one to take you and he was instrumental in finding these great artifacts 20 years ago. He takes you on a 90 minute tour that's free of charge. You should be in good physical shape and able to climb a steep, rocky area but the experience is priceless.
The city has built two picnic pavilions near the parking area so visitors can enjoy a picnic lunch while visiting the park but the swallows have taken over. They seem to think those pavilions are the perfect place to build their mud nests. The underside is just covered with them. Mike said they put chicken wire on the underside to try and deter the swallows but it hasn't worked and a couple of the birds got under the wire and couldn't figure out how to get out and died. They have found a home there, just like the ones at Capistrano.
Hidden Cove Park is a really cool place...a real gem..within the city limits of Holbrook, AZ. The city golf course is also in that general area. You can play 9 holes of golf for $5...what a deal. On your next trip across I-40 be sure to stop and say hi to Cliff, the glyph.
At some point a giant rock, from above, had fallen which has shaded an area where there are many petroglyphs. This has helped to preserve the patina on the rock. We crawled under and around the giant slabs of stone to get where we needed to go. Mike said that they have documented over 300 drawings here and an archeologist believes this area is older than the petrified forest, just down the road. The people that lived here and created these drawings came before the ones found at the petrified forest.