Desert National Wildlife Range 18

aka Shamans Cave


Southern Nevada Rock Art Sites

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The Southwest, including Southern Nevada, has a significant amount of Native American Petroglyph / Rock Art Sites. Our web site will concentrate on the rock art of Southern Nevada which extends back over 1500 years, and was typically created by either the Paiute, Shoshone, Chemehuevi, or the Anasazi people.


Preservation through Education


We believe that rock art on public lands does not - and should not - belong to just a few select people or groups.  However, due to the fragile nature of many rock art sites, it is not realistic to have a large number of people visiting most of them. What we are attempting to do with our website is to provide visual access where those with the interest or the curiosity can go to see and appreciate a small piece of Native American history. Our beliefs are that by educating people to the historical significance of the rock art, people will be more inclined to respect, and preserve, the sites for the enjoyment of everyone for a long, long time.

Desert National Wildlife Range 18

aka Shamans Cave


The following: Courtesy of


The Desert National Wildlife Refuge / Range was established May 20, 1936, and encompasses 1.5 million acres of the diverse Mojave Desert in southern Nevada. It is the largest National Wildlife Refuge in the lower 48 states. The Refuge contains six major mountain ranges, the highest rising from 2,500-foot valleys to nearly 10,000 feet. Annual rainfall ranges from less than four inches on the valley floors to over fifteen inches on the highest peaks.



On this trip we were trying to locate a seep (slow water leakage) called "Shaman's Cave Seep". We did not locate the seep because it was probably dry at the time of year we were there, but we did find several small caves / shelters in the area. We figured that with a name like "Shaman's Cave", there had to be a logical reason for it, like... a cave that was once used by a shaman.


Pictured below is a shallow cave located about 450' above the valley floor and measured approximately 9' x 9' at the opening. In the rear of the cave there is a large and very old packrat midden, but the most interesting thing that we found was stuck into a crack in the wall. There are three possible "spirit or prayer sticks" placed into a crack about six feet above the floor with one additional stick lying on the floor directly below the others. It may have fallen from above or it may have been deliberately placed there. I found a similar type of shelter about 10 miles from here that also contained a "spirit or prayer stick" (Desert National Wildlife Range 16).


Click on the image below to enlarge