The V-Bar-V Heritage Site is the largest known petroglyph site in the Verde Valley of central Arizona, and one of the best-preserved. The rock art site consists of 1,032 petroglyphs in 13 panels. Acquired by the Coconino National Forest in 1994, the site is protected and kept open to the public by the US Forest Service. Volunteers from the Verde Valley Archaeological Society and the Friends of the Forest provide interpretive tours and on-site management.Using our online itinerary creator, Rimrock attractions like V-Bar-V Heritage Site can form part of a personalized travel itinerary.
A visitor center, restroom and bookstore, operated by the Forest Service and the Arizona Natural History Association, is located on site. The fenced petroglyph site is an easy half-mile walk from the parking lot. For most of the year, there is a resident on-site custodian.
The petroglyphs were created by Southern Sinagua residents between about 1150 and 1400 AD. The site was known to early American settlers, and became part of the historic V-Bar-V ranch around 1907. The ranch headquarters were nearby, and the ranchers protected the site from vandalism. Some historic ranch buildings remain near the Visitor Center. The US Forest Service acquired the site in 1994.
Rock art is one type of archaeological data that can be used to identify prehistoric cultures and time periods. The Beaver Creek Rock Art Style has been identified and formally described through studies of rock art sites in the Beaver Creek area, especially at V-Bar-V. The Beaver Creek Style, found throughout the eastern half of the Verde Valley, is diagnostic of the Southern Sinagua culture between A.D. 1150 and 1400.
V-Bar-V Heritage Site Reviews
The V Bar V Heritage Site is a must. Stop by the visitors center to sign-in and say hello to the local volunteer. Take the short walk (1/3mi) to the wall where you will be greeted by a volunteer. The volunteer provides phenomenal explanations on the current thought and meanings of the various panels. See if you can find shaman with big hands, identify story lines connecting different images, locate the woman wall, creation story, underworld and most of all see the calendar in action about mid-day. This is well worth the trip. Other Notes: The path is dirt and rock with a lot of sun exposure. Make sure you have water and wear appropriate shoes. The wall is up an incline. According to the volunteer, they are raising money to make the site more accessible to all by adding a wheelchair accessible platform. Leave a donation on the way out or purchase an item from the visitors center to help make it happen!
It may be out of the way a little, but it is absolutely worth the trip. From the road it's a quick jaunt down to the visitor center, and then another short and easy hike to the petroglyphs themselves. The guides are incredibly knowledgeable and passionate about the legacy they protect, and love taking questions. Try and arrive around noon in the summertime to catch the incredible solar calendar phenomenon. Also keep an eye out for friendly lizards!
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Duration:2 h 30 min
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