In late December 1846, the Mormon Battalion continued westward in southern Arizona to an ancient archaeological site where hundreds of symbolic and artistic rock etchings, or "petroglyphs," produced centuries ago by prehistoric people, can be easily seen.

Known today as Painted Rock Petroglyph Site, this fascinating place is located about 90 miles southwest of Phoenix.

The Battalion arrived at Painted Rocks on Dec. 29. The weather was cold. They saw “huge rocks covered with pictures of men, animals, birds and snakes.”

Today, Painted Rock Petroglyph Site has interpretive walks and an improved campground. It was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1977 and is operated and maintained by the Bureau of Land Management.