CA, Southern California Coast and Mountains

Cary Ranch Pictographs

Back in 2013, my friend Rick and I were invited out by Dick Cary to visit his historic Cary Ranch and examine some of the pictographs there. The Mountain Cahuilla Indians first inhabited the ranch area. The site is near a natural pass and an old Indian trail that connects inland Southern California shrublands to Anza Borrego country of the Sonoran Desert.

This pass (called San Carlos Pass) was used by both the 1774 and 1775 Juan Bautista de Anza expeditions to Alta California (as it was known then). They camped at least once on what is today the ranch site. If you look carefully in one of the rock shelters, you might spot a pictograph of a rider on horseback. This could represent the de Anza expedition passing through. Seeing a horse, not to mention a white man on horseback, would have been quite a sight to the Cahuilla at the time.

Mr. Cary was an extremely generous host. I thank him for letting us visit and giving us a great tour. Private tours are possible. Contact me if you are interested.

Cary Ranch is private property and a private residence. Someone is always on-site. Please respect and don’t trespass.

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About Guy Starbuck

Exploring the American West.
  • Nevada
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