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.

The rest of this post is for subscribers only

Subscribe now
Author image

About Guy Starbuck

Exploring the American West.
  • Nevada
You've successfully subscribed to Starbuck's Exploring
Great! Next, complete checkout for full access to Starbuck's Exploring
Welcome back! You've successfully signed in.
Unable to sign you in. Please try again.
Success! Your account is fully activated, you now have access to all content.
Error! Stripe checkout failed.
Success! Your billing info is updated.
Error! Billing info update failed.