While the best-known intaglios in the world are the Nazca Lines in Peru, there are over 300 intaglios in the American Southwest and adjacent regions of Mexico. The best known of the American intaglios are the Blythe Intaglios, located west of the Colorado River about 15 miles north of Blythe, California, and situated on two low mesas or terraces.
The Blythe Intaglios or Blythe Geoglyphs are a group of giant figures found on the ground near Blythe, California in the Colorado Desert. The largest one is 171 feet long. The intaglios were created by scraping away top layers of darker rocks or pebbles to reveal a lighter soil beneath. There are a total of five distinct figures in three locations, including a human figure at each location and two animal figures that are believed to be over 1000 years old. While most scientists believe the intaglios were probably created by Mojave and Quechan Indians, no one knows for sure. Was it inhabitants of Earth or something more supernatural? Spirits? Aliens? You decide.
Taking a day trip to the Blythe Intaglios is a great way to add a fascinating historic adventure to your visit. You can see the figures up close to get a better understanding of how they were created, or view them from further away to see the figures in their entirety. When you enter on the dirt road, two intagliios will be to your right about a quarter of a mile down the road. There is a designated parking area, and then it is a three-minute hike to the fenced-off area around one of the intaglios. There is another intaglio about a half mile further down the road to the right with its own parking area. The last two figures are to the south of the road in between the two parking areas. They are just under a half mile hike south from the road.
It is a great area to explore with plenty of hiking trails. Be sure to bring lots of water.
Getting there from Lake Havasu City
The site is approximately 74 miles south of Lake Havasu City (from the London Bridge). Take Arizona Highway 95 south to Parker. Go straight through the center of town and stay on Riverside Dr./Highway 95. Continue to Mohave Rd. and turn right (approx. 41 mi.) Continue to Agnes Wilson Road and turn right (approx. 9 mi.) This will take you over the Colorado River into California. Once you come to US 95, turn left and head south (just over 18 mi.) Once you pass S. River View/Cotton Tail Lane on your left, the entrance will be the very next dirt road on your right. Watch for the signs that will read either “Blythe Intaglios” or “Giant Earth Figures” and keep your vehicle on the dirt road.
- Months: Year-Round