Griffith Canyon Petroglyphs is a 1.9 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Spanish Springs, Nevada that features a river and is good for all skill levels. The trail is primarily used for hiking and is best used from April until November.

DISTANCE
1.9 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
269 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

kid friendly

hiking

river

wild flowers

wildlife

bugs

rocky

off trail

no shade

historic site

There is no marked trail here. This is more of an unmarked wash leading to petroglyphs. Users have reported that the road leading to the trailhead can be difficult for 2WD vehicles.

hiking
2 months ago

10-05-18. Short and easy. Pretty canyon. Not much shade, could get hot quickly depending on time of day or time of year you go. Neat petroglyphs.

hiking
2 months ago

We totally messed up on this one... First of all, we've lived in Sparks for over 21 years and had no idea this historical landmark existed 12 miles from our house!

Trailhead was easy to find using Waze. Just pull off by the side of the road where the bend us. We were the only ones hiking this afternoon.

OK, now for our first mistake: I thought we had to hike all the way to the end to see the petroglyphs! Wrong-o, Buffalo... I'll get to that in a minute. Second mistake: Took no water because we saw the hike was rated "Easy." (Corollary: Suzanne had just her canvas tennis shoes. WEAR YOUR HIKING BOOTS!). It was not "Easy". The trail should have been rated at least moderate, due to the amount of rocks in the riverbed and along the trail. Expect a fair amount of climbing on the rocks! Third mistake: We took Robbie, our little 11 year old dog. It was too rough for him and we had to carry him most of the way. Fourth and final mistake: We started around 1:00pm and it was a warm October day. A little late for this exploration, as it became hot.

When you start out, you'll go down into the canyon from the pull-over parking at the bend in the road. We hiked all the way to the end of the trail (about 1 mile) before we started looking for the petroglyphs. As it turns out, we passed them right and left on the way to the end of the trail! I've taken a lot of pictures and will check the waypoints to help out.

When we got to the end, I found what we later determined to be "fake" petroglyphs, as they looked "too modern" (kids?). Just beyond the endpoint on the AllTrails Pro map, you will find some petroglyphs on the left side. We did not go too far beyond the "end of the trail" on the map; however, the trail does go on. The next time we may go farther and explore.

On the way back, after seeing a couple petroglyphs and knowing what to look for, we saw them EVERYWHERE on the right and the left! So cool!
there!

In summary, you'll run into the first group of them when you pass the first tree along the trail from where you parked.

Looking forward to returning next time and exploring more in depth. Enjoy!

hiking
3 months ago

Easy stroll but the rocks can shift. My kiddos and elderly pup did just fine. No officially trail head or parking area. Just pull over and head north-ish.

Gorgeous rock formations and the petroglyphs are a joy to look at.

Will definitely go again.

hiking
3 months ago

It was nice.
The road was ok for my 2WD dodge.
I would recommend your hike boots water bladder and a light snack to rest at the “glyphs” The rocks do slip a little the petroglyphs are light but along the trail In about 0.5miles
Elk bounce around :)
It was beautiful out 9/2018
#photography

hiking
3 months ago

The trail was a little hard to find, when we did it was hard to keep to it for a little bit, but if you follow the dry creek bed you'll find the petroglyphs. All in all it was a good hike. We went past the petroglyphs along the creek bed for a good distance and it still kept going. We had a good time but I definitely would be careful as the rocks slide around a bit.

hiking
4 months ago

Great trail. Barkley and I had a blast.

hiking
6 months ago

Pretty short. I was really only about 1/2 a mile to the petroglyphs. We continued on another half of a mile, but there was not really a trail. Nice short easy hike. My 9 year old made it without issues.

hiking
7 months ago

Beautiful canyon hike. Early morning is the best.

7 months ago

Neat little hike! The trail head is easy to miss. My lab and I bulked a little too much for winter and this is a perfect spot for him to run. As aforementioned, don’t trust the gps. The trail is to the left. I will mark it next time I’m up (:

hiking
8 months ago

Nice easy trail. Got a lot of petroglyph pics and saw/heard birds the entire hike. Weather was good until half way back when started snowing. Yep, Nevada.. gotta love it.

hiking
8 months ago

We parked at a little pull-off on a side road near where we think the trail begins. You'll know it by the garbage and spent shotgun shells someone thoughtfully left behind.

The road is rough, but dry. Any SUVs should be suitable. The trail was dry and not too hard to find if you just head into the little canyon. Short, rocky hike suitable for anyone. We saw little shoeprints from some little people on the way, and I'd imagine children down to age 7 or so could do this. The petroglyphs were worth the modest effort! Please discourage people from touching the glyphs or making their own.

hiking
9 months ago

We took our 6 yr old, 4 yr old, a German Shepherd, and a Chihuahua with no issues. Take it slow and go before it gets too hot as there’s almost no shade and sure to be rattlesnakes once it heats up. Bring water and a hat!

hiking
9 months ago

Short trail for petroglyphs. I've done the Lagomarsino Trail in the past and this is WAY easier to get to. The trail does cross the creek many times, but there is always a path to follow.

hiking
10 months ago

Excellent hike in the snow. Road was a bit muddy to the trailhead but definitely worth it

hiking
10 months ago

A little slick at the trailhead, but pretty dry from there. A nice hike with some excellent juniper.

hiking
11 months ago

kind of rough road to get there, lots of loose rocks, and very uneven footing. not a whole lot of parking and there's no definitive trail head. however, despite all that, it was a pretty good hike, our first hike in a long while that was more than a paved sidewalk. I'm looking forward to more hikes around the reno area. it'll be a while we think before we go back to this trail, but that has more to do with doing more trails than it does with anything wrong with this trail.

hiking
11 months ago

Nice get away from the city, trail a little rocky but worth it!

Friday, January 19, 2018

Thursday, January 18, 2018

really rough road to get there

Saturday, December 30, 2017

Nice hike. Definitely would do it again. My six year old son completed the hike with limited issues (loose rocks).

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

A nice short hike with beautiful scenery. The petroglyphs are fascinating and easily accessible. Follow the directions from the app rather than typing griffith canyon into google maps because the entrance is in a slightly different place that google takes you directly. Be prepared for a lot of loose rocks and uneven footing, but other than that it isn’t a difficult or challenging hike. Well worth the time.

Sunday, December 17, 2017

Fun trail... The petroglyphs were cool and the view was nice. It was very quiet and a bit cold today when the sun wasn't out. Did this one with my 9 year old daughter... Good hike!

hiking
Sunday, September 24, 2017

I almost stepped on a baby rattlesnake. It was awesome.

Saturday, September 02, 2017

Kids loved it!

hiking
Saturday, August 12, 2017

Lots of cool rock formations and random lizards leaping everywhere. Pretty neat experience for my 5 year old son. Even with limited trail experience, he did well.

The petroglyphs were a really cool step back in time. Some of the imagery is very literal, whereas with some of the other stuff you get to have fun guessing.

Really easy trail. Just follow the creek bed and you're on the right track. There are a few well worn areas adjacent to the creek bed that make the trek even easier.

Monday, July 24, 2017

this trail head isn't marked. make sure your phone is charged before you go so you can access GPS while you're out. This trail follows a riverbed, make sure there's no rain in the forecast. Wear closed toed shoes and long pants and sunscreen! I only saw a few lizards, but others said they saw rattlesnakes and the foliage on the trail can scratch and cut you. You may want to make sure you have a high clearance vehicle to get to the trailhead because there are several places along the drive out that are uneven and rocky.

hiking
Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Great easy hike and the petroglyphs are fantastic. Saw one rattlesnake just past the main wall of petroglyphs and a large owl. No water on this trail and not much cell service. Side note: if you are going to post on here that you did the trail, don't carve your initials into a tree, KS.

hiking
Friday, June 30, 2017

Trail is a stretch. More of a wash. Parking is just a semi flat area on the side of the road, is limited to maybe probably five cars, and is pretty difficult to get into. Large groups will struggle getting in and out. Still a super fun trail. I've been here 3 or 4 times and really enjoy it. Watch out though, lots of foxtails and I came across a rattlesnake once.

hiking
Monday, June 26, 2017

Easy hike that features some super cool lizards on a sunny afternoon. I parked on a small, flat area just past where Alltrails depicts the trail head. Crossed the dirt road, and just stuck to the riverbed. There is no marked trailhead. Beware there are plenty of foxtails near the beginning of the trail.

Monday, June 26, 2017

We loved this hike for our kids. it was fun and educational for them and a great experience to show them the beautiful rock formations. We love to learn about Nevada history and see the artifacts. We also used this trail as another chance to teach our kids about leaving no footprints and traces of being present. Just appreciate it and take your memories/photos.

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