Location and Hours

Photo of petroglyphs at Deer Valley Petroglyph PreserveAbout

Nestled in the historic Hedgpeth Hills on the edge of Phoenix, the Deer Valley Petroglyph Preserve serves as a gateway to southwest archaeology and Arizona’s rich cultural past. It is the primary exhibition space for Arizona State University’s Center for Archaeology and Society, an organization that addresses enduring issues in the present by using archaeology's unique access to the diversity of solutions developed by ancient Southwestern cultures.

Born out of the Adobe Dam project in 1980, the preserve is the result of a partnership by a number of organizations, including the Army Corps of Engineers, Maricopa Flood Control District and Arizona State University.

The Deer Valley Petroglyph Preserve is one of 5 prehistoric sites found in this immediate area. In 1980, J. Simon Bruder and a team from the Museum of Northern Arizona conducted fieldwork and they discovered:

  • 1,571 petroglyphs on 579 boulders
  • a ground stone quarry
  • a chipped stone quarry
  • cobble hammerstones
  • shell and bone artifacts
  • a single pithouse with 2 trash deposits and 10 cooking pits
  • an agricultural site
  • a possible canal segment
  • an earthen check dam
  • and several small, stone masonry rooms

Photographs of selected artifacts and petroglyphs, and videos can be found on the Arizona Memory Project.

Original excavation reports, maps and photographs can be found at Digital Antiquity, on the Digital Archaeological Record (tDAR).

A collection of approximately 205 native Sonoran Desert plant species can be found on this 47-acre nature preserve. Most of these plants can be seen along the trail and in the preserve's ethnobotanical garden.

A total of 114 animal species have been tallied over the years as both permanent and migratory residents of the Deer Valley Petroglyph Preserve. There are approximately 18 reptiles, 28 mammals, 65 birds and 3 amphibians that live here.

Arizona State University continues to operate, protect and preserve the site since 1994.

Community Partners

Canyon Records
Our partnership with Canyon Records began in 2017. Since that time, Canyon has worked with us to promote contemporary Native American cultural and heritage at the preserve. Our unique setting provides us with opportunities to explore the past and make connections to the present using various cultural expressions, such as music, dance, poetry and song.

Study of Ancient Lifeways and Technologies Group (SALT)
SALT is a service-oriented organization created to share, learn and promote the practice of ancient skills. SALT holds its monthly meetings at the preserve and shares knowledge and skills with our visitors. The members of SALT give their time freely and work with us to provide engaging programs for the whole family.

Archaeology Southwest
We have an established partnership with Archaeology Southwest and Executive Director Aaron Wright. Archaeology Southwest practices a holistic, conservation-based approach to exploring the past and advocates for the protection and preservation of threatened and vulnerable archaeological sites and resources. They share archaeological knowledge with a wide audience through published journals and outreach programs. As part of our efforts to inform our visitors about southwestern archaeology, we sell the organization’s journal in our museum store and often consult with its team of archaeologists and research associates on local research as it pertains to the preserve and surrounding areas.

Agua Fria National Monument
This Bureau of Land Management (BLM) monument is located north of the preserve. The BLM and Arizona State University have partnered to conduct long term studies of the settlements found on and around the mesa. Volunteers from the preserve and SHESC faculty have conducted research on the rock art at the mesa as well as on the variety of ceramics found there.

Osher Lifelong Learning Institute
We partner with OLLI at ASU to provide educational classes for learners 50+. Our courses are led by faculty and graduate students at ASU and are run in the fall semester of every year.

Pueblo Grande Museum
Pueblo Grande Museum and the preserve are not only connected by a shared prehistoric past, but we also collaborate on exhibit development and programming.

AZ State Parks and Trails
We participate in Arizona’s annual Archaeology Expo. Our participation enables us to take our programming on the road. Visitors to our table explore ancient technologies and learn about the petroglyphs found at the preserve.