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.
Experience the 47-acre nature preserve on a self-guided tour of the quarter-mile trail, and view over 1,500 prehistoric petroglyphs created by the Hohokam, Patayan and Archaic people that are etched on some 600 boulders.
Along the way, observe desert wildlife ranging from cacti to javelinas, in their natural habitat. The Deer Valley Petroglyph Preserve invites visitors to immerse themselves in the surroundings and contemplate how their lives connect to those of the past.
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.
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 two trash deposits and 10 cooking pits
- an agricultural site
- a possible canal segment
- an earthen check dam
- and several small, stone masonry rooms
Arizona State University continues to operate, protect and preserve the site since 1994.
Act One assists the community by supporting Title 1 schools with funds for educational culture and arts field trips and through the free museum admission Culture Pass program. In support of our social embeddedness goal, we participate in both programs, accepting the Culture Pass at the preserve, as well as dedicating specific days each month for Title 1 school trips.
Our relationship 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.
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. As part of our efforts to inform our visitors about southwestern archaeology, we sell copies of the organization’s magazine in our museum store, offer lectures presented by their team of archaeologists and research associates and consult on local research as it pertains to the preserve and surrounding areas.
Arizona Master Naturalist
Working with this organization, we assist with the course curriculum to meet the needs of the natural resource community. Participating in their training program, this organization also provides us with an avenue to knowledgeable and dedicated volunteers trained in providing leadership in education, citizen science, and stewardship to all natural resource agencies in Arizona.
Osher Lifelong Learning Institute
We develop themed lecture classes with OLLI at ASU offered at the preserve specializing in cross-disciplinary topics including life sciences, archeology, anthropology and global health. Our courses are led by faculty and graduate students at ASU and are run in the fall semester of every year. Membership in OLLI is offered to 50+ citizens which includes a number of benefits – sign up here.
Girl Scouts of America - Arizona Cactus-Pine Council
Deer Valley Petroglyph Preserve is an official program partner of the Arizona Cactus-Pine Council of the Girl Scouts of America. We work with the council to provide badge and patch workshops focusing on Archaeology, Preservation, and Desert Wildlife and Ecology, and provide learning experiences through activities and concepts that girls wouldn’t find on their own.