Visit Idaho’s Famous “Map Rock” from Early Hunter-Gatherers in Nampa Area
My mom and sister both study archeology and participate in various digs and explorations around the west coast. There are so many fascinating discoveries still being made constantly and while history was not my strong suit in school, I find much of it fascinating.
Some incredible prehistoric writings, drawings and petroglyphs can be found all around the country on rocks, stones, cliffsides and more. Idaho and the Treasure Valley is home to a rock that is covered with a prehistoric petroglyph map of the upper Snake River. It is believed to have been carved by prehistoric hunter-gatherers. Although there is some debate as to what the 'map' is actually depicting.
According to Atlas Obscura, "This large Basalt rock was carved by ancient peoples to map the area of the upper Snake River, possibly as long as 12,000 years ago. It depicts the Snake and Salmon Rivers, as well as the animals and tribes that inhabited the territories in between. No one can decisively say what the carving’s purpose was, which only contributes to its mysterious, ancient allure."
The Snake and Salmon rivers were populated by early settlers and hold hundreds of rock petroglyphs and pictographs. This particular rock clearly held significance and is the areas most famous.
According the Canyon County Idaho website, "In 2012, Canyon County acquired Map Rock, a famous Idaho petroglyph, and 34 acres of surrounding cliff-side property. This is an undeveloped site on Map Rock Road with very limited roadside parking due to property ownership constraints and difficulty of terrain. Canyon County Parks plans to develop interpretive information about the Map Rock petroglyph, which will be available at Celebration Park in the future."
Want to check it out? You don't even have to hike to it. Just head south on Highway 45. Turn right on Map Rock Road. Travel 7.3 miles to Map Rock, located on the right side of the road.