West Slaughter Canyon  
  In a remote corner of the Guadaloupe Mountains is West Slaughter Canyon, and in an even more remote corner of West Slaughter Canyon is a seldom-seen pictograph site called the Upper Painted Grotto. The red, yellow, black and white rock art was made thousands of years ago by Archaic hunter-gatherers. The "grotto" is a natural enclave that shelters the pictographs.

The Upper Painted Grotto is not to be confused with the Lower Painted Grotto, which is also in West Slaughter Canyon but much easier to reach.

Both Painted Grottos are within Carlsbad Caverns National Park. I cut my chapter about the Upper Grotto because in more recent years the Park Service has placed much greater restrictions on visiting these places. Of course, the Upper Grotto is still in the first edition of my book, so you can read all about it there.


The larger designs in this photo are red