Get in Touch
Thanks for contacting us! We'll respond as soon as possible.
 
 

Suggested Articles

 
 
 
Subscribe Pin with Us
5 Awesome Reasons Signal Hill in Saguaro National Park is Worth Exploring Arizona

#1 Saguaro National Park is divided into two halves.

cdn.c.photoshelter.com

cdn.c.photoshelter.com

About twenty miles east of Tucson, you’ll find the Rincon Mountain District, or Saguaro Park East. On the east side of the park you can take the picturesque Cactus Forest Loop Drive, covering more than eight miles and passing many tempting trail heads. Many tourists flock to the east side of the park to do their exploring. Tucson Mountain District, or Saguaro Park West has more of it’s namesake saguaro cacti than the east side, and seemingly fewer tourists. The west side of the park is also home to a unique location, though — Signal Hill.

#2 What is it about Signal Hill that brings people over to the west side to the park?

Flickr User Grace Tomkins

Flickr User Grace Tomkins

If you’re travelling with an archaeologist or an anthropologist, you may have trouble dragging them away from this location. The rocks of this hill are covered with ancient petroglyphs — rock carvings. Art abounds here, with most rock surfaces occupied by some engraving. Wandering from rock to rock, you’ll find a wide variety of depictions. Plenty of the carvings are simply designs, like spirals and esoteric circles. But, there are many pictures you might find yourself able to interpret, too. Some of the scribbles clearly seem to represent the sun or what might be a hunter and his prey.

#3 So what does all of the artwork on Signal Hill really mean?

Flickr User Byron O'Neal

Flickr User Byron O’Neal

As is often the case when dealing with ancient civilizations, archaeologists aren’t quite sure. A number of theories have been hypothesized as to the significance of these rock drawings. This artwork is often credited to the mysterious Hohokam people, but some sources argue that a people by that name never truly existed. Whoever created these illustrations, they may have been used for religious ceremonies, medicine rites, or to keep historical records. Of course, there is always the chance that scientists are scrutinizing what may have only been doodles created out of boredom. Luckily, it seems unlikely that these extensive engravings can be chocked up to offhand scribblings. Not only were there many other, important tasks to be attended to  — like chores and searching for food — but the drawings are also incredibly widespread and quite detailed in some places.

#4 If you study the drawings closely, you’ll make a few discoveries.

Flickr User Holly Zimmerman-Hill

Flickr User Holly Zimmerman-Hill

Some experts attempted to interpret the drawings of Signal Hill as a story with characters or as a complex metaphor or allegory. In 2004, retired technical photographer Nile Root decided to approach things from a different angle. After studying the symbols of the area for some time, Root determined that they act as a timepiece. This hypothesis as the function of ruins isn’t an uncommon one, but, if he is right, Signal Hill is an incredibly complex timekeeping system. If you visit Signal Hill and wander from rock to rock, it might seem far fetched that there is any rhyme or reason to this creation. Root has plenty of evidence to back up his theory, though.

#5 You’ll notice some curious things happen if you study Signal Hill at length.

Flickr User Jim RothThe longer Root studied the area — overall about eight years –, the more patterns he noticed. Many of the drawings seem to align with the movement of the sun. During the sunrises on the Spring and Fall equinoxes, the sun aligns perfectly with two depictions that look quite like the sun themselves. This, in connection with a boulder that leans at a thirty-two degree angle and a series of concentric circles with radiating lines connecting them combine to create an elaborate sundial. The shadows created here always disappear at midday, and they can be used to track the passing of the seasons and the occurrence of the equinoxes. The tallest stone on Signal Hill is covered with a huge spiral drawing. Is it a coincidence that this spiral is split perfectly in half at noon on each of the equinoxes? Even more research reveals that symbols here align with lunar events, too. Root has his own website, www.niler.com, where you can read about all of the discoveries he has made and see them in action!

Cheyenne Reed

Cheyenne Reed was born and raised in Ohio. She recently relocated to rural Wyoming to try out working at an exclusive guest ranch. She graduated from Kent State University with an English degree, and most enjoys writing about travel. If she has free time, you may run into her anywhere, because she is always itching to explore new places. Her personal motto is, "Any day can be an adventure if you make it one!"

You May Also Like

The 10 Best Halloween Corn Mazes In Arizona

Arizona

The 10 Best Halloween Corn Mazes In Arizona

With Halloween a little over a week away and only two weekends for family adventures, time is at hand to get out and celebrate the cooler temperatures of the season. These 10 corn mazes are perfect Halloween fun for the the whole family and a great way to get some exercise. 1. Schnepf Farms Pumpkin

John NewellJohn NewellOct 22, 2016
These 5 Amazing Skyline Views In Arizona Will Blow You Away

Arizona

These 5 Amazing Skyline Views In Arizona Will Blow You Away

Arizona might be well known for a hot desert climate, but that doesn’t mean that all of it’s vistas are characterized by sand and cacti. Arizona has plenty of booming cities with gorgeous skylines that rival those of cities all across the nation. Check out these five! #1 Phoenix If you’ve heard of any city

Cheyenne ReedCheyenne ReedSep 15, 2016
If You Didn’t Know About These 5 Swimming Holes In Arizona, They’re A Must Visit

Arizona

If You Didn’t Know About These 5 Swimming Holes In Arizona, They’re A Must Visit

When the sweltering, summer heat in Arizona is at it’s worst, the crowded pool down the street just isn’t going to cut it. Check out these awesome swimming holes instead if you’re looking for a gorgeous place to cool down! #1 Bull Pen The Bull Pen swimming hole is located about fifteen miles east of Camp

Cheyenne ReedCheyenne ReedSep 14, 2016
There’s Something Magical About These 5 Lakes In Arizona

Arizona

There’s Something Magical About These 5 Lakes In Arizona

It’s a common misconception that all of Arizona is nothing but dry desert, but that isn’t the case! Check out these five gorgeous lakes that prove otherwise! #1 Canyon Lake Canyon Lake is one of four lakes that Arizona gained when the Salt River was dammed back in 1925. It’s actually the smallest of the

Cheyenne ReedCheyenne ReedSep 13, 2016
Here Are 5 Of the Most Expensive Homes In Arizona That Will Make Your Jaw Drop.

Arizona

Here Are 5 Of the Most Expensive Homes In Arizona That Will Make Your Jaw Drop.

Everyone dreams of living in a luxurious home sometimes, right? Check out these crazy expensive homes in Arizona that are sure to make you feel like a king! #1 9422 E Happy Valley Rd This huge house in Scottsdale, Arizona might currently be the most expensive one on the market. It uses 10,000 square feet of

Cheyenne ReedCheyenne ReedSep 9, 2016
Here Are 10 Photos of Arizona During Fall That Will Take Your Breath Away

Arizona

Here Are 10 Photos of Arizona During Fall That Will Take Your Breath Away

Arizona is nothing but a barren desert, right? Not quite. If you’re feeling the fall fever, check out these beautiful photos that prove Arizona can do fall just as well as any other state! #1 Just a reminder: Arizona has plants other than cacti. And while cacti have their own vibrant colors, these trees are showcasing the

Cheyenne ReedCheyenne ReedSep 7, 2016
10 Incredible Facts About Arizona That You Should Know

Arizona

10 Incredible Facts About Arizona That You Should Know

Everyone knows that Arizona is famous for record breaking temperatures and the gorgeous Grand Canyon, but did you know these ten interesting facts about Arizona? #1 The official state flower of Arizona is actually the Saguaro Cactus bloom! Between May and June you can see the beautiful white flowers. Even cooler? The Saguaro is the

Cheyenne ReedCheyenne ReedSep 2, 2016
There’s No House In The World Like This One In Arizona

Arizona

There’s No House In The World Like This One In Arizona

The United States is home to plenty of unique structures, but few compare to this one of a kind house in Arizona. In Bisbee, Arizona, eighty miles from Tucson, you’ll find the Chulo Canyon Cave House, or simply the Cave House, as locals call it. This home is nestled into the side of a granite boulder

Cheyenne ReedCheyenne ReedAug 31, 2016
Here Are 3 Movies With Gene Wilder That Were Filmed In Arizona

Arizona

Here Are 3 Movies With Gene Wilder That Were Filmed In Arizona

You may remember Gene Wilder from any one of the long list of movies he starred in. Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, Blazing Saddles, or Young Frankenstein are all classics you’ve surely seen. Wilder began what would become a wildly successful acting career in 1962. This week news reports all across the country are paying

Cheyenne ReedCheyenne ReedAug 30, 2016