Fish Rocks.

Fish Rocks

Field review by the editors.

Salt Wells Canyon, California

At the east end of the appealingly named Poison Canyon is a formation of rocks painted to resemble giant, toothy fish. Also known as the "Whale Rocks" or "Fish Head Rocks," the imaginative decoration is believed to have been added in the 1930s.

Over time, various additions and restorations have been performed by Boy Scouts, Fish Rock fans, and other goofy landmark preservationists. Annoying graffiti that accumulated by the 1970s spurred a local group to go out and paint over them with rock-like colors. Within a year, a group of girls struck back and restored the fish faces.

Though the original road passed much closer, the Fish Rocks are easy to spot on the north side of Highway 178 and pull off on a dirt road that loops behind a ridge. If you don't have the patience to search for the local petroglyphs, this is your stop.

[Site with anecdotes about Fish Rocks history.]

Fish Rocks

Address:
Highway 178, Salt Wells Canyon, CA
Directions:
Highway 178, about 10 miles out of Ridgecrest leading to Death Valley. East of Trona Rd.
Admission:
Free.
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