Salt Wells Canyon, California: Fish Rocks Team Field Report

Highway 178, Salt Wells Canyon, CA
Highway 178, about 10 miles out of Ridgecrest leading to Death Valley. East of Trona Rd.
Save to My Sights
Fish Rocks
The teeth, eyes and scales on Fish Head Rocks were originally painted in the 1930s. Report... [07/31/2010]

Visitor Tips and News About Fish Rocks

Reports and tips from visitors and Roadside America mobile tipsters. Some tips may not be verified. Submit your own tip.

Fish Rocks.

Fish Rocks

In Salt Wells Canyon, Commonly called "Poison Canyon" are the "Fish Head Rocks," originally called "Whale Heads." The rocks were originally painted sometime in the late 1930s or early 1940s. The boy scouts painted over the rocks in a matching complimentary color in order to clean up the graffiti and beautify the desert. The locals became so upset that the eyes and teeth were gone that they hoped someone would repaint them. A local teenage girl and her friend did just that and ended up being taken into custody, although no charges were ever filed because everyone was happy to have their little fish heads back! After that it was decided that the fish heads would stay and have become a beloved and expected desert sight.

Salt Wells canyon is commonly called "Poison Canyon" because the small stream at its west end contains naturally occurring arsenic, selenium and other minerals at toxic levels.

The canyon was the route of the original 20-mule teams that hauled borax from Searles Lake to San Pedro.

[Kim, 10/04/2009]

Nearby Offbeat Places

Trona PinnaclesTrona Pinnacles, Trona, CA - 4 mi.
Living Ghost TownLiving Ghost Town, Randsburg, CA - 24 mi.
Uniroyal GalUniroyal Gal, Pearsonville, CA - 27 mi.
In the region:
Unexpected Ice Cream Cone, Kennedy Meadows, CA - 45 mi.

Latest Tips Across Roadside America

Catch up on the latest discoveries from the road.

Explore Thousands of Oddball Tourist Attractions!

Unique destinations in the U.S. and Canada are our special obsession. Use our attraction recommendation and maps to plan your next road trip.

August 15, 2020

My Sights

My Sights

Create Your Own Bizarre Road Trips!

Try My Sights

Roadside America app
Roadside Presidents app

California Latest Tips and Stories

Latest Visitor Tips

Sight of the Week

Sight of the Week

The Oregon Vortex, Gold Hill, Oregon (Aug 10-16, 2020)

SotW Archive

USA and Canada Tips and Stories

More Sightings

Sightings. Arrives without warning. Leaves no burn marks. A free newsletter from Subscribe now! Hotel & Motel Finder

Special rates for hotels.

Nearby Hotels: Salt Wells Canyon, California

Nightly rates found:

Book Now