Hueco Tanks State Park and Historic Site is a place with more than 10,000 years of history, widely known for its vast collection of over two thousand Native American Pictographs. A less known side of the Park is the great collection of inscriptions –covering a period ranging from 1849 until the end of the 1940’s- left by a wide range of people that passed through, came to visit, used it as a sacred place, as a campsite, or simply lived and ranched at the Tanks.
This image shows the pictograph site known as Site 17, or ‘Newspaper Cave’. This is a very accessible site located in the self-guided section of the Park, located very close to the old Butterfield Stage Coach relay station that existed at Hueco Tanks in 1858 and 1859. It represents a perfect example of what Hueco Tanks is: in it you will find several beautiful examples of native pictographs, of which stands out a large white rattlesnake over 20 feet long. Those images share the space with over a hundred historic inscriptions that cover from early travelers lured by the California Gold Rush, to cattle drivers and stage coach passengers in the 1850’s, to Buffalo Soldiers in 1869 and 1870’s; from Texas Rangers to homesteaders in the 1880’s and 1890’s; and native tribes like Ysleta del Sur and early visitors in the beginning of the 20th Century. Most of these inscriptions link the Park with historic events and characters from the El Paso County and surrounding region, increasing and enhancing the importance of the Park as a key location due to its natural water tanks that formed on its rocks, Native American sacred space, but also from its historic period uses.
Site 17 is a perfect spot in which you will find what Hueco Tanks represents all compacted in one spot. Natural setting and history combine in full harmony at this location.
Hueco Tanks Site 17
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