Hieroglyphic Canyon Professional Review and Guide
"One look at Hieroglyphic Canyon and you can tell the place was once prime mountain sheep habitat. The cliffs surrounding this rugged gorge in the Superstition Mountains look tailor-made for surefooted desert bighorns, and the lush vegetation at the bottom of the canyon would have provided plenty of food. There is even a bubbling spring in the lower part of the canyon that produces more water than an entire herd could drink. The only question is What happened to all the sheep? The answer is that the local sheep population was wiped out in the early 1900s by overhunting, habitat encroachment by miners, stress from recreationists, and other factors associated with settling the area.
It is sad that the animals no longer inhabit the canyon, but their story makes for some thought-provoking petroglyphs. If you hike to the spring, you’ll find large stone panels covered with pictures of sheep that now serve as prehistoric fossils of the locally extinct species. One scene shows eight sheep walking in a line, and another appears to depict a ewe giving birth. Most of the sheep, however, look like they’re simply hanging out on the rocks, as bighorns often do."