|Chiltipin Creek looking upstream. The archeological site is on
higher terrain to the left. Today the creek flows only during floods and extended
rainy periods. When the Hinojosa site was an active campsite some 650 years ago,
the creek was a small, shallow, spring-fed stream that flowed constantly. This
reconstruction is based on solid archeological evidence including the presence of
several species of freshwater clams (mussels) and aquatic animals including water
snakes, turtles, fish, and muskrat.
The nearby Amargosa Springs are known to have flowed as recently as a century ago. The water quality may not have been so great—Amargosa is the Spanish word for "bitter"—but bitter water is far better than none at all.