On the eastern end of Montgomery Potrero a sandstone outcrop breaches the rolling grassland. The rock formation sits on the higher, northern edge of a field that slopes southward toward the Sisquoc River several miles away.
At the top of this gritty, well weathered lichen covered monolith, set above a small waterfall that flows during rainy weather, a painted cave known to the Chumash Indians as S’ap’aksi or House of the Sun faces southwest overlooking the sun baked potrero. The name is taken from the red circular design emblazoned on the ceiling of the cave, a photo of which is used at the top of this page as the featured image. A variety of other zoomorphic and abstract pictographs adorn the walls of the cave and numerous cupules have been bored into the floor. One relatively narrow and deep hole bored into the floor near the mouth of the shelter is thought to have possibly held a ceremonial sunstick.
At the base of the seasonal waterfall below the House of the Sun, a shallow but long cave-like overhang contains numerous rock art pictographs. It is much larger than the House of the Sun cave and its walls are still blackened in places from the countless years of Indian campfires. The nearby boulders are stained in places here and there with traces of faded rock art. One of the rocks in front of the overhang is riddled with bedrock mortars some of which are a foot deep.
A scholarly review of the House of the Sun rock art site, which was originally published in the Journal of American Anthropology: “The Painted Rock Site (SBa-502 and SBa-526): Sapaksi, The House of the Sun” by Georgia Lee and Stephen Horne: Sapaksi (PDF)