Box art - Red Dead Redemption 2

Red Dead Redemption 2 Rock Carving Locations – Geology For Beginners

There are many missions in Red Dead Redemption 2 and also plenty of interesting things to find hidden in the valleys of New Orleans. One of the most interesting quests in the game comes from a quirky Stranger called Francis Sinclair. The Stranger mission is called “Geology for Beginners,” and Mr. Sinclair sends Arthur Morgan out to look for 10 special Red Dead Redemption 2 Rock Carvings across the entire game world.

They’re not marked on any map, so how are you supposed to find all 10 rock carvings in the game? How do you complete Geology for Beginners? What do you get for completing the mission? We’ll answer all of these, including the mysterious secret behind Francis Sinclair, which turns this simple rock hunt into possibly the most surprising mission in the game. Yes, even more so than the Saint Denis Vampire Hunt

Where Do You Get the Geology for Beginners Stranger Mission?

Red Dead Redemption 2 rock carvings start

In order to start this particular side mission, you’ll first need to travel to Strawberry in the west part of the map (and hopefully you’ll have paid off that bounty by now you got thanks to Micah). After this, head west of the town and take a right as the road splits into two. At this point a white Stranger mission “?” should pop up your map. Simply head to the center of it and you’ll find a cabin with a man outside.

This is Francis Sinclair, a rather odd fellow with a distinctive birthmark on his face, and he uses words that may seem rather… modern. Anyway, eventually, he’ll ask Arthur to find some rock carvings for him around the world. He doesn’t give you any further information, or a map or anything, which is helpful. Luckily for you, we’re a lot better at providing some locations. We’ll start close and work our way out from there.

Red Dead Redemption 2 Rock Carvings – Location 1

Red Dead Redemption 2 Rock Carvings - Location 1

The first rock carving is, fortunately, really close to where you started. You can see the “Stra” in Strawberry on the right of the map, and Sinclair’s cabin is just above this. Head south-west from his cabin and you’ll hit Owanjila lake. Cross over to the other side, and at the ‘X’ above look for a large rock sticking out of the ground alongside the beach. Examine it for your first rock carving!

Red Dead Redemption 2 Rock Carvings – Location 2

Red Dead Redemption 2 Rock Carvings - Location 3

Head back to Strawberry and then take the path directly north, which runs up one of the nearest peaks of Mount Shann. You’ll get very close to the Bigfoot skeleton location we’ve talked about previously, in fact, it’s directly below it, carved into the mountain itself. You’ll probably notice something a little… anachronistic about this carving. We’ll get back to that…

Red Dead Redemption 2 Rock Carvings – Location 3

Red Dead Redemption 2 Rock Carvings - Location 2

Now we head far north, into West Elizabeth, to Grizzlies West, and all the way up Mount Hagen. Follow the trail right to the peak of the mountain, and on your right will be the next carving. These things are definitely beginning to feel a little odd. Is that… a blimp? How is that possible?

Red Dead Redemption 2 Rock Carvings – Location 4

Red Dead Redemption 2 Rock Carvings - Location 4

The next carving is far east and a little north of Mount Hagen, or directly north of Valentine. If you hit the northern railroad follow it north towards Window Rock and to Granite Pass. At Whinyard Creek follow the left path alongside the rivers and waterfalls upwards, and the carving will be on your left eventually.

Red Dead Redemption 2 Rock Carvings – Location 5

Red Dead Redemption 2 Rock Carvings - Location 7

Just south of the last location, below Window Rock, on the very west of Cumberland Forest is our next carving. There’s a mountain here. Head to the top edge, and look for a path heading down. Walk along the cliff and the carving will be on your left. Is that an atomic blast? These are getting weird…

Red Dead Redemption 2 Rock Carvings – Location 6

Red Dead Redemption 2 Rock Carvings - Location 8

Head just east of the last location, to the area between Cotorra Springs, Fort Wallace, and Bacchus Station. On the south side of the river, there’s a large rock face. Approach it from the south-west and head upwards. Near the top, there’ll be a path that leads down to the river again. Head down and keep an eye out for the carving of what appears to be an angel.

Red Dead Redemption 2 Rock Carvings – Location 7

Red Dead Redemption 2 Rock Carvings - Location 5

Head south-east from your previous location. Eventually, you’ll hit Moonstone Pond. On the map, it’s located directly between the words Grizzlies East and the second ‘N’ of New Hanover. It’s right next to the train tracks, so if you followed them south and then east from Bacchus Station you’ll find it eventually. There are some large rocky outcroppings here. If you explore them and face south, you’ll spot the carving of a pyramid of some type in one of the rocks.

Red Dead Redemption 2 Rock Carvings – Location 8

Red Dead Redemption 2 Rock Carvings - Location 9

From the last carving at Moonstone Pond head directly east, and just above the second ‘E’ of New Hanover, you’ll find the Elysian Pool. On the eastern side, next to the road that crosses the water, there’s a large rock that hangs over the ground a little. The carving is on it.

Red Dead Redemption 2 Rock Carvings – Location 9

Red Dead Redemption 2 Rock Carvings - Location 10

Head north now, past Annesburg, to an area just next to the ‘N’ in Roanoke Ridge. It’s just next to Deer Cottage, and a road. There are some rocky plateaus here. Head east from the cottage and you’ll find the carving etched on to one of the lower plateaus on your right. This is possibly the weirdest one yet. Mr. Sinclair will have some explaining to do.

Red Dead Redemption 2 Rock Carvings – Location 10

Red Dead Redemption 2 Rock Carvings - Location 6

This last carving is a bit of an odd-one out, and you can tackle it whenever you want. It’s right between Flatneck Station (where the Reverend’s mission was, if you’ve done that) and the Dakota River. Head from the road into some cliffs, and then up the mountain. With the river on your right, head along the cliffs at the top of the mountain, and the final carving will be on your left. At least this one looks a bit normal, but weren’t these supposedly made centuries ago?

How to Complete Geology for Beginners

Once you mail in the last carving (you should get a few small rewards along the way), Francis will send you a letter asking Arthur to come to meet him. Do so, watch the scene unfold, and make sure to pick up the Old Brass Compass before you leave. You can turn that in at a fence, the same place where you sell stolen goods. You’ll get the Raven Claw Talisman, which will permanently slow down all weapon degradation by 20%. Not bad at all!

As for who Francis Sinclair is? We can tell you if you wish…

[SPOILER ALERT]

As you probably gathered by those strange rock carvings, of which most showed events far into the future, Francis Sinclair is actually a time traveler. He has some sort of Stargate-style device that he steps through to travel through time, which you’ll see in Rock Carving 9, not to mention on the strange drawing in the cabin. Was he actually dead, as his wife claims? Who knows, but that birthmark on the baby she’s carrying looks very familiar…