|Hiking||3.85 Miles|| 4 Hrs || ||0.96 mph|
|523 ft AEG|| || || |
Just wanted to link the triplog to the photos. I'll type up a detailed triplog and caption the photos when I'm not so tired.
Ok, that's better. So this was week two of hiking with my dad. To put it simply, he's a beginning hiker, so I have to search out easy trails with mild elevation gain and no rocky footing. I've been eyeing Richinbar for a while so this was a great opportunity to check it out.
There's parking for about five vehicles at the trailhead. If you need more space I'm sure you can always leave a vehicle at Sunset Point Rest Area (2 miles south) or at the Badger Springs parking area (2 miles north). Hop the fence (the hardest part of the hike) and head down FR9006.
The windmill and corral are quite interesting. I actually found it fascinating to take a moment and study the dynamics of a windmill up close. There's plenty of water tanks around the area filled with dirty water and attached to the corral is a small sleeping quarters with an oversize bedframe.
At about the 1.5 mile point the trail heads gently downhill to the T-intersection. We headed north first to the rocky outcropping to check out the petroglyphs. Mainly animal shapes. With a spectacular view of the Agua Fria canyon I was wondering if this was a prehistoric "lovers lane" - a teen hangout where the kids would come to escape life at the pueblo.
Next we headed south to the townsite. There are several foundations along the hillside, then the first mine shaft appears on the right. It is by far the biggest, fenced off by barbed wire. We "tested" its depth then moved on to explore the chimney and the earthen water tank on the hilltop overlooking both the town and the river.
On to the main mineshaft which appears to be the deepest. There's a large tailings mound next to it and the foundations of several buildings just south of it. The trail gets narrower as you head to the third mineshaft. It's the smallest and without any fencing we didn't get too close.
So we headed back through the townsite and up the jeep road just south of the first shaft. From here you get great views of the entire townsite. Richinbar Pueblo sits atop the hill to the right. It's smaller than I expected. We actaully passed it at first and had to turn around. There's a rock wall about four feet high and plenty of petroglyphs hidden among the rocks.
Continuing on the jeep road we made it to the dumpsite where there are several pieces of beautiful white pottery. Not pottery shards from a prehistoric area, but dishware from the townsite. From there it was back across the plateau to the windmill and the trailhead.
This an easy day hike with plenty to offer; great views, petroglyphs, prehistoric ruins, abandoned mines and more. There's plenty to explore, but please be courteous and respectful as you take this step back in time.
|"I've driven across deserts, driven by the irony, that only being shackled to the road could ever I be free"|
- Frank Turner "The Road"