With 108-109 temps expected in the valley we wanted to find someplace cooler to hike. So with temps only expected in the low 80's for the Sierra Ancha area we figured on adding to our ruins hikes there. We were up early and on the road by 5:20, turning off from Cherry Creek Road onto FR#38 at 7:18 and on the trail shortly after 8 am. Although the HAZ hike description recommends starting the hike at FR#1076 due to how bad the "road" has deteriorated, with more than one hike scheduled for today we just kept going with the Pathfinder. (If it weren't for a glitch with the air locker I would have been driving my Samurai, which would have been MUCH more suited for the road.) Every time we came to something that seemed impassable I dropped it into low range and daintily tip-toed through with no issues, except for the addition of a bevy of intense Arizona pinstripes... one wide enough it looks more like a racing stripe.
Ok, enough about the road... Oh wait, I forgot to mention almost running over a Gila Monster on the drive out Cherry Creek Road. We came around a corner and saw a Gila Monster sunning himself in the road. I knew I could stop in time so tried to avoid it before stopping to get some photos. At the last second it gets up and starts moving right where I was headed to try and avoid it. I thought I ran it over but it must have twisted back momentarily as I went by then continued on across. As soon as I could stop we got out and went back for some photos. It was early and cool enough that it wasn't moving very fast so we were able to get quite a few pictures before he got tired of the game and went into the brush.
We continued along FR#1076 until there was just no going any farther, parked and headed off for barely a half-mile hike to the ruins. Although the terrain immediately below the ruins was similar to Devil's Chasm where this time of year would have many rattlers and we kept a careful watch we saw none at all throughout our 4 hike day. Rats! keeping my record intact of not seeing any this year. The ruin had a number of good-sized rooms but none fully intact and no wall paintings or pottery shards like previous ruin hikes. Since this is in an area frequented by hunters we didn't expect to find any shards so it was no surprise. After spending 45 minutes at the ruins, since we were actually more than halfway around the peak the ruins were on we continued on around and back to the car.
After a very slow 3.5 mile drive back to Cherry Creek Road we were off to out next destination for the day, the Nordhoff-Hope Cliff Dwellings.
20 hike photos are in the set posted on HAZ (see link above)
A full 65 photo set is here:
I posted a 6+ minute video of the Coon Creek Ruins on YouTube: