|Hiking||11.00 Miles|| 7 Hrs 45 Mns || ||1.42 mph|
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I headed out to the Badger Springs Trailhead with a vague idea to hike to the Perry Tank Ruins. From I-17, the location of those ruins (conveniently near easily visible electrical towers) looks tantalizingly close.
I hadn't walked in these canyons before and didn't know exactly what to expect. I found it to be a nice place: a good sandy trail heads down from the Trailhead to the Agua Fria River in less than a mile. I was really surprised at all the water in the river - a very pleasant place to be with the AZ Spring starting to heat up. I had Joe's and WilliamnWendi's GPS tracks with me but when I hit the river I decided to head upstream instead. No real trail, just an occasional cairn and some tromped down grass, but the going is pretty easy.
A couple miles up the river bends sharp left and then right. At the right bend there are signs of a modern ruin on the right, something apparently taken out by a flash flood. An old road passes by this ruin (and appears to continue across the river) and I took it uphill toward the mesa to the right (west). The mesa top is easily gained and you get a nice view back to the Bloody Basin road and ahead you see the row of power lines.
I walked along the power lines for a mile or two, sometimes keeping on the service "road". The walking isn't that good..rocky and the dirt crust breaks a couple inches with every step. I knew the Perry Tank Ruins were ahead but I was getting a little worried about my return route and daylight (I didn't start til 10:30).
I decided I better skip the ruins and bail out down the side canyon just short of them. I'm embarrassed to say that only after returning I realized this side canyon is apparently chock full of petroglyphs. If I'd realized that I would have spent time looking at its south edge, instead I just dropped in from the north. Even though I didn't know this was a "good canyon" I did try to keep my eyes open but I didn't see any evidence of habitation.
Descending the side canyon was slow and a little tedious. Eventually it joined the bigger Perry Tank Canyon and I took that down to the Agua Fria. These side canyons had water and were interesting but they wore me out and I moved pretty slowly up the Agua Fria. A lot of rock hopping and stream crossing - much water and very scenic. I didn't get wet till the last crossing to meet the Badger Springs Trail....crummy rotating stepping stones.