I've been waiting for Keet Seel to open up for the season and today was the first day I would be able to do it after they opened up for 2012. This hike is in Scott Warrens book "100 Classic Hikes in Arizona". It was the only remaining hike that I had not completed from both the 1994 version and the most recent edition. The two books have a combined 110 hikes and all were enjoyable.
As for today's hike we started off at the visitor center at 8:00 for a brief orientation. The Ranger was funny in his delivery style. (you kind of had to be there) After that Joe and I hit the trail and in no time we were making our way down the river bed. The Ranger said we would cross the river 20-25 times. He was light in his number but the water felt good. As you get closer to Keet Seel you can either take the high route or stay in the river bed. We chose to take the high route.
Upon reaching the ranger Hogan at Keet Seel we were promptly greeted by Ranger Steve and Diane (I think that was her name). They invited us in and were very cordial. Shortly later another couple showed up and we went down to look at the ruins. One thing the Ranger failed to tell us at the orientation is that currently the alcove with the dwellings is closed due to a washout from recent rains. The trail leading the way in is in need of re-construction. It was fine and Steve had books with photos and lots of detail to review with us. Out of the four of us I think Joe was the most interested in learning about the ruins.
Anyway once it was over we headed back and this time took the riverbed. On the return we crossed paths with some wild horses which was really cool. The weather was great all the way until we had the final climb out, that part was a little on the warm side.
It was a great hike and I had lots of laughs with Senior Jose!
Glad to have completed the book as well. I saw more of Arizona in the last year than I have seen in the previous 23 years combined. It was an Awesome Journey!