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Cold Spring Canyon Ruins, AZ

no permit
569 45 2
Guide 45 Triplogs  2 Topics
Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Globe > Young S
4.4 of 5 by 11
HAZ reminds you to respect the ruins. Please read the Archaeological Resources Protection Act of 1979 & Ruins Etiquette
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Difficulty 4 of 5
Route Finding 3 of 5
Distance Round Trip 4.02 miles
Trailhead Elevation 3,753 feet
Elevation Gain 1,191 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 5 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 9.98
Interest Ruins, Historic, Seasonal Waterfall & Seasonal Creek
Backpack Yes
feature photo
Photos Viewed All Mine Following
Will recalculate on button tap!
13  2019-05-05 jamminaz
10  2019-01-27 MountainMatt
9  2018-02-24
Pueblo Canyon Ruins
18  2018-02-17 MesaWeekenders
7  2018-01-06 Johnnie
15  2017-10-14
Cold Spring and Pueblo Canyon Ruins
27  2016-04-05
Cold Spring Canyon Road Hike
6  2016-03-27 SUICIDEKING
Page 1,  2,  3,  4,  5
Author Randal_Schulhauser
author avatar Guides 71
Routes 98
Photos 9,967
Trips 1,009 map ( 9,248 miles )
Age 59 Male Gender
Location Ahwatukee, AZ
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   Mar, Apr, Oct, Nov → 7 AM
Seasons   Early Autumn to Late Spring
Sun  6:08am - 6:27pm
Official Route
5 Alternative
Fauna Nearby
Flora Nearby
Named place Nearby
Culture Nearby
Cherry Creek Crack House?
by Randal_Schulhauser

Some History
The Sierra Ancha (Spanish for "Wide Mountain") is an archeologically rich wilderness area known for some remarkable cliff dwellings made famous by Dr. Emil W. Haury and the Gila Pueblo Project starting in 1930. Dr. Richard C. Lange has continued that legacy with the Sierra Ancha Project starting in 1981 and continuing to present day.

Dewey Peterson was a rancher who lived on Aztec Peak circa 1900 - 1950. Peterson went on to serve as Dr. Emil W. Haury's guide during many of the Gila Pueblo Project expeditions. On one particular excursion, another local rancher, "Slim" Ellison accompanied the Gila Pueblo Project expedition as described by Haury;

"From the Peterson Ranch, we went north to McFadden Horse Mountain, and several other parts of the crest of the Sierra Ancha. Then we dropped off the east side of the range, north of Pueblo Canyon and into Cherry Creek where we established camp. From our camp in Cherry Creek, we went back up into Pueblo Canyon, into Cold Spring Canyon, and into Devil's Chasm. After collecting wood in ruins in each of those canyons, we set out to the east, passing south of Sombrero Butte, and on into lower Canyon Creek. After inspecting a prehistoric turquoise mine, we went up Canyon Creek to the Canyon Creek Ruin, which Dewey knew about, but had not seen. We returned cross-country, almost due west, and dropped back into Cherry Creek to the Ellison Ranch, where we ended the adventure".

After several similar expeditions into the Sierra Ancha, Haury published his findings in 1934 as Gila Pueblo Medallion Paper #14. His seminal publication, "The Canyon Creek Ruin and Cliff Dwellings of the Sierra Ancha" was published later in the same year. You can connect to the past by viewing the remains of the Peterson Ranch near Aztec Peak. The Ellison Ranch is still a going concern within Cherry Creek valley.

Many of my favorite Cherry Creek hiking destinations are documented in Dr. Rich Lange's recent publication; "Echoes in the Canyons - the Archaeology of the Southeastern Sierra Ancha" celebrating the 25th anniversary of the Sierra Ancha Project (SAP).

The SAP began in June of 1981 from a small grant by the University of Arizona Research Office to verify and update site information originally catalogued by Gila Pueblo. It soon became clear that the original scope of the project was larger than anticipated as many new sites were discovered and the project was stitched together piecemeal over the first 25 years of operation.

One of the first major undertakings of the SAP was a main beam replacement in Cold Spring Canyon site V:1:136. The main roof beam was severely damaged by insects and water and the structure was in danger of complete collapse. In late October of 1983, a replacement beam was dragged up the old mining road by a horse. A pulley system was used to transport the beam up the scree slopes from the abandoned mining road trail to the terrace ledge near the cliff dwelling. It took 4 people to accomplish the final task of lifting the beam across the terrace ledge and into position within the cliff dwelling. When one ponders the magnitude of the task in present day, you have to marvel at the determination of 700 year old civil engineering to construct these Cherry Creek cliff dwellings.

Other examples of Cherry Creek cliff dwellings have been documented within HAZ hike descriptions for;
1. Moody Point Trail #140
Moody Point Trail #140 on 2006-11-14

2. Devil's Chasm
Devils Chasm on 2006-03-04

3. Cooper Forks Cyn Cliff Dwellings
Cooper Forks Cyn Cliff Dwellings on 2005-09-17

4. Pueblo Canyon
Pueblo Canyon Ruins on 2004-09-05

I'd like to add Cold Spring Canyon as another example of Cherry Creek cliff dwellings to the HAZ collection of hike descriptions featuring ruins. To further pique your interest, there is a distinctive mining history associated with this trail (after all, it does follow an abandoned mining road). The Big Buck Uranium Mine operated from 1954 to 1957 and is located between Devil's Chasm and Cold Spring Canyon west of FR203 at the end of the abandoned mining road. Blue Rock and Grindstone prospect deposits are also located along the abandoned mining road.

The Hike
From our camp site near Devil's Chasm at FR203 continue north along the Forest Road about 1 1/4 miles until you cross Cold Spring Canyon Creek. As the Forest Road bends to the east out of Cold Spring Canyon, you will notice an abandoned mining road crossing FR203 in both directions. This is the trailhead to Cold Spring Canyon and Pueblo Canyon.

Follow the steady incline of the abandoned mining road constructed in 1954 to service the Big Buck Uranium Mine. Footing can be a challenge as the old road surface is comprised of ankle-rolling "baby-heads" (~6 inch diameter rocks). After completing the first quarter mile and rising about 500 feet, take a break at the camp site remains near the Sierra Ancha Wilderness boundary.

The trail will veer to the west crossing the wilderness boundary while maintaining a steady assault on elevation gain. Around the half mile mark you will pass a house-sized boulder on your left. At the three-quarter mile mark you will pop out onto a flat terrace with a distinctive petroglyph-marked boulder on your right. The trail splits here. The trail ascending to the west takes you to Pueblo Canyon. The relatively flat trail to the south takes you to Cold Spring Canyon. Take note, if you are ascending to the west, you are on the wrong trail! We managed to take a wrong turn here, but quickly recovered...

The flat terrace near the Pueblo Canyon trail junction has a vista view of Cherry Creek valley. If you examine the cliff face directly to the east, you will be able to pick out the Cooper Forks cliff dwellings.

Continue south along the remains of the abandoned mining road towards Cold Spring Canyon. The trail will veer to the west when it reaches the edge of the canyon. At this point, the trail will contour slowly downhill towards a dry waterfall crossing of Cold Spring Canyon. Carefully scan the cliff face in front of you on the north side of Cold Spring Canyon. Look for a distinctive crack in the cliff wall forming a cave. This is the V:1:136 site described by Haury and Lange, or the more memorable name "Crack House" assigned by our hiking party...

At the time you make one of the first sightings of the "Crack House" there will be a scree rock slide covering the abandoned mining road. The mining road trail becomes considerably more overgrown past the scree rock slide. Note this, as you will ascend the scree upwards towards the "Crack House". This section is nothing short of NASTY. Century plants will gouge you, prickly pear needles will penetrate you, and dust will fill your lungs. The climb is reminiscent of the scramble up to Devil's Chasm cliff dwelling. You will climb about 250 feet until you reach the cliff face. The intermittent trail will contour along the cliff face until you reach an exposed dry waterfall "punchbowl". Traverse the punchbowl heading towards a clump of trees hiding the cliff dwelling entrance.

Upon passing the clump of trees, you are rewarded for your efforts! There are poles strategically located to allow entrance into the cliff dwelling. Once inside, there is much to explore. There is also a balcony view of Cold Spring Canyon.

From the "Crack House" ruins, you have a clear view of the abandoned mining road traversing the south side of Cold Spring Canyon. That will take us to our next destination after negotiating our way down the scree slope. I don't know which was worse, the scree going up or the scree going down. Here's an after thought - a good pair of work gloves would protect the hands allowing one to gain a more secure purchase on this difficult section of the trail...

As you approach the dry waterfall crossing the north side to the south side of Cold Spring Canyon, you will notice rock cuts on the north side. This is the Grindstone deposit prospects (see p.114 from the Sierra Ancha mining survey). Look further west up Cold Spring Canyon to view some impressive rock spires.

As you travel along the south side of Cold Spring Canyon, scan the north cliff face to spot "balcony room" from site V:1:136. The abandoned mining road is overgrown in many sections with the occasional rock slides blocking the route. The old road will veer south traveling another half mile to reach the Big Buck Mine site (see p.94-96 from the mining survey). The Blue Rock deposit prospects (see p.103 from the >mining survey) are located about 2000 feet SE of Big Buck Mine.

Dr. Rich Lange documents 5 archeological sites in Cold Spring Canyon. We have located one of the sites. The remainders are for future adventures...

Gila Pueblo Site RefASM Site Reference TypeRoomsElevation
C:1:36 AZ V:1:136Small cliff dwelling 9 4840 ft
???AZ V:1:129Small cliff dwelling23960 ft
C:1:25AZ V:1:164 Small cliff dwelling6 6180 ft
C:1:46 AZ V:1:174Small cliff dwelling65280 ft
C:1:52 AZ V:1:169 Large surface pueblo 104600 ft

The Sierra Ancha is a special area rich in history. Archeological sites and evidence of past mining activity abounds. Combine this with spectacular scenery and you've got all the ingredients of a great hike. Enjoy!

Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.

This is a moderately difficult hike.

Leave No Trace and +Add a Triplog after your hike to support this local community.

2007-11-10 Randal_Schulhauser
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WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.

Most recent of 11 deeper Triplog Reviews
Cold Spring Canyon Ruins
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This was obviously not my first time here, but honestly this area will never get old for me. This time around some ice made the hike in a little interesting and as usual you can’t beat the nice feeling that goes along with showing someone this area for the first time.

The ruins were great as usual and as stated earlier the ice was a little interesting, or dicey in spots depending on who you ask. I still maintain that for this area the fire may have improved the area slightly, but the trail has probably suffered some due to post fire erosion, but oh well that just makes it a little tougher on the masses. There are certainly some better views along the trail now and most of the annoying scrub brushes and manzanita along the route have been eradicated, so that probably cancels out the eroded portions. We only saw two other hikers the entire day and the conditions were nearly perfect for hiking overall. I forgot about the third set of ruins in Pueblo, but the "crack house" more than made up for that small disappointment, I hope. I have said this before, but I would still be a big fan of the forest service closing the road at Devils Chasm. Currently, parking at Devils Chasm to avoid the tight boulder squeeze on the road adds an additional three miles to one’s hike, if going to Pueblo or Cold Springs.

We headed to the trailhead for the “lower” Coon Creek ruins on our way out, but after not even a half mile of walking across the drab desert there, neither of us including the dogs thought the ruins would be worth continuing. We will save that one for another day, when the creek may be a more tempting aproach to the ruins.

Cold Spring Canyon Ruins
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Cold Spring and Pueblo Canyon Ruins Tour
Our plan "A" cancelled for the 2nd week in a row because they've had 11" on rain in 2 weeks there. As far as plan B's go.... This one Rocks Big Time! It was put together at 9pm the night before.

First, I challenge anyone to get down Cherry Creek Road to the TH any faster than JJ. There were 3 water crossings, all a piece of cake, even the final Cherry Creek crossing. It's definitely a high clearance road past the last Cherry Creek crossing, some might attempt it w/o 4x4, not sure I have the nards to give it a try. Saw some deer and Javelina on the way in, as well as numerous Vultures, sitting on fences next to the road, eyeing us.

Up to Cold Spring Canyon Ruins first, just less than 1.5 miles and 1100' of AEG. The trail is easy enough to follow to get into the ruins. This a 3 level Ruin, not all that big, but they had some great views. with a couple of verandas. One at the South end, one at the East end.

Off to Pueblo Canyon Ruins next. This is a whole nother type of ruins area. If you only have time for one while in the area, this is the one. The hike itself is 100x more interesting.

If you start at FR203 (Cherry Creek Rd), this is about 2.6 miles and 1600' of AEG to get to the farthest ruins. A very picturesque hike once most of your elevation is complete, you get your first views of the Ruins on the north side. You'll be following the contours of the canyon at around 5300' under alcoves, in the riparian area, past less impressive ruins, past the old mine and then you make your way under the waterfall when you start turning back to the east to the 3 main ruin sites.

We took our time going through these sites checking them out. We went around the corner so JJ could check out a scree field for a possible future assault from the top to this ruin. As he was gone for his 15 minutes of checking, I took an hour and 10 minute break.

The skies were getting darker and it was starting to sprinkle, so we thought it best to get it in gear and get on that road in case we got a deluge like earlier in the week.

A great hike and adventure.. I finally got out to this area... Now the Devils Chasm is the next to get off the list.

Thanks for driving JJ Andretti!

Now a plug for JJ's Real Estate selling abilities.
Can he actually sell me a broken down property? They are kind of long, but that's what happens when you hike with a salesman.

Disclaimer.. Pay no attention to the dollar values or room quantities. He's a Realtor and does not have to be correct. Videos will be too long for most.

Cold Spring Canyon Condo :next:
Pueblo Canyon Estates - North :next:
Pueblo Canyon Estates - South :next:
Cold Spring Canyon Ruins
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After a late night arrival and an unmercifully brief amount of sleep, I awoke at my campsite on FR 202 overlooking Cherry Creek and prepared for a day of cliff dwelling visitation. I passed the Ellison Ranch at the final Cherry Creek crossing and was soon at Devils Chasm, where I had planned to park. Surprise, the creek crossing was in perfect shape! I motored on, finally parking near the Cold Spring Canyon crossing. I donned my hat and pack and began the rocky climb up the old mine road.

Mine road became trail and then narrow path, and I pushed my way across a mountainside of thick brush. The north facing slope of Pueblo Canyon was a fern and forest paradise, with numerous seep springs, massive cliff walls and amazing views of my prehistoric destination that seemed deceptively close. After a time consuming traverse, I reached the old uranium mine tunnel. The builders of the north facing cliff dwelling next to the mine certainly had picked a wonderful spot. I wouldn't mind living here.

The sound of falling water greeted me as the canyon floor rose up to meet the trail, where I passed behind a lofty waterfall. The pool below it looked inviting, but the cool, windy conditions said otherwise.

A tiny, buzzing rattlesnake greeted me next to the trail as I approached the first cliff dwelling, but quickly withdrew into a crack to flick its tongue at me. This first dwelling, a.k.a. "Ringtail Ruin" was much larger and more impressive than I had expected. I marveled at the architecture and effort, exercised my camera and then sat down in the shade of the overhanging cliff to eat lunch. To my great surprise, two hikers soon appeared (the only others I would see the entire day). I talked with a man from Glenwood, New Mexico and his friend from Tucson before continuing on to the other ruins nearby. Another ruin destination was on my list for the day, so I made a quick retreat from Pueblo Canyon back to the old mine road, sending some large beast crashing into the trees in the process (I'm guessing a clumsy deer or probable bear).

Turning off onto another mine road, I rounded a ridge and entered Cold Spring Canyon, where my second and final destination of the day quickly came into sight: V:1:136, the "Crack House". Leaving this overgrown mine road, I fought gravity and vegetation and made the steep and slippery scramble up the mountainside to the ruin in the crack.

I had been wanting to see this ruin for years, so this was a special moment. Dumping my pack, I climbed three sets of wooden logs that acted as crude ladders to access the roof of the dwelling, located in a cave in the cliff. The Sierra Ancha Project had replaced one of the key roof beams 30 years earlier to stabilize the site, but I still walked VERY carefully for fear of damaging this amazing place. Peering over the edge of the balcony room in the cliff face overlooking Cold Spring Canyon was a fulfilling experience. Just an amazing place. The day soon grew late, so I made my way down from the Cold Spring Canyon ruin and began the hike back to Cherry Creek Road.

Back at my truck, I chose to blow off my concert plans later in the evening and spend a little more time with my beloved Sierra Ancha. I made my way down to Cherry Creek from Devils Chasm to enjoy an evening swim and then ate dinner on my tailgate, watching the Sierra Ancha skies fade to black. Days like these live among my very best memories.

Thoughts of work the next day finally motivated me to head for home. I arrived home in Tucson at 2 am, dead exhausted, with work only a few hours away. As usual, it was totally worth the exhaustion. It was a wonderful trip. :y:
Cold Spring Canyon Ruins
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Yesterday we returned to these awesome ruins. From the sign near the trailhead, carefull scanning with binoculars of adjacent canyons allows you to see from a distance several other ruins. This wilderness is quite remarkable in the amount of ruins which are in such good shape within a relatively small area. The Cold Springs Ruins were in great shape. The pottery and some of the corn cobs that we found last year were no longer there ( :( )...but we did see a few cobs on the floor of the ruin. This 3-level ruin has a "balcony" which overlooks the canyon from a different angle that isnt seen from the entrance to the ruin; amazing! The hike probably wont take most people the 5 hours which are estimated in the hike description, but it all depends on how long you stay at the top enjoying this remarkable ruin. Hopefully we'll be back next year!
Cold Spring Canyon Ruins
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Fun hike. It was a little technical, but it wasn't very long. The worst part was the prickly pear that I kept kicking and the trail in some parts was eroding and made going downhill much more exciting.

The road was probably the most difficult part of this hike. We had attempted this hike last March, but Cherry Creek was easily going over the bridge at 2-3 feet and the road was muddy the entire way. This time the creek was only about 1-2" high and the road was easier to drive until the end. The last mile or so of Cherry Creek road starts to get more difficult. The last creek crossing was not something i would want to try with anything but a high clearance vehicle.

The mining road to the wilderness boundary was another story. That was a difficult road. I definitely picked up some "Arizona pin striping" for my truck and I punctured a tire on the way out. Turning around at the end was not easily done since the road surface is softball sized gravel. 4x4 is a must. Consider just hiking this last bit of road, unless you enjoy a challenge. :)
Cold Spring Canyon Ruins
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Wow, these ruins really are in great shape. We were fortunate enough to have several hours at them to just relax and explore. There was also a small ruin below this one a bit further up the canyon that could be reached. However, it was quite sketchy and NOT worth the risk to get to (it was just a single small room). The main ruins were excellent. We found (and left) several pieces of pottery as well as ancient corn cobs. Pretty cool! Great pictures, but the hike was very strenuous and is not recommended for anyone that cant take an arduous climb. Also, the river at Ellison ranch was uncrossable this week in anything but a high clearance vehicle or truck. Unfortunately, we got to wade through the ice cold run-off and added a few extra miles to our trek.
Cold Spring Canyon Ruins
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Driving Route: 21.7mls up Cherry Creek Rd-FR203 to Devil's Chasm Canyon/Campsite(Note: after the 3rd Cherry Creek water crossing at Ellison Ranch, it is 4x4 only to Devil's Chasm Canyon/Campsite/Parking(33o 49.390'N 110o 51.619'W); As of this posting, to drive past this 21.7ml point safely, it is 4x4-short wheel base-high clearance ONLY due to a deep rut/washout on FR203 where Devil's Chasm Canyon flows across FR203; It is an additional 1.58mls 4x4 only drive or hike past this point to the "Old Mining Road TH" at mile 23.3(33o 50.324'N 110o 52.034'W) where this hike takes off for the Cold Springs Canyon Ruins;

Our Hiking Route: From Devil's Chasm Canyon(at 3365') on FR203 to/up the Old Mining Road/TH(at 3750'), then .72mls up to the mining road intersection of Pueblo Canyon/Cold Springs Canyon(at 4400'), veer Left here at Big Boulder(33o 50.366'N 110o 52.450'W) & continue on overgrown-narrow Old Mining Road path for an additional .48mls(at 4530'); At this point, per Randal's Hike Desc. and GPS coordinates 33o 50.114'N 110o 52.569'W, look RIGHT for a fairly obvious STEEP/SPREE TRAIL(w/prickly-pear cactus) heading "up hill" towards the Cliff Face and eventually your reward +250'up at 4780'elevation: COLD SPRINGS CANYON RUINS; After surviving the -250' down hike to the Old Mining Road/Path, we continued to it's intersection with Cold Springs Canyon; We took a lunch break here, then headed back to the Old Mining Road intersection with the Pueblo Canyon Trail; We took a LEFT TURN here, then hiked up an un-named trail for ~.625mls to a view point looking into Pueblo Canyon, our hiking high point at 4943'; Then back to our beginning hike start/parking at Devil's Chasm Canyon(Start at 10:05am/End at 4:30pm);

Note: See HAZ-topohiker's GPS Route posted 4/20/08 for this 4/12/08 hike;

Ever since I first hiked across(on Rim Tr#139) & viewed down into the upper most end of this most remote, rugged, and very steep Sierra Ancha Wilderness- COLD SPRINGS CANYON, I just knew that it must contain some incredible ancient ruins. Then in Nov'07 when HAZ-Randal S. published his detailed trip description with all those fantastic pics, I immediately put this hike it in my favorites listing!

I am new to the world of Ancient Indian Ruins, but I do believe that my first hike to this one can be classified as truly special.. with 9 rooms, 3 different floor levels, a balcony view window with a surrounding view to "die for", I can hardly wait for my next visit in three weeks to the Sierra Ancha- "Cooper Forks Canyon Cliff Dwellings"!! :BH:

Note: IF you plan to visit THIS RUINS, I highly recommend you wear long pants, bring your hiking poles, heavy work gloves, flashlight, and if you plan to wear low top hiking shoes, then also wear your desert gaiters; THE PAYOFF IS DEFINITELY WORTH THE EFFORT and in this canyon there are documented an additional four(4) more ancient ruin of which has 10 rooms!!
Cold Spring Canyon Ruins
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Thanks to the great trip log posted by Randal we had no trouble finding these ruins. The ruins are quite visible if you are looking carefully along the cliff face., how to get up there ? The climb is very steep, very strenuous, with dizzying heights and constant assaults by prickly pear cactus! We found it very helpful to each have a hiking pole and gloves .

Halfway up to the ruins we had a rather unexpected encounter with a Green Mojave Rattlesnake that quickly let us know he did NOT like our intrusion ...RATTLE RATTLE ! :o that was exciting and a bit unnerving to say the least.

We made it up to the ruins and took some time exploring in and around, it was amazing ! The trip took us about 5 hours roundtrip.

Great adventure , well worth the effort it took to get there . :)
Cold Spring Canyon Ruins
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I had business meetings scheduled in Flagstaff on Friday 11/9. These got cancelled at the last moment and since I was planning to be out of the office on Friday anyways, decided to take a vacation day and collect on the offer from Mike Mattes to guide me to a set of ruins in Cold Spring Canyon.

We were able to get on the road from work by 5pm on Thursday and got to the best camp site in the Cherry Creek drainage by 9pm. That would be Devil's Chasm by the FR203 crossing. Set up camp in the dark, cooked some mega-dogs on a stick, sucked back a couple of Guinness' and peered into an amazing star-filled sky - PERFECT.

We got up at sunrise Friday and made our way along FR203 to the Cold Spring Canyon trail head. Recent maintenance along FR203 has removed the large boulder from the middle of Forest Road between Devil's Chasm and Cold Spring Canyon.

We made it up to the ruins before 10am. Explored the "Crack House" cliff dwellings and made our way along the abandoned mining road trail to Big Bucks Uranium Mine.

By the time we returned to Mike's jeep parked at the FR203 trail head it was approaching 2pm. We began to see various vehicles making their way into wilderness, including a group of about 10 trucks with trailers making camp at the old corral near the confluence of Devil's Chasm and Cherry Creek.

Dr. Rich Lange's recent publication; "Echoes in the Canyons - the Archaeology of the Southeastern Sierra Ancha" (reference celebrates the 25th anniversary of the Sierra Ancha Project (SAP). This book documents 5 archeological sites in Cold Spring Canyon. We have located one of the sites. The remainders are for future adventures...
Cold Spring Canyon Ruins
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Morning hike from camp down the old mining road from FR203 to Cherry Creek. With Ken, John, Shawn, and Hannah. Lot's of wild life seen during the boulder hop down Cold Spring Canyon to Cherry Creek. Kids particularly interested in all the lizards and toads. Didn't see any fish in Cherry Creek, despite it looking like primo trout waters!

Word of warning - truck got stuck on the way out on FR203 at Devil's Chasm. Good thing John brought the tow rope. Ken was able to tow the F150 out with his Jeep. Surprized what little effort it took the Jeep to get the truck up over the boulder it was hung up on!

Permit $$

Map Drive
Strictly 4x4

To hike
Directions to trail (synopsis): From Globe, take SR188 north towards Lake Roosevelt. Turn right on SR288 and follow about 2 1/2 miles past the Salt River until you reach FR203 (Cherry Creek Road). Follow FR203 for about 22 miles until you reach the trail head at an abandoned mining road located immediately after crossing Cold Spring Canyon.

Directions to trail (detailed): From Phoenix: Take Hwy 60 (Superstition Freeway) east 75 miles to Globe/Miami. Turn left (northwest) onto Hwy 188 (GPS coordinates 33o 24.976'N, 110o 49.711'W) and drive 16 miles to intersection with Hwy 288 (GPS coordinates 33o 33.936'N, 110o 56.782'W). Take Hwy 288 towards Young. In about 4 miles you will cross the Salt River Bridge (GPS coordinates 33o 37.187'N, 110o 55.299'W). Travel another 2 1/2 miles until you reach FR203, also known as Cherry Creek Road (GPS coordinates 33o 38.570'N, 110o 57.085'W). Follow FR203 for about 22 miles until you reach the trail head at an abandoned mining road. FR203 typically has 4 water crossings year round
- 1st is Coon Creek at mile 8.6 (GPS coordinates 33o 41.396'N, 110o 50.663'W)
- 2nd is Cherry Creek at mile 11.3 (GPS coordinates 33o 43.177'N, 110o 49.054'W)
- 3rd is Cherry Creek at Ellison Ranch at mile 18.4 (GPS coordinates 33o 48.231'N, 110o 50.180'W)
- 4th is Devil's Chasm Creek at mile 20.6 (GPS coordinates 33o 49.390'N, 110o 51.619'W).
Beyond Ellison Ranch, FR203 is described as a "Primitive Road" subject to little or no maintenance. On this particular trip, there was evidence of recent road maintenance. The large boulder in the middle of FR203 between Devil's Chasm and Cold Spring Canyon has been removed and many of the washouts have been filled. My GPS noted 121.57 miles traveled from my work place in Tempe to the abandoned mining road trail head. Travel time was about 3 1/2 hours.
3 pack - loud whistle
safety first
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