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Nordhoff-Hope Cliff Dwelling/SiteV:1:170, AZ

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Guide 16 Triplogs  0 Topics
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HAZ reminds you to respect the ruins. Please read the Archaeological Resources Protection Act of 1979 & Ruins Etiquette
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Difficulty 1 of 5
Distance One Way 0.5 miles
Trailhead Elevation 4,838 feet
Elevation Gain -190 feet
Accumulated Gain 425 feet
Avg Time One Way 1 hour
Kokopelli Seeds 1.92
Interest Off Trail Hiking, Ruins & Historic
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10  2018-03-03
Southern Sierra Ancha Tour
11  2018-03-03
Coon creek to Nordhoff Hope cliff dwellings
36  2016-04-09
Ruins Near NF-203a and Cook Creek
13  2014-02-01 Peakster
1  2013-03-11 shouston2
19  2012-04-01 DarthStiller
20  2012-04-01 Johnnie
12  2011-12-03 MtnBart01
Page 1,  2
Author Grasshopper
author avatar Guides 42
Routes 458
Photos 8,104
Trips 508 map ( 5,318 miles )
Age 74 Male Gender
Location Scottsdale, AZ
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Preferred   Oct, Apr, May, Mar
Sun  6:08am - 6:27pm
Official Route
3 Alternative
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Named place Nearby

William Hope and Walter Nordhoff visited this Sierra Ancha site on November 19, 1880, while conducting a mineral assessment of the area for the United States Geological Survey(USGS). The Nordhoff-Hope 1880 mineral survey is also evident from abandoned mining adits dotted along the very scenic FR203A driving route. Dr. Richard C. Lange has continued the legacy with the Sierra Ancha Project starting in 1983 and continuing to present day.

This short off trail hike (via a defined use trail)is an interesting side trek to an 800 year old Salado Cliff Dwelling estimated to have approximately 20 rooms which included it's possible interconnecting cliff-cave inner rooms. Due to the very tricky ~25-30 foot sheer cliff climbs required to reach the ledge edge for entrance into these more interesting upper cliff dwellings, this visit will have to leave most with just an imagination of what might reside within...

For this off-trail hike, follow the fence line from the old corral area by working you way downhill along the slope on the obvious but overgrown "use trail" heading west towards the Coon Creek drainage. As you start dropping downhill along this "use trail", a cliff will appear to the right containing this cliff dwelling (at way point N33.75372 W110.87736). This is the Nordhoff-Hope Site V:1:170. From the cliff dwelling you have commanding views of the Coon Creek drainage to the west and south.

Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.

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2010-05-11 Grasshopper

    One-Way Notice
    This hike is listed as One-Way.

    When hiking several trails on a single "hike", log it with a generic name that describes the hike. Then link the trails traveled, check out the example.
    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 Triplog Reviews
    Nordhoff-Hope Cliff Dwelling/SiteV:1:170
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    Coon creek to Nordhoff Hope cliff dwellings
    I'm not 100% sure how to use this site yet but here is my attempt at posting pictures and a trip-log.
    This was my second venture into the southern Sierra Ancha mountains, and involved a partial on trail loop
    and partial "shortcut" which is always a mistake.
    Coon creek is beautiful and really has some great views and shows the ruggedness of these mountains,
    and takes you through multiple different types of terrain as you dip down toward the creek bed and
    climb to the rim.
    The Nordhoff-hope ruins are impressive in how many rooms you can find, but leave you with plenty of
    cactus needles and cat claw scratches as souvenirs. They are very exposed and do not have as many
    standing walls as I had hoped, but were still amazing.
    Nordhoff-Hope Cliff Dwelling/SiteV:1:170
    rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5
    After exploring the Coon Creek Ruins it was time to gain some elevation along FR#203A until well above Coon Creek for our hike to the Nordhoff-Hope Cliff Dwellings. It's a steep climb but the road was in pretty good shape so the Pathfinder took it with ease. From the trail head it was just a matter of following the fenceline until the reaching the cliff dwellings. Ok, so it wasn't just a walk in the park... the closer we got the steeper the angle and the less sure we were of our footing.

    When we arrived we found the most interesting part of the dwellings was out of our reach and/or past our climbing abilities so we had to be satisfied with exploring the ruins along the base of the cliffs. After checking out the various walls nearest the main cliff dwelling we continued farther to make sure we didn't miss anything. We looked up a ravine to see if there may have been an easy way up to the dwellings but no joy there. On the return we stayed as close to the cliff base as possible until we hit the last of the stacked rock walls. Just before the last one there was another deeper ravine that may have led to a path to the top. Unfortunately it was so overgrown we didn't attempt to find out. After the taking a few photos at the last remaining wall we headed back down to reconnect with the trail. It turned out the best way to get back down was to glissade down the loose rock and gravel. With all the bits of grass and other bits that would have gotten into shoes it was nice being in Teva's.

    Once back to the car we decided to find the closest place to park to the area above the dwellings and hike out to see what it looked like from above. I had set a waypoint at the dwellings so we drove along the road until we were less than .2 mile away when we got out and set out for the edge of the cliffs. The going was relatively easy with only a few detours to avoid a few thorny thickets. When we were within a few hundred feet of the waypoint we came to a point where it looked like layer after layer of terraces, dropping down 3-6 feet from one to the next. We went down a few levels until the drops were enough to prevent us from easily continuing. At that point we took some photos before headed back out. One of the ravines I could see all the way down to the spot where we were less than an hour before. With more time and cooler weather I'd be willing to venture down the ravine from the top down. But for today we had more 4x4 paths we wanted to check out for unique photo opportunities. More than a few of the paths got so tight I wished we had the Samurai. Being more than a foot wider, the Pathfinder ended the day with more scratched surface than not. Oh well, I got it for 4-wheeling not for looks and it did just fine. The only casualty I found a few days later was what appeared to be a pincushion thorn that had pierced the sidewall of a tire. Not willing to replace it that quickly, I had it patched so we'll see how it turns out. Still it was a very worthwhile day for adventure.

    One of the weirdest things on the day was the temperatures. Even as late as 11 am at Coon Creek ruins (around 2000') it was only 77 degrees, but as we drove up toward Nordhoff-Hope the temp kept rising until it was 105 at the top. All I could think of was an easterly wind blowing hot air up and over the top of the summit. Then as we drove back down on Cherry Creek Road the temps dropped into the upper 90's, continuing to baffle us. By time we were back to Mesa it was the usual 103-105. While Tracey wasn't exactly enthused with the high temps when hiking, it seemed hardly noticeable to me.

    Full set of photos are here:
    Nordhoff-Hope Cliff Dwelling/SiteV:1:170
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    Seventeen gallons of gas to hike a total of 2 miles for the day and it was worth it! :D

    My sincere thanks to our Randal Schulhauser for joining me today and for doing all the research and previous scouting (April-June'07) to allow me to finally visit this ancient (~800 year old) and seldom visited Sierra Ancha Wilderness Salado Cliff Dwelling site. Hope you will consider reading my hike description and viewing my pic set with captions and posted GPS driving and hiking routes for further details on this most interesting site.

    Our final five mile (+1670ft) drive-in on high clearance FR203A road is a real treat with scenic, short and long distance views in virtually all directions and just further justifies the driving time/distance to hike in this area.

    Randal and I combined this short hike with his close-by HAZ "Coon Creek Ruins" hike to justify a full day out and we ended our day with good Mexican Food in Globe.

    To justify the driving time/miles required to access this area from PHX, I do recommend a full day outing in this area to combine what we did above, or consider visiting this Nordhoff-Hope Cliff Dwelling along with a drive .8 miles further up FR203A to the "Bull Pass TH" with some exploring on one of two interesting hiking options going in from this TH:
    Coon Spring TR#124..
    Moody Point Ruins via Deer Creek TR#128..
    Nordhoff-Hope Cliff Dwelling/SiteV:1:170
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    Back on the trails after a little shut-down period.

    Hank and I took the side trip to the Nordhoff-Hope Site V:1:170 off FR203A near the Bull Pass TH (think Hank may be doing a hike description). Hank posted the GPS route =>

    Bee sting almost ruined it :( (ha ha!), but thankfully a Benadryl took the edge off.

    Next stop, Coon Creek Ruins... :)

    Permit $$

    Map Drive
    High Clearance possible when dry

    To hike
    From the Phoenix area: On Hwy 60 in Globe(MP247.0), take State Hwy 188 northwest toward Lake Roosevelt for 14.7mls to its junction with State Hwy 288(MP229.4); turn Right on State Hwy 288 and drive north for 6.7 mls to signed Cherry Creek Rd(FR203); Turn right(east) on maintained, some washboard, gravel road FR203 and drive for 10.2 mls just past cattle guard to junction with signed FR203A; Turn left(north) on high clearance FR203A and follow this very scenic-narrow, ridgeline climbing, seldom maintained FR203A for 5.0 mls (to way point N33.75378 W110.87177); Park just past the cattle guard at old corral on left side of FR203A for this hikes TH Start; Also Note: Parking for the Sierra Ancha "Bull Canyon TH" and the start of Deep Creek TR#128 (see HAZ hike desc- Moody Point Ruins via Deep Creek TR#128) and HAZ- Coon Springs TR#124 are an additional .8ml drive further up FR203A;
    page created by Grasshopper on May 10 2010 5:40 pm
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