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Coon Creek Ruins Overlook via FR3368, AZ

no permit
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Guide 6 Triplogs  0 Topics
Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Globe > Young S
3.3 of 5 by 3
HAZ reminds you to respect the ruins. Please read the Archaeological Resources Protection Act of 1979 & Ruins Etiquette
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Difficulty 0.5 of 5
Route Finding 1 of 5
Distance Round Trip 0.04 miles
Trailhead Elevation 4,383 feet
Elevation Gain -10 feet
Accumulated Gain 10 feet
Kokopelli Seeds 0.09
Interest Off Trail Hiking & Ruins
feature photo
Photos Viewed All Mine Following
Inaugural Calculation on Button Tap!
15  2015-01-25
Upper Deep Creek
29  2015-01-25
Upper Deep Creek
4  2015-01-25 Grasshopper
30  2015-01-25 AZLumberjack
8  2015-01-25 varmit
Author Grasshopper
author avatar Guides 42
Routes 458
Photos 8,104
Trips 508 map ( 5,318 miles )
Age 74 Male Gender
Location Scottsdale, AZ
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   Mar, Nov, Apr, Feb
Sun  6:08am - 6:27pm
Official Route
1 Alternative
Fauna Nearby
Named place Nearby
Culture Nearby
leg stretcher
by Grasshopper

While in the FR203A Sierra Ancha area of the Bull Canyon TH to hike other trail and off-trail options, this spur road drive and very short ~30 yards walk one way from the FR3368 road end "Cliff Overlook" to view the scenic and ancient Coon Creek Cliff Dwelling Ruins Site is a worthy addition to your planned day.

Note: best viewed in the mid morning hours due to sun location across Coon Creek Canyon.

Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.

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2015-01-28 Grasshopper
    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
    Coon Creek Ruins Overlook via FR3368
    rating optionrating optionrated 3rated 3rated 3
    This was my group planned idea that "maybe" this short hike will work :-k and if not, we had a primary hike planned for the day to Upper Deep Creek from the Bull Canyon TH that I knew would be a winner!

    As it turned-out, this very short .30 mile drive off the main Bull Canyon FR203A access road onto signed FR3368 to this road ending Cliff Overlook with views across the Coon Creek Canyon Drainage to view the ancient Sierra Ancha "Coon Creek Ruins" turned-out to be a surprise winner idea! :D

    Mid to late morning is the best time to view this Cliff Dwellings Ruins Site due to the sun's rising east location. It is highly recommended for those who plan a visit to the various HAZ listed hiking TH's along FR203A, to also include in your morning plans a short visit and photo // viewing opportunity at this Cliff Overlook (best viewed and captured by bringing a decent zoom camera and/or binoculars).

    T-hank-S to all for risking it. Sometimes my off-trail planning ideas really are a risk. Fortunately this time was different :)
    Coon Creek Ruins Overlook via FR3368
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    Coon Creek Ruins and Upper Deep Creek

    This trip was in the works for quite some time and although I had ample time to examine it on the maps, I wasn't fully prepared for the exciting afternoon of hiking through the high ranges of the Sierra Ancha's. We drove in two vehicles with Larry leading the way in his raised Toyota FJ and I following in my Ranger 4WD pickup. The highway suspension in my little truck was a bit too soft for the ruts and protruding boulders on FR203A but if I closed my eyes on the hairpins it took some of the fright out of the drive :scared: I surely don't recommend this trip for anyone who is afraid of high, narrow mountain roads without guardrails (my truck still isn't speaking to me).

    Once at the remote overlook, we exited the vehicles amidst a stiff breeze that was still chilled by the early morning and high altitude. The first rays of the morning sun created a shadowy band where the ruins sat, far below us in a lush valley. After a few super zoom shots, it was back into the vehicles for the short trip to the Bull Canyon Trailhead, where we donned our packs and reset our GPS units.

    I don't know who ordered the day's dress code, but the guys all wore blue shirts and Kelly wore a bright orange windbreaker :-k Everywhere you looked there was mountain tops and all were dominated by the firetower on Aztec Peak. The mountains and canyons are extremely green for this time of year thanks to the frequent rains that have passed through the area.

    Not many signs to direct the way but thanks to the research of Larry and Hank, we made it through the trackless heights and into the entrance to an old road that had been blasted along the steep canyon walls alongside dry creeks and washes far below us. The road that we were following was dominated by growths of Manzanita, Holly and the occasional Catclaw which crowded the cliff-side of the trail forcing us to bushwhack through on the exposed steep bank-side :doh:

    Kelly and I were in the back of the pack when everyone suddenly stopped and began whispering as they stared at a large group of Coatimundi on the steep banks on the opposite canyon wall. I raised my SX50 in hopes of snapping some close-up's but the Coati were now all spread out and those critters can really scamper on those steep slopes, so I was lucky to get a couple shots where I captured them and lots of shots with only hillside brush and grass :?

    The trail soon turned into a series of rockslides that again forced us to cross on the exposed side of the trail. The rockslide scree led down in some places over a hundred feet into the welcoming arms of Manzanita .... which was the last stop before the steep cliffs leading into Deep Creek. We finally reached the first adit entrance to an old Uranium Mine from back in the 50's and 60's. Kelly was one of the first in and surely the first out. She heard a buzzing sound and thought the mine was full of bees, but they turned out to be hundreds of flys that we had interrupted from their rest. The interior of the mine also smelled of sulpher (possibly Bat Guano further back in the mine) :o

    We continued on the trail until coming to the second mine, and again we had to check out the interior for about the first fifty feet. The trail ended a short distance past the second mine but offered us some incredible views of Bull Canyon's steep walls with almost Hoodoo-like spires towering hundreds of feet above the creek. We were in hopes of backtracking where we would be getting down into the creek and exploring the cliffs from a closer perspective.

    After returning a short distance Larry found a trail that snaked down into the creek bed where we found pools of clear water. We rock-hopped on down the creek until, after rounding one more corner, we were faced with a shear drop of slightly less than a hundred feet down into a deep plunge pool at the bottom :o It was an amazing site to see so we made this our lunch break while taking turns looking over the rocky edge of the falls. The sun was warm and inviting and the winds had quit blowing, making this a relaxing place to take an extended break.

    The return to the trailhead went quickly but Larry had one more bit of exploring as he made an early exit up the walls of the trail to see what he could see 8-[ Eventually we all joined again at the parking lot where we said our thanks and began our descent from the mountains to Cherry Creek Road.

    A big thanks to everyone, Larry and Hank for the research on the hike, first time meeting Tim (Varmit), brother-in-law (minermike) and it's always fun to hike with Kelly :y:

    Very few wildflowers out.
    Coon Creek Ruins Overlook via FR3368
    rating optionrating optionrated 3rated 3rated 3
    got to tag along with the boys on this interesting and scenic piece of the sierra anchas
    rocky drive to bull canyon trailhead, with a stop at an overlook into the coon creek ruins
    took deep creek trail, then off trail across a mesa, which featured a tank and a corral
    then along an old mining road to the two donna lee uranium mines
    both shafts seemed in good condition
    went in about 15 feet, but a funny smell and a lot of flies didn't entice me to go in further
    on the way back, dropped into deep creek on a nice set of switchbacks
    went down canyon about a quarter mile, where we found a 50+ foot dropoff with a small waterfall and a good sized pool at the bottom
    no way to get down it without gear
    found webbing anchored around big rocks with rap rings so someone has done it
    had lunch here and had to be content with looking down deep creek canyon at the spires and hoodoos
    it would be way cool to go down there
    headed back up and out
    very nice day for this, in january no less
    had fun exploring with some pretty good guys
    nice to meet varmit (tim) :) and see the others again
    thanks for including me in this one!
    now i have about a dozen more hikes to put on the list ;)
    will adjust stats when other tracks are posted

    Permit $$

    Map Drive
    High Clearance possible when dry

    To walk/tour
    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 6.9 mls to signed Cherry Creek Rd (FR203); Turn right(east) on maintained, gravel road FR203 and drive for 10.2 mls just past cattle guard to junction with signed FR203A; Turn left(north) on high clearance (light truck tires recommended) FR203A and follow this very scenic, some one way narrow sections with exposure, ridge line climbing, seldom maintained FR203A for 2.75 mls to the signed intersection with FR3368; Turn west (left) onto FR3368 for .30 miles to road end at Park/TH Start (see recommended and posted GPS Driving Route and ~30 yard one way Walking Route);
    page created by Grasshopper on Jan 27 2015 6:09 pm
    1 TB Flash Drive... $40
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