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Pueblo Canyon Ruins, AZ

Guide 79 Triplogs  5 Topics
  4.4 of 5 
no permit
1.3k 79 5
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 1 of 5
Distance Round Trip 7 miles
Trailhead Elevation 3,860 feet
Elevation Gain 2,500 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 7 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 19.5
Interest Ruins
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19  2019-05-13 Pickles
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9  2018-02-24 friendofThunderg
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Author Randal_Schulhauser
author avatar Guides 71
Routes 98
Photos 9,967
Trips 1,009 map ( 9,248 miles )
Age 61 Male Gender
Location Ahwatukee, AZ
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   Oct, Nov, Mar, Apr → 9 AM
Seasons   Autumn to Spring
Sun  5:33am - 7:27pm
Official Route
3 Alternative
Historic Fire Perimetersacres
🔥 2016 Juniper Fire30.6k
🔥 2000 Coon Creek Fire9.6k
🔥 View All over Official Route 🔥

by Randal_Schulhauser

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Pueblo Canyon derives its name from a group of cliff dwellings. The nearby asbestos mine named Pueblo Mine takes its name from the canyon.

Look for an old mining road that crosses FR203 (Cherry Creek Road) between mile 23 and mile 24. There is a partially buried steel drainage pipe that crosses FR203 just before the mining road. Hike is described in Dave Wilson's book, "Hiking Ruins Seldom Seen". There are 4 distinct sets of ruins spread over the last mile of the hike. The site was first inhabited around A.D. 1290 and abandoned by A.D. 1330.

The first mile follows a steady incline along the abandoned mining road. Elevation gain is well over 1000 feet in the first mile. The next mile may require some bushwacking through thick groves of red bark manzanita. Hikers short in stature and thin of girth certainly have an advantage through the dense growth! As you enter the canyon, a lush forest with many ferns and wild flowers will appear. The trail hugs the contour along the canyon wall. As you approach the 1st set of ruins, remains of an abandoned uranium mine will be apparent. It appears that tailings from the mine have backfilled some of ruins! Continue past the 1st set of ruins until you reach the main waterfall. Walk behind the waterfall with due care - rocks are extremely slippery! You can test the canyon's echo capability at this point. The trail will then follow the contour of the north face of the canyon. You will encounter three separate ruins along this path. Each ruin is a multi-storied structure, some with floors intact. No rock art was evident during our visit. Grafitti left behind by some unthinking hikers made us sad...

2017 dmassion writes
Parking area for ruins (for GPS) is N 33 50.377’ W 110 51.924’ about 23.7 miles on FR203 (Cherry Creek Rd).
Opposite parking area trail passes a sign and leads to the old mine road. Hike up the road staying along the ridge line, loose rocks everywhere so boots are better than tennis shoes. Trail will swing left but after entering the burn area you will cut back to the right and continue around to Pueblo Canyon. The first mile is tough and you gain 1000 feet, just 1500 feet to go!

Now for the good/bad news: Good news, the Summer fires have burned all the manzanita so you don't have to stoop and bend through a tunnel of vegetation anymore. Bad news, as you approach the first ruins, and beyond burned dead falls block the trail so you have to climb over or crawl under these blacked beasts. White t-shirts no longer recognizable! Waterfall spectacular and was really flowing but very slippery.

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.

2004-09-07 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.

Permit $$

Map Drive
High Clearance possible when dry

To hike
From Globe, take 188 north towards Lake Roosevelt. Turn right on 288 and follow about 2 miles past the Salt River until you reach FR203 (Cherry Creek Road). Follow FR203 for about 23 3/4 miles until you reach the trail head at an abandoned mining road.

From Phoenix/Scottsdale drive the SR87 (beeline highway) then turn onto 188, driving past Roosevelt Lake to the Young Junction AZ288. From AZ188/288 junction drive 7 miles, over the Salt River bridge and turn right on Cherry Creek road. Take Cherry Creek road 23.7 miles to the trailhead. This dirt road will take about an hour to drive, if in good condition.

dmassion 3/25/17 writes:
Last summer's fires and Feb. 2017 rains have significantly changed some of the information about the road conditions and hike to Pueblo Ruins.

Road conditions:
Currently passable to the Devil's canyon ruins, but around mile 20 a large boulder blocks the road. A tight fit but we go a 4Runner through by carefully climbing the bank and angling through. Tough with a full size PU!

Road beyond the ruins:
Beyond Pueblo parking area, around mile 27 the culvert is destroyed and a 2-3 foot cut on the south bank prevented us from continuing on without destroying our from bumper. Quads crossed and some jeeps possibly could also but you could rip up or crush a truck front bumper. We turned around here.
90+° 8am - 6pm kills
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