Short hike, small site
Rattlesnake Point Pueblo is one of several ancestral Pueblo sites located within Lyman lake State Park. Lyman Lake was formed by the creation of a dam across the Little Colorado River, just south of Saint Johns. Rattlesnake Point, however, is the only Pueblo village open to the public at the state park. The first stop for a visitor should be at the visitor entrance station/museum where trail guides for Rattlesnake Point, and other trails within the park, are available. Rattlesnake Point is located down on a spur along the shores of Lyman Lake. A paved road leads past yurts and campsites that can be rented out, and then transitions to a good gravel road (this may have been paved since 2003). The road basically dead-ends at Rattlesnake Point Pueblo in a parking lot. There is no water or bathroom facilities at the site. Water and restrooms are available back at the visitor center. When the lake is at full pool, the site stands out on a peninsula. When i visited in 2003, however, the lake was almost non-existant, so I got to see the land as the Rattlesnake Point dwellers would have seen it - the floodplain of the LCR. The trail is quite brief, taking you around several partially excavated rooms covered with a metal awning. Further exploration of the site is allowed, however, so feel free to walk around exploring the remains of roomblocks and the midden.
AZ State Parks states:
When I visited, there were stone flakes and even some bits of bone (probably from game animals). The site itself isn't too big, so even with exploration and following the basic trail, it doesn't take long to see most of the site. A good combination is the Rattlesnake Point trail, the Petroglyph Point trail, and Casa Malpais in Springerville if you're just in the area for a day. None of the trails take very long, are all somewhat close together, and allow you to get a deeper view into the world of the ancient Pueblo dwellers (especially the little talked-about LCR Puebloans).
AZ State Parks states a little cultural history:
It also seems likely that the Zuni tribe, just over in New Mexico, can trace heritage from Lyman Lake (at least, that's what one archeologist told me back in 2003).
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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.
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