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2012-11-25  
Cocoraque Butte Petroglyphs, AZ
mini location map2012-11-25
34 by photographer avatarHansenaz
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Cocoraque Butte Petroglyphs, AZ 
Cocoraque Butte Petroglyphs, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Nov 25 2012
Hansenaz
Hiking1.70 Miles
Hiking1.70 Miles   1 Hour   30 Mns   1.13 mph
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
I had some parental errands to run in Tucson but I was left with enough time to check out an area I was interested in.

Cocoraque Butte is listed as an archaeological district in Ironwood Forest National Monument. Not much information is provided except that it is a prehistoric habitation site with a lot of rock art. It's location is about 25mi W of Tucson and I found it can be reached this way:
1. Drive west past the Arizona Sonora Desert Museum, staying straight when the road turns into W. Mile Wide Rd.
2. The road eventually turns to dirt and when it takes a 90deg turn right (Reservation Rd.), turn left, through a gate, into Ironwood Forest National Monument.
3. Go south a couple hundred yards then go right on what is apparently W. Cocoraque Ranch Rd. This is pretty sandy with some ruts so a decent vehicle is needed.
4. The low hills a little south of the road's direction is your target. I parked at a gate that was near the hills but it is possible to drive farther.

I walked across the desert to the nearest hill and contoured south along its base until I was between this first small hill and the bigger hill to its south. At that point I scanned the rocky slope of the small hill and saw some glyphs near the top. I ran into a few on the way up but there was a concentration near the top and down a different line to the SW. Some really nice glyphs. On the way back I walked over the top of a lower summit to the NE which also had a lot of art though it was more faded and less impressive.

It was late in the afternoon so I didn't look further but I'm sure there is plenty more to see. I saw only one pot sherd.

Near-mishap of the day: while looking down on some nice petroglyphs at the top of the hill my sunglasses fell off my head, landing between some rocks and I heard them bounce another couple times. I strained for 5min trying to recover them but they were gone. This really annoys me because I've lost 3 other pairs of prescription sunglasses while hiking. Anyway I continued down the hill taking pictures and back up a different line and thought I'd give the glasses search one more try. Now using a flashlight I saw them pretty far down a hole. On a second try, after taking everything out of my pockets, head first in the hole I could just reach them. Success! I felt even better a min later when (after a little difficulty) I made it out of the hole.
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