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Explore FR203 Upper-Unnamed Canyon, AZ
mini location map2015-03-22
12 by photographer avatarOregon_Hiker
photographer avatar
 
Explore FR203 Upper-Unnamed Canyon, AZ 
Explore FR203 Upper-Unnamed Canyon, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Mar 22 2015
Oregon_Hiker
Hiking
Hiking
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
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Most of the hikes Hank and I had planned for our week long campout in Upper Cherry Creek Canyon were to explore off trail areas looking for Indian Ruins. This was the first of those day hikes and potentially one of the more difficult. The plan was to hike up to the base of the second row of cliffs on the west side of Cherry Creek Canyon to search for cliff dwellings. Starting from our campsite our planning track led up the bottom of what we call Unnamed Creek/Canyon on the west side of Cherry Creek Canyon. After going up that creek about 0.2 miles our planning track then cut up the side of Unnamed Canyon to a ridge line which we would then follow up to the second row of cliffs. This would be my second attempt at this destination. The first was a solo effort a year ago which I aborted after hours spent thrashing my way through brush thickets. This time I had plotted what looked like a better planning track after poring over Google Earth images of the area.

The hike started out well with an easy to follow animal (cow) trail along the side of Noname Creek then a steep but relatively brush free climb up to the ridge we would follow to the top. We were pleasantly surprised to discover Indian Ruins on top of this ridge line - a small fortress type walled enclosure and a couple rectangular hut type enclosures. Most of the walls had crumbled to the ground but a 2-3 foot high section of the fortress wall remained. This route was definitely easier to follow than the route of my last year's attempt. However once we climbed up the series of ledges we found our route was much steeper than anticipated with more brush which started to sap our remaining energy. As we neared the targeted cliff face we could see that the areas along the cliff face on both our right and left was heavily covered with tall thickets of scrub Oak and an endless series of rock ledges. These obstacles were more than we wanted to face in our exhausted state so we decided to abort the hike at this point and stop for lunch on a small ledge with great views of the canyon below and the horizon to the east. After lunch we started the downward trek sticking close to our incoming gps track to find gaps through the brush and cliffs below. Nearing camp we could hear the bass boom-boom of music and feared that some noisy folks had decided to share our camp site. But it was just HAZer BeeBee listening to his car stereo while waiting for us to get back to camp. He had dropped by for a standing invitation to a Grasshopper Camp dinner but Hank was too worn out from our trek to make a big dinner so we settled for sampling his vast selection of Trader Joe's hors-d'oeuvres. :D
Flora
Flora
Claret Cup Cactus
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