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mini location map2016-11-07
25 by photographer avatarAZWanderingBear
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Devil's ChasmGlobe, AZ
Globe, AZ
Hiking avatar Nov 07 2016
AZWanderingBear
Hiking3.90 Miles 2,160 AEG
Hiking3.90 Miles   5 Hrs      1.30 mph
2,160 ft AEG   2 Hrs    Break
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
After enjoying the guided hike up to the upper Salado dwellings at the Tonto National Monument, we rendezvoused with a good friend of mine for the highlight of this 4-day trip. The drive in on Cherry Creek was fun and scenic. Our planned camp spot was unoccupied and camp went up quick. Mary Jo had decided not to do the hike, so she took over camp and fed Craig and I a nice dinner. We sat around the fire for a bit and turned in knowing the morning would bring a fine adventure.

After a killer breakfast Craig and I headed over to the trailhead. One Jeep was parked there, as opposed to the 4 vehicles the day before. We got our legs under us on the gradual grade of the first bit of the trail. Route finding can be a challenge down lower, but we did pretty well.

After a half mile I was keenly aware of my sedentary summer. The chockstone obstacle turned out easy enough, though I'm not fond of tight tunnels. The waterfall was just fun, rope not needed (going up). We began to hear the folks in front of us pretty clearly around this time. After one section with some exposure, we came up on one of the 2 guys from the Jeep. He figured out we were there when we asked if everything was OK. His buddy was up on the side of the screaming loudly about how scared he was. They had gotten off the trail and taken a higher path which apparently had some exposure. We pressed on.

The last 700 or so feet up is a slog. The recent rains had made the ground slick mud. We kept a good interval since we were kicking down loose rock with almost every step. This was work, but at least we were close. Finally we spotted the dwelling directly above us.

Having been in 4 other Salado cliff dwellings, I had a pretty good idea of what to expect. But this dwelling has some unique features. Craig and I enjoyed checking out the rooms, commenting on the design and engineering, pointing out 700 year old hand prints in the mortar on the walls. Hated to see that the huge metate has been broken. Neither of us were willing to climb out onto the ledge at the far end of the dwelling.

The other 2 hikers made it up, so we worked our way back out and had lunch in the first room. I was sitting with my back to the outside wall when Craig reminded me it was a long way down the sheer cliff face directly behind me and leaning back on a 700 year old wall might not be good from a longevity perspective. He also had an archaeological theory I hadn't yet considered. He thinks Salado women must have been really attractive, because no man who has ever walked the earth would go to the effort required to build such a great house so high up unless he was VERY motivated in a special way. Explains a lot.

We started back down moving about as fast as we went up, as in very slowly. We did play with the rope Craig brought along at the waterfall. That was fun. Our thighs were seriously burning as we got lower and lower. Finally we spotted the trailhead. That was the coolest hike I've done where my pace was sub 1 mph.

Back in camp, our hostess greeted us with appetizers, drinks, and best of all a shower in a facility she had constructed complete with a stone floor. After a great dinner and some good conversation around the fire we all turned in tired and very pleased with the adventure.
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