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Martha's Butte
3 Photosets

2018-05-19  
2018-05-19  
2017-04-01  
mini location map2017-04-01
19 by photographer avatarHansenaz
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Marthas Butte and beyond - PFNP, AZ 
Marthas Butte and beyond - PFNP, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Apr 01 2017
Hansenaz
Hiking6.00 Miles
Hiking6.00 Miles   4 Hrs   15 Mns   1.41 mph
 no routes
1st trip
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I love to go to the Petrified Forest and I promised my wife we'd stay in Holbrook's finest motel if she came along.

We planned the walk to hit PFNP's only "remote public" petroglyph site and then to explore beyond that. A few years ago the Park Service decided to proactively push the PFNP back country and the cross country walk to Martha's Butte is posted on their website and a flyer is available at the Visitor's Center. nps.gov/pefo/upload ... .pdf

We drove about 3mi past the South Visitor Center and parked at the pull off just short of the small Dry Wash bridge. From there we walked up the wash a few hundred yards before cutting cross country. Soon we could see the "Bell shaped" Butte past the edge of the low mesa on our left, and just continued. There is no trail but some tracks were visible - I suspect every rain resettles disturbed ground which is sort of nice.

It's only about a mile to the Butte and the base is surrounded by some nice rock art. Most of the major petroglyphs in PFNP (and I assume these) are thought to date from the latest major occupation period (1300-1450); the habitation sites were at least several miles away (Pueblo Puerco, further up the road, is one) so the extensive decoration implies this location had some significance. There are a couple impressive examples of petrified logs near the Butte, but then again it's practically everywhere you look out here. Anyway the hike to the Butte and back would be an excellent gentle introduction to walking in this park.

We continued on looking for more ancient signs...I wont give details, it ruins the fun...and had very good luck. Lots of very impressive glyphs, decorated pottery pieces, flaked rock, and even a fossil or two. It's just a great place to walk around and be entertained by the Painted Desert scenery, petrified wood, unique erosion features, etc.

So the Econo-Lodge it was (that is Holbrook's finest and not half bad) and back to PFNP on Sunday.
Photos:
Martha Butte [ photoset ]
Beyond Martha's Butte [ photoset ]
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