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2018-01-13  
Unknown Ruins, AZ
mini location map2018-01-13
10 by photographer avatarAZWanderingBear
photographer avatar
 
Unknown Ruins, AZ 
Unknown Ruins, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Jan 13 2018
AZWanderingBear
Hiking3.50 Miles 400 AEG
Hiking3.50 Miles   3 Hrs   20 Mns   1.50 mph
400 ft AEG   1 Hour    Break
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
A friend from work invited me on a little exploration. Seems a mutual friend had spotted some extensive ruins while flying along a canyon up north. A lot of research had turned up nothing about this extensive cliff dwelling. Knowing my interest in such things, they asked if I'd like to go with them as they tried to hike to the site. I was all in.

We plotted some forest roads that would get us in with in 1.5 miles of the site. It was a bumpy drive the closer we got. The hard part was where to drop off into the canyon. Looked like coming in above would cliff us out and going too low would result in a steep loose scree climb. We side hilled for a good way trying as best we could to stay on the same elevation contour as the ruin. Spotted a solitary mountain sheep ram on the way in. The hike was short but interesting given the slope of the canyon walls and and the very loose footing.

Found some faded petroglyphs and sherds as we got closer. The glyphs were a combination of animal symbols and geometric shapes. The ruin location, glyphs and color/texture of the sherds convinced me that the ruin was Sinaguan and likely dated between 1200 and 1300.

The ruin proved to be fairly large, situated under a shallow overhang, with a combination of single and multi story rooms and towers. Most of the rooms had significant damage. One central tower was in fairly good shape with either two stories and an upper balcony or three stories. The upper roof had collapsed at some time, but must have held for a long time given the difference in interior plaster weathering above and below the roof line. The roofs were the usual rafter, lattice, mud arrangement supported by the walls and drill holes in the rock face. At some time core samples had been taken from the rafters of the best surviving roof for dating purposes. The upper room contained a few corn cobs and also fibers that had obviously been woven at some time.

The base of the rock layer into which the dwelling was built had numerous small caves at the bottom. Many of these showed signs of being used as granaries with some stout walls still in existence.

The trip made for a interesting day with two friends.
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