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Conner Canyon Ruins - Sierra Ancha, AZ
mini location map2018-01-30
17 by photographer avatarOregon_Hiker
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Conner Canyon Ruins - Sierra Ancha, AZ 
Conner Canyon Ruins - Sierra Ancha, AZ
Hiking avatar Jan 30 2018
Hiking4.50 Miles 1,355 AEG
Hiking4.50 Miles   6 Hrs      0.75 mph
1,355 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
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Grasshopper and I had been running out of new places to search for ancient Indian ruins in the Sierra Ancha. But fellow HAZer @ssk44, who is a real ace at finding ruins on Google Earth, recently provided us with several appealing alternatives. This site above Conner Canyon on the west side of the Sierra Ancha looked like a good choice for a day trip. The hike starts from HW288 at a location with amazing views of Armer Mountain. After a steep descent and then climb back up out of Conner Canyon on an old perilous washed out 4x4/ATV trail we reached the off-trail section of the hike along a ridge line covered with scrub oak and prickly pear. My knee high Kevlar snake gators and elbow length rose pruning leather gloves were very nice accessories for this portion of the hike. Viewpoints along this ridge line confirmed that there were rock walls lining the top edges of a cliff sided butte near the end of the ridge.

Once we reached this small butte the problem was finding a safe way to climb the cliff to an opening in the walls. After some scouting back and forth along the base of the cliff we found a small hole beneath a boulder that led us to a safe climbing route. GH called this "cracking the code" for entry to this hilltop hideout. I crawled through the hole on my stomach after removing my pack. GH "helped" by taking photos to capture the calamity of a slightly overweight HAZer trying to squeeze through a small hole. You can always count on your HAZ hiking buddy to have your back in such situations.

The top of the butte had a number of rock walls lining the tops of the cliffs and possibly enclosing a couple of rooms. The walls appeared too delicate, in my opinion, to be defensive walls so may have been more for sheltering occupants from the elements. We found no scattered artifacts such as metates or pottery sherds. Some sections of the walls were up to 5 ft high but others had crumbled down. There were three small ledges on the south east side of the butte which had partial rock walls and had been leveled, possibly for living quarters, by retaining walls back filled with small rocks. The amazing thing about this site, besides the modest ruins, are the views of Roosevelt Lake, Armer Mountain, Conner Canyon, Zimmerman Point, Asbestos Point, and the SA mountains above Parker Canyon. After exploring the top of the butte we enjoyed taking a lunch break in the pleasant sunny weather while enjoying the views and contemplating the lives of the ancients who once occupied this site.

If you visit this site, please be careful not to disturb the rock walls. We have chosen not to hide the location of this site because it is somewhat difficult to reach and has no artifacts which might attract people who would illegally remove them.
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