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Pueblo Canyon Ruins
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mini location map2018-02-11
24 by photographer avatarOregon_Hiker
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Pueblo Canyon RuinsGlobe, AZ
Globe, AZ
Hiking avatar Feb 11 2018
Hiking5.20 Miles 1,785 AEG
Hiking5.20 Miles   7 Hrs      0.74 mph
1,785 ft AEG
 no routes
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
It was a guys’ weekend in the Sierra Ancha with my son-in-law, Lloyd, and his Dad, Tom. The plan was to camp near the Pueblo Canyon Ruin trailhead and then do successive day hikes to the ruins in Cold Spring Canyon and Pueblo Canyon over two days. I drove up a day early to check the road conditions and secure a campsite. The road between Ellison Ranch and Devils Chasm had some rough sections best negotiated at a crawling pace in 4x4 low range. High clearance is recommended unless you’re a risk taker and skilled at picking a path through the large rocks. The large boulder blocking the road about a half mile past Devils Chasm is still there but a fairly wide bypass has been dug around it on the uphill side. Unfortunately I didn’t have anyone with me to check clearances to the boulders on both sides as I drove through the gap. Also, I was a little over confident knowing that a FJ Cruiser and numerous Tacoma pickups had negotiated this gap with no scrapes. So I now have a couple of short AZ racing stripes along the right rear quarter panel of my FJ as well as a couple of small dents.

Our planned camping site at the trailhead was unfortunately covered with cow pies thanks to the salt block placed there by the Ellison Ranch. I camped there that first night but decided to move camp to the corral below Devils Chasm early the next morning. This time I successfully drove through the boulder gap with no damage thanks to stopping several times to check my vehicle alignment with the gap. The corral was a good choice with no cow pies and plenty of room for parking and the large tent Lloyd and his Dad would stay in. Because of the road conditions I decided to meet Lloyd and Tom on Cherry Creek Road about a mile south of Ellison Ranch. We would leave their car there and load up their stuff in my FJ Cruiser to ferry them about 4 miles up to the campsite from where we would start our day hikes. There was no way I wanted to risk damage to Lloyd's Honda Pilot on this very hazardous road - that car is my daughter's daily driver.

Side Note on Ellison Ranch History:
While waiting for Lloyd to arrive Saturday morning I had the pleasure of meeting Nathan Ellison, the owner and occupant of Ellison Ranch. I was standing by the road texting Lloyd about the change in plans when he drove up and stopped to see if I needed assistance. I had just read a short book on the Ellison's ranching history so was primed to ask him questions. Nathan is the great grandson of Jesse Washington Ellison. Jesse W. Ellison was a cattle rancher from Texas and a veteran of the Civil War. In 1885 he sold out his ranch in Texas and transported his herd of 2500-3000 cattle by train from Colorado, Texas, to Bowie, AZ. From there he and his crew drove the cattle across AZ past Globe to the current location of Roosevelt Lake. They lost many head of cattle on the drive across AZ and the herd was in poor shape by the time they got to Globe. He intended to ranch in an area now covered by the lake but ended up staying only long enough for his herd to recover from the drive. The local ranchers in that area felt there was not enough room there to accommodate another large ranch so pressured him to move on. He established his first ranch in AZ about 15 miles east of Payson. There were a number of his Texas friends who came out to that area in that same time period. Jesse had 8 children, 2 boys and 6 girls, who in 1985 ranged in age from 4 to 19. At this first ranch they planted many fruit trees and the Ellison family referred to it as the “Apple Farm”. Little physical evidence of this first ranch now remains. About 1895 Jesse left this ranch near Payson and established the Q Ranch east of Pleasant Valley. His reason for leaving the Payson area was that the range was overstocked and over grazed. He sold the Q Ranch to Pecos McFadden, a fellow Texan, in 1915 and retired to Phoenix. The current Ellison Ranch in Cherry Creek Canyon was homesteaded by Jesse’s grandson, Buster (Travis) Ellison and is now occupied by Travis’ son, Nathan.

Back to the Hike:
Sunday morning we drove from camp at Devils Chasm up to Cowpie Point where we would start our hike. This time I drove through the boulder gap with no damage thanks to guidance from my two passengers. The hiking route up the old mining road is easy to follow. There's a fork in the road just pass a very large rust colored boulder. The left fork goes to Cold Spring Cny and the right fork goes to Pueblo Canyon. The huge patch of manzanita that caused confusion on my trek six years ago is now gone thanks to the Juniper Fire. At the end of the road start following the undeveloped trail up the south side of the canyon. There's some minor route finding required to find the safest route and a number of traverses on steep hillsides can be a little scary. I rested up for the return hike at the innermost ruin while Lloyd and Tom continued on to the other two ruins which I had seen on a previous trip. We got back to camp just as it was getting dark with time to cook a spaghetti dinner before retreating from the cold night to the warmth of our sleeping bags.
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