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Lower Gila River, AZ
mini location map2018-12-08
30 by photographer avatarHansenaz
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Lower Gila River, AZ 
Lower Gila River, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Dec 08 2018
Hansenaz
Hiking10.27 Miles 969 AEG
Hiking10.27 Miles   5 Hrs   51 Mns   1.84 mph
969 ft AEG      17 Mns Break
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
As it cools off trips to the low desert get more attractive so I headed out to the Gila River north of Sentinel to look for petroglyphs and geoglyphs and anything else interesting that I might find.

I may have been able to drive closer but I started walking a few miles short of the river just to see how far away the ancient stuff went. It's always nice walking on the flat baked ground but I didn't really see anything of interest until I got near the river.

The low mesa overlooking the (now dry and overgrown) river is where the action is. The mesa top is mainly dark basalt pebbles and larger basalt rocks. These pebbles have been compacted over time into distinct trails and the larger rocks have been arranged into patterns which must have had some meaning. It's reasonable to assume you're looking at very old stuff because there has been little modern disturbance: no cows and very few vehicle intrusions. The more recent followers of the Gila (e.g. the '49ers heading to California) apparently traveled below along the river...no wagon tracks on tops and plenty of inscriptions from that era below.

Anyway I did find plenty of rock arrangements and when I got to the edge there were many petroglyphs. I really just looked at a small fraction of the "likely" petroglyph area, but that section was very rich in large petroglyphs of sheep, deer and, thunderbirds. I decided I reached "glyph-saturation" and that I'd save the rest for another visit.
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