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Devil's Chasm
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mini location map2020-06-09
13 by photographer avatarolanwade
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Devil's ChasmGlobe, AZ
Globe, AZ
Hiking avatar Jun 09 2020
Hiking3.90 Miles 2,160 AEG
Hiking3.90 Miles   8 Hrs      0.49 mph
2,160 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Partners none no partners
After reading several trip logs about the hike to Devils Chasm and a call from a hiking buddy (John), we set out for an overnight camping trip and hike to the Devils Chasm ruins in the Sierra Anchas Wilderness area. We drove up from the Mesa/Gilbert area taking US60 to 188 towards Roosevel Lake. Just short of Roosevelt Lake we turned left onto 288 (the Young Highway) towards the turn off on FR203 Cherry Creek Road. The road up to the trailhead was in pretty good condition until you get to Ellison Ranch. From that point you'll be bounced around climbing up and then down to the trailhead just before crossing Cherry Creek and the old coral. We camped at the trailhead for the night before taking off on the trail to the ruins.
We started off at around 9:30AM. The trail starts off along the creek and immediately starts up. Overall the trail is pretty easy to follow at this time with a few fallen trees that you have to maneuver over or under. Cairns mark the way as the trail takes you through a canopy of oak along the creek. About 3/4 of a mile up the creek you will come to the first obstacle. The trail will take you into the dry creek bed (some water was pooled) and you'll see a large boulder (water falls) blocking the creek bed. Keep to the right and look for the opening. There were two ropes available when we were there - one having a large hook that we used for pulling our packs up. Then you'll have to crawl through the opening and out. A short distance up the trail you'll come to the next obstacle which is another waterfall. There was a small amount of water trickling down along with some green, slick moss. There was a rope when we hiked that was tied off to a tree trunk at the top of the waterfall. This made the ascent to the top of the falls pretty easy and the fact that most of the rock face was dry. From that point the trail comes and goes, but we found cairns strategically placed that helped us find the trail. After a short hike we came to another large boulder and the trail seemed to end. Our GPS route showed that we take the trail to the right, but it wasn't exactly obvious where. We took a break and looked at various ways we might go and finally found two cairns pointing out the trail to the left, up and around where we found a faint trail off to the right.
At this point the trail goes straight up (or at least it seem too). It is very loose dirt and rock with some vines to hold onto to pull yourself up. You'll be on your hands and knees most of this time for the next 1/4 mile or so. I'd advise giving plenty of room between hikers as there will be dust and loose rocks raining down on the hiker below as you climb up this last part of the trail. At one point we stopped and took a break and could see the ruins up on the cliff above. That gave us the adrenaline needed to complete the climb up to the ruins. There was a flat ribbon rope that we used to help pull yourself up this last bit. Once at the ruins you'll come past a half wall (no motar on this wall) and then have to crawl into the first room of the ruins. This is the upper ruins of the fortress (ref: Echoes of the Canyons, by Richard Lange AZ V:1:167) and has 5 rooms to explore. You can see hand prints in the plaster and two metate stone artifacts can be viewed. The ruins were dated back to the early 1300AD. The last room has a great view down canyon.
The trip back is a core. Especially the 1/4 mile down from the ruins. We opted to scoot down on our bottoms since it is very, very steep going down. This gave us some control, but with the loose rock it's easy to get sliding down requiring me to break with me feet or grabbing ahold of a bush. Once down this section, you'll back track the two obstacles (see above). Take your time as you'll need to rope down the falls and on the last falls use the rope to lower your packs down as we did. From that point its pretty easy to follow the trail back down to the trailhead. We made it back down about 6PM and drove out before it got dark.
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation None
Be aware that there was an abundance of western poison ivy along to upper parts of the trail.
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