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Rogers Canyon Honeymoon Suite Ruins, AZ
mini location map2021-03-27
29 by photographer avatarJohn10s
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Rogers Canyon Honeymoon Suite Ruins, AZ 
Rogers Canyon Honeymoon Suite Ruins, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Mar 27 2021
John10s
Hiking9.33 Miles 1,666 AEG
Hiking9.33 Miles   8 Hrs   6 Mns   1.95 mph
1,666 ft AEG   3 Hrs   19 Mns Break
1st trip
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We visited the main cliff dwellings site at Rogers Canyon last month [ triplog ] , and we ran out of time that day to explore the "Honeymoon Suite" ruins and another site or two that we noticed at other spots in the canyon, so the plan for today was to skip the main ruins and check out the other spots. There were already nine other vehicles in the parking lot when we arrived in the morning, but we didn't see nearly as many people along the trail on the hike in. It was a surprisingly cool morning with a strong wind, but it was more comfortable further down in the canyon where there was more protection from the breeze.

There was a little more water trickling in the creek bed than there was a month ago, and a lot more algae in the water. There were also a lot more flowers blooming, which was nice to see. Our first destination was the Honeymoon Suite--I'd made a half-hearted attempt to exit the trail on the hike out last time to check out what a possible route might look like, but I chose an approach that was far too brush-choked to make and ideal route and knew I should have climbed up from an earlier spot in the canyon.

This time, we started up a steep slope that had some loose rock but was relatively free of brush. By the time we made it to the top of the slope and were even with the cave in elevation, I realized that I'd once again chosen a less-than-ideal approach--there was a large drainage between us and the cave that we weren't going to be able to cross from that spot. Given how long it had taken to get up there, I wasn't sure we had time to go back down and start over from another spot.

Fortunately, once we were about halfway down the slope, I tried cutting over toward the drainage and found a spot where I could climb down, then approached the cave from a better angle. Along the way, I found two pot sherds, each about a quarter or a half inch thick, which indicated I was on the right track. I reached the ledge where the cave is located and had to navigate some narrow sections and thick brush, then crawled through a short passageway a few feet high to bypass a particularly narrow section of the ledge along the cliff edge, then I could see the main ruin that we'd spotted from below.

It was a large cave with one small cliff welling built against the wall. The structure used the overhanging rock of the cave for its roof and had relatively well-intact walls with a lot of mortar remaining and one small window looking out over the canyon. There was another standalone ruin wall behind that, which may have been part of a second structure at some point, but I didn't see any evidence of more walls there.

I found another pot sherd inside the cave, and someone had built a fire ring at the lower area near the front. The cliff dwelling had a short ledge along the back wall, and someone had left a bag with a tent inside--an odd spot for camping, but I guess it's a pretty safe storage area. It was certainly a room with a view--the landscape looking out over Rogers Canyon from inside the cave, and through the little window in the dwelling, was spectacular. The ruin itself was small and not as impressive as the upper dwellings at the main site, but the location high up in the cave made it an especially fun one to explore.

[ youtube video ]
[ youtube video ]

I made my way back to my hiking partner, who'd stayed behind because we were short on time, and we continued back down the steep slope. Along the way, someone was flying a drone above us, which was unexpected out there. We'd taken enough time climbing up and down the side of the canyon that we didn't stop to check out the other ruins site on the hike out, saving that for another day--from what we could see through zoomed-in images that we took last time, it should be another fun area to explore next time we visit Rogers.
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