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Rogers Canyon Spring Ruins, AZ
mini location map2021-04-03
27 by photographer avatarJohn10s
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Rogers Canyon Spring Ruins, AZ 
Rogers Canyon Spring Ruins, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Apr 03 2021
John10s
Hiking10.22 Miles 1,614 AEG
Hiking10.22 Miles   7 Hrs   36 Mns   1.93 mph
1,614 ft AEG   2 Hrs   18 Mns Break
1st trip
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TboneKathy
We had some lower-elevation hiking plans this weekend, but with hot temperatures in the forecast and not much time during the week to make other plans, we ended up returning to Rogers Canyon for the second straight weekend and third time in the past five weeks. There was one more ruins site we'd spotted on previous visits that we hadn't had time visit yet, and it seemed like a good idea to get this one in before higher temperatures are here to stay for the summer.

The Rogers Trough parking lot was less busy this weekend than our two prior visits, and though not much had changed in the past seven days, there was noticeably less water in the creek, and there wasn't much to begin with. There were also more flowers blooming this time, with more variety of colors than last week. Unfortunately, also a lot more flies and gnats.

We proceeded to the waypoint I'd marked in our previous visits where we first spotted the ruins a month ago, but the view seemed more obscured this time, possibly because of foliage growth. I climbed up higher and confirmed that it was the spot we were looking for, and when I got up closer to the canyon wall, I noticed and intriguing cave that I wanted to check out, hoping there might be some additional ruins inside. There were a lot of thorns to contend with, but I eventually pushed through and got in. The shape looked a lot like the Birthing Cave in Sedona, but it was much smaller (and, fortunately, not swarming with Instagram tourists :)). It was an interesting spot, but the cave was empty inside--probably too small to have been of much interest to the natives for building anything.

A fairly deep drainage separated us from the ruins, and we spent some time looking for a decent route to cross the drainage before finally finding one. We did spot a few pot sherds on the hillsides, and I made my way down into the drainage and found a straightforward approach to the ruin. We hadn't been able to see much more than a small window and a wall with the zoom lens, but the site extended farther back under a long overhang than it initially appeared.

There were a few more walls forming a small "hallway" entrance to the structure, and the front wall was built up to the low overhang to form the small room. The mortar was in pretty good shape, and in multiple areas where it had started to deteriorate, wooden supports were visible inside the walls, a feature I hadn't seen in the other ruins sites in Rogers Canyon. At a corner of a wall on the inside, there was even some ancient rope or string visible where the vertical supports had connected to the horizontal pieces of wood. I found a few lighter-colored pot sherds around the ruins, and one of the interesting features of the site was a steadily-dripping spring at the far side of the overhang. It was obvious why this would have been an appealing site for the original inhabitants...about as close as it gets to natural plumbing in ancient times. I haven't seen a name for this site, but I'm referring to it as the Spring Ruins. If others are familiar with this site and know it by a different name, feel free to comment :).

[ youtube video ]

On the hike out, about a quarter mile from the trailhead, we got stopped by a very loud, distinct rattle from a coiled rattlesnake just off the trail. It was a big one and the first I'd seen this season...we were happy to see it and happier that it gave us plenty of warning, because it blended in extremely well. We only saw one other person on the trail all day, and this turned into another fun hike to a lesser-known ruins site in Rogers, and the last minute change in plans ended up working out well to fit this one in before summer.
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