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Agua Fria Loop, AZ
mini location map2023-02-20
36 by photographer avatarHansenaz
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Agua Fria Loop, AZ 
Agua Fria Loop, AZ
Hiking5.95 Miles 1,847 AEG
Hiking5.95 Miles   7 Hrs   4 Mns   0.89 mph
1,847 ft AEG      22 Mns Break
 no routes
1st trip
Linked   none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
A friend of mine sent me a link to a drone video he posted showing a small ruin sitting on a platform above the Agua Fria River. Cool place! But, given all the virtual and physical poking around I've done in that general area, I was a little irritated I didn't know it existed. And while it's possible to fly a drone to that spot I wasn't sure at all it'd be easy to walk to.

It's easy to get to the Agua Fria chasm edge opposite the ruin and from there it should be a simple matter to go down to the river and up to the ruin and then back. Not a lot of distance but without a doubt the up and down and up parts would be hard.

I studied the map and satellite view and came up with several different routes down and up knowing that until I got there in person I wouldn't know the best way.

Here's the way it turned out: getting to the river followed a ridge and was easy enough until the last few hundred feet when the ridge ended. After that really steep, loose, over-grown, and some big rock barriers. I probably didn't pick the best way. And while I had planned 1-1.5 hrs to get to the river, in the end it took 2.5.

But all the while coming down I was looking across the river to the climb on that side. It looked quite a bit worse than I expected. I did pick a line which I thought might have a chance, but it ended in a rock wall section so I had to give up.

In the back of my mind I had been thinking I might want to take a different way back to the car. A few years ago I had hiked out from the river bottom up a different ridge that worked pretty well...and it was less than a mile upstream. A mile of travel up the river could be a problem in itself but no way was I going to go back up the nasty way I had come down. So my ruin hunt turned into a river loop.

Pretty fun going up the river but as I got nearer my exit ridge destination the walls closed and I had to wade. That was getting tedious and so I cut the corner by making a steep climb (not quite as bad as the others today) to hit the ridge part way up, then all was well. Passed a familiar petroglyph site on the way out.

Casualties today: 1) one pair hiking pants 2) little MP3player/radio I sometimes carry in my pocket, 3) maybe my boots.
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