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15 triplogs

Sep 01 2013
glutz
avatar

 Guides 2
 Routes 8
 Photos 517
 Triplogs 15

58 male
 Joined Nov 01 2009
 Chandler, AZ
V163 Where Art Thou, AZ 
V163 Where Art Thou, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Sep 01 2013
glutz
Hiking6.00 Miles
Hiking6.00 Miles   6 Hrs      1.00 mph
20 LBS Pack
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
V163… Oh where art thou?
Ahhh….low 60s at night, low 80s during the day, overcast, very lite sprinkles, there is no better time or “clime” to be in the Sierra Anchas.
Johnny and I finally synchronized our schedules (its tough with kids in high school and college in both families) and put together a day and a half hike into the Sierra Anchas, our destination: hopefully; the elusive (for us at least) V163 ruins! This was to be our fourth attempt at locating this ruin…what for Johnny and I had become our own personal Odyssey.
We spent the night overlooking Cherry Creek. What a gorgeous view to wake up to.
Thursday morning we broke camp, loaded my 4Runner and drove north about a mile, along the rim and hit the trail shortly after sunrise…. after an hour of hiking … something just didn’t feel right, we reviewed our data package of papers, pictures, Triplogs, IMs…and … recognizing the error of our ways … performed a CTRL-ALT-DEL and headed off on a different course.
I would be remiss if I didn’t offer, many thanks to: Lange c.1980, Haury c. 1932, “the yeti”, “the Bart01”, “the Bartels” and “the Schulhauser”, for knowingly and unknowingly providing pieces of the puzzle that is V163, as was explained to me in an IM, all the info is there…and indeed it was (even tho' I couldn't weasel any GPS Coords out of them, that SSSAR is a tight bunch), we just had to pick out the pertinent data and put it all together to form the picture..er map. I can certainly appreciate Preston’s comment “hard to get to”, not sure I understand his “easy to find” comment…at least for us anyway.
At any rate, this ruin is further off trail than the others (V-162, V-164) and while it was certainly not as impressive as the others, finding it did complete our TRIAD! Yes! We finally located the Sierra Ancha ruin V163, also referred to as c:1:14 by Haury. Although, Haury appears to have some confusion about location and nomenclature between C:1:8, and C:1:14 in his paper, his pictures match up, but his locations don’t. Both Johnny and I are impressed with Haury’s elevation accuracy (recall he did his survey in 1931/32, pre-GPS) as this ruin was located right at the elevation Haury indicated it would be. And yes, I realize GPS elevation accuracy is not as good as a calibrated barometric altimeter, but GPS beats eyeballing it in my book.
This ruin appears to be only large enough for a family or two, ie 3 rooms. Johnny and I speculated it was a resort destination for the more affluent families of the Canyon Creek metropolis (12 miles to the east)…or more likely, a “hunter’s cache/cabin”. Walls are pretty intact, and very impressive to me as you can still see the palms and finger lines from 800+ yrs. ago. We spied a nice black on orange pottery shard, ½ Metate, several rather bland, gray/brown pottery shards and lots of wasps! One of the roof timbers appears to be “freshly cut, within 30-40 yrs”, possibly Lange in 1980 for a core sample.
We spied several caterpillars of various shapes and colors, while going to and from this ruin…standby for the butterflies! That was the extent of the fauna on this trip.
In keeping with the Secret Society of Sierra Ancha Ruins (SSSAR), no track or waypoint data is provided for this hike; however, for the industrious and tenacious, rest assured, the information is all there if you hunt for it.
In one day, by starting out early, ie leave Phoenix @ 5:00a, you can drive to, hike to, find the ruins and be back to Phoenix in time for a late supper! However, we recommend spending the night in the Reynolds Creek area so as to facilitate a nice nights rest before the start of your Odyssey…
_____________________
Aug 02 2013
glutz
avatar

 Guides 2
 Routes 8
 Photos 517
 Triplogs 15

58 male
 Joined Nov 01 2009
 Chandler, AZ
Chevelon Canyon - North of LakePayson, AZ
Payson, AZ
Hiking avatar Aug 02 2013
glutz
Hiking16.00 Miles 140 AEG
Hiking16.00 Miles
140 ft AEG   4 Hrs    Break45 LBS Pack
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Durfee Crossing via Chevelon Creek/Chevelon Crossing Campground:
One of my hiking buddies, Randy, had been talking about doing a hike down Chevelon Creek to Durfee Crossing, from the Chevelon Creek Campground for some time, owing to the fact that I was afforded some time off, we made plans. I had been through this area about 6 months ago on a back road trip to Winslow on FS504, and was intrigued about stories of an abundance of crayfish in Chevelon Creek.
Randy and I arrived at Chevelon Campground at about 11:00a in the midst of moderate rain. I informed Randy “not to fear” I’ve spent 40 years in the southwest, this is typical for this time of year, it will rain for 20 minutes and then clear up and be nice until the same time tomorrow. So we donned our packs and our 0.5 mil, 1 time use only Wally World rain ponchos and headed down creek (South) from the Chevelon Crossing Campground.
For the first mile or so the trail was pretty easy to follow, actually at about 0.8 mile the canyon veers almost 90 degrees to the left (facing south) and we lost the trail and had to bushwhack for about 20 minutes before we picked it up again. In about a ½ mile there is a sheer rock wall/face and a narrow (2 foot ledge) you must tippy toe past for about 50 yards, the sheer wall is to your left and to your right is a 10 foot drop off to a long stretch of water, depth unknown due to muddiness from the rain. At the end of this ledge there is a 3 foot drop down, which was marginally manageable with a 45 lb pack, but later while setting up camp, both Randy and I wondered how we would get back up it with packs on (figuring we would have to take them off and hand them up to one another…) about ¾ mile from this ledge brings you to Durfee Crossing. This is where we made camp for the night.
In addition, along the way, we came across 2 partially submerged, mangled / holey canoes. Both of us wondering “how in the heck did someone get down this canyon through the brush, boulder hopping and bush-whacking carrying canoes”, these were big 15 footers, definitely a 2 person lift.
When we arrived at Durfee Crossing the rain had let up, even tho’ it had lasted for an hour and a half vs. my predicted 20 minutes. We were able to get out tents set up just in time before the rain started again. Boy was I glad I hauled the extra 2 lbs and brought my 3 person tent instead of my typical bivvy tent. This larger tent allowed me to put all my pack and gear inside, out of the rain, and allowed me to stretch out and doze…It proceeded to rain for another 4 hours. It was actually very relaxing, listening to the pitter/patter on my tent while drifting in and out of consciousness. What a nice relaxing afternoon! Randy had a small 8’x8’ tarp that we strung up, and I collected some dry pine needles and wood from beneath some downed trees, and we were able to keep a small but comforting fire going into the night to dry things out a bit, keep us a bit warm, and provide the traditional communal venue of “around the campfire”.
As I was collecting pine needs and what little dry wood I could find, from up on the hill side, I spied, across the canyon, what appeared to be a trail heading up the hillside on the opposite side of the river. Some exploring and reconnoitering with my Garmin GPS Topo map, showed a trail going up the canyon wall. The GPS confirmed that this trail connected with FS169 and eventually back to FS504, which would lead us back to the car. Ahh problem solved, no need to worry about ferrying packs up that 3 foot drop off and shimmying along the ledge. It also explained how the canoes got down there, as this trail was only 0.4 miles from a parking area. In the future, we will head down this short trail for more Durfee adventures. One downside to this trail was that we didn’t park at this TrailHead and our hike out proved to be almost 5 miles, but it was easy going, under overcast skies…so choose your poison I guess, bushwhacking for 2 miles or 5 miles of relatively easy trail/road hiking.
The Durfee Crossing area is very scenic. I was able to explore downstream for a couple hours the next morning. Downstream is not as scenic as the 2 miles we had just come through.
Ah yes, the crayfish…yes indeed, they are in great abundance in this area. I’ll need to get a recipe from my Louisiana Cajun buddy! Every time I stepped into the creek, it was as if the bottom of the creek bed was alive,it appeared to move like a giant organism there were so many crayfish. They varied in size from 1” – 5”.
That morning we broke camp, loaded up our packs and headed up the trail I had spied the previous day. It took about 2 ½ hrs. to get back to the car, and like clockwork, it was about 11:00a, the rain started as soon as I got to the car.
On the way back to town, we stopped at telephone ridge point, overlooking Chevelon Canyon, about 3 miles south of Chevelon Lake. This area is also very scenic, but hey isn’t all of Arizona! It appeared to be about a 1,000 foot vertical drop to the canyon floor. Later my Topo map confirmed it to be more like 800 feet. The Telephone Ridge TrailHead starts here, but we only ventured down about a ¼ mile as it was getting late.
Has anyone done a hike from Telephone Ridge Trailhead to Willow Springs Lake or Woods Canyon Lake? It looks to be about 16 miles..and very scenic. The Topo doesn’t indicate any showstopping ledges (I’m not as fully equipped for canyoneering like many of the other HikeAZers, and I’m certainly not going to haul hundreds of feet of rope and rappelling gear 16 miles down a canyon with food and tents as well, ok, I’m a liteweight…). Randy and I are thinking this might be our next adventure, if we can convince ourselves we can make it all the way without a rappel.
_____________________
Aug 02 2013
glutz
avatar

 Guides 2
 Routes 8
 Photos 517
 Triplogs 15

58 male
 Joined Nov 01 2009
 Chandler, AZ
Durfee Crossing, AZ 
Durfee Crossing, AZ
 
Backpack avatar Aug 02 2013
glutz
Backpack
Backpack2 Days         
45 LBS Pack
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Durfee Crossing via Chevelon Creek/Chevelon Crossing Campground:
One of my hiking buddies, Randy, had been talking about doing a hike down Chevelon Creek to Durfee Crossing, from the Chevelon Creek Campground for some time, owing to the fact that I was afforded some time off, we made plans. I had been through this area about 6 months ago on a back road trip to Winslow on FS504, and was intrigued about stories of an abundance of crayfish in Chevelon Creek.
Randy and I arrived at Chevelon Campground at about 11:00a in the midst of moderate rain. I informed Randy “not to fear” I’ve spent 40 years in the southwest, this is typical for this time of year, it will rain for 20 minutes and then clear up and be nice until the same time tomorrow. So we donned our packs and our 0.5 mil, 1 time use only Wally World rain ponchos and headed down creek (South) from the Chevelon Crossing Campground.
For the first mile or so the trail was pretty easy to follow, actually at about 0.8 mile the canyon veers almost 90 degrees to the left (facing south) and we lost the trail and had to bushwhack for about 20 minutes before we picked it up again. In about a ½ mile there is a sheer rock wall/face and a narrow (2 foot ledge) you must tippy toe past for about 50 yards, the sheer wall is to your left and to your right is a 10 foot drop off to a long stretch of water, depth unknown due to muddiness from the rain. At the end of this ledge there is a 3 foot drop down, which was marginally manageable with a 45 lb pack, but later while setting up camp, both Randy and I wondered how we would get back up it with packs on (figuring we would have to take them off and hand them up to one another…) about ¾ mile from this ledge brings you to Durfee Crossing. This is where we made camp for the night.
In addition, along the way, we came across 2 partially submerged, mangled / holey canoes. Both of us wondering “how in the heck did someone get down this canyon through the brush, boulder hopping and bush-whacking carrying canoes”, these were big 15 footers, definitely a 2 person lift.
When we arrived at Durfee Crossing the rain had let up, even tho’ it had lasted for an hour and a half vs. my predicted 20 minutes. We were able to get out tents set up just in time before the rain started again. Boy was I glad I hauled the extra 2 lbs and brought my 3 person tent instead of my typical bivvy tent. This larger tent allowed me to put all my pack and gear inside, out of the rain, and allowed me to stretch out and doze…It proceeded to rain for another 4 hours. It was actually very relaxing, listening to the pitter/patter on my tent while drifting in and out of consciousness. What a nice relaxing afternoon! Randy had a small 8’x8’ tarp that we strung up, and I collected some dry pine needles and wood from beneath some downed trees, and we were able to keep a small but comforting fire going into the night to dry things out a bit, keep us a bit warm, and provide the traditional communal venue of “around the campfire”.
As I was collecting pine needs and what little dry wood I could find, from up on the hill side, I spied, across the canyon, what appeared to be a trail heading up the hillside on the opposite side of the river. Some exploring and reconnoitering with my Garmin GPS Topo map, showed a trail going up the canyon wall. The GPS confirmed that this trail connected with FS169 and eventually back to FS504, which would lead us back to the car. Ahh problem solved, no need to worry about ferrying packs up that 3 foot drop off and shimmying along the ledge. It also explained how the canoes got down there, as this trail was only 0.4 miles from a parking area. In the future, we will head down this short trail for more Durfee adventures. One downside to this trail was that we didn’t park at this TrailHead and our hike out proved to be almost 5 miles, but it was easy going, under overcast skies…so choose your poison I guess, bushwhacking for 2 miles or 5 miles of relatively easy trail/road hiking.
The Durfee Crossing area is very scenic. I was able to explore downstream for a couple hours the next morning. Downstream is not as scenic as the 2 miles we had just come through.
Ah yes, the crayfish…yes indeed, they are in great abundance in this area. I’ll need to get a recipe from my Louisiana Cajun buddy! Every time I stepped into the creek, it was as if the bottom of the creek bed was alive,it appeared to move like a giant organism there were so many crayfish. They varied in size from 1” – 5”.
That morning we broke camp, loaded up our packs and headed up the trail I had spied the previous day. It took about 2 ½ hrs. to get back to the car, and like clockwork, it was about 11:00a, the rain started as soon as I got to the car.
On the way back to town, we stopped at telephone ridge point, overlooking Chevelon Canyon, about 3 miles south of Chevelon Lake. This area is also very scenic, but hey isn’t all of Arizona! It appeared to be about a 1,000 foot vertical drop to the canyon floor. Later my Topo map confirmed it to be more like 800 feet. The Telephone Ridge TrailHead starts here, but we only ventured down about a ¼ mile as it was getting late.
Has anyone done a hike from Telephone Ridge Trailhead to Willow Springs Lake or Woods Canyon Lake? It looks to be about 16 miles..and very scenic. The Topo doesn’t indicate any showstopping ledges (I’m not as fully equipped for canyoneering like many of the other HikeAZers, and I’m certainly not going to haul hundreds of feet of rope and rappelling gear 16 miles down a canyon with food and tents as well, ok, I’m a liteweight…). Randy and I are thinking this might be our next adventure, if we can convince ourselves we can make it all the way without a rappel.
Named place
Named place
Chevelon Canyon West Chevelon Creek
_____________________
Apr 17 2013
glutz
avatar

 Guides 2
 Routes 8
 Photos 517
 Triplogs 15

58 male
 Joined Nov 01 2009
 Chandler, AZ
Jordon Hot Springs, NM 
Jordon Hot Springs, NM
 
Hiking avatar Apr 17 2013
glutz
Hiking20.00 Miles 1,500 AEG
Hiking20.00 Miles
1,500 ft AEG45 LBS Pack
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Triplog Jordon Hot Springs (4-17-2013): Gila Wilderness, NM, from the Gila Cliff Dwellings Visitor Center
Day 1:
As I was afforded some time off this spring, and I had been talking about this hike for about a year, and I had gotten Randy excited about a hike to a “nearby” (it is located 44 miles north of Silver City, NM), my home town (which is 320 miles east from Chandler), the game was on! This was definitely going to be a 4-5 day event.
We left Scottsdale early and got onto I-10 and headed east. Stay on I-10 to Lordsburg, NM and turn left, tke highway 90 to Silver City, NM, then take either NM 15 through Pinos Altos, or Highway 180 through Hanover/Fiero and up the mimbres valley. Note: Highway 15 is very, very scenic but the number also stands for the maximum speed, in addition to being a highway identifier…seriously, this is a very twisty and turning road and you won’t be going much more than 25 MPH for 44 miles. So we opted for the Mimbers route going in. To get to Silver City, you can also take Highway 60 through Globe/Duncan, and decide whether to take the mule creek back road into New Mexico, or go straight into Lordsburg from Duncan. Highway 191 is also very scenic through Mule Creek, but that route takes another couple hours. We arrived at the “Lower Scorpion Campground”, about a mile west of the Gila Cliff Dwellings Visitor center, right around 6:00p with just enough light to set up camp and cook a nice camp meal. Randy prepared steaks for us as I recall. Nothing like a good open fire cooked steak!
That evening as I was wandering around the area, I had the bejeezus scared out of me by an owl. For whatever reason it was on the ground in the dark and was startled by my flashlight and apparently got disoriented, as when it took off, it headed right for me, I thought I was in a Hitchcock remake for a second there…and that wasn’t all. As I continued my meanderings in the dark, some reflections in the distance (50-100 yds) caught my eye. I shined my flashlight in that direction and at about 50 yards away and about 10 feet off the right shoulder of the road, there appeared numerous sets of eyes. Numerous being over a dozen! Now…being that I had heard Coyotes about ½ hr. earlier this was a little unsettling, especially since I was probably ¼ mile from camp and my bang-bang was back at camp. So I turned around and headed back to camp at a brisk pace. I convinced Randy to come back out with me to investigate, but upon seeing numerous eye reflections in the distance, we decided our investigation was over, especially since there were 2 other camp sites in the campground and shooting within the campground is prohibited. We made sure we kept all food stuffs out and away from the tents that night. Lower Scorpion has room for about 10 campsites, so it was about 30% full including us. Just up the road was Upper Scorpion that has room for 15-20 campsites, and it was full. There was a group of late teen to early 20-somethings that appeared to be on some sort of “wayward teen/tough love” adventure, judging by some of the conversations we overheard.
Day 2:
Up early 6:00a ish, he its our vacation after all, further investigation, revealed that there was about a 4 foot drop off from the right shoulder of the road, and close inspection of the ground in that area revealed numerous deer hoof prints. Yep, we had been startled and un-nerved by a herd of deer, whose heads were just about road level, which is why I thought they had to be coyotes since they were very low to the ground.
So we packed up our back packs and headed to the TJ Corral parking lot and headed up the trail.
Now there are 2 ways to get to Jordon Hot Springs, one is about 6 miles and takes you up and down about 2,000 feet in elevation, and through the scenic narrows of “Little Bear Canyon”. The other route is to go to the Gila Visitor Center and follow the Middle Fork of the Gila River. The trailhead for this route is up behind the visitor center, ask at the center. If you haven’t been the TJ corral route before I highly recommend it for the “little bear canyon” portion is well worth it. As we were hiking up this trail, we ran across a hiking guide with pack mules…we asked him where he was heading and he said “Jordon Hot Springs” I have a group camp setup I’m hosting. Oh great, we both thought, we know who that is, thinking back to the 20-somethings in Upper Scorpion Campground from the night before, and we had planned this outing so carefully, so as to avoid the weekend and hopefully the crowds, so now would be treated to 20 or more rowdy teens… Since this guide was making much better time on horseback with the mules, than we were, our next thought was “well there goes the good camp site(s)”.
We continued on and came across 2 other hikers on the trail in, talk about lite packers. They were on a 50 mile, 3 day hike and near as I could tell, they only had a lite 10lb day pack with them. Geez, this old man needs everything and the kitchen sink when I go backpacking, I could never have gotten by with their minimalist existence. We didn’t see another soul until we hit the Middle Fork of the Gila river about a half hour later and turned left (to the west). On this stretch we came across 2 parties of 2. Yep, this is true wilderness! Note: As I recall there are 16 river crossings to get to Jordon Hot Springs, you can’t avoid them. This portion of the hike turned out to be a nice easy level hike through a canyon that is remarkably similar to Aravaipa Canyon East, although with narrower canyon walls and deeper water (12”-36”, mostly about 18”). Much like Aravaipa, bring your comfy river hiking sandals, boots, shoes…
Upon our arrival at the Jordon Hot Springs (no signs, you need to count river crossings or mileage), we noted the absence of any large group. So we had the pick of choice camp sites after all WooHoo! The next day we ran into our “Guide Friend” soaking in the Hot Springs with one other person. Turns out that was “his group”. A lone Texan out on a wilderness adventure! Hmmm .. maybe I’ll try that next time, a “catered wilderness adventure!” The Hot Springs are very nice, a little over 100 degrees we were told, not having a thermometer to verify we had to take their word for it. At any rate, very nice soaking temperature. The main pool is about 15 feet across east –west, and 10 feet across north – south, and about 2-3 feet deep depending on where you are. The Hot Springs themselves are not hard to find, just “follow the green” up the right hand side of the river (as you are hiking down stream). The springs are located about 100 yds from the Gila River about 1/3 of the way up the canyon wall. There is a small camping area on top of a ridge about 20 feet from the Hot Springs, which would give you great access to the springs, but Randy and I both figured there might be visitors off and on at all hours so we opted for a more secluded campsite and bore the burden of a ¼ mile hike to the hot springs each time we felt like a dip, which was numerous times during our stay. We were there essentially 2 days and only ran across 4 parties that stopped at the Hot Springs.
Day 3: hiking around camp, relaxing, exploring. I hiked about 5 miles down stream of the Middle Fork, spectacular scenery , very few other souls, again…scenery is very analogous to Aravaipa East!
Day 4:
Up early, time to head back…The weather man had predicted rain, and having grown up in the Southwest, I am very attuned to flash flooding. In fact, a friend of ours was forced to stay @ Jordon Hot Springs an extra 2 days, the previous year, due to rains and flooding. The rains had caused the Middle Fork of the Gila River to rise several feet and become impassable for over 2 days. Fortunately he had extra food and it wasn’t catastrophic. Darn, forced to stay another 2 days in paradise!
Upon reaching the intersection of “Little Bear Canyon” and “The Middle Fork of the Gila River, rather than going through Little Bear Canyon again, been there done that, and head up and over the dry dusty trail back down to TJ corral, the way we came in, we opted to follow the Middle Fork down to the Gila Cliff Dwelling visitor center. As noted earlier this adds about 2 miles, but this route had several things going for it: 1. Level hiking, 2. Staying cool by hiking in the river (another 15 or so river crossings in addition to the 16 we had already made getting to this point), 3. Viewing some additional Hot Springs (these come out at 135 degree, very hot!). 4) an added bonus of viewing some of nature’s more slithery creatures….a sighting of a beautiful but shy king snake….”Red touches yellow, a dangerous fellow: coral snake”, “Red touches black, a friend of jack: King snake”…In addition, coral snakes tend to be smaller 18”-24” than kings snakes.
We continued SouthEast, about 2 miles into the hike we ran across the King Snake. About a mile downstream from where we saw the king snake, my hiking partner Randy’s son, Drew, began what appeared to be an Indian hoop dance without the hoops. He was hooting and hollering at me to look to my left there was a rattlesnake!!!!! As he was in the lead, he had obviously stirred something up, I kept looking to my left, but saw nothing, then Randy bringing up the rear told me to look to my right and sure enough there was a good sized specimen of a Diamond Back Rattlesnake (5’ or so)…in Drew’s excitement he had gotten his left/my right mixed up. Well we survived that encounter as well and finished our hike with the only other concern being whether or not we could outpace the approaching menacing dark clouds behind us blowing in from the southwest. As it began to rain, we were still about 2 miles from the Visitor Center, we debated getting our backup 1 time use ponchos from wally world out, but I figured that would cost us 15 minutes and again, I felt this was a 20 minute brief shower, as is typical of this time of year. And since we did not know how heavily it had been raining behind us, I felt it best to keep going. I told the crew to watch the water very closely, if it got muddy or began to rise, head for the nearest side and scale the canyon walls to higher ground. Fortunately at this point in our hike the canyon was fairly wide and the walls were more gently sloping, and definitely scalable should a flash flood materialize. In addition, the trail stuck pretty much to one side of the canyon or the other. Well this time (as opposed to the drenching Randy and I got in Chevelon Canyon), the rain toned down in about 20 minutes and the river never rose and by the time we made it to the LightFeather Hot Springs, about 1 mile from the visitor center, the rain had stopped completely and the sky was clearing, which made for a much less anxious hike the remaining mile to the visitor center. We arrived safely back at the visitor center/trailhead; however, unfortunately for Randy (it was his car and he had the keys),the car was back at TJ corral an additional mile and a half hike for Randy…
For those that like southwestern Mexican food. The best is located in Silver City, NM at a fine restaurant called “Jalisco’s” it is located downtown at the south end of the main drag on the right. Try it! You’ll like it! No relation, and no commission for the aforementioned endorsement.
Fauna
Fauna
Coral Snake
_____________________
Jan 05 2013
glutz
avatar

 Guides 2
 Routes 8
 Photos 517
 Triplogs 15

58 male
 Joined Nov 01 2009
 Chandler, AZ
Joshua Tree NP, CA 
Joshua Tree NP, CA
 
Hiking avatar Jan 05 2013
glutz
Hiking20.00 Miles
Hiking20.00 Miles   10 Hrs      2.00 mph
20 LBS Pack
 no routes
1st trip
Johnnie had been wanting to get back to Joshua Tree National Park for some time now, and since we both had 5 days off after New Years we figured now is as good a time as any, besides we didn't want "gummo" to have the corner on the market for Joshua Tree National Park PhotoLogs. Johnnie and I set out New Years day for the "Jumbo Rocks" campground located in the Northern part of the park.

We left Gilbert, AZ @ 8:00a and arrived at the park around noon. We traveled via I-10 west and entered the park from the southern Cottonwood entrance. It is about 250 miles from Gilbert to the "Jumbo Rocks" campground...the largest of the JT-NP campgrounds. The ranger @ the Cottonwood station indicated that the majority of Campgrounds were full, but we were arriving at a good time, as checkout was 1:00p. We headed to "Jumbo Rocks" and began scouting a site that could accommodate 2 tents and had some protection from the wind. Finding a suitable camp site @ 1:00ish that day was fairly easy as many parties were leaving when we arrived; however, by evening the campground was again full.

After setting up basecamp JT-NP, we headed out to the "Wonderland area" and proceeded to traverse the Barker Dam/Petroglyphs loop trail, about 1.5 miles of level easy hiking. Whilst hiking this loop we noted several hikers with large rectangular "backpack like" contraptions on their back. These piqued our curiosity but we were never able to catch up to anyone to inquire about these strange looking backpack/tents...

Johnnie and I wanted to continue our endeavors @ night photography, but this night was too windy, cloudy and cold. It got down to 28 degrees, thank goodness for the 20 degree mummy bag.

Next morning saw us up @ sunrise, huddled in Johnnies tent sipping hot apple cider around the coleman stove (don't try this @ home kids, but the warmth from the stove was very welcome). We then headed out around 7:30a for the "Wall Street Mill" site. This is also a very level hike of about 4 miles, depending on how many side trips you take to various structures, vehicles...

We finished the hike and picture taking at the Wall Street Stamp Mill around noon and headed east on the dirt Queen Valley road to the Queen Valley Mine and Pine City area. We hiked the 1/2 mile to the Queen Mine overlook, but did not feel enthused to wander around the trail for another 3 miles to get to the bottom of the canyon.. besides the Pine City hike which starts from the same area sounded more interesting. Thus @ 2:00p ish we set off in the back country to the Pine City area. This ended up being a 4 mile hike on level terrain, very scenic, but the "destination: Pine City" was not marked and we just guessed as to its whereabouts via GPS distance. Rock formations, dead Joshua Trees, Pinon Pines, Granite boulders made for a very scenic hike. Oh yeah forgot to mention on the drive over to the Pine City trailhead we saw the only mammal fauna in the form of 2 rather healthy looking coyotes. We also saw several birds: hawks, ravens, blueish jay types, but no reptiles...we guessed it was just too cold for them.

We arrived back @ camp around 6p after twilight and made dinner...afterwards we were treated to a cloudless sky, minimal wind, temperatures in the mid-30s...so we headed over to the "Hall of Horrors" for some night photography. Moonrise was 10:00p Phoenix time, 9:00p CA time, there was much confusion as to time, given some of our "smart devices (GPS receiver, iPad, BlackBerry, atomic wrist watch, iPod touch, a second GPS receiver..." indicated 9p, some devices 10p and we struggled to remember which ones had GPS and automatically adjusted time for location, as well as which ones had Daylight savings time turned on/off, ahh modern technology. We were able to capture some nice starry sky shots with boulders and Joshua Trees in silhouette. We headed back to camp shortly after moonrise.

Upon arriving back @ JT-NP basecamp @ Jumbo Rocks Campground, I was pleasantly suprised that as dense and crowded as the campground was, it was very quiet...apparently the temperatures had convinced everyone to head in doors.

Turns out the neighboring campsite occupant, had one of these rectangular contraptions with them... so we inquired about it and learned they are "russian camp packs"..actually, not, but apparently that is a standing joke amongst rock climbers to the uninformed masses...basically these rectangular contraptions are folded 8" thick foam pads that the rock climbers put down to land on should they lose their grip and let gravity do its thing! The climber we talked to indicated these foam pads are good for about a 25' fall. When asked how they "aim for the pad"...and he told us that if you are fortunate enough to have diligent spotters, they will "guide" the falling party onto the pad during his/her fall..interesting.

This night only saw lows in the 34 degree range. Again up @ sun rise, hot cider and noodles for breakfast and we headed off to the NW corner of the park via National Park Blvd. Stopping along the way for several Photo ops with boulders, Joshua Trees and snow capped peaks.

We exited the park @ Joshua Tree township, and re-entered on the Covington Flat area. Joshua Tree NP has a nice gift shop/welcome center complete with a viewing area for a video of the park. We headed west on Alta Loma street about 3 miles to La Contera, then headed south on La Contera about 3 miles, eventually you will come to a sign indicating you are entering Joshua Tree NP. but there are no signs @ either of the 2 turns (Alta Loma or La Contera). It was noted that this area was anywhere from 300 - 750 feet higher than the other areas we were in the park. This was notable as we recognized that this area was much greener and the Joshua Trees appeared to be healthier and greener as well..we surmised this was due to increased rain fall. We followed this road to the end, turning to the west/right about 7 miles from the Alta Loma turnoff, and following the brown sign with the icon of a camera on it...that's gotta be good right?! Turns out this took us up to Upper Covington Flat (we later learned we had been on Lower Covington Flat)@ the Y we headed south (left, right goes to Eureka peak). We ended up at another Back Country Kiosk...although the Crest trail sign indicates it is 2.1 miles, we ended up hiking about 3.8 miles. possibly the 2.1 mi. referenced one way? At any rate we were greeted with sights of some very large Joshua Trees, very green, much more so than those around Ryan, Skull, and Jumbo Rock areas. Also, the Joshua Tree density in this area was much greater than we had seen in other parts of the park. The terminus/culmination of this hike was, as the name implies, the crest overlooking the city of Indio, some 3,200 feet below us. Nice views of the city and surrounding snow capped mountains, although you can not see the Salton Sea from this vantage point like you can from the Keys View parking area, which I neglected to mention we visited our first day in the park. That day @ Keys view was quite Scenic but it was very windy and cold...although I did get the obligatory "long lens" shot of the Salton Sea. Upon exiting the park, we stopped @ the "Cross Roads Cafe & Tavern" and enjoyed the best burger and belgian white brew in a 100 mile radius!
Opting for a different way back to Phoenix, we headed east on Highway 62 toward 29 Palms and places east toward Parker. Very desolate and unimpressive land :(...who in their right mind would settle here...oh that's right..NO ONE!...rather than heading up to Parker, we turned right at the intersection with Highway 177, and ended up back on I-10 @ Desert Center and on our way back to the valley. For the future, I would opt to drive back through the Joshua Tree National Park, even tho' the speed limit through the park would get to back at about the same time, but the scenery through the park beats east of 29 Palms.
Flora
Flora
Joshua Tree
Geology
Geology
Natural Arch
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Dec 02 2012
glutz
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 Guides 2
 Routes 8
 Photos 517
 Triplogs 15

58 male
 Joined Nov 01 2009
 Chandler, AZ
Workman Creek Ruins, AZ 
Workman Creek Ruins, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Dec 02 2012
glutz
Hiking
Hiking
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
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On the hunt for V163...empty handed again...hmmm..and someone said easy to find, hard to get to, well that could be any number of ruins in the Sierra Ancha/Cherry Creek region. Oh well, as someone else opined...it's really more about the hunt than the find!

Thank goodness the wonderful Sierra Ancha area is at least 3 1/2 hrs. from the Phoenix Metro area, otherwise every Tom, Dick and Harry would be over there every weekend!

Soo after a night of merriment and visual overload @ the Trans-Siberian Orchestra with the family, Johnnie and I made plans to get up early Sunday and do some more scouting around Billy Lawrence TH and Lucky Strike, both north and south. We replicated some others loop trails around Center Mountain...Weather was perfect for hiking, low 60s, and the sky was oh so clear...someone commented "You can almost see Canyon Creek Ruins" from here!"

We only went about 6 miles that day, including about a mile of bushwhackin', but we probably did 6,000' vertical in total.

After coming up empty handed around 4:00p, @ Billy Lawrence TrailHead, Johnnie and I looked at each other with the same thought in mind, "Do you think we can make Workman Creek Falls before sundown?" Let's do it! We had been talking about these ruins for over a year, but didn't want to use a precious Sierra Ancha trip, "just for these ruins", best to tack them onto another trip...so we did.

@ 5:00p we're scaling the 500' vertical to Workman Falls Ruins, and although we thought of this ruin as a consolation prize, as Johnnie mentioned in his triplog, this ruin does indeed have one of the best views off all of the ruins in this area!..maybe 2nd place finish isn't so bad after all.

Well back to the research, re-read Haury and Lange and go over the various Triplogs on the topic in question...it's only a matter of time and space!
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Nov 03 2012
glutz
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 Guides 2
 Routes 8
 Photos 517
 Triplogs 15

58 male
 Joined Nov 01 2009
 Chandler, AZ
Aravaipa CanyonGlobe, AZ
Globe, AZ
Backpack avatar Nov 03 2012
glutz
Backpack24.00 Miles 200 AEG
Backpack24.00 Miles3 Days         
200 ft AEG42 LBS Pack
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
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Johnnie, Joel, Randy, Drew and I had been planning this hike for 3 months. We obtained our permits in early August. We were trying to hit the fall colors...by researching past Aravaipa hikes and photologs we selected this weekend.
Camped @ the Aravaipa East End Kiosk Friday night. Randy cooked up a fine pepper steak dinner with some awesome Carrot Cake dessert!
Hit the trailhead @ Turkey Creek @ 8:00a the next morning. I wore my keens with no socks, and decided to grin and bear it, only stopping when the rocks became to obtrusive/painful. water was chilly on the feet but refreshing, probably in the mid 40s. I didn't stop nearly as many times as the 2 previous hikes, must be getting used to hiking in the creek!
Arrived @ Parsons Canyon around 9:30a. Decided to doff our packs change shoes and head up Parsons for a couple hours, a snake, several frogs and insects, other than that minimal wildlife. Weather perrrrfect! low 70s! Very dry! Pool we had to jump across/into last year was bone dry this year! we went about a mile up canyon to the major fork, tried out the 7mm wide angle a bit...headed back down to the junction of Deer Canyon and Aravaipa where we set up our base camp on the eastern rise just above Aravaipa Creek...awesome camp site.
Of course Johnnie wanted to try some more night photography, so I indulged him...we headed about a mile up Deer Canyon @ 8:00p, moonrise was 9:30p and we wanted some "starry skies" sans luna. Deer canyon is just as impressive at night!
45F that night...perfect tent sleeping weather!
Today we headed back up Deer Canyon. Lots of deer tracks, a few cat tracks...we went up Deer Canyon about 3 3/4 miles, we thought we were near the end, but when we hit the boulder field we decided to turn back as this was only supposed to be a 2 hour hike and we were 4 hours into it with no lunch :( turns out we were still 1.3 miles from the end. We're going back in the spring! The Deer Canyon holds magnificent sites around every bend! Springs still pretty healthy! a bit of water in the canyon.
After a quick nap we headed west down Aravaipa Canyon, looking to get an hour or so of hiking in Paisano Canyon; however, we miscalculated the sunset and ran out of daylight without adequate illumination, so we turned back.
More night photography and campfire stories that night! What with 15 lbs of photography equipment, Johnnie and I discussed how to save a few ounces here and there...next year we're going all titanium!
Headed back out of the canyon the next day around 10:00a, we just wanted to prolong the departure as long as possible, arrived back @ Turkey Creek and the truck around 11:15a, 3 white tail greeted us! The largest mammal fauna we had seen all trip.
What a great time away from the hustle and bustle!
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May 15 2012
glutz
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 Guides 2
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58 male
 Joined Nov 01 2009
 Chandler, AZ
Pueblo Canyon Overlook via Murphy Ranch #141Globe, AZ
Globe, AZ
Hiking avatar May 15 2012
glutz
Hiking6.40 Miles 1,290 AEG
Hiking6.40 Miles
1,290 ft AEG
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
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Johnnie and I just can't seem to get enough of the Sierra Anchas. What a wonderful plot of Arizona wilderness. Something new each time we visit. I had just purchased a used Nikon D7000 (Johnnie gave me the shutter bug, now I can't seem to get rid of it). Left Gilbert @ 8:30 and pulled up on Aztec Peak @ 11:30...Unfortunately, it was too windy on top of Aztec peak to do any long exposure night photography that night. There was another group camping @ the stone furniture..soo Johnnie and I set up camp about a 1/4 mile down the road. That night on the way to our campsite on Aztec Peak, about a mile before the road heads up to the summit, we saw our first, "in the wild" mountain lion! What an impressive speciman! The next morning we were greeted to a beautiful sunrise overlooking the White Mountain Apache reservation.

Our destination this time was Pueblo Canyon Overlook that we had heard and read so much about. No other particular destination in mind. We hit the trail 141 about 8:30a, and reached the Overlook and shot our first picture of Pueblo Canyon Cliff dwellings @ 9:22a. The hike from Murphy Ranch (141 TrailHead) to Pueblo Canyon Overlook is about 2 miles one way. With an elevation descent, of about 1,000 feet down hill (pretty much). We took plenty of water this time and even cached a quart @ the Junction of Trail 141 and Trail 139. This was nice for the last 3/4 mile ascent up Trail 141. What a magnificent canyon! We sat and watched humming birds and swallows soaring up and down the sheer cliffs, like Jonathon Livingston for about an hour. We just sat enjoying the serenity, peacefulness and ruggedness of this gorgeous, precipitous canyon! The side trip to Edwards Seep/Spring was also neat. It was interesting to see the lush green oasis high on the mountain in the middle of the forest. We then headed back to the truck, and since we got back around noon, we decided to check out the Reynolds Creek Trail 150 toward, yep Reynolds Creek Falls, and Center Mountain Trail 142. Our topo map(s) were a bit confusing, as several trails were marked on the maps in and around Murphy Ranch..but they didn't seem to exist in reality. There were several down trees in a couple of areas that did not show too much sign of wear (ie broken branches, footprints, etc. leading us to believe not too many have hiked this way recently). We continued on up Trail 150, with a modest goal of Knoll Spring, but after a little over a mile, and given the trail confusion we decided to head back, and try again another time...its a good excuse to come back!

We never seem to tire of this gorgeous, rugged area, even when we're not exploring and finding "new" cliff dwellings/indian ruins. Having already been to Pueblo Canyon Cliff Dwellings from Cherry Creek. We did not really count their sighting on this trip, although the vista view of these dwellings was none the less impressive! Called it an early day (we were on the road back by 3:30p as opposed to our normal departure of 6:00p or later). Just outside Superior we began noticing the orange smoke cloud and kept expecting to round a bend in the road and see a brush fire...well we followed that orange cloud all the way into central Chandler,later to learn it was from the Crown King and Sunflower fires in addition to 3 others burning up in the Tonto National Forest.
Named place
Named place
Edward Spring
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Jul 04 2011
glutz
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 Guides 2
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58 male
 Joined Nov 01 2009
 Chandler, AZ
Aravaipa-West, AZ 
Aravaipa-West, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Jul 04 2011
glutz
Hiking10.50 Miles
Hiking10.50 Miles   7 Hrs      1.50 mph
25 LBS Pack
 no routes
1st trip
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Aravaipa Canyon, Sunday, July 3, 2011
Summary:
In spite of the fact that much of this TripLog is about logistics and heat...Aravaipa Canyon, is not to be missed. With the year round water source, flora and fauna abound even if we did not see a lot of fauna on this particular trip. The canyon scenery is spectacular...be cautious during the monsoon season (late july/august), as the canyon in many places has steep walls and narrows.
It's been hot in the valley o the sun, mid 115's for the past several days. They are predicting 116 today in Chandler. Weather forecast was for 103 in Superior, so I figured mid-100's in Aravaipa Canyon... a bit warm, but hey there's water!
I signed us up for 3 passes into the Aravaipa wilderness area on Tuesday, there were plenty of slots left at that time, but by Saturday they were all filled up. Note: they allow 30 hikers in the canyon from the west end and 20 hikers in from the east end per day. Pass is good for 3 days, cost is $5/person.
http://www.blm.gov/az/st/en/arolrsmain/aravaipa.html
Johnny and I had been scouring the TripLogs for Aravaipa the week prior. Of the 50 or so TripLogs, only about a 1/2 dozen fool-hardy souls had ventured in during June/July. Thus we were surprised to learn all permits had been distributed. In later discussions with the ranger he indicated that the concern for flash flooding and not heat index was what kept most people away, interesting, since the monsoon typically doesn't start until late July, and data showed most folks stayed away in june/july, but I digress.
We left Gilbert, AZ @ 9:00p, Saturday night 7/1/2011, rather than have to get up 2 1/2 hours earlier, we decided to camp @ the trailhead to Aravaipa Canyon. We arrived at the "Brandenberg wide spot in the road", er, "Brandenberg Campsite" @ 11:15p. There were 3 other cars @ the "campsite", so we pulled into the Ranger Station parking lot. There is a restroom at the campsite. We decided to camp out under the stars, it was still about 95 and the bugs were quite a pain, didn't get much sleep... apparently the others "camping there" didn't fare much better, since, as we pulled up they were still awake in the beds of their trucks and SUV's and they asked if we intended to party all night...and no we didn't, altho, I did show my Yellowstone/Glacier picts from 2 weeks ago til about 1:00a, then we slept, sort of, for a couple hours. We awoke @ 5:00a breakfasted, broke camp and headed to the trail head.
We hit the trail @ 6:00a, 3 other cars in the lot. One an S-10 had a flat, he/she was not going to be a happy camper upon return...
After a false start, yes the line of rocks right past the sign indicating the trail to the right are supposed to tell you not to go that way, but we were looking @ the mobile home and not paying attention to ground markings or signs...anyway, after that, our first stop was @ Hell's 1/2 Acre Canyon area, almost missed it. I thought I had spotted an indian ruin and called Johnny and Joel back, false alarm, not indian ruins (although we do hear there are some ruins about 1.3 miles south down Turkey Canyon..probably best to hit those from an east side adventure) and we found the "boulder wedge", about 300 yds. up the canyon, way cool! What's with all the round white rocks lodged/placed in the canyon walls? Must be some sort of hiking badge of honor I'm not aware of.
We followed 4 Blue Herons east thru the canyon, about every 1/2 mile or so once we caught up to them, just short of picture distance, they were taking off down the canyon again.
We made it to Horse Camp @ about 9:45a, that's with lots of picture taking. Stream flowing in most areas about 6-12", although there were a couple of 2-3' pools we took advantage of. Several of the larger pools had larger fish 8-12", in them.
I had never hiked in sandals (Keen's) before, interesting. Wore socks going in, bare foot coming out (shoulda worn socks coming out, I developed two blisters that made the last couple miles painful). Pebbles were a pain, every time I stepped out of the water I had to dislodge, guess I need to learn how to hike in water with sandals. Tried loose, tried tight, tried wiggling...nothing seemed to work...but be forewarned, you can not do this hike without getting wet! ... numerous times! Other than learning how to hike thru water in sandles, the hike in was very nice... Hiking In: Temperature: estimated to be 80s, very nice from 6-9a. We were sheltered from the sun by the canyon walls most the hike in to Horse Camp. Hike Out: Temperature: HIked out from 10:30a - 2p... not so much... estimated to be in mid 100s most of the way. Heading out was a different story, even the high walls did not offer much protection from the sun when it was directly overhead. We headed back out @ 10:30a. We passed several groups of 2-3 folks coming in. Most were going to camp @ Horse Camp for the night...good plan! At some point on the way out, all 3 of us dunked in one of the 2-3' pools, this was a great way to cool off and we were dry within 10 minutes. The stream really made the hike out bearable. When we got to the ranger station, it was 109 degrees. Total hike was 10 1/2 miles to/from Horse Camp, I used 2 gallons of water/powerade, Johnny and Joel used comparable amounts.
Ranger discussions indicated that up Horse Camp Canyon and down Virgus Canyon are several large pools suitable for swimming, with the Virgus pool tending to stay wet all year round, while Horse Camp can run dry...better suited for an overnight Horse Camp adventure.
Along the way we saw a few garter snakes, coati mundi(6) @ Horse Camp, a brilliant red cardinal, brilliant blue jay, hawks, great blue heron (4), mountain goats(4) on the road out (about 1/2 mile east of the metal bridge), skinks (basically a lizard, I'm sure someone will correct me on this), several collared lizards (blue/green). No other big mammals, the ranger indicated there have been bear sightings and he said there is a mama black bear and her 2 cubs in the area. Never saw that, but that's ok since I got my fill of bears in Yellowstone and Glacier a couple weeks ago.
Fauna
Fauna
Bighorn Sheep
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Sep 27 2010
glutz
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 Guides 2
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58 male
 Joined Nov 01 2009
 Chandler, AZ
Devil's Canyon HikeGlobe, AZ
Globe, AZ
Hiking avatar Sep 27 2010
glutz
Hiking6.10 Miles 1,093 AEG
Hiking6.10 Miles   8 Hrs      0.76 mph
1,093 ft AEG
 
no photosets
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
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Devil's Canyon 5 Pools Entry Via Oak Canyon return via "Lower Elk Tank"

For those of you who don't want a 4.4 mile round trip hike of boulder hopping and bushwacking down Hackberry Creek and Devil's Canyon, we offer for your consideration the following:

- A 3.4 mile round trip hike down a faint trail aka ,Cherry Creek Indian ruins style, with no boulder hopping (until you get to Devil's Canyon, and then only about 200 yds. To pool #1). It can be steep in areas, but no worse than Pueblo Canyon Ruins or Cold Springs Ruins trails, it skirts the side of some mountains aka Cold Springs Ruins.

This past Sunday, Johnnie, Joel and I set out to check out the "5 Pools", located behind Superior in the "Devil's Canyon Wilderness" east of Superior, AZ. We figured it would be an easy hike as it was pegged @ less than 5 miles rounds trip, so we didn't even leave Gilbert until 8:15a.

Johnnie had been there about 20 yrs. ago and he distinctly recalled traveling in from the West, on FR315 (most folks come into this territory from the north via Oak Flat Campground [located about 3 miles east of Superior off Highway 60]. Johnnie had scouted FR315 the weekend before and deemed it passable...yeah right.

We headed south on 177 from Superior toward Kearny/Hayden...FR315 takes off to the left (East) about 5 miles south of Superior. I should warn you...this is definitely a 4WD road, in fact, my GMC Sierra Crew Cab Long Bed with rear locker and front limited slip, was put thru its paces, mind you it's a tow vehicle and not what one would deem a 4-wheelin' beast; however going up several of the inclines I was sure glad I had 7,000 lbs of traction...besides I couldn't forgo the gauntlet that Johnnie had laid down so we pressed on. Believe me I've been Four-Wheelin' all over the southwest the past 40 yrs. this is a 4WD road. I had the rear locked in 4-Lo for 3 of the 4.2 miles to our staging area. There are some 40% uphill grades very, rocky...slip sliding away...

We reached the summit about an hour after leaving 177, and veered off to the right for a vista overlooking "Devil's Canyon". We spied, what we later determined was "Lower Elk Tank", but it just wasn't familiar enough to Johnnie, for us to head out in that direction, so we proceeded to what we thought would get us o Hackberry Windmill from the south. It was not to be... there is a boulder strewn hill about 1/2 mile long, about 1/2 mile from the summit to the north, along the power line road that is only passable by hard-core rock crawlers. My truck just couldn't cut it. So we parked under one of the power towers and started hiking toward Hackberry Creek at about 10:00a.

We were planning to hike down Hackberry Creek and follow other's TripLog descriptions; however, from where we had to park, we were still about a mile and half away, and after hiking down about 1/2 mile, we came across what we determined was "Oak Creek". Looking @ the TOPO, it appeared to be passable all the way thru to Devil's Canyon, and it bypassed the "wall-to-wall poison ivy" that has been mentioned in a couple TripLogs, as well as bypassing the 30' waterfall.

Having said all that "Oak Canyon" is highly NOT recommended. We traded a 100 foot stretch of wall to wall poison ivy for a 1/2 mile stretch, all told, of wall to wall Holley, and various asundry other Flora and bushes, all with their own version of self-protection (read as thorns, stickers). As well as the ever present boulder hopping...plus the ever-present concern that we would come across a 200' sheer vertical drop preventing further progress down the creek toward Devil's Canyon, even tho' the TOPO didn't show it...as one of the other TripLoggers mentioned, as much as you look @ TOPOs and pictures from other sites, you don't know what you're going to run into until you see it first hand...so true! As it turned out, Oak Creek does allow passage thru to Devil's Canyon. We made it not too much worse for the wear without serious incident other than some serious boulder hopping/scrambling and bush whacking, bruised shins, sore calves and AZ pin-striped legs. Oak Canyon hits Devils Canyon about 0.94 miles from the 1st Pool. So our journey to the "pools" involved about 2 miles of boulder hopping terrain.
Darn the unseasonably warm weather...my wrist-worn hiking computer pegged the temperature @ between 95 - 98 degrees, in the canyon. I believe it!
We met up with a nice couple as we hit Devil's Canyon who were also heading to "the pools".
Finally at about 2:00p we made it to the first pool..... Unfortunately, on the way down Johnnie aggravated an ankle injury and my feet were trashed (new boots, apparently not enough break in, although it was a tough hike, they are LOWA, very comfortable, except for the new hot spots and blisters different than those I acquired on the Keet Seel hike a couple weeks ago) at any rate, both Johnnie and I were very concerned about clambering back up Oak Creek. Turns out in the back of both of our minds, we were contemplating spending the night in the canyon, which none of us was prepared for...well we did have fire, but no space blankets or the like and not enough food....
Thanks to Gary and Carolyn, who had brought some rappelling strap-cord, we were able to descend into the first pool area. It was probably passable without, but given the poor ankle and sore feet, it sure was welcome to have that cord.
...Boy was that first dip into the 65 degree water refreshing and invigorating! We hung out at the 1st pool and dined for lunch for about 2 hrs. resting our weary lower leg muscles and cooling down our feet. As the sun had just slipped below the mountains to the west, both parties decided we'd better "hit the trail" and we departed the 1st pool @ 4:00p, Gary and Carolyn headed back up Devil's Canyon to Hackberry Creek; whereas, Johnnie, Joel and I were looking for Johnnies "passage to the west", now we were racing against the sun, as we were already in the shadows in much of the canyon.
At any rate, Johnnie was certain he had hiked to the pools via a different path about 20 yrs. ago...sure enough...as you exit the first pool and head back north up Devil's Canyon and look to your left you will see a short rise/hill about 200 feet in height. This hill is about 200 yds. past the entrance to the first pool.
Upon topping the rise we could see one of the high voltage towers that we had driven under about 6 hours ago, @ a distance of about 1 1/2 miles. So we just headed for this tower, in a short time we ran across a faint trail, which made the going much easier. Steep in areas, but no boulder hopping, very limited bushwhacking...This trail goes past Lower Elk Tank (about 1/2 mile from the summit). We made it out of the canyon in an hour and a half, not bad considering one battered ankle and two blistered feet! We made the truck around 6:00p and headed down the 4WD trail @ shortly thereafter... as the sun was setting behind the hills beyond Superior. Believe me FR315 is not one you want to travel in the dark, and me with no "KC Daylighters". We made it thru the rough stuff before the light gave out and hit 177 at about 7:00p, it took us almost an hour to cover 4.2 miles, mostly in 4-Lo.
The Pools are awesome! Next time we go, we're gonna travel in and out via the trail that goes past "Lower Elk Tank", and Sskip the whole "boulder-hopping gig"
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Sep 06 2010
glutz
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 Guides 2
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 Photos 517
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58 male
 Joined Nov 01 2009
 Chandler, AZ
Keet SeelNortheast, AZ
Northeast, AZ
Hiking avatar Sep 06 2010
glutz
Hiking18.00 Miles 3,000 AEG
Hiking18.00 Miles   11 Hrs      1.64 mph
3,000 ft AEG
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
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Keet Seel
Background:
Keet Seel is one of the best preserved Indian ruins in the southwest. It is located on the Navajo Indian Reservation, at the Navajo National Monument, about 30 miles SE of Kayenta, AZ, and about 60 miles NE of Tuba City. The National Park Service along with other web-sites (HikeAZ.com and ToddsHikingGuide) to name a few, have details on how to get there so I won't bore you with those details...I'll bore you with other things...such as pictures of the hike. The Navajo National Monument is administered by the National Park Service.
Keet Seel itself is an impressive 160 room well preserved cliff dwelling located 8 1/2 miles up "Keet Seel" canyon. This dwelling was occupied off and on for about 500 yrs. between 900AD and 1400AD.

Logistics:
Things to know ahead of time:
Plan ahead... for those with schedule/calendar concerns, you can reserve a tour of the Keet Seel ruins up to 5 months in advance. This is important as there is a limit of 5 people per tour, and with each tour lasting about 2 hrs. that means only 4-5 tours per day, you do the math. We reserved 4 months in advance for a weekend tour. If you have schedule flexibility and can go during the week, you should be able to drop in mid-week and get on a tour that day, but call ahead to be safe.
You must take their orientation at the Navajo National Monument Visitor Center, to receive a back country permit in order to hike to Keet Seel. These are conducted @ 8:15a and 4:30p daily. The 8:15a is marginally suitable for hiking that day, ie you really want to be on the trail before 8:15a, thus take the orientation the day before!
There is no drinkable water in the canyon, pack what you need recommend 1 gallon/person/day. Trash, pack it in, pack it out, goes without saying...but I said it anyway.
No tripods are allowed.
You are not allowed to photograph the native American people in the canyon.
Keet Seel is a 17 mile round trip hike. Betatkin is a 5 mile round trip hike.
A rather pleasant surprise was that there is no fee for the back country permit and no fee for the campgrounds (Sunset campground, located at the top of the canyon about 1/4 mile from the visitor center, or the bottom of the canyon campground located about 1/4 mile from the Keet Seel ruins).
No Campfires allowed in the Keet Seel Campground, or the Sunset Campground.
It should be noted the Navajo Nation DOES observe daylight savings time; thus in September, the time @ the Navajo Nation Monument was an hour ahead of Phoenix time.
Note: some in our party were considering a "Betatkin" hike the same day we hiked out of Keet Seel. I for one was not, my feet were shot, going to REI when get back for some Lowa's; however, one thing we did not know was that "Betatkin" tours are also ranger guided and leave only twice a day, 8:45a and 10:00a.; thus, since we got out of the Keet Seel canyon @ noon, we missed the boat on those tours, well maybe next time. Also, of note: daily tours and access to Keet Seel ends September 11 this year. It starts in the early May time frame. Discussions with local ranger personnel indicated weekend tours into Keet Seel will continue thru November this year, 2010. It would be best to contact the ranger station @ the Navajo National Monument Visitor Center to confirm hours of operation and Keet Seel and Betatkin tour availability prior to arriving.

Getting there:
Mapquest pegged the distance at 302 miles from south Chandler and it is every bit that. Note: There is a general store at the intersection of highways 564 and 160, which is about 10 miles from the Navajo National Monument and Sunset Campground. This can be handy if you forgot any supplies and don't' want to go the 60 miles into Tuba City or 30 miles to Kayenta.
Friday morning, barely, Johnnie, Keith, Joel and I departed Phoenix @ 11:30a and headed north. After an excellent lunch @ Beaver Street Brewery in Flagstaff (reminiscent of Four Peaks, or BJ's Brewery in the valley, this restaurant near downtown flagstaff, has excellent food including 2 very good 1/2 lb burgers, salmon among other salads and several fine micro-brews), we proceeded to the Navajo National Monument. We arrived around 6:00p, the visitor center closes @ 5:30p. We had missed the 4:30p "Keet Seel" hike orientation. There are 2 very nice campgrounds located on-site, nice restroom facilities. Quiet time from 10:00p-6:00a was observed. No fee. The campsites were very clean and well kept. That night we were treated to a beautiful sunset, and after that, the moonless night sky provided an awesome astronomical viewing delight! The milky was very pronounced, a night very similar to this must have inspired Carl Sagan to coin has famous "billions and billions of stars in the cosmos". Truly a spectacular night sky!

The HIKE IN:
The next morning we arrived @ the Visitor Center for the 8:15 "Keet Seel" orientation, be sure to pay attention as there are a few areas on the trail where you can go the wrong way. Especially upon reaching the canyon floor and deciding which of the three canyons to take, "long canyon, "Keet Seel (seems obvious)" or "dry canyon", at this time of year, early September we were told to " ...follow the water..." and the "road/tire tracks". Upon checking in that morning we were met with, "you all should have been on the trail 2 hrs. ago"...interesting, our logic was that the 8:15a orientation was for the hike that day, when in reality we should have taken the 4:30p orientation the day before. The reasoning is that it is a 5-6 hr. hike and the last ranger tour (you can only visit Keet Seel in the presence of a ranger) is @ 3:00p. At any rate, we proceeded to the "Keet Seel" parking area not to be confused, unfortunately, with the "Betatkin" parking area, as it is about a mile closer (that extra mile matters on the hike out).
We loaded our packs, 45-50 lbs, yeah a bit much for overnight, but there is no drinkable water in the canyon so you have to pack it all in, the recommendation is 1 gals/person/day. We each had about 3 gallons total for the 2 days in the canyon, note it was in the high 90s when we hiked down.
Note: every 1/2 mile there is a 3' tall, 2" round metal post with the mileage to the Keet Seel ruin welded into it, until you get to the first water falls (~60 feet tall), then there are no more mile markers, so use your pedometer or GPS for status.
Now back to our hike: The first mile or so from the "Keet Seel parking lot" is down a gravel road to the "Betatkin" parking lot, a rather smallish area, and we presume it would be overloaded on crowded days, which is why "Keet Seelers" must park a mile up road. Now why would those hiking 12 additional miles have to park further away, I guess they figure we can handle the extra distance. After the "Betatkin parking lot" you start the real trail and descend into the canyon at a clip of 1,000 vertical feet per mile. Note: I have done Havasupai, as well as the North Rim and South Rim to the bottom of the Grand Canyon and I found this mile hike to be more challenging than all three of those. The upper portion of the trail is well marked, but not well maintained. "Railroad tie steps" in several stretches make for a large step up or down, and tired calves, there are several sandy stretches as well. In spite of the intense hike down, the views are spectacular! Upon nearly reaching the canyon floor there is a large white wooden post about 6 feet tall, near a rather large juniper tree. This tree and post are popular water stash areas, each of us stashed 2 qts. here for the hike out. You'll come to love these wooden posts as they represent the few trail markers in this area. This tree must also be known by the local wild-life as we spied a coyote nearby when we arrived. Upon reaching the canyon floor, look for the large 8' tall white pole almost due east (straight ahead as you exit the ascent trail). The curve in the stream from Long canyon is where people tend to get lost, both going to Keet Seel and coming back from Keet Seel... several canyons converge here, its pretty easy to take the wrong one.
"Long Canyon is to your immediate left w/water flowing in it. Don't take it. The next canyon over from "Long canyon" is Keet Seel canyon, there is water flowing thru it. The next canyon, branching off to the right about 1/4 mile up "Keet Seel" Canyon, is "Dowozhiebiko Canyon" or "Dry canyon" Don't' take it, even tho' some tire tracks head up into it. Stay to the left after you enter Keet Seel canyon. There is a large 8' white post marking Keet Seel canyon. Tsengi goes to the SE with water from Long and Keet Seel canyons. Keet Seel is between Long and Dry canyons. There is a sometimes faint road going up Keet Seel Canyon (this is an active road the Indians use to herd their cattle on.), that follows the stream bed, but the tracks often get washed away. Note: hope you brought waterproof boots or an extra pair of shoes or hiking sandals. YOU WILL GET YOUR FEET WET! You will cross the water numerous times, ie dozens. Upon entering Keet Seel Canyon you are about 5 1/2 miles from the Keet Seel ruins and about 5 1/4 miles from the Keet Seel Campground. There is a rather large waterfall @ about 3 miles up the canyon, this is navigated by going to the right and up a rather steep trail. Canyon scenery is awesome! Past falls number 1 (the largest of the 4, is a sign indicating a trail branching off to the right, only take it during times of flash flood danger, as it is a steep and rigorous trail...better to stay in the canyon wash, but note, there will no longer be any 1/2 mile markers, you're on your own, hope you brought your GPS!
We arrived @ the Keet Seel Ruins Campground @ 2:00p about 5 hrs. after leaving the Keet Seel parking area at the top of the canyon. Note: I had two very photographically minded hikers with high end digital SLR cameras (Nikon and Canon) thus accounting for about 800 pictures between them...I was thankful we made it that day at all! Upon reaching the campground, we split up, with 2 of us making camp and the other 2 joining the soon to depart Keet Seel tour. You must hike up stream another 1/4 mile to the ranger station in order to arrange a tour of the ruins. That day @ 4:00p the ranger station thermometer indicated it was 95 degrees @ the station, my guess is it was over a hundred while we were hiking in the canyon that day, which explains why I got so hot...our advice, get the 4:30p orientation the day before, start your hike around 5:00a in order to avoid the sun. Joel and I took the 4:30p Keet Seel ruins tour that day. They made an exception to the 3:00 "last tour rule" that day, even though we were there by 3:00. That day, there were several who arrived around 3:00 and even after, waiting for tours. In fact, that day there were 12 total people representing 5 different groups visiting Keet Seel. Our tour lasted about 2 hours. The Guide that day, Tamara, was very knowledgeable regarding the history and excavation and preservation of Keet Seel. One of the nice things about Keet Seel is that due to its controlled access, the ruins have been left very much in their natural state, that is to say: pottery, pottery shards, arrowheads, metates, corn cobs, tools, etc are all left on the grounds of the ruins/dwellings in their natural state. There are several petroglyphs on the walls. The sheer size of he ruins is impressive.
The Keet Seel Ruins campground is located in a lush green vegetative area, about 50 feet above the canyon floor. The campground is very nice, albeit primitive, but there is a composting toilet. No water. That night there were 10 of us staying in the campground. We noted another coyote wandering around our camp, as well as a rather large red fox. We were also blessed by the presence of several bats. Two of us slept in tents, two of us slept under the stars, no one was bothered by the coyote or fox or bats.
The HIKE OUT:
The next morning we broke camp @ 6:00a and hit the trail for our journey back @ 6:30a. I personally wanted to hike in the shade as much as possible, my goal was to begin the ascent up and out of the canyon...ie hit the water stash, @ 9:00a. I actually made it to the water stash @ 8:40a. There was shade in the canyon for the first 5.0 miles of the hike back, and even @ 8:40a, it was still relatively cool, although it was heating up...hiking 6.0 miles in about 2 hrs. was, in my humble opinion, not bad considering how many times we had to ford the stream. Did I say "You're gonna get your feet wet." I changed shoes at the water stash for the climb out of the canyon. Coming out of Keet Seel canyon one of us missed the white post and headed down the wrong canyon, Tsengi Canyon. This caused some concern for about an hour, but by 10:30a we were all back together and started our ascent out of the canyon. We all made it out by 12:30 Phoenix time.
Summary: for those not recording all of the times, on average it took us 5 hours to hike down to Keet Seel and 6 hours to hike out, (photography and 1 hr. of misplacing one of our members included). I used about 3 quarts of water hiking down to Keet Seel during the middle of the day and about 3 quarts coming out. This includes about a quart of hydration at the start of each leg, ie I consumed 2 quarts during the actual hike in, and 2 during the actual hike out.
All in all an awesome 3 day trip into some gorgeous land with a visit to a very impressive archeological site. Look for Johnnie's Photoset in the near future, in the meantime, you'll have to be satisfied with my point and shoot photoset.

Waypoint Decoder, (see last 2 pictures of topo map):
400 = Sunset Campground Campsite #15, 1/4 mi. from Navajo National Monument Visitor Center
396 = Keet Seel Parking lot
394 = Keet Seel Ruins
404 = Keet Seel Ruins Campground
398 = 2 Benches providing Keet Seel ruins viewing
403 = 60' Waterfall
390 = 8' White Post marking entrance to Keet Seel/Dowozhiebiko Canyon
402 = Water Stash Juniper Tree
Flora
Flora
Corn
Fauna
Fauna
Coyote
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Aug 31 2010
glutz
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58 male
 Joined Nov 01 2009
 Chandler, AZ
Devil's Chasm - UpperGlobe, AZ
Globe, AZ
Hiking avatar Aug 31 2010
glutz
Hiking10.00 Miles
Hiking10.00 Miles   7 Hrs      1.43 mph
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners partners
Johnnie
Well, I've gotta hand it to my hiking buddy Johnnie, he keeps dragging me to awesome hikes throughout Arizona, in fact, Labor Day weekend 2010, we're doing Keet Seel, stay tuned for picts and triplog...
This time around, we were playing Christopher Columbus... we were looking for passage to Devil's Chasm Ruins from the west. We had scouted the area a month before and decided we would love to get an east looking upper vista view of the Devil's Chasm Ruins. So after much GPS orienteering, and map viewing, we were sure which canyon was which and we decided the best route would be to veer off from Moody Point trail and head to the edge of the Canyon...but I'm getting ahead of myself.
The forest service site:
http://www.fs.fed.us/r3/tonto/wildernes ... ndex.shtml

has a nice interactive map that shows the various trails and their numbers and names, although the descriptions are a bit light, this area is rugged but awesome for hiking!
We spent the night @ Reynolds Creek Group campground with several of our Chandler-Gilbert YMCA Adventure Princess friends and headed out for Workman Creek at 8:00a.
We arrived @ the Murphy Ranch gate and the TrailHead for Trail 141 at approximately 8:45a, loaded up and started our hike @ 9:00a whereupon we headed downhill, dropping about 1,000 feet in a mile and a half, at which point we ended up at the junction of Trails 139,140 and 141. We headed to the right toward Hunt spring. The trail is relatively level hiking, and fairly easy to follow, although it did not appear to be very well traveled of late, although that could be due to the abundance of plant growth.
After another mile and a half we hit another junction of trails, this junction was that of the "Main Moody Point trail", ie the trail that starts at the Moody Point Trailhead, right off FR487a, near the ranger house, and the Rim Trail Tr 139 I believe. The sign at this junction was deceptive in that it indicated it was a mere 1 mile hike to the Moody point trailhead, we liked that as we had already traveled over 2 1/2 miles to reach the current point so we figured on the way back we would hit the Moody point trailhead and be on a level road for hiking back to the truck...but more on that later. We continued to the left heading toward Moody point.
We paused at the "head" to what we convinced ourselves was Devils Chasm Canyon, to see if we could spot "the ruins" lo and behold, using my Nikon 10x36 binos, I spied some ruins, although Johnnie's recall was better than mine as he pointed out that was not the "famous Devils Chasm Ruins Main House" that we had hiked to almost exactly 1 year ago...ah rightly so, but ruins none the less...we were on the right trail.
After about a mile "DevilsSideTr" we veered off trail to the north in hopes of sighting Devils Chasm, but alas the pronounced spire outcropping about 100yds. to the west of the Devil's Chasm main house blocked our view.
We traveled eastward another mile or so and again veered off trail to our left "DevilSidetr2", or North for those who are following this. We weren't actually shooting in the dark, I had waypoints of the Devils Chasm Ruins in my GPS from our previous hike there last September, and whenever the ruins waypoint appeared 90 degrees to my left, we determined that would be a good time to veer off trail to our left. We actually traveled a bit further, east as we knew we had to get past that rock spire for any chance of viewing the ruins. Note there appears to be a "peninsula like mountain between Moody point and the cliff face that the Devil's Chasm ruins are located on, so be sure you go as far east as you can on "Moody Point Mountain" before heading north.
On this second attempt we were successful. We scrambled down the side of Moody Pt about 1/4 mile and were rewarded with an awesome inspiring view of the Devil's Chasm Ruin Main House. During lunch and we actually sighted another ruin about 300 yds east of the Devil's Chasm Main House ruin. We had not remembered this being mentioned in any literature or sights and we thought we might have run across something new, upon our return we did some more searching and found mention of this second ruin several places, from our vantage point and using binoculars we could see timbers and fairly in tact walls, definitely something to explore next time we travel to Devil's Chasm Ruins Main house. We enjoyed the impressive views of the ruins and headed back at about 1:00p
Upon reaching the junction of the Moody Point trail and the Rim Trail we were seduced by what we thought was going to be a 1 mile hike to the road and then back to the truck, we figured we'd be to the truck by 2:30p at the latest. The trail was awesome meandering thru fern covered valleys and knolls, the ferns being knee-high to waist high, which made the trail all but invisible, but we weren't concerned we were @ 7,000 feet and there was a light sprinkle. Well soon enough the sprinkle turned into a downpour. In fact, it poured so hard, we gave up our manly "we don't need no stinkin' protection" attitude and donned our rain ponchos. I had loaded up my new packback with lost of extraneous equipment as I was using this as a shakedown for the upcoming Keet Seel hike. The rain continued for about an hour, I was reminded of the scene from Jurassic Park, where Denis Nedry the computer nerd played by Wayne Knight was taking the dinosaur eggs in the shaving cream can to the dock to sell them and it was muddy and he ran the jeep off the road and the tiny dinosaurs were spitting at him and he kept wiping his eyes and couldn't see....yep that was us, all that was missing was the vicious little dinosaurs...and in fact, mother nature did not disappoint, as she threw a near catastrophic wrench at us, well me anyway...I was in the lead and we were at about 6,800 feet, slip-sliding up a 30 degree incline, walking thru knee-high ferns that made the trail all but invisible, when all of a sudden Johnnie yelled for me to stop, at that point I heard what I thought were grasshoppers or cicadas...not so my friends...apparently unbeknownst to me I had just been "struck at" by a very agitated 4 foot long Arizona Black Rattlesnake, Johnnie had seen the entire scene unfold as he was about 5 feet behind me and he had an angled viewing vantage thru the ferns, the snake was about a foot off the trail and I startled it as I went by and he attempted to exact a toll, fortunately he missed and retreated to a log about 2 feet off the trail. He was very distressed as he was rattling away for a good 10 minutes...whew dodged a bullet on that one as my brother in law, the cop, would have said! Sometimes its better to be lucky than good! That would have made for a miserable time, as at that point in time we were about 3 1/2 miles from the truck and 50 miles and 2 1/2 hours from Globe. See picture #8 from Johnnie's latest photoset for Devil's Chasm to see this impressive specimen of Arizona wildlife. We thought we were too high in elevation for rattlesnakes...plus it was cold and raining, not in my mind prime rattlesnake weather or locale. Well we were quite careful for the remainder of our hike which turned out to be not 1 mile like the marker indicated but closer to 2 miles and by then we had traveled pretty far west from the truck so we still had another 2 miles to hike to get to the truck after we reached the Moody Point trailhead...all in all about a 10 mile that took us 7 hrs. total time, but figure 2 hrs. for photo ops. The hike included a total vertical elevation change of probably 3,000 feet. Beautiful scenery, awesome adrenalin packed adventure! Very nice trail...but watch out for snakes. In 40 years of hiking in the southwest: Arizona and New Mexico, that is the closest I have come to being a snake bite statistic.
Now that we've seen the ruins from above, our next plan is to go to the start of Devil's Chasm Canyon and see if there is anyway to get down to the ruins from the west, we also might try hiking up Devil's Chasm Canyon past the ruins and see how far we can get...ah not enough weekends in a year!
Flora
Flora
Red Raspberry
Culture
Culture
Fire Lookout Structures
Named place
Named place
Workman Creek Falls
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Jan 02 2010
glutz
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 Guides 2
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58 male
 Joined Nov 01 2009
 Chandler, AZ
Pueblo Canyon RuinsGlobe, AZ
Globe, AZ
Hiking avatar Jan 02 2010
glutz
Hiking7.00 Miles 2,500 AEG
Hiking7.00 Miles   7 Hrs      1.00 mph
2,500 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
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Sierra Ancha Dwellings:
Pueblo Canyon Indian Ruins
4 separate dwellings

The Trip:
Keith, Johnnie, and I departed Gilbert, AZ @ 6:15a, and arrived @ the staging area (pottery point) @ 9:15a
Side note: Ellison Ranch/Cherry Creek crossing...water still about 2 feet, I noted more wheel slippage, than the previous 2x, that crossing appears to be getting worse...I was glad for the rear locker & front limited slip.
Another Side Note: I have a GMC Sierra 1Ton, Long Bed Crew Cab and have made it past Devils Chasm 3x now without a problem, although any sort of washout/heavy rain could change that.
Embarked on hike @ 9:30a.
Temperature in the high 40s.
Given our last "thru the brush bushwacking experience" at this staging area, we opted to heed others who have gone before, and travel south down FR203 about 1/4 mile and take the old mining road to the right. A more adventuresome person (or someone without bald street tires, probably my last trip this far up Cherry creek on these tires) could take their high clearance, 4WD up this road and shave another 1/2 mile off their hike.
Hike up the road to the top of the "mesa" and continue up the road to the three posts that the forest service placed to discourage further vehicle travel. Beyond this you will find a large 10' boulder, continue past and the road/trail veers left. You will top another "mesa" and see a large 6' boulder with a "petroglyph" and arrow pointing up the hill...follow that arrow. I believe this is the "marker" distinguishing the "cold springs ruins" trail from the "pueble canyon ruins" trail. That is to say, veer right up the hill...the trail/road is still fairly pronounced. Once you hit the "first ruins view vista" the trail levels out somewhat, although you are still hugging the cliff wall and it is still strenuous. about another 1/4 mile and you will really level out.
It is interesting that all of these Sierra Ancha Dwellings hikes have their own rewards and liabilities. While Pueblo Ruins are the furthest hike and fairly steep, we found the trail to be fairly well marked.
Pueblo Creek Ruins definitely win the most extensive award! There are 4 separate, distinct structural areas, some have totaled up to 75 rooms, several 2 story, at least one noted to be three stories. Very impressive, they all seem to be of similar disrepair and weathering, but not bad for 800 yr. old structures. I doubt my house will be in that good of shape in 800 yrs. These ruins like others in the area have noted timbers and mud/timber roof still discernable.
This hiking trail is probably the most pronounced and "easy to follow", we only lost the trail once up near the first dwelling viewing about 1/4 mi. past the Manzanitas. The brush on the side of the canyon walls is fairly thick. The trail hugs the side of the canyon about 200' down from the top @ an elevation of around 5,000'. By my GPS, the ruins could be considered "mile high" ruins, as I logged them @ 5,280 feet elevation. Granted that was GPS elevation, and the accuracy can be debated, but it makes for a good story.
This hike in my opinion was quite strenous for the first mile or so...as noted in prior logs, you climb about 1,000 feet the first mile and 1,800 feet overall. Round trip was 6 miles. Took 7 hrs. including about 2 hrs. of photo opportunities.
Overall I found this hike to be comparable if not a bit more strenuous than Devil's Chasm, although the Devil's Chasm trail is less pronouced and harder to follow, and Cooper Forks Ruins, well the trail is non-existent. Best to try that one at this time of year...we went when it was a bit too hot.
I find I prefer the ruins to the west of Cherry Creek, as they are uphill to start and thus; even though you are tired coming back, it's all down hill!
This hike basically hugs the canyon walls and you do a 3/4 "circumnavigation of the headwaters area of Pueblo Creek Canyon". In early January we did not run into the "Manzanita problems" others have noted; however, in the spring with fresh growth, this could easily be a challenge. During this time of the year, the waterfall at the head of the canyon was still flowing, but did have a sheet of ice 2"-3" thick for about 10'. Treacherous, but passable, be careful and use your LEKI carbon-steel tipped walking stick for safe purchase and passage, you can do it! We ran into 2 other groups of 3 hikers during this trip. Back to the truck by 4:30p and Guayos by 6:30p Very good relleno and enchilada topped with an ice cold Tecate.
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Nov 28 2009
glutz
avatar

 Guides 2
 Routes 8
 Photos 517
 Triplogs 15

58 male
 Joined Nov 01 2009
 Chandler, AZ
Devil's ChasmGlobe, AZ
Globe, AZ
Hiking avatar Nov 28 2009
glutz
Hiking3.90 Miles 2,489 AEG
Hiking3.90 Miles   7 Hrs   30 Mns   0.52 mph
2,489 ft AEG
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
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Hike to Devil's Chasm Ruins in the Sierra Ancha Wilderness.
We left Gilbert, AZ about 6:00p Friday evening.
Stopped in Globe @ Safeway for some supplies.
We reached the TrailHead/"Campground" to Devil's Chasm approximately 9:30p. Late November, weather was perfect for sleeping, 45 degrees F.
One other party @ the site. Turns out they were hiking to Cold Springs Ruins the next day.
Sat. am. started up the trail...very pretty foliage. The trail is fairly easy to pick out for the first mile or so. Keep the stream in the Devil's Chasm to your right. It is easier if you follow the trail on the side of the canyon as long as possible. It is easier than boulder hopping, which you will get enough of soon enough. GPS had pretty good coverage the first mile or so, 25' accuracy, but jumped to 150' accuracy further up the canyon. Very scenic. at about 3/4 mi. you will come to a large boulder that looks impassable. there is a sturdy 3/4" black nylon rope that some nice hiker has left for others to the right of the boulder, use it to scale this obstacle. Note water runs underground about this time.
At about 2 1/2 mi. (according to my GPS, but only about 1 mile according to my Topo Map) you will exit the canyon to the north, your right and scale an approximate 45 degree slope, up to the ruins. It is easy to miss. I can see why many have attempted this hike and never found it. The ruins are not visible until you are about 50 yds out of the canyon. Expect to be on your hands and knees in several spots. The ruins are literally in the side of a 200' sheer cliff. 12 rooms by our count. Several timbers and some cross beams still in tact. We noted 3 metates. Extremely impressive views. The sheer climb to the ruins really gives one pause to thought as to why in the world anyone would live there? Maybe they came down from the Upper Chasm instead, but in any event the last 500' would give anyone pause.
Perfect hiking weather, 60's in the canyon. All told the hike was 7 1/2 hrs. with about 2 hrs. at the ruins and numerous, over a dozen photo stops up and back. The people we talked to indicated they heard you could make it up and back in an hour and a half. We really question that. My GPS logged us @ 5 3/4 miles round trip. The Topo showed us @ about 3 1/2 miles round trip, so accounting for switchbacks and "meandering" 5 is probably pretty accurate. Returned to camp @ 4:30p. We saw 2 wild turkeys across the road from our camp. Someone must have told them it was safe to come out, as Thanksgiving was 2 days ago!
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Oct 03 2009
glutz
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 Guides 2
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58 male
 Joined Nov 01 2009
 Chandler, AZ
Cooper Forks Canyon Cliff DwellingsGlobe, AZ
Globe, AZ
Hiking avatar Oct 03 2009
glutz
Hiking4.52 Miles 1,200 AEG
Hiking4.52 Miles   7 Hrs      0.65 mph
1,200 ft AEG
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
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Left Gilbert, AZ around 8:00a, staged @ the 90 degree bend in FR203 about 22 miles up cherry Creek road from 288.
Started the hike @ 11:00a, temperature in the high 60s.
You can see the cliff dwellings from the staging area, about 1 1/2 miles distant as the crow flies pretty much due east (slightly north).
My friend and I had read several blogs and decided we did not want to hike the 1/2 mile or so back to an "old mining road near Cold Springs Canyon"...BIG MISTAKE! DO NOT follow our path over the edge. Take the extra effort and find the "old mining road" near Cold Springs Canyon. You'll save yourself a lot of pain and agony and possibly some time as well.
As for us, we headed due east and over the edge...and began to descend the bluffs/cliffs...bushwhacking all the way.
Dense brush, several 10-50 foot drop-offs along the way. Long pants, long sleeve shirt highly recommended. We would have been better served if we had rappelling gear.
After a 10 foot fall and a badly cut hand...hey john you have any bandages....nope... we're men, we don't need no stinkin' bandages...well I didn't need that shirt anyway... we finally made it to Pueblo Creek and headed down, east, to Cherry Creek. We traded bushwhackin' for boulder hoppin' I should note at this point that I'm a 49 year old father of 3 who has been hiking, and back country camping/hiking for 40 years, done 50 mile day hikes and hiked the canyon 6 times, and I thought I was in pretty good shape... Although, I did just go on blood pressure medicine...I'm trying to get into better shape, and off the meds...a little oveweight 20 lbs, but this was one tough hike.
East side or west side of Cherry Creek, didn't seem to matter...on the way to the cliff dwellings, we went up the east side and returned via the west side.
Be sure to cross over Cooper Fork Canyon when you begin your ascent to the cliff dwellings, while it looks imposing on the North Side, the south side is all but impassable/impossible...you'll see when you get to the ruins via the North ridge along Cooper Fork Canyon.
Just follow the ridgeline, on the North side of Cooper Forks Canyon...you'll get there! It took me about 3 1/2 hrs. to get to the cliff dwellings from the staging area. The views and ruins are well worth it.
There are 1/2 dozen rooms, some of the roof is still intact. There was a metate. The storage room even had a bat in it.
We spent an hour at the ruins and it took us 2 1/2 hrs. to return.
Follow the ridgeline back for your return.
Upon hitting Cherry Creek, and Pueblo Creeek, we debated going down to Cold Springs Creek, but it was getting late about 5:00p and we figured the devil we knew was better than the devil we didn't...we figured if we went far enough up Pueblo Canyon we would miss the sheer cliffs...well we missed the cliffs, but there was a lot of "big boulder" hopping and we still had a 60 degree scramble up the south side of Pueblo Canyon.
We made it back to the truck as the sun passed over the Sierra Anchas @ 6:00p, precisely 7 hours from whence we started.
A tough hike, well worth it.
We're headin' to Cold Springs Ruins sometime in November!
Culture
Culture
Salado Mano and Metate
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average hiking speed 1.17 mph

WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.

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