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Casa Malpais - 2 members in 9 triplogs have rated this an average 3.5 ( 1 to 5 best )
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Apr 20 2013
azbackpackr
avatar

 Guides 27
 Routes 413
 Photos 5,109
 Triplogs 772

67 female
 Joined Jan 21 2006
 Flagstaff AZ
Casa MalpaisAlpine, AZ
Alpine, AZ
Hiking avatar Apr 20 2013
azbackpackr
Hiking0.25 Miles 50 AEG
Hiking0.25 Miles
50 ft AEG
 no routes
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
I am not sure I agree with the posted distance or AEG, will have to check it out further. I just trained today to be a tour guide here. This will not be the first time I have worked here. I was a tour guide in 1999, and again in 2000. I will be working occasionally, mostly on Saturdays.
_____________________
There is a point of no return unremarked at the time in most lives. Graham Greene The Comedians
A clean house is a sign of a misspent life.
Jan 20 2013
azbackpackr
avatar

 Guides 27
 Routes 413
 Photos 5,109
 Triplogs 772

67 female
 Joined Jan 21 2006
 Flagstaff AZ
Becker Lake Wildlife Area, AZ 
Becker Lake Wildlife Area, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Jan 20 2013
azbackpackr
Hiking9.00 Miles 200 AEG
Hiking9.00 Miles
200 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
Linked linked
Partners none no partners
Starting at the Airport Rd. trailhead, I hiked the Becker Wildlife Area trail, then crossed US 60, climbed over a gate and hiked past the sewage ponds, which were frozen over for the most part. The unfrozen parts had ducks. Then on to the Casa Malpais road. I hiked up through the ruins, stopping to see the big kiva, then used the "ancient stairway" to get to the top of the rimrock, where I turned north. I walked along this grassy rangeland pretty close to the rim and enjoyed views of the Little Colorado River (mostly frozen over), Becker Lake, Mt. Baldy, Escudilla, Flat Top, Springerville and Eagar. Then I looped around back down a very rough old two-track that goes back down to the river, and crossed the river on a small bridge used by ranchers and cattle. I then headed north along the river until I got to an old house. Then I looped back along US 60 to the Becker Wildlife Area trail and back along it to my car.
_____________________
There is a point of no return unremarked at the time in most lives. Graham Greene The Comedians
A clean house is a sign of a misspent life.
1 archive
Aug 12 2010
writelots
avatar

 Guides 19
 Routes 40
 Photos 5,602
 Triplogs 339

47 female
 Joined Nov 22 2005
 Tucson, AZ
Casa MalpaisAlpine, AZ
Alpine, AZ
Walk / Tour avatar Aug 12 2010
writelots
Walk / Tour0.25 Miles 50 AEG
Walk / Tour0.25 Miles   1 Hour      0.25 mph
50 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Day 1 of the big "Family Vacation" in Greer, we went into Springerville for some supplies, to check out Western Drug, and generally waste a few hours. We called in to the folks at the Casa Malpais museum, and they confirmed that they were still giving tours even though it was sprinkling on and off. So we went in, registered as the only participants on the 11am tour, and watched the painfully slow if moderately entertaining educational video.

Our docent/guide was a very pretty, very sweet young lady who had only moved to Springerville recently. I had hoped for maybe an archeology student, or perhaps a retiree with a passion for history, but our guide was just a girl who needed a job. She knew the site quite well, and had read up a good bit, but wasn't up for the level of debate regarding preservation, restoration and recreation that I was looking forward to. Sigh.

She was also VERY nervous about snakes, which of course made my family quite nervous about snakes. We walked the site with wooden sticks, beating the rocks as we went to warn away the sneaky, slinky critters. It must've worked, because for the first tour in weeks (according to our guide), we didn't see a single slithery-one.

Now, since you all here may have a little more interesting thoughts on the preservation and presentation of archaeological and historical sites, I'll spend a few minutes here divulging my (admittedly non-expert) opinion on the matter. While I think it is wonderful that there are guided tours of this very interesting pueblo, I do not appreciate the signage that is installed which is not only typically wrong, but also disturbs the naturally occurring context of the site. Also, it's clear that the use of tools such as weed-eaters and clippers is necessary during wet seasons to keep the grasses from completely hiding the ruins. But this practice is done is such a haphazard, excessive way that it detracts from the feeling of antiquity and discovery. Finally, I was pleased to see that many of the rooms and areas had not been touched by the excavation. I also liked that the reasons for this were explained in the tour, so that people would get an idea of the newer theories on how to preserve the ancient past. However, the reconstruction of certain walls and areas was a bit of a disappointment. They weren't reconstructed to the point where we could actually see what they looked like, just to the point where we could see the "outline"... I don't know, it seemed like it was just a little heavy-handed to this conservative preservationist. :M2C:

We got sprinkled on, my brother got to do a bit of scrambling (up to the mesa top), mom got some cool pictures and a hike right at her level, and I got to check out a site I might never have explored otherwise. What else is family for? :?
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Light
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Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we've been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.- Barack Obama
Apr 09 2010
azbackpackr
avatar

 Guides 27
 Routes 413
 Photos 5,109
 Triplogs 772

67 female
 Joined Jan 21 2006
 Flagstaff AZ
Casa MalpaisAlpine, AZ
Alpine, AZ
Hiking avatar Apr 09 2010
azbackpackr
Hiking0.25 Miles 100 AEG
Hiking0.25 Miles   2 Hrs      0.13 mph
100 ft AEG
 no routes
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
I used to work here as a tour guide. Today I worked here helping two other members of the AZ Archaeological Society in replacing rocks knocked down off walls by some cows that got into the site this winter, and also picking up the rollie rocks on the trails, so that the guests don't fall.

Incidentally, guides here do accept tips!
_____________________
There is a point of no return unremarked at the time in most lives. Graham Greene The Comedians
A clean house is a sign of a misspent life.
Apr 26 2007
cyn
avatar

 Photos 132
 Triplogs 131

female
 Joined Aug 13 2003
 Phoenix, AZ
Casa MalpaisAlpine, AZ
Alpine, AZ
Hiking avatar Apr 26 2007
cyn
Hiking0.25 Miles 50 AEG
Hiking0.25 Miles
50 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
_____________________
Apr 15 2006
azbackpackr
avatar

 Guides 27
 Routes 413
 Photos 5,109
 Triplogs 772

67 female
 Joined Jan 21 2006
 Flagstaff AZ
Casa MalpaisAlpine, AZ
Alpine, AZ
Hiking avatar Apr 15 2006
azbackpackr
Hiking0.25 Miles 50 AEG
Hiking0.25 Miles
50 ft AEG
 no routes
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Since moving to the Springerville/Eagar area in 1999 I have twice been employed as a tour guide at the ruins, and I am also a member of the local chapter of the Arizona Archaeological Society which is affiliated with the museum and ruins.

The description given in the write-up was pretty good, but the museum never did charge to get in as long as I have been here, although the ruins tour always did have a fee. (And yes, the guides do appreciate tips! They are not well paid!) The phone # for the museum is 928-333-5375. (The phone # given in the write-up is for the Chamber of Commerce in a side room of the museum.)

There have been a lot of fanciful notions about "Casa" that gave it notoriety, especially during the early '90s when it received a lot of publicity, an article in Smithsonian, etc. I think a lot of the talk about "catacombs" and such has died down. Thank goodness the archaelogists now have a lot more scientific means to study things, and hopefully a lot of those fluffy "New Age" notions will just fade away. It's true there are some cave-like areas on the site which used to contain bones and artifacts. These were all looted long ago by the locals.

One thing seems clear in these new studies. Most Puebloan sites were not occupied for very long, often for less than 100 years. The reasons for this could be due to poor farming methods wearing out the soil, over-hunting of the area by the inhabitants, etc. As for whatever happened to these people, well they just moved on. Their descendants are probably now living in Zuni, Hopi and the many pueblos in New Mexico.

Casa Malpais is worth a visit for sure. Around Springerville there are said to be about 28,000 archaeological sites. A site could be just one pottery shard, or a lithic scatter (flint chips from making arrowheads) or a petroglyph panel. There are many hundreds of petroglyphs within about 10 miles of town, but none of them has a sign pointing the way to see them.
_____________________
There is a point of no return unremarked at the time in most lives. Graham Greene The Comedians
A clean house is a sign of a misspent life.
Apr 29 2005
Crzy4AZ
avatar

 Guides 31
 Routes 96
 Photos 2,637
 Triplogs 599

47 female
 Joined Apr 02 2007
 Scottsdale, AZ
Casa MalpaisAlpine, AZ
Alpine, AZ
Hiking avatar Apr 29 2005
Crzy4AZ
Hiking0.25 Miles 50 AEG
Hiking0.25 Miles
50 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners partners
GI Jones
Went on a tour of the ruins - it was just the guide (Bill from Nutrioso) and me/husband. The square rooms were really different. We climbed up to the top for the awesome views. You could see storm clouds moving in the distance. There was still snow around Greer and Springerville. Pretty farmland with cows grazing nearby. Would highly recommend this walk/hike if anywhere in the area.
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Jul 17 2003
PaleoRob
avatar

 Guides 159
 Routes 170
 Photos 5,619
 Triplogs 1,012

39 male
 Joined Apr 03 2006
 Grand Junction,
Casa MalpaisAlpine, AZ
Alpine, AZ
Hiking avatar Jul 17 2003
PaleoRob
Hiking0.25 Miles 50 AEG
Hiking0.25 Miles   1 Hour   30 Mns   0.17 mph
50 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Returned a second time with inlaws.
_____________________
"The only thing we did was wrong was staying in the wilderness to long...the only thing we did was right was the day we started to fight..."
-Old Spiritual
My book, The Marauders on Lulu and Amazon
Jun 10 2003
PaleoRob
avatar

 Guides 159
 Routes 170
 Photos 5,619
 Triplogs 1,012

39 male
 Joined Apr 03 2006
 Grand Junction,
Casa MalpaisAlpine, AZ
Alpine, AZ
Hiking avatar Jun 10 2003
PaleoRob
Hiking0.25 Miles 50 AEG
Hiking0.25 Miles   1 Hour   30 Mns   0.17 mph
50 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
_____________________
"The only thing we did was wrong was staying in the wilderness to long...the only thing we did was right was the day we started to fight..."
-Old Spiritual
My book, The Marauders on Lulu and Amazon

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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