Because the weather has been so bad, and I had been so sick the Christmas week, Karen and I decided to start the New Year off with exploring a new ‘easy’ site we had passed many times just off the I-17. No half hour or hour drive down a wash – the trail literally started from the parking space 12 feet off the major highway. When you see the windmill from the highway, you know its time to slow down to make the turn into the trail head parking.
The sun was finally shinning when we arrived at the trail head, the ground was dry with a bit of snow hiding under the north side of the vegetation; it was still a bit chilly. We had to climb the locked gate in the fence, not being thin enough to slip through the bars. Darn! Maybe next time! 🙂 Down the old mining road we headed, past the ruins of a ranch. We continued down the road towards the view of Perry Mesa and Perry Tank Canyon straight ahead, the Agua Fria river running in the canyon bottom. Facing the canyon we saw a promontory of rock to the left (north) with a trail leading up to it. After exploring the area, finding remnants from an earlier time and a couple of the mining pits, we went to the promontory of rock to find Hohokam petroglyphs. We couldn’t find the Pueblo Ruins that were suppose to be in the area but I didn’t have the energy to climb to the top of the hill I suspected they might be on. After about three hours we headed back to the car.
That night we did a bit more research and discovered that we had missed quite a bit so decided to go back in a couple of days. So after it rained we felt it was an appropriate time to go back since we wouldn’t have to drive down muddy roads. Even so, our boots caked with mud as we walked down the trail! The second day we did find the Pueblo ruins and more petroglyphs, on the hill where I suspected they were. As you walk down the mine road there is a faint trail on the right which turned out to be another road to the mine. It brought us up to the top of the hill and also gave us an amazing view of the old mine site. ( Top Photo – view south from hill) There was definitely more than what we had found the first day. Yahoo! We also went back to the first petroglyph site and I found the long tailed petroglyph that I missed, along with a few others that were lost in the bad light and snow of the first day’s exploration.