Hard to believe we have been in Arizona almost 3 months. We leave on January 31st so it was definitely time to get up to Perry Mesa in Agua Fria National Monument (and Tonto Forest) to find Pueblo de Las Mujeres (also known as Squaw Creek Ruins). We were very lucky, finally no rain for the last week and a cool sunny/cloudy day. Perfect for scrambling along the cliff side.
Bloody Basin road, once we reached the mesa, was rutted but dry. When we turned onto 9014/FR14 we found there were still a few mud puddles or short muddy stretches. Lucky for us other off-road recreation vehicles had made ‘new’ trails around them. Good for us but maybe not wonderful for the condition of the mesa. Unfortunately after going through the gate on FR610, as we continued south I missed a fork in the road where we were suppose to go left. So we ended up at the wrong place and wasted an hour – if exploring the country side is a waste of time! Might have to go back sometime and have another look around.
Back to the turn we had missed and a minute later we stopped to explore a satellite Pueblo ruin not far from the main site.
As we continued south we saw the low mound of Pueblo de Las Mujeres ahead. One of the largest ruins on Perry Mesa, it was occupied by the Hohokam between 1250 and 1450 AD. Pueblo de Las Mujeres is an amazing place perched on the edge of the canyon rim, with 150 – 200 rooms, a perimeter wall, petroglyphs below the rim and a ‘racetrack’ close to the modern road – which I didn’t see. An excuse to return in the future – if ever I needed one! I have nowhere near finished exploring this area.