challenging hike up a desert canyon stream to some well preserved native American ruins
The ruins that are the destination for this hike were built and occupied by the Salado Native Americans between 1280 and 1350 AD. The approach to get to these ruins is nearly as impressive as the ruins themselves.
The hike starts at the makeshift parking area. There is a trail to creek left that parallels the drainage. The trail can be difficult to follow in places, so keep a sharp eye out for Rock Cairns and faint trails. If you have stayed on the trail, you will enter some slick rock narrows. There is a rock fall here that you need to scramble to the right to navigate. There are some additional scrambles as you continue your progress up this part of the canyon. The scrambles aren't difficult, but have a little exposure. Continuing your progress up creek, you will eventually be on a trail on the left part of the canyon. Just as this trail crosses back to the creek, start to look to your right for some paths up the creek wall. These paths are quite steep and have very poor foot and handholds. This is the toughest part of the hike. There are several trails up, but all are equally tough. Keep looking up on the canyon walls to your right and after some climbing, the ruins will come into view. There is a scramble route into the ruins on the left.
These ruins are in excellent shape, with several rooms and doors well preserved. Some of these doors are a snug fit! Keep your eyes out for pottery shards and stones used for grinding corn, which are also in evidence. While enjoying these ruins, try to imagine why these people lived in such an area. Please be very gentle with this area and leave everything as it is for your children to enjoy one day.
As you are descending again, keep your eyes open to the right of the ruins and you can see additional walls. Looks like they were building a guest suite when the time came to leave. There is also a small cave to your left to explore as you near these ruins.
Return by the same route.