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Native American Cliff Dwellings in Rogers Canyon

June 17th, 2009

As I mentioned in my previous blog post, hiking Roger's Canyon is a great day trip. Getting there is a bit of an adventure, with the barely-there road network to get to the jumping off point. There’s a bounty of beautiful wilderness sights to rest your eyes on when you go on this hiking trip. The hike down the canyon is a bit over three miles of following a stream bed, with well marked trails, until you get to the bottom of the canyon. Then, you're at the high point of the hike – well, the low point, really, topographically speaking. You're within a reasonable walk of the Rogers Canyon cliff dwellings, though some climbing will be necessary. Cliff Dwellings at Rogers Canyon / Flickr photo by lance_mountain These cliff dwellings have been uninhabited for somewhere between 600 and 700 years; they're still trying to pin things down a bit more exactly. The Salado tribe had an agricultural trading culture that filled in the gaps (and some think might be a remnant) of the larger Anasazi tribe that started to die off about 800 years ago, mostly due to overgrazing, over-irrigation and soil depletion, issues that are concerns to all residents of the Valley of the Sun even now. It's somewhat sobering to be clambering through the ruins of a culture that made some of the same decisions our government is making in the present day with regards to sustainability. To get into the dwellings, as mentioned, takes a bit of climbing. There are three that are open to the public; the lowest one just requires walking up the path on the cliff. The one on the upper right is somewhat harder and requires an actual ascent, and the top chamber is very difficult to get at, because it requires basic rock climbing skills to get into. This particular compound was probably a home to an extended family, and there are still traces of them around. Across the creek, there's a short ascent to the courtyard, which is in front of the lowest chamber – it's almost completely dark, because the walls are still intact. Getting past the second chamber and out again requires some awkward maneuvering if you're not careful. And you should conserve your energy here, because you've got a four mile, mostly uphill, hike back to the car. Because this is a historical site, be very careful about what you do here; we don't want hikers to wreck it for future visitors.

[...] tuned for Rogers Canyon part 2 – the Native American cliff dwellings you’ll be able to visit on your hiking [...]

By Rogers Canyon - Superstition Mountains Day Hike | on 2009 06 17

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