Situated within rugged terrain in the northeastern part of the Sonoran Desert, these well-preserved cliff dwellings were occupied during the 13th, 14th, and early 15th centuries.
Great trail! Fairly difficult in areas with beautiful views in between. The mine area is a great place to get out and have lunch. Trail took us about 6 hrs to complete with an hour of that being a lunch stop. The trail is narrow in many places that would make it difficult for a full size 4x4. All in all a great experience.
Beautiful quick hike down to a quiet paradise. I had the place all to myself and took a quick swim in the freezing water! Lots of great rocks to climb. And a few small waterfalls.
The trailhead was not very clear but if you park just before the guardrail, get out of your car and climb up the embankment right there, it's a quick scramble up. Then follow the path to the deer fence and crawl under.
The destination is lovely! The parking/trail leaves much to be desired. Access to the "trail head" is on a large highway shoulder. That is, there is no official parking lot- you're merely pulled off to the side of the highway. Steep incline scramble off the shoulder to a rough trailhead. After a brief walk there's a clearing and you'll need to find a small rock-lined path that will take you to a footpath. Short but rocky decline to the creek. Final destination is very pretty! Summertime swimming-hole for sure. This time of year it was temperate and peaceful. Luckily I hiked with someone who had been there a few times before; I'm not confident I'd know the path in/out otherwise.
Great hike, cool swim. Trail head was a bit hard to find. Park on side of road by red hillside (if you get to scout camp, you passed it). Walk up either side of hill and toward deer fencing. Cross over/under fence where possible (easy spot at top of hill). Hike straight out until you get to trail. Go left and at the Y go to the right side. There is a small but visible trail down to the water. Wear sturdy shoes and bring extra clothes or something to swim in.
This was a really cool experience. It cost $5 to get in per person. There is a little museum that is interesting. The trail to the cliffs is easy but so beautiful. Amazing views. Loved seeing the ruins and reading the signs along the trail. The drive was also really beautiful, especially going back to Mesa on highways 188 and 87. I got there going on the 60 east from Gilbert. Make sure the canyon isn't getting dynamited before you go. We got stopped along the way. Luckily there was only an hour left in their schedule. We stopped at a cool park in a little town called Superior that had old mining equipment out and a red caboose with tourist info inside while we waited.
Right. "Hike" is kind of a secondary aspect of a visit here. There is a hike, either to the lower or upper dwellings. And the lower dwellings are open much more than the upper. But not much of one. However, I recommend it if you are in the area just the same.
Finding the trailhead was challenging, follow the deer fence until you come to an area you can go underneath. When in the forest, make sure you go right at the clearing/fork to get to the box canyon ledge where the hike is across rock descending quite steeply. The views are amazing, and there is a great waterfall and swimming hole at box canyon. The trail can continue to the Boy Scout camp which is private property.
The first half of the trail from the trailhead on FR 74 (Rucker Canyon Road) to Bruno Saddle was in great condition, visible its entire length. Occasional clusters of catclaw were present, but otherwise it was fine. From Bruno Saddle down to the junction with the North Bruno Trail, it was intermittently visible, and overgrown with grasses and flowers in some places. There are occasional markers to help guide the way, but it can at times take a bit of exploring to find the correct trail. Beautiful views of rock cliffs, grassy meadows, and just a nice area that was unaffected by the Horseshoe II fire.
This is not so much a trail as it is a learning experience. Hiking this trail is only permitted in the presence of a ranger and by appointment. The lower dwelling trail is paved, but this one is highly maintained. The flora and fauna are expertly discussed by the ranger during the walk up to the cliff dwelling, which itself is an interesting piece of history from a culture long since departed. If you are looking for an outdoor hiking experience into the wilderness this is not for you. Be prepared for tourists and lots of chatter. A more exclusive type of experience involves early sign up and taking one of the rarely presented moonlight hikes to the Upper Cliff Dwellings.