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UPCOMING

Wagon Wheel Ranch

Colorado

JUNE 2003

UPCOMING

July 4th

 Red•White•Blue

 Prescott, AZ

JULY 2003

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Copper Canyon

 Mexico

NOV 2003

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Havasupi Canyon

 Arizona

APRIL 2004

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Phantom Ranch

MAY 2005

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Ancient Indian Ruins  

Pueblo Canyon ruin

 

Thousands of years ago, the land that is now Arizona was cool and wet, with plenty of grass and many streams and lakes  The first settlers, Native American Indians, came here in search of the large animals that they hunted for food.

As time passed the climate changed and it became hotter and drier. The native Indians  had to find different ways to find food. They began hunting smaller animals and gathering berries, seeds, nuts and grains.

In about 2,000 BC maize, or corn, was introduced from Mexico. The people began learning how to farm and control their environment so they would not have to migrate to find food. They were no longer completely dependent on nature.

There were three major Early Native American groups. It is possible that these groups evolved from the settlers who stayed after the climate change or they could have migrated from other areas. The three major groups are the Hohokam, the Anasazi and the Mogollon. The Hohokam occupied river valleys in the southern desert. The Anasazi were on the plateau in the Four Corners area. The Mogollon lived mainly in the mountain belt along what is now the Arizona-New Mexico border. All of these groups developed their own lifestyles that was suitable for their own environment.

These newly discovered petroglyphs were hidden by heavy underbrush until a few years ago

Sierra Ancha Wilderness:

Pueblo Canyon

 

The Sierra Ancha Wilderness was established as a Primitive Area in 1933 and a Wilderness in 1964. Uranium exploration carved a few roads into this area in the 1950s, roads now being reclaimed by natural processes.

Exceptionally rough, scenic and often inaccessible, Sierra Ancha consists of precipitous box canyons, towering vertical cliffs and pine-covered mesas, and ranges in elevation from 4,000 feet near Cherry Creek to above 7,400 feet on several high peaks, reaching the highest point on Aztec Peak at 7,733 feet.

The rugged Sierra Ancha Wilderness was the site of Indian villages during Arizona's prehistoric period; their culture is often called "Salado".   Here the prehistoric Salados culture built and lived in cliff dwellings of which many ruins stand today.  This area is world-renown as some of the best naturally preserved cliff dwellings in the world, occupied during the period  between 1200 and 1300 A.D.  Some of the largest cliff dwellings in North America, the main ruin runs a quarter mile long, and originally held over 100 rooms as a three story structure.

 Because we know so little about the Sierra Ancha cliff dwellings, it is extremely important to preserve and protect anything you may see during your wilderness visit.

Thatched roofs of logs and twigs are fragile, but still standing in some rooms.  Tree ring dating has been used to determine the age of the dwellings.

     

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