Follow Me On Twitter

Saturday, October 2, 2010

HART PRAIRIE FALL COLOR REPORT

Just got back from hiking near Hart Prairie north of Flagstaff. Fall foliage color will come about a week later than usual this year due to unseasonably warm temperatures. Higher elevations (Abineau-Bear Jaw, et al) are in bloom this week, however, the meadows below the peaks are still kinda green. This coming weekend (October 9-10) should be spectacular in the lower meadows. Here's a photo from today's hike in Wilson Meadow. MORE PHOTOS: http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=38236&id=1795269672&fbid=1290895131212&ref=mf

Thursday, September 30, 2010

FALL COLOR HIKES

Looking for a great FALL FOLIAGE HIKE? Just click on the "Fall Color" link in the Trail Index column (on the left) of this blog and 92 (count 'em 92) trails with colorful leaves will be displayed. Happy hiking!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

HONANKI HERITAGE SITE

HONANKI HERITAGE SITE Coconino National Forest Our species may have been able to land a man on the moon, but we still haven’t figured out the centuries-old formula for mortar used by Arizona's ancient Sinagua culture. The mighty binder has held up for over 900 years resulting in a remarkably well-preserved collection of cliff dwellings in a remote canyon north of Sedona. A short, mostly shaded dirt path leads to the site which archeologists postulate was home to about 200 people during its heyday. It’s a good idea to either visit the Palatki site first (see blog entry below) or do some independent research before heading to Honanki. That’s because, the rich heritage of this ancient abode runs long and deep and knowing something of the history will enhance your visit. In addition to being expert architects, the people who created Honanki also were masters of earth and sky as evidenced in petroglyphs/pictographs depicting celestial events, and calendars that decorate the wall of the ruins. LENGTH: 0.25 one-way RATING: easy ELEVATION: 4,700 – 4,750 feet BEST SEASONS: September - May DISTANCE FROM PHOENIX: 142 miles one-way GETTING THERE: From the “Y” intersection of Highways 179 and 89A, go left through the traffic circle and head south on 89A (toward Cottonwood). Continue 3.2 miles to Dry Creek Road, turn right and go 2.9 miles to a stop sign, veer left and go 1.6 miles to another stop sign, turn left onto FR152C and go 4 miles to FR525. Turn right on FR525 and go 0.1 miles to a fork in the road, veer left and continue on FR 525 to the parking area. The last 6 miles are rough dirt, a high clearance vehicle is recommended. NOTE: once on Dry Creek Road, it’s easy to follow the signs to “Palatki-Honanki”. HOURS: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily. Closed Thanksgiving and Christmas FEE: A Red Rock Pass ($5 daily per vehicle) or equivalent is required. Call to find out what other passes are accepted. FACILITIES: vault toilet, information kiosk. The site is usually not staffed. INFO: http://www.fs.fed.us/r3/coconino/recreation/red_rock/honanki-ruins.shtml, (928) 282-4119 RESERATIONS: not required. PETS: not allowed NOTE: Please respect the cultural and archeological significance of this fragile site. Do not touch the ruins or art and never pick up or remove any artifact. If you feel compelled, you may call the Forest Service to report a “find”, but please, do not touch!! Also, feel free to photograph any low-lifers (and their license plates) you may see defacing the ruins and forward to the Forest Service.

PALATKI HERITAGE SITE

PALATKI HERITAGE SITE Coconino National Forest For centuries, Native American cultures including the Clovis, Southern Sinagua (ancestors of the Hopi people) and Tonto Apache have inhabited the cliffs of Arizona’s Verde Valley. For most of the 11,000 years that the area around Palatki teemed with life, the climate was much cooler and wetter than it is today and the vast fields in Red Canyon yielded crops of beans, corn and grains. Then came the drought of 1276-1299 and the clans scrambled. Some stayed longer, but eventually, around 1400, the Sinagua abandoned the site. From the mid 15th century until 1875, the Tonto Apache inhabited the cliffs. Then, European settlers showed up with fruit trees. What remains is a rich historical site with some of the best Native American pictographs in the Southwest. Faint images from the Archaic period (11,500 – 8,000 B.C.E. ) mingle with painted flute players and charcoal drawings made by more recent Apache people. The site also features “Willard Cave” where the European settler Charles Willard lived for about a year while building his nearby homestead in the early 1920s. Visitors may enter the cave, provided the resident bats are feeling hospitable. The site has two 0.25-mile trails. One leads to a series of alcoves and the pictographs. The other goes to some cliff dwellings. Forest service guides are very knowledgeable and put on a thoroughly enjoyable tour that lasts roughly 2 hours. On the day we visited, the trail to the dwellings was closed due to rock slide danger and signs posted elsewhere warned that either trail could be closed at any time for safety reasons and/or maintenance, so it’s a good idea to call ahead if you’re hell-bent on seeing everything. LENGTH: 1 mile total (two trails) RATING: easy (some rocky steps) ELEVATION: 4,800 – 4,850 feet BEST SEASONS: September - May DISTANCE FROM PHOENIX: 137 miles one-way GETTING THERE: From the “Y” intersection of Highways 179 and 89A, go left through the traffic circle and head south on 89A (toward Cottonwood). Continue 3.2 miles to Dry Creek Road, turn right and go 2.9 miles to a stop sign, veer left and go 1.6 miles to another stop sign, turn left onto FR152C and go 4 miles to FR525. Turn right on FR525 and go 0.1 miles to a fork in the road, veer right onto FR795 and continue 1.7 miles to the parking area. The last 6 miles are rough dirt, a high clearance vehicle is recommended. NOTE: once on Dry Creek Road, it’s easy to follow the signs to “Palatki”. HOURS: 9:30 a.m. to 3:00 pm daily. The site is closed on Thanksgiving and Christmas and when the access roads are impassable due to snow or storm damage. Call (928) 282-4119 for current conditions. FEE: A Red Rock Pass ($5 daily per vehicle) or equivalent is required. Call to find out what other passes are accepted. FACILITIES: Vault toilet, hand pump for water, visitor center. Forest Service staff stays on site. INFO: http://www.fs.fed.us/r3/coconino/recreation/red_rock/palatki-ruins.shtml RESERVATIONS: Call Palatki at (928) 282-3854 between 9:30 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. to make a reservation. Reservations are highly recommended---without them, you may be turned away at the gate. PETS: not allowed NOTE: Please respect the cultural and archeological significance of this fragile site. Do not touch the ruins or art and never pick up or remove any artifact. If you feel compelled, you may call the Forest Service to report a “find”, but please, do not touch!! Also, feel free to photograph any low-lifers (and their license plates) you may see defacing the ruins and forward to the Forest Service. MORE PHOTOS:http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.1285662400397.37888.1795269672&type=1&l=2a2cfde131