Sierra Anchas

Four days in the Sierra Anchas east of Roosevelt lake exploring the Sonoran Desert and highlands near Young, AZ.  Swimming in crystal clear creeks in slot canyons, biking in the forest, and hiking to very remote, hard to access Indian ruins.  One of our best outings yet.

Commuting stop for lunch at the Salt River

Heading up 2,500ft to Parker Creek area.

Short drive on dirt to an amazing campsite.

Look closely.

Spider hole/web

Parker Canyon

More blooming flowers.

Roosevelt Lake in background.

Heading out to the higher ground near Young, AZ.

Hard to get pictures in action.......

A flower we haven't seen yet, similar to Hedgehog, but red, not purple.

Found our swimming hole.

Cold, but pleasant with sun and temps in the 80's.

Up around 6,000ft in the blink of an eye, and into entirely different terrain and temps.

Briefly stopped in Young, AZ, then left.

The drive seemed like something you'd find in Colorado, not Arizona.  Twisty roads, forested, mountainous, and quite scenic.

Next campsite had  a bonus river nearby.

The following morning bath site.

Unusually green for AZ.

Heading in 24 miles to Cherry Creek.  The last two miles took nearly an hour.

Lunch site.

Cherry Creek.

One lane, rough, slow going.

Devil's Chasm, where the indian ruins are, WAY up there.

That's not gonna work!

In camp leveling.

And a little bouldering.

Short hike up Devil's Chasm.

Morning hike/slog up to the Salado Ruins.  Stiff hike, very steep, and keeps the riff/raff out.  The ruins are well preserved, and a very special place.  A totally different feel than the commercialized ruins you find elsewhere.

The hike up was just as amazing as the ruins.

The ruins can be seen bottom left of the cliff.  The approach, if you were hostile, wouldn't be wise.  The Salado would see or here you, and it would be easy for them to trounce you.  It's so steep and overgrown getting  up there, then there's a small ledge traversing to the housing units.....great location.


Morning sun.  This is 7:00am in April.

Looking through the three rooms/doors.  Tiny little openings.  How small were the Salado?

I'm assuming, perhaps naively, that this is all the original stuff.  This place is so inaccessible, it's hard to imagine any work has been done to restore it.

Blooming ocotillo.


  1. Amazing stuff Derek! All I can think is that's one luck kid.



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Now living in Juneau, Alaska. Trying to absorb as much of this state as we can, before our time here ends.