Sunday, February 17, 2013

Coconino National Forest: Bell Trail

After checking out the very interesting V-V Heritage Site I made the short drive over to the the Bell Trail trailhead for a hike along Wet Beaver Creek. The hike started out on a wide trail, more like an old road actually, far from the creek.
Bell Trail photo BellTrail_zps4bb7a696.jpg
According to a sign at the start of the trail, the Bell Trail was built in 1932 by Charles bell to move cattle up and down the Mogollon Rim. As I hiked the trail there were plenty of distant views of the red rock canyon up ahead. Not long after the start of the hike I noticed a large basalt boulder near the side of the trail, after passing it I turned around to have a look at the other side of it, and sure enough I found some faint petroglyphs pecked into it.
Petroglyph Boulder photo Petroglyphs_zps7863195a.jpg

After passing the petroglyph boulder I started to get closer to the creek, though the trail climbed high above it.
Red Trail photo RedTrail_zps86e25bd4.jpg
Looking Upcanyon photo LookingUpstream_zpsc9bfb582.jpg
There were lots of great views of the surrounding Red Rock Country.
Red Rock Bluff photo RedRockBluff_zpsd090b844.jpg
Hiker on Trail photo AnotherHiker_zps79f8873d.jpg
I followed the trail higher and higher up the canyon.
Above Wet Beaver Creek photo highAboveWetBeaverCreek_zpsf823900c.jpg
Eventually the trail descended to Wet Beaver Creek.
Wet Beaver Creek photo WetBeaverCreek_zpsb2c2ddd6.jpg
The trail crossed the creek and continued on the other side. I thought about continuing on as well, but the water was high, swift and cold. It would have been a difficult crossing. Instead of crossing I rested at a campsite for a bit and then started heading back to the car.

The views on the way back were just as spectacular as on the way in.
Another Hiker on Trail photo HikeronTrail_zpsdccd277f.jpg
Because the way back was downhill, the going went pretty quickly.
Looking Downcanyon photo LookingDownstream_zps4bad9bd4.jpg
As I got down out of the canyon section and back onto the wide section of trail near the start, I saw something intriguing that I had somehow missed on the way in. It was a jumbled pile of stone and I immediately recognized it as the site of a pueblo. Sure enough as I inspected the site I found an intact section of stone wall,
Ruin Wall photo PuebloRuins_zps12cba559.jpg
some pottery sherds,
Pottery photo PotterySherds_zps279b990c.jpg
and a collapsed section of stone wall as well.
Collapsed Pueblo Wall photo CollapsedRuinWall_zps86645e2e.jpg
I guess the more time one spend in archeological sites in the Southwest, the easier it is to identify such sites.

From the pueblo site it was a quick walk back to the car for a drive south towards Phoenix.             

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