On a previous hike that I called “Sand Canyon East Rim Exploring” I had started at the North Trail Head and climbed out of the canyon bottom a few hundred yards north of this point onto the shoulder where there is a drill hole service road. The East Sand Canyon Trail allows a close up view of the sites that I had previously viewed from a canyon rim above.
The East Sand Canyon Trail turns back south and passes by three side canyons that hold small ruins sites. The trail is on the shoulder above the canyon bottom, just as the main Sand Canyon Trail is. The first side canyon is the one that I had viewed from above previously and has five sites, all in south facing alcoves. The trail doesn’t go directly past these sites and there isn’t a spur trail that I could find. The first site is one that I called the 5th site when I viewed them from the upper end of the side canyon.
It sits up high with steep slopes in front. I looked around for an easy way up but didn’t see one so I just viewed from below. All of the vegetation made it hard to get a good angle for a close up picture. From below, it looks like this site is the best preserved of any of the small sites in the Sand Canyon area.
It took me 3:30 hours to get to the third side canyon petroglyph site. From here a hiker can either retrace back to the trail head or continue south on the drill hole road that runs along the east side of this side canyon.
I took the drill hole road, but it eventually leaves the Canyons of the Ancients territory and passes through private property. It reaches County Road G about 0.5 miles east of the Sand Canyon Trail Head. My total hike for about 8 miles and 6 ruins sites took 5:15 hours. It was 70 F degrees at 8:30 AM in mid July and mostly cloudy with some breeze but cleared off and was about 90 F at 1:45 PM when I finished. I carried 3 liters of water and drank it all.