Friday, May 18, 2012

Pedro Point Southwest

The Pedro Point area has one of the easiest to find of the larger unpublicized Ancestral Pueblo Ruins sites in the Canyons of the Ancients National Monument in southwest Colorado. The BLM road marked 4720, a west turn from County Road 10 leads about 3 miles to the site.

Road 4720 is a good road to hike on and is also a designated route that can be driven, though it is bumpy. I started my hike at the Pedro Point site and hiked south, looking along the rims of the several side canyons of Cross Canyon that are in this area.

After a few minutes of hiking I found this small wall on the bank of a small drainage. It’s hard to guess what this could be. I didn't see anything else in the vicinity.

On the west side of a moderately large side canyon there was another small puzzling wall section. 

I walked further south along this side canyon rim to some good view points but didn't see any other structures. This side canyon was crossable, so I continued east to the west rim of the very large side canyon that runs southwest to northeast and divides the area south of the Pedro Point Road.

Hiking northeast along the canyon rim, there are good canyon views but I didn’t notice any other structures. Eventually I intersected the Pedro Point Road about 0.5 miles east of the Pedro Point Ruins site. At this point, there is an old stock pond with some Cottonwood trees growing.

Rather than follow the road back west to my starting point, I decided to walk the short distance north to the south rim of the McLean Basin. About 100 yards northwest of the old stock pond, there is a large circular rubble pile site. This site is close to the road but not visible if you are on the road.

Continuing west along the rocky rim, there is a large boulder with a small wall section on one corner. There wasn’t any fallen rubble below the boulder. This looked like a building effort that started and then was quickly abandoned.

From the rim it is possible to see the road below and the starting point of the trail that leads up the green strip of Cross Canyon. To the east, the elusive McLean Basin Towers are visible with binoculars below cliffs as the road climbs to the mesa top.

The Pedro Point site is only a few minutes hiking further west. My total hike took 3:10 hours for about 4 miles. It was 68 F degrees at 10:30 AM and 80 F at 1:40 PM. I carried and drank 3 liters of water. In mid May there were a few of the dreaded June biting gnats in the afternoon.

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