Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Sand Canyon Pueblo - Canyon of the Ancients.

Until recently, the only way we knew of going to Sand Canyon Pueblo was doing the 6.5 mile hike (one way) from the entrance off Road G.  That is until we found the shortcut (look at my map on the Painted Hand Pueblo post) using Road P, a quick turn onto Road 18, and then onto Road N to the entrance (a total of 9 miles from Route 491).  Where is Road P in the first place? About halfway between Route 184 which leads to the Anasazi Heritage Center, and the junction of Routes 491 and 160 in Cortez, CO.  By the way, there is a picnic table at the trailhead, so take advantage of this opportunity to sit under the trees and listen to the quiet.

This trail has two parts also, since the area the pueblo stood on was massive - 420 rooms, 100 kivas and 14 towers; making this community larger than the Cliff Palace at Mesa Verde.  There are informational signs all along the trail, so you'll get a good understanding of what you are looking at, even though it might just be a pile of rubble.  Before you begin hiking, one informational board will encourage you to say something to the spirits of the area; a prayer, kind words, whatever moves you.  That whisper you just heard in the slight breeze that just went by; they're giving you a blessing also.

Pay Respects to the Spirits.

The entire hike will be about 3 miles roundtrip; we went left (East) first towards the towers; take time to see the canyon views these people long pass saw everyday of their lives.

That short hike to and from the towers was only about a half mile roundtrip; the majority of the ruins will be to the right (West); don't forget to admire those canyon views.

Pit Cover with Logs

Central Plaza

Looking across the canyon at the towers.

Algae on the stones creates its own artwork.
Its very quiet in this area, so when birds begin singing, it's pure music.

Next post will be about the trailhead from Road G, so stay tuned.

Mary Cokenour

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