My trip out to the Agua Fria – uh, I mean the Ahhhhhhhhhhgua Fria…..Arizona!
I recently had a rare opportunity to go deep into the Agua Fria National Monument here in Arizona. The
“Agua Fria”, as it is known locally, is just a stones throw (kind of) from my home in Scottsdale but I felt like I was hundreds of miles from the civilized world and that is very OK with me. Not only was the Agua Fria – or as I now call it the “Ahhhhhhhgua Fria” – VERY beautiful but it was also very “Fria”…….which means cold in Spanish. A bit of a cold front had gone through Arizona a few days earlier and the cold wind was howling up on this windswept mesa. It sure lived up to it’s name…brrrrrr!
If you aren’t already familiar with this amazing unit of the BLM and National Landscape Conservation System just a quick 40 miles north of the Scottsdale/Phoenix area – let me enlighten you. If you have driven north on I-17 towards Flagstaff then you have no doubt passed right through this amazing and rather “shy” Monument – there is a sign along the highway but this rugged and remote 71,000 – acre environment doesn’t scream out at you to come in and play unless you have an adventurous soul…..which luckily I do.
I ventured into “The Agua Fria” with a group of adventurous souls for a night of camping and then a day of rugged exploring into what turned out to be a virtual “Garden of Eden” in the middle of an arid prickly pear landscape. As we made our way down into this amazing canyon on our morning hike we passed by archaeological finds that boggled my mind – grinding stones just left in the grinding holes as if these people suddenly vanished off of the face of the earth. Archaic petroglyphs pecked into large stones that have stood the test of time for some 2000 years – WOW! So much to see and think about as I hiked – rock hopping from boulder to boulder down the wash and deep into the canyon. While many of the monuments archaeological sites are in remote and inaccessible areas damage and looting has occurred at some of them. As part of our nation’s heritage it is imperative that these prehistoric and historic sites remain untouched and protected – PLEASE help protect them! Remember, it’s BAD karma, not to mention it’s illegal, to take anything…..just sayin’!
Suffice it to say this was an amazing and quick trip but such a RICH trip. The photo opportunities were everywhere and I could go on and on about this national treasure but I won’t bore you with words. Below are more photos of the beautiful “Agua Fria” – I hope you have a chance to explore for yourself one day. I am sure you will agree that the name “Ahhhhhhhhgua Fria” is a perfect fit when you return home relaxed and recharged…..Ma Nature has a way of doing that. Thanks for letting me tag along….I will be back for MORE explorations into this land of rugged beauty and awe-inspiring archaeological wonders!
For more information about Agua Fria National Monument click here – now get out and enjoy those WILD places and don’t forget to take your camera. Remember to take only photos and leave only footprints!
Happy exploring – Cheyenne