DEVIL'S CHASM RUIN IN GILA COUNTY, ARIZONA

The Sierra Ancha Wilderness is located about 100 miles east of Phoenix, between Globe and Young. Though fairly small at 32 square miles, it contains some of the most rugged and inaccessible terrain in Arizona.

Most of the Sierra Ancha Wilderness lies at an elevation of about 7000 feet. But along the eastern border, Cherry Creek has cut a substantial valley down to an elevation of 3000 to 3500 feet. The four thousand foot elevation change from the mesa top to the river results in a series of vertical-walled canyons cutting back into the mesa towards the west. Within these canyons, virtually any south-facing location with a protective overhang and sufficient building space contains a structure of some kind. Two of the most widely publicized sites - Devil's Chasm ruin and the Pueblo Canyon Group - are documented on the following pages.

IMPORTANT RUIN INFORMATION

Physical Address & Contact Info:


South of the Town of Young, AZ Contact: Ranger Station
Phone: (928) 462-4300




Hours of Operation:


There are no set hours for visiting Devils Chasm Ruin. Come at your leisure.




Driving Directions:


From Payson take Highway 260 east to the Young Turn off on top of the Mogollon Rim. Follow it to where you cross Cherry Creek (see instructions below).

From town of Claypool head north on AZ188 towards Roosevelt Lake. Turn right on AZ288 and continue to unpaved Cherry Creek Rd. take a right to FR 203. Drive 19.5 miles on FR 203 to Ellison Ranch on the banks of Cherry Creek.
Cross Cherry Creek and begin the rough portion of the road past the Ellison Ranch for 2.25 miles to another creek. This creek flows out of Devil's Chasm, crosses the road, and goes through an aluminum pipe about 4 feet in diameter on the other side. Park your vehicle and hike up the creek. A very faint trail begins on the left side of the creek and heads up Devil's Chasm.
There is "ample" parking and a small area where people typically overnight camp prior to starting their journey up Devil's Chasm.

From PAYSON (Highway 260 & 87) 65 miles - almost 2 hours From PHX (I-10 & AZ-51) - 126 mi, 3 hours 27 mins
From TUC (Jct 1-10 & Grant) - 150 mi, 4 hours 14 mins
From FLG (Jct I-17 & I-40) - 204 mi, 4 hours 54 mins




Weather:


During the summer months it can be blistering hot. This can bring out the rattle snakes so be carfull. You will want to start early in the morning to beat the head. Winter can be quite cold so have extra clothes if needed. Spring and Fall are quite nice weather months but you will still want to start out early. Make sure you have water and food to eat with you before you set out on the trail.




Fees & Passes:


There is no fee to experience Devils Chasm Ruin.




Visitor Center:


There is no visitors center for this attraction.




Devils Chasm Ruin - Hiking Information:


Hiking Description by Hikearizona.com (sue_hiker):

Devil's Chasm is a well-hidden ruin sitting secretively on a huge cliff in the Sierra Ancha Wilderness in the Tonto National Forest. We decided to do this hike in January 2003. The reason we chose the winter month is that we read in Dave Wilson's " Hiking Ruins Seldom Seen" that this area has an unusually large population of rattlesnakes. ( I recommend you get this book before setting out on this hike )
Because the days are short in January you will have to start early and dress warm as we found out it was quite cold. Most of the trail is in the woods, so not too much sunlight will reach the trail. You also should have a four-wheel drive vehicle in order to maneuver the last couple of miles that take you over some pretty rough and rocky dirt road to the trailhead. Although the trail is only 3 miles round trip it seemed to be one of the most treacherous hikes we did. Initially, the trail is barely marked. Halfway through you wonder if you are still on the right track. From the Trailhead you begin at a creek. Keep to your left until you encounter a huge waterfall, which you need to climb. Obviously it will have to be dry because you will hike inside the fall for a short distance. After the water fall we maneuvered our way across a real thin cliff that proved to be a bit unnerving for one hiker who decided to wait for our return back to this point. Shortly after the cliff, we came across a second waterfall. We all had lunch here while trying to figure out where the trail continued. This proved to be sheer guess work, because from then on you could not tell which way to go. We were climbing, crawling and hanging on to prevent sliding down on the loose steep ground. You will definitely want to bring your hiking pole to keep your footing. Steady yourself with the one pole and use the other hand to grab onto anything you can. The ruin will be located on a huge cliff to your right, appearing out of nowhere. It can't be seen until you get real close to it. We spent a long time at the ruin in awe with its remains. If you look closely you can still see the mud hardened handprints left by the Indians on some of the inside walls. Looking out from the ruins, the scenery was spectacular. Suddenly we realized that we would now have to carefully maneuver our way back down without breaking our necks! It took a while. When we came across the waterfall it appeared to be much more difficult to climb down than on our way up, mostly because by then we were all exhausted and cold. But we went slow and made it down just fine.





Photo Credit:  Arizona Ruins.com

Photo Credit:  Steven C. Price

Photo Credit:  Arizona Ruins.com

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