Today we drove about 12 miles west of Cortez to hike the Sand Canyon Trail in the Canyons of the Ancients National Monument.
The total trail is about 10 km each way and is quite flat. It works its way along a wall, that has several ruins, over to Sand Canyon and then follows the canyon rim. There are a bunch of short side trails that take you out to the interesting sights.
We went about 3.5 km and made it to the canyon rim for a look before we turned around.
It was the coolest night we have had in quite a while as it got down to 10C. The temperature this morning fooled us. By the time we got to the trailhead it was very hot again with no wind.
The parking area is on the slickrock and is kind of rough.
There was virtually no shade anywhere on the trail unless you wanted to sit under a tree. Also, not a lot of people as we only saw 4 people on the trail itself.
Around behind this rock there was a small ruin.
We started to hear a loud buzzing.
It seemed to be coming from all around us but we got close to one dead tree and it was almost deafening. We stared and stared trying to figure out where it was coming from.
I have never heard cicadas before but WOW are they loud.
One group emerges in a 13 year cycle and another on a 17 year cycle. I had heard that this was one of the years but I didn’t think they were around here. I thought they were just in the east.
If they were around my house it would drive me crazy. They were only in a small area of the trail. Once we crossed this large section of slickrock we heard a few and then there were none.
Then we started following the wall. There were lots of interesting shapes and nooks and crannies.
The eyes looking down on us.
The trail was well marked and each spur trail had one of these posts.
There was a small ruin up in the side of this alcove.
The remains of something circular.
More colourful lizards.
Another ruin is this very small alcove.
An interactive panorama around this ruin.
We found a bit of quickly disappearing shade under these rocks and had lunch.
Onward to the canyon rim.
This is where we turned around. It was just too hot for us to continue much farther.
We had taken lots of water with us but once again the ice water from the cooler back in the car tasted amazing.
We headed back to the RV and just crashed into bed for almost 2 hours. I guess it was the heat but this one took a lot out of us.