Fishmouth cave ruins

Stephen Fischer Photography

Fishmouth cave at the end of this hike is large. You can see it from miles away out on the Butler Wash road. On the hike out to it (about 1.5 miles) you will encounter a couple of smaller ruin sites. They are somewhat interesting, but there are plenty of signs that these particular ruins have been plundered and thoroughly picked through in the past by pot hunters. Despite this, we did find a few old corn cobs (image 5), pottery shards and flint rock (image 2) in both the lower ruins and up at the main cave itself.  All were discovered in plain view without disturbing the sites.  The corn cob depicted below is something I stumbled across while scrambling up a fairly steep ledge off of the main trail, so perhaps that is why it was still intact after all this time.  Don found one in the lower ruin earlier that we debated the merits of its age. One thing we noticed in both of them to substantiate an older date was their unusually small size. 

The hike up to the main cave is steep.  There is not much inside beyond admiring the vastness of its size, other than a large amount of vandalism including modern graffiti and signs of more recent human defecation.  After Don shouted this observation down to me, I focused on reaching a couple ruins I spied out on the northern wall. These are more difficult to reach given the steepness of the cliff and looseness of the rock debris. The one furthest out that I coined the 'Eagles nest' (images 6 and 7) is tucked in rather tightly and looks to be designed as a defensive fortification (there is no sign of a roof). There is even a small spring seeping out of the cave wall close by that one could use to stay holed up and sustain themselves for a long time if necessary.

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All content and images are property of Stephen Fischer Photography, copyright 2011.   Last updated: 5/19/2011