Friday, March 9, 2012

Celebrate Arizona Archaeology and Heritage Awareness Month

BLM Celebrates Archaeology Month with Statewide Events

Phoenix  The Bureau of Land Management is celebrating Arizona Archaeology and Heritage Awareness Month by offering a series of free events throughout Arizona this month.

March 10                     Tours:  Historic Empire Ranch House

11:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m.  The event is sponsored by the BLM Tucson Field Office and Empire Ranch Foundation (ERF).  Docent-led tours will visit the historic 22-room Ranch House and surrounding buildings.  The Empire Ranch House dates to 1870 and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.  The ranch sits at the heart of the BLM’s 42,000-acre Las Cienegas National Conservation Area.  Directions: 30 miles southeast of Tucson; take I-10 east to exit 281, Scenic Highway 83 (Sonoita), and go 18 miles to just past milepost 40.  Turn left at the sign.  Contact website for reservations and more information or call the ERF at 888-364-2829.


March 10                     Walking Tour:  Sanchez Civilian Conservation Corps Camp

7:00 am.  The BLM Safford Field Office will host a walking tour, led by archaeologist Dan McGrew.  Participants will help with litter cleanup at this significant historic site, followed by a tour of the area, which is the best-preserved CCC camp in Arizona.  High-clearance vehicle recommended. Bring hat, water, a sack lunch and walking shoes.  Meet at the BLM office: 711 14th Avenue in Safford.  Contact: Dan McGrew, 928-348-4466 or

March 17                     Archaeological Site Tour: West Branch Pueblo and Maze Rock Art Site

10 a.m.–2:00 p.m.  The Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) Vermilion Cliffs National Monument, Friends of the Cliffs, Dixie/Arizona Strip Interpretive Association, and Kaibab-Vermilion Cliffs Heritage Alliance will sponsor a history day and field tour starting at the Condor Viewing Area in House Rock Valley between Marble Canyon and Jacob Lake.  View the Condor Release Site on top of the Vermilion Cliffs and see traces of the Honeymoon Trail/Old Arizona Road in the valley.  The archaeological field tour of West Bench Pueblo and the Maze Rock Art Site in Vermilion Cliffs National Monument will begin from the Condor Viewing Area at 11 am.  The tour includes a short, one mile round trip hike to archeological sites of interest.  No reservations are necessary; simply show up at the Condor Release Site.  Families are welcome and activities for children will be available.  Parties with historic information (Vermilion Cliffs National Monument, Kaibab Plateau/Buckskin Mountain or House Rock Valley) are asked to share their information at the event or contact Diana Hawks at (435) 688-3266, email or Milt Hokanson at (435) 688-3385, email
March 24:              Hike: 1891 Schoolhouse Site and River Bend Petroglyph Site
9:00 a.m.  The BLM Hassayampa Field Office and Friends of the AFNM are sponsoring a hike.  The hike will start at the 1891 Schoolhouse site and proceed along the scenic Agua Fria River to view the River Bend petroglyphs.  This is an easy, two-mile, riparian hike –weather-permitting.  Reservations are required, as tour is limited to 15 people. Bring water, lunch, hiking shoes, and sunscreen.  To reserve your place and receive directions contact or


Tuesdays in March                  Guided Tours:  Historic Swansea Mining Townsite

10:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m.  The BLM Colorado River District’s Lake Havasu Field Office invites participates to see remnants of a small town that began 100 years ago and became known for its copper mining and smelter.  Southeast of Parker, take Highway 95 to Shea Road east and follow signs to Swansea (graded dirt roads until last five miles).  High-clearance vehicle is helpful, but not required.  Bring water and hiking shoes.  Contact: Dr. George Shannon, 928-505-1255, or Mike Riddle, 928-716-2723,

Throughout March                  Hikes: Rock Art Site Tours

Call for dates and times.  The BLM Colorado River District’s Kingman Field Office is offering hikes throughout March, led by BLM archaeologist Tim Watkins.  A high-clearance vehicle is needed.  Bring water, sunscreen and hiking shoes.  Suitable for children 8+ years of age.  Meet at the Kingman Field Office, 2755 Mission Blvd.  Contact: Tim Watkins, 928-718-3757 or
Complete information about these and many more Arizona Archaeology and Heritage Awareness Month events can be found at

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