Here we have made it to the top and are looking back down the way we came. Go down, through the V, turn right and hike another mile!
Fort Bowie ruins as you come up on them from the trail. Here they actually look a lot more impressive than they do once you actually get to the very top.
The ruins viewed from just below the Visitor’s Center, looking more to the east.
And the same ruins, only looking more to the west (notice the flag pole in both pictures, which was about in the center of the fort area. It really was a very large complex, with buildings encompassing the whole flatter area, including officers quarters, soldiers quarters, the commander’s house, a school, a hospital, a general store, stables, etc., everything one would need to survive so far from civilization.
Here is the view at the Visitor’s center, looking down into the valley to the east. We hiked up from a point somewhat to the west of the hill on the left, but we did not begin anywhere near the low elevation of the valley, thank goodness!
Trekking back down, I took pictures of the examples of Indian housing that are displayed along the trail. This would have been their winter home; you can see the tarp on the side, showing how the Chiricahua would have covered the grass sides of the hut with animal skins.
And here a ramada, which is where the Indians would have spent the summer. This would be much cooler than the winter hut, although I am not sure how dry it would be during the summer monsoons!
We arrived back to the parking lot, alive! Actually the trip back was much easier, as it was mostly going down in elevation. And we did make it back before sunset, although only by about twenty minutes!
And one last picture, looking back to where we had just hiked. You can see that the valley is mostly in shadows now. As we were walking the last segment, you could definitely notice the coolness of the air when you hit the shady areas. This desert air cools down so quickly when the sun goes down!
All in all it was a very nice walk, but boy were we sore for the next couple of days. I definitely felt like I got just a tad bit more sun than I am used to. But we did enjoy ourselves and are trying to find some similar length hikes that we feel comfortable trying. With the drug trafficking “mule trains” along the border, we feel more comfortable finding places to hike that are many miles north of the border, which rules out a lot of local spots.