Overgaard Things to Do

  • Things to Do
    by Yaqui
  • Things to Do
    by Yaqui
  • Things to Do
    by Yaqui

Most Recent Things to Do in Overgaard

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    How Long Has It Been?~Stop 4

    by Yaqui Updated Dec 1, 2013

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    There is a series of historical plaques on Black Canyon road. The road is dirt, but most vehicles can drive down it. Yet, beaware that some of these roads or trails, are not two wheel drive worthy. Some require all wheel drive and high clearance. We traveled probably 50 miles along on one particular road and it dipped steeply and if it had started to rain would make traveling along it questionable. So keep that in mind.

    What is unique along this road are historical plaques of some of the many interesting facts for this area. I always make a point to stop and read them. We traveled from my sisters house so we came from another direction and area.

    Stop 4: How Long Has It Been? This valley was once filled with homes......

    Full of hope in the spring of 1883 Sadie Richardson arrived at the townsite of Wilford with her husband and four other Mormon families.

    They built cabins and corrals for their cattle. They cleared the land and planted corn, potatoes, wheat, squash, melons, and popcorn.

    Sadie once described her new home..."as the prettiest place you ever dreamed of. It was built in the shade of the pine trees, in a little cove, and on each side of the house grew large grapevines, and those grapes made the most delicious jelly. Mmmm! Little winding paths led to the spring in the side of the creek that was hidden by a large Button Willow that grew at the side of it and shaded it by the tall grass that bent over the spring! The sun never shone on the spring and the water was as cold as anybody could want to drink."

    Sadie and her family remained for two more years. Her husband was frequently away on mission leaving Sadie at age 17 to care for 2 small children, the farm, the cattle and the family finances.

    Half of the residents left Wilford 2 years later with the enforcement of the Edmund's Bill. Arrests were made for plural marriages during this time and the Mormon chuch in Salt Lake City urged people to move to Chihuahua, Mexico and build a city of refuge.

    Gradually, Hashknife cowboys and others took over the abandoned cabins. Their large numbers of cattle stripped the once lush valley. The cowboys managed to frighten away all of the remaining Mormon settlers, but the town of Wilford wasn't completely abandoned until 1926. Jounrney Through Time by the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest.

    You can get a Black Canyon Auto Tour map from the Black Mesa Ranger Station.

    We have All-Wheel-Drive vehicle
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    Wild Flowers~

    by Yaqui Updated Oct 27, 2013

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    Within the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest are some open fields (sadly due to fires) yet, they are filled with beautiful fields of wild flowers. If your ever in this area, make a point to head down one of trails and see some of their yearly beautiful wild flowers. Stop at the ranger station to get you some maps so you do not get lost.

    Black Mesa Ranger Districts
    P.O. Box 968 (mailing address)
    2748 East AZ 260 (physical address)
    Overgaard, AZ 85933
    Voice: (928) 535-7300

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    Hidden Fort near stop 1?

    by Yaqui Written Oct 27, 2013

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    When stopped at Marker Stop 1 the site of the old ranger station, my brother in law wanted to explore the trail. My sister didn't feel like it, and wanted to chat with my hubby, so I said lets go! I jumped into their Cat (ATV) and off we went. Although, the ranger cabin is long gone, but knew there was something down the road since there is a blue diamond on the tree marking the trail if your so inclined to do so.

    Hidden behind some huge boulders was a structure someone put up either for fun or to create a little camp area for themselves. It was fun to explore it and we found what appeared to be a old water tank that blends into the rock croppings. So its worth exporing the trails.

    You can get a map called the Black Canyon Audio Tour from the Black Mesa Ranger Station.

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    • Historical Travel
    • Family Travel

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    Travel on a Journey Through Time~Stop 1

    by Yaqui Written Oct 27, 2013

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    From 1915 to 1949 the Heber Ranger Station Stood at this site.
    The year is 1910 and you decide you'd like to be a Forest Service Ranger. To pass the test you'll need to know the local country, be able to take care of yourself and your horses, stand up to severe physical hardships, live under any condition, make your own food, and engage in combat when needed. You take on the job knowing that most Rangers who came before you only made it for a couple of years, and some for only a few months. The isolation and hard work eventually just got to folks.

    Because the station was so close to the cliffs, it was said that "the sun didn't rise til noon and went down about 3:30."

    Can you find clues that a ranger station once stood here?

    Early rangers were a unique group who came from many backgrounds including prospectors, lumbermen, farmers, cowboys, gunmen, and a sprinkling of professors and newspaper men.

    In 1915 Rangers were paid $75 a month and had to own and take care of 2 to 6 horses.

    Rangers covered vast roadless areas alone. All work was done on horseback. If a fire broke, a ranger whould grab his axe and saw and head out on his horse to put it out by himself. Phone lines were a constant chore and required frequent repairs. Phone insulators and wire can still be found strung across the forest today. Other duties were building trails, reporting abandoned homesteads, squaters and illegal fences, re-blazing survey lines, piling and burning brush, and managing timber sales.

    Journey Through Time by the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest.

    You can get a map called the Black Canyon Audio Tour from the Black Mesa Ranger Station.

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    Can You Read the Rocks....?~Stop 2 (Part 2)

    by Yaqui Updated Oct 27, 2013

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    The paintings are gorgeous and special!!!

    "Please do not touch the pictographs. Oil from human skin will damage them and can interfere with dating methods. Do not deface this artwork by adding your own. These irresplaceable masterpieces are easily destroyed."

    Just follow the small trail and look for the blue diamonds on the trees. The trail is very rocky and steep so please be careful. The rockpainting is underneath a rock cropping and the drop off is dangerous and it is not allowed to be climbed.

    You can get a map called the Black Canyon Audio Tour from the Black Mesa Ranger Station.

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    Can You Read the Rocks....?~Stop 2 (Part 1)

    by Yaqui Written Oct 27, 2013

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    It was fun climbing the trail and my sister went way ahead up the very steep trail looking for the paintings. I came up behind her, but for some reason I stopped thinking it has to be near where I was standing. I looked to my right and there they were kind of hidden underneath a rock cropping which was intended to protect the paintings by the original artist. I shouted out to my sister, that the paintings were down here, and heard $%^#@!....lol! While taking pictures, everyone else who were traveling along the road stopped to see what we were doing. So many had no idea they were there....hmmm...hence, read the historical plaques because you never know what you may find!!!!

    These pictographs were made by Native Americans some 800 to 2,000 years ago.

    How were they made?
    Paint was made from powdered minerals, charcoal or crushed plants and mixed with a binder such as saliva, blood or vegetable juices. A yucca leaf chewed and frayed at the end made a good paint brush.

    What do they mean?
    Religous Beliefs....
    Many pictographs have been indentified by Native Americans as representing sacred beings or ceremonies.

    History...
    Pictographs may tell the story of a noteworthy event, like a successful hunt. Spirals, like the one depicted here, symbolize the travels or migrations of a clan.

    Signs...
    Other pictographs appear to be trail markers. They may also have marked territorial claims or the presence of water.

    Calendars....
    Some pictographs were situated so that shadows or sunlight are cast on the images in a certain way only on the solstice or equinox. Archeologists believe these pictographs served as calendars for the Mogollon Indians who lived here long ago.

    Legends...
    These are pictorgraphs that illustrate characters or event and traditional legends

    Good Luck Charm...
    Frequently, big game are painted. These may have been created to encourage fertility or a successful hunt.

    Journey Through Time by the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest

    "Please do not touch the pictographs. Oil from human skin will damage them and can interfere with dating methods. Do not deface this artwork by adding your own. These irresplaceable masterpieces are easily destroyed."

    Just follow the small trail and look for the blue diamonds on the trees. The trail is very rocky and steep so please be careful. The rockpainting is underneath a rock cropping and the drop off is dangerous and it is not allowed to be climbed.

    You can get a map called the Black Canyon Audio Tour from the Black Mesa Ranger Station.

    It's high and steep!
    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Road Trip
    • Family Travel

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    Imagine Youself Here Some Nine Hundred Years Ago

    by Yaqui Written Oct 27, 2013

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    Stop 3: The smell of burning pinyon lingers in the air. You've just enjoyed a bowl of corn meal mush. The corn has been stored since last season and still feeds the family.

    Fall is coming. Soon it will be time to gather pinyon nuts and walnuts.

    A young woman sits in the cool shade of the rock shelter coiling clay into a beautifully shaped bowl. Her grandmother paints a bold black design on a clay jar.

    Two men approach the cliff with bows and arrows. They have several rabbits and a turkey in hand. Maybe they will kill a deer soon.

    Below you in the flood plain a woman tends her garden. It has been a wet summer and she is pleased by the large corn plants that surround her.

    An older man paints a lizard-man on the ceiling of the shelter. He tells you that this is the way people looked in the beginning.

    Below the shelter you hear the clink of rock hitting rock. A young boy tries his had at making an arrown point. Journey Through Time by the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest.

    You can get a Black Canyon Auto Tour map from the Black Mesa Ranger Station.

    If you follow the trail, the ruins are along the bottom of the rock overhang. Look for the blue diamond on a tree, it will tell you if your going down the right trail.

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    Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest

    by Yaqui Written Oct 20, 2013

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    Named after a government topographical engineer, Captain Lorenzo Sitgreaves, who conducted the first scientific expedition across Arizona in the 1850's. Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest has 34 lakes and reservoirs and more than 680 miles of rivers and streams. Spanish explorer Francisco Vasquez de Coronado in 1540 travel through this area and wrote how beautiful and vast the forest was. Trapper James Ohio Pattis in 1825 settled here and fell in love with the clear rivers, beautiful vegetation and the abundant wild game.

    There is abundance of trails to hike, horseback, bike ride, AVT's, or just drive your private vehicle like we did. It is a much loved area for all the locals and those who come here to enjoy the beauty and escape the city life. Make sure to stop by any of the helpful rangers stations to get a map and make sure you never venture out by yourself.

    Ranger District Offices:
    Alpine Ranger District
    P.O. Box 469 (mailing address)
    42634 Hwy. 180/191 (physical address)
    Alpine, AZ 85920
    Voice: (928) 339-5000
    TTY: (928) 339-4566

    Black Mesa Ranger Districts
    P.O. Box 968 (mailing address)
    2748 East AZ 260 (physical address)
    Overgaard, AZ 85933
    Voice: (928) 535-7300

    Clifton Ranger District
    397240 AZ 75
    Duncan, AZ 85534
    Voice: (928) 687-8600
    TTY: (928) 687-1807

    Lakeside Ranger District
    2022 W White Mtn. Bl.
    Lakeside, AZ 85929
    Voice: (928) 368-2100
    TTY: (928) 368-5088

    Springerville Ranger District
    P.O. Box 760 (mailing address)
    165 S. Mountain Ave. (physical address)
    Springerville, AZ 85938
    Voice: (928) 333-6200
    TTY: (928) 333-5397

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    • Road Trip
    • Historical Travel

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