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Desert Sunset Hike in Ironwood National Monument, Arizona

Sunset over Ragged Top Mountain, west of Red Rock, AZ

Hill covered with black-crusted granite 13 miles west of Red Rock AZ is the site of numerous petroglyphsThat's Ragged Top Mountain in Pima County, AZ.  You can get there by taking Sasco Road, a straight ribbon of dirt that passes through some of the most pristine desert you'll ever see.  It starts at Interstate 10's Red Rock exit, just south of another of my favorite places, Picacho Peak.

Desert Bighorn Sheep petroglyph image adorns a rock in Pima County, ArizonaPetroglyphs

Yesterday, I spent four enjoyable afternoon hours climbing the hills surrounding Ragged Top Mountain, searching for ancient petroglyphs to add to my photo collection.

This Bighorn Sheep Image on the right graced a rock on that hill pictured on the left.  I found two other images, one a scorpion, and the other a lizard (below, left.) 

Caution:  The area is very remote, and you'll have to ford the flowing Santa Cruz River to get there.  Don't do this without a four wheel drive vehicle like my Ford Explorer.  The water spashed over the hood!

Lizard image, a petroglyph, on a granite boulder

Ancient Indian Culture

These desert scenes aren't any different that they would have been for the ancient ones who lived here centuries ago, and who created these petroglyph images.

I'm glad to walk in the dust of their footsteps.

 

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Mike Jones (Tucson Mortgage Company, LLC): Loan Officer in Tucson, Pima County, Arizona
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photos copyright Mike in Tucson 2009

 

EDIT:  Here are some more posts on Petroglyphs in and around Tucson, AZ

saguaro national park west: Tucson's Signal Hill Petroglyphs - 1,000 Year Old Graffiti

saguaro national park west: Unique Architecture: Ez-Kim-In-Zin Picnic Area In Tucson's Saguaro National Park West

saguaro national park west: Ancient Bloggers: More On The Petroglyphs At Saguaro National Park West

saguaro national park west: Tucson Estates II: The Community and the Mountain Views Sold the House! (LOCALISM FEATURED)

Comment balloon 47 commentsMike Jones • December 06 2009 10:49PM

Comments

And what a photo collection, Mike.  Look at that sky.

Posted by Jane Peters, Los Angeles real estate concierge services (Home Jane Realty) almost 11 years ago

Jane,

Thanks for being the first to comment~

Mike in Tucson

Posted by Mike Jones, Mike Jones NMLS 223495 (SUNSTREET MORTGAGE, LLC (BK-0907366, NMLS 145171) ) almost 11 years ago

Mike,

I pray that's a sunset!

If not we've got big trouble!

Bill

Posted by William J. Archambault, Jr. (The Real Estate Investment Institute ) almost 11 years ago

Don't look now, but your sky is on fire--breathtakingly so!  (Is breathtakingly a word?)

Posted by Sherry Siegel, Managing Broker, EcoBroker, ABR (BrokersGroup, serving Sequim and Port Angeles) almost 11 years ago

We have been looking for a logo for our assisted living home in Benson Mike.  Are your photos available for commercial sale or reproduction? 

 

Your Friend In Benson,

 

John

Posted by John Hurbon almost 11 years ago

Hi Mike,

Spectacular photos, sound like you had a great time.

Posted by Lynda Eisenmann, Broker-Owner,CRS,CDPE,GRI,SRES, Brea,CA, Orange Co (Preferred Home Brokers) almost 11 years ago

Spectacular Photo's Mike. Ragged Top sounds like a great place to spend an afternoon communing with nature.

Posted by Jesse & Kathy Clifton, Retired (Jesse Clifton & Associates, REALTORS®) almost 11 years ago

Hi Mike!
While your photo is unbelieveable, the petroglyphs are cool beyond cool!

Posted by Paula Swayne, Realtor-Land Park, East Sac & Curtis Park -Dunniga (Dunnigan, Realtors, Sacramento (916) 425-9715) almost 11 years ago

Mike,

That first photo is simply astonishing!  Thank you for also sharing some interesting petroglyphs.   You probably had to search through many rocks to find the images that you shared on this post. 

Posted by Gerry Khatchikian, ASA, TRC, SFR almost 11 years ago

Cool Pictures Mike. The top photo almost looks as if the sky is on fire. The petroglyphs are really cool too...

Helping you live your American dream...

Posted by TeamCHI - Complete Home Inspections, Inc., Home Inspectons - Nashville, TN area - 615.661.029 (Complete Home Inspections, Inc.) almost 11 years ago

WOW!

I feel like I've been transformed back eons and eons.  I can visualize an ancient man chipping those images into those rocks. 

Posted by Lenn Harley, Real Estate Broker - Virginia & Maryland (Lenn Harley, Homefinders.com, MD & VA Homes and Real Estate) almost 11 years ago

As always Mike, Tucson looks beautiful!  You've brought Tucson in a whole new light, when you blog about it...Great photos!

Cheron Lange

Posted by Michael and Cheron Lange, Associate Broker, GRI (Solutions Real Estate) almost 11 years ago

Mike - These are great photos. Thanks for sharing your explorations with us.

Posted by Judy Jennings, Tap into Judy's real estate expertise & resources. (Top Agent Plus) almost 11 years ago

Mike it sounds like a fun day! The sunset is just awesome.

Posted by Bill Gassett, Metrowest Massachusetts Real Estate (RE/MAX Executive Realty) almost 11 years ago

Mike:

What a dramatic sky photo - fabulous colors. And, the petroglyph images are like taking a step back in time. 

Posted by Claudette Millette, Buyer, Broker - Metrowest Mass (The Buyers' Counsel) almost 11 years ago

Almost as good as being there myself, Mike! And to think I was shoveling snow...

Posted by Irene Kennedy Realtor® in Northwestern NJ (Weichert) almost 11 years ago

Hi Mike,

Wonderful pictures as always. Thanks for sharing your love of your countryside. I really like your statement "you are glad to walk in the dust of their footsteps." It's nice to appreciate your heritage.

Posted by Dorie Dillard CRS GRI ABR, Serving Buyers & Sellers in NW Austin Real Estate (Coldwell Banker Realty ~ 512.750.6899) almost 11 years ago

Hi Mike,

That sky looks like it's almost on fire.  What a spectacular sunset.

Posted by Janet Reilly (Sotheby's International Realty) almost 11 years ago

Mike- What fantastic photos - thanks for sharing - one of these days I would love to get out there and see that area of our country!!!

Posted by Barbara-Jo Roberts Berberi, MA, PSA, TRC - Greater Clearwater Florida Residential Real Estate Professional, Palm Harbor, Dunedin, Clearwater, Safety Harbor (Charles Rutenberg Realty) almost 11 years ago

BarbaraJo,

Time's a'wasting!  Get on out here to see it for yourself.

Janet,

It sure does.  Thanks for stopping by.

Dorie,

My great-great-grandma was Oglala Sioux.  That tribe wasn't from Arizona, but I appreciate my heritage.

Irene,

Sounds like it's time for a visit!

Claudette,

Thanks for stopping by to comment.

Bill,

It was great; you would have enjoyed it.

Judy,

You're welcome!

Cheron,

Do you get the sense that this is a beautiful place, and I'm in love with it?  Right on both counts.

Lenn,

I'm looking forward to a visit from you.  This isn't an arduous hike, and our winter temps are just the thing for easterners from colder climes.

Michael,

I had almost given up on a beautiful sunset; everything was sort of gray at 5:30 pm, and then the setting sun found a hole in the clouds.

Gerry,

You're right.  But then I found three within 45' of each other.

Paula,

It's wonderful to live here and see history around me.  You'll have to plan a visit.

Jesse,

You'd love it.  Come on down!

Lynda,

Nice hat!  Thanks for taking time to comment.

John,

Give me a call!

Sherry,

Yes, it is!

Bill,

I knew you'd like this one.

Mike in Tucson

 

Posted by Mike Jones, Mike Jones NMLS 223495 (SUNSTREET MORTGAGE, LLC (BK-0907366, NMLS 145171) ) almost 11 years ago

Mike, it is beautiful here in Arizona isn't it?  Love how the sky changes and the wonderful rainbows (and double rainbows) we get all the time.  Its amazing that every sunset can look different too.  Thanks for sharing.

Posted by Joyce Thomas, Your Home Sold Guaranteed! (The Thomas Group Brokered by eXp Realty) almost 11 years ago

Haven't been to Arizona in years, I could use the warm weather in times like today here in Manhattan, so cold.  The pictures are great and the history is always interesting.

Posted by Morgan Evans, LICENSED REAL ESTATE SALESPERSON (Douglas Elliman Real Estate) almost 11 years ago

Mike,

What a wonderful hike and wonderful country.  Wish we could have been with you.  There is nothing like nature to center and focus one.  For us it is a luxury moment.  We love your pictures.  Thanks for a desert moment on Monday.  All the best

Posted by Ron and Alexandra Seigel, Luxury Real Estate Branding, Marketing & Strategy (Napa Consultants) almost 11 years ago

Mike - your photos are beautiful. You wrote that it's a remote area. Does GPS work out there? I read a story about treasure hunting via GPS. People share their finds with a GPS marker so others can go to the location.

Posted by Anthony Ebright - NMLSR ID #247647 Purchase and Refinance Mortgages (FHA, VA, Conforming, Jumbo - Wells Fargo Home Mortgage) almost 11 years ago

Wow, that is very pretty!! I would love to take a hike in that kind of scenery sometime!!

Posted by Team Honeycutt (Allen Tate) almost 11 years ago

Stunning!

Posted by Bruce Brockmeier, Coached By Crouch (Internet Marketing Consultant to REALTORS®) almost 11 years ago

Wow, that is very pretty!! I would love to take a hike in that kind of scenery sometime!!

Posted by Team Honeycutt (Allen Tate) almost 11 years ago

Cool pix Mike!  I would like to take my family to your area this summer and enjoy the scenery!

Posted by Rob Kelly, Louisville Colorado Realtor (RE/MAX Alliance) almost 11 years ago

Hi Mike,

I was born and raised in Tucson and miss sights like the ones you posted here. Beautiful sunset... although Phoenix is only 100 miles or so West, the sunsets here just don't compare. I'm guessing you've seen the very accessible petroglyphs that exists at Saguaro National Monument West?

Posted by Dynamic Page Solutions (Dynamic Page Solutions) almost 11 years ago

Mike,

You always have really great pictures, what type of camera do you use?

Posted by James Lyon (Vista Pacific Realty) almost 11 years ago

Mike, looks like a great December hike!  The sunset photo is stunning!

Posted by Tony & Darcy Cannon, The C Team (Aubrey and Associates Realty) almost 11 years ago

Outstanding photo Mike.  Ugh...just gorgeous.

Posted by Melina Tomson, Principal Broker/Owner, M.S. (Tomson Burnham, llc Licensed in the State of Oregon) almost 11 years ago

Melina,

Thanks for stopping by to comment!

Tony & Darcy,

I'm thinking you need a vacation; come on out and visit!

James,

It's a Panasonic Lumix with a 10X optical zoom by Leica.  Costco, $200.

Anita,

I sure have.  Thanks for asking; I've edited some links into the post (above.)

Rob,

Winter's the time to come visit.  Summer temps get above 105.

Allen,

Come on out; please consider this a personal invitation to come and hike with me.

Bruce,

Thanks for saying so!

Anthony,

I think so; I don't have a GPS.

Ron &
Alexandra,

You're welcome!  Come visit.

Morgan,

It sounds like the time is right for you to plan a visit to the Old Pueblo.

Joyce,

Yes, it is!  See you on your blog.

Mike in Tucson

Posted by Mike Jones, Mike Jones NMLS 223495 (SUNSTREET MORTGAGE, LLC (BK-0907366, NMLS 145171) ) almost 11 years ago

Mike - wow - that sounds like an adventure. I love off road adventures. Love your photographs.

Posted by Sharon Paxson, Newport Beach Real Estate (Compass) almost 11 years ago

Mike that sounds like my kind of arizona afternoon.  Gorgeous sunset - it's amazing how many beautiful ones we have here, isn't it.  Thanks for sharing your road trip. Did  you post it to the Road Trip group?

Posted by Anna Banana Kruchten CRS CRB, Phoenix Broker, 602-380-4886 (HomeSmart Real Estate BR030809000) almost 11 years ago

Mike -

Several year ago we spent a wonder week after Thanksgiving at the Tanque Verde Ranch just east of Tucson and loved every minute of our stay.  Your part of the world is very special.

Michael in Alexandria - Northern Virginia's Best Small City

Posted by Michael Bergin, Northern Virginia Real Estate (Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - ABR - SRES ) almost 11 years ago

Nice photo ....thanks for getting it out to us today.  I can't immage living in AZ and not having the ocean in my back yard!

I think I'd feel locked in, so to speak.

Patricia/Seacoast NH

Posted by Patricia Aulson, Realtor - Portsmouth NH Homes-Hampton NH Homes (BERKSHIRE HATHAWAY HOME SERVICES Verani Realty NH Real Estate ) almost 11 years ago

Fabulous pictures, glad you got to take some time off.  Those stick pictures look like I drew them :-)

Posted by Lyn Sims, Schaumburg Real Estate (RE/MAX Suburban) almost 11 years ago

Mike, living on an island, I sometimes forget how beautiful the desert can be.  Thanks for inspiring me to get out my camera and see if I can find a "matching" beauty.

Posted by Marian Goetzinger, Crystal Coast Real Estate NC (Pine Knoll Shores Realty 252-422-9000) almost 11 years ago

WOW what a picture. I would walk through some dust for that view. Thanks for sharing you walk

Posted by Terry & Bonnie Westbrook, Westbrook Realty - Grand Rapids Forest Hills MI Re (Westbrook Realty Broker-Owner) almost 11 years ago

Like usual, just beautiful.  I would also add, don't go out there by yourself, take a friend to share it with! 

Posted by Doreen McPherson, Phoenix Arizona Real Estate ~ (Homesmart ~ Scottsdale ~ Tempe) almost 11 years ago

Hi Mike,That first photo is absolutely stunning. Perhaps a computer wallpaper or greeeting cards to mail out to your clients. Whatever you do, you should do something important with it. I enjoyed reading this post and imagining I was taking that hike with you. Excellent post.

Posted by William Johnson, Retired Real Estate Professional (Retired) almost 11 years ago

Great photos Mike. We love climbing too and we have a lot of great trails here as well.

Posted by Megan Izdebska & Hanna Manoufar Chandler, Scottsdale Real Estate Agent, Double Commitment. Double Results. (United Brokers Group) almost 11 years ago

Mike I always look forward to you taking me on a tour and I am never disappointed.  What a lovely sunset.

Still looking for a photo from the 80's....

 

Posted by Jennifer Fivelsdal, Mid Hudson Valley real estate connection ( JFIVE Home Realty LLC | 845-758-6842|162 Deer Run Rd Red Hook NY 12571) almost 11 years ago

Awesome sunset, MIke!  I'm glad to see that the scavengers (human type) haven't made off with those ancient petroglyphs - that's great that you can just go find those things out there.

Mike

Posted by Mike Hendren (Mike Hendren Photography) almost 11 years ago

Mike,

It's really remote, and the folks that enjoy the trek keep an eye out.  (Plus, it's a felony to remove cultural stuff from the Monument.)

Jennifer,

I always look forward to your comments, so that works pretty well for both of us.  I'm still expecting you to find an 80's photo for my post.

Megan & Hanna,

Blog about it, and I'll come check out your favorite hikes.

William,

You're welcome any time!  Plan a trip east to Tucson, and we'll go hiking together.  Bring a friend.

Doreen,

Get a few folks together and come on down.  We'll go exploring.

Terry & Bonnie,

You're welcome!  Thanks for stopping by to comment.

Marian,

I'll be by to check out your blog.

Lyn,

They look good for being 800 years old, don't they?

Patricia,

We do miss the water...

Michael,

The Tanque Verde Ranch is a great destination.  Call me next time you're in town.

Anna Banana,

Thanks for telling me about the Road Trip group.  I'll find it and join up.

Sharon,

Thanks for saying so.  Come back soon.

Mike in Tucson

Posted by Mike Jones, Mike Jones NMLS 223495 (SUNSTREET MORTGAGE, LLC (BK-0907366, NMLS 145171) ) almost 11 years ago

Mike, Jay Lieberman sent me over with his entry about you and your localism posts about your spot in AZ for my Virtual Traveller contest. I have to say that I'm SO glad to have found you! How very cool on so many levels...what you experienced and shared, the actual trip (through your eyes) and the PHOTOS!

I have visited Arizona, especially Sedona and fell in love. Such a different climate than my Fishhawk Lake and Oregon areas. I have snowbirds that end up down there then come here for the spring/summer/fall months.

 

Posted by Gayle Rich-Boxman Fishhawk Lake Real Estate, "Your Local Expert!" 503-755-2905 (John L Scott Market Center) about 7 years ago

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