Explore Pueblo La Plata

Agua Fria National Monument - Search Nearby - Added by John Maurizi

Explore an early native American settlement in the high desert north of Phoenix.

Pueblo La Plata is the largest ancient Indian ruin in Agua Fria National Monument and dates back to before 1200 A.D. The ruin at one time had 80 to 90 rooms for living quarters. Now the sight seems like just a pile of rubble. However there is significant research continuing on the mesa of Agua Fria which has about 400 sites. The community was quite large.Today, few people visit the site because of the difficulty to get here. A high clearance 4x4 is required to get to the trailhead or you can walk the 2 mile road from Bloody Basin Road. 

There are many artifacts remaining in the area. The entire site is littered with pottery sherds. Pottery Sherds are broken pieces of pottery, typically from a bowl, plate or vessel for storing food or water. They were common to find among the ruins of ancient Indian sites however, not so much anymore due to looting and tourist taking it as a souvenir. Pueblo La Plata has the most pottery sherds I have every scene at one site. They range in color and shape but easily identifiable. People who find the sherds place them on rocks amongst the site. If you find one, kindly either leave it where you found it or place on a rock as others have done but do not take it! 

The sherds are light in weight, usually very smooth on one side and a cross section may look more like a conglomerate of small material. Interesting to know this pottery was made over 700 years ago.

Please practice "Leave No Trace" principles and do not take anything from the site. By the way, it is illegal to remove artifacts from an archeological site on federal land.

Directions: Exit 259 off Route 17 from Phoenix. Turn right on Bloody Basin road and follow for 8.5 miles. Pueblo La Plata is on the left and a sign marks the way.

Distance

0.25 Miles RT

Type

Out-and-Back

Activities

Photography, Hiking

Scenic

Nearby Lodging

Mesa / Apache Junction KOA

Apache Junction, Arizona

From $20/night

Big Sky Retreat Campsite

Williams, Arizona

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on. Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

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