So we started out our day trip this morning knowing that we were going to go to V-Bar-V State Historical Site (formerly privately owned V-Bar-V Ranch), but other than that, we really had no idea where we might end up.
If you’ve been following along on the blog, you’ll remember that the Sinaguan people inhabited the Verde Valley from about 1100 AD to about 1400 AD. They were mostly cliff-dwellers and I talked more about them in my posts about Montezuma Castle, Montezuma Well, and Toozigoot.
V Bar V Ranch was a privately owned cattle ranch for generations. Now, the V-Bar-V Heritage Site is the largest known petroglyph site in the Verde Valley of central Arizona, and one of the best-preserved. The rock art site consists of 1,032 petroglyphs in 13 rock panels.
In 1994, the U.S. Forestry Service was able to acquire the ranch from the owners through a land swap. The reason the forestry service was so interested in this land was because of the petroglyphs on some of the rock faces. They wanted to make sure these petroglyphs were studied by experts and preserved for you and I to see, learn, and enjoy.
The pictures in the slide show below let you see just part of the 13 rock panels and the hundreds of petroglyphs inscribed into the stone. Jeff Duffy, Forestry Service Volunteer and interpreter does a FANTASTIC job detailing the site to visitors. He’s a former middle school science teacher and he loves to talk and loves to help you learn.
Here’s a close-up view of part of the wall showing a few of the images.
We stayed and listened to Jeff for about an hour or so, then headed back to the Visitor Center where Kathy bought a book about the “Trees of Arizona” and a few post cards.
As we left the sight, we crossed over the Beaver Creek where there’s a day use area, so we wanted to stop and take a walk down to the water’s edge. This is the same Beaver Creek that we saw and I mentioned in our post about the Montezuma Castle. This creek meanders throughout the Verde Valley supplying irrigation water to thousands.
What a refreshing experience! We both really wanted to jump right on in to the crystal clear, cool water — it just looked SO inviting. Check out the pix below.
Here’s a couple videos of the cool clean waters of Beaver Creek
The NEXT part of our day trip was unexpected and spectacular, check out the post about our trip up to the top of Mingus Mountain.