Sears-Kay Ruin/Sycamore Canyon Pueblo – Carefree, AZ

Steve Swanson providing scale at Sycamore Canyon Pueblo

Steve Swanson providing scale at Sycamore Canyon Pueblo


Led by archaeologist Steve Swanson we will visit two sites located near Carefree Arizona. Sycamore Canyon Pueblo and Sears-Kay Ruin are nearby sites dating to the Hohokam Classic in a region that has been referred to as the “northern periphery of the Phoenix basin, and is understood by archaeologists to have numerous “fortified hilltop” sites. On this tour we will visit a well-known hilltop site, the 40-room Sears-Kay ruin, and then visit the larger 60-room Sycamore Canyon, contemporaneous with Sears Kay and also built of stone, but in a less fortifiable stream-side location.

Sears Kay can be accessed by any vehicle, including motorcycles or bicycles, and has well-maintained paths. There is a steep incline hiking up to the summit of the hilltop, but it is also a well-maintained path.

Sycamore Canyon pueblo can be accessed via high clearance vehicles (preferably 4WD but not necessary) using a transmission line access road. Limited walking required at this site to explore the ruins.

Meet at Sears Kay Ruin visitor parking lot at 10 AM on April 2nd. We will spend about 1-2 hours hiking around and visiting the ruin, and can have lunch there where there are minimal facilities. There is not water there, so bring plenty of water along with your lunch. From there, we will carpool to the Sycamore Canyon site about 20 minutes drive to the north, and spend 1-2 hours in that location before returning to Sears Kay. For those coming from Tucson we will arrange car pooling. To register for the trip email Katherine Cerino.

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