Waterfall Canyon
Waterfall Canyon in the White Tank Mountains used to be a relatively wild place. Or at least it felt that way to young children, who could roam about the desert at will, hunting for petroglyphs like eggs on Easter morning. It was fun.

Those days are gone. Visitation in Waterfall Canyon has skyrocketed in recent years. Wandering off the sidewalk-like trail is strictly prohibited, and steel railings now keep crowds from getting too close to the largest petroglyph panels. Periodic signs explain the ancient artwork. Visitors no longer discover things on their own; they're shown things by Maricopa County Parks & Recreation.

Yes, there are reasons for all of this. Nevertheless, the place just isn't the same.

This photo is from the first edition of Ruins Seldom Seen. Railings
now prohibit people from getting this close to the ancient artwork.

This common Hohokam design is
called a pippette. I will neither confirm
nor deny the photo was taken in the
restricted area above the waterfall
at the end of the trail.

The book Ruins Seldom Seen is available from