In the Plumosa Mountains of western Arizona, a small seep drips out of a cave in a solid rock cliff. It is a small oasis for animals in the otherwise arid Sonoran desert; people noticed it too.

Stacked stone walls of an old cabin remain just below the spring. On a nearby boulder, we discovered faint historical writing. There are no mines or other signs of civilization here. I wonder if the ruins are the remains of a stage stop? Whether a rest stop or miner’s camp, someone lived here in recent times.

Long before prospectors canvassed this land in search of gold, Native Americans (probably the Patayan) used the spring for unknown centuries. Petroglyphs and rock shelters line the shady side of the cliff face.

Dripping Springs Petroglyphs
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