There's nothing more satisfying than a good destination hike and the Rogers Canyon cliff dwellings is one of the best destinations in the Tonto National Forest.
The cliff dwellings were built more than 600 years ago by the Salado people, a culture that lived in the Tonto Basin from approximately 1150 to 1450 A.D. The adobe walls of the dwellings are remarkably intact, probably because it takes 4.5 miles of hiking to reach them and the visitors who have made that pilgrimage have been respectful of the site.
The opening of the cave presents a perfect vantage point for the surrounding canyon walls and provides the hiker with a wonderful place to daydream.
The hardest part of the Rogers Canyon hike is the 4X4 road to the trailhead. To get there, take Highway 188 to Globe and from Globe, follow Highway 60 W for 35 miles. Take a right onto Queen Valley Road and another right in two miles at Hewitt Station Road. In 3.5 miles, take left on Forest Road 172. You will reach on more junction -- stay left on FR 172A.
The trailhead is at the end of this 15-mile, steep and rocky dirt road. Only take a high clearance vehicle.
One mile into the hike -- which follows the Arizona Trail -- there is a junction. Take a left toward Reavis Ranch. Follow the Reavis Ranch Trail past West Pinto Trail, and on to the junction of Rogers Canyon Trail at 1.6 miles. Follow Rogers Canyon Trail to the cliff dwellings. Return the same way. It takes about 7 hours round trip.