Picture Canyon Exploring
On January 18th, 2018 38 students from Flagstaff Junior Academy 5th grade traveled to Picture Canyon near Arizona Trail Passage 32, Elden Mountain. The students did the 3.5 mile hike into the canyon and back. Along the way they learned about the effects of gravity over the change in gradient of the water in the Rio de Flag, looked for signs of animal life and studied the ancient Sinagua petroglyphs. The students loved looking for squirrel pencils and squirrel brooms which were abundant. We found tracks in the mud at the water’s edge and found many dead crawdaddies in the receding winter water. Students made speculations about why the ancient residents of the area might have carved the petroglyphs and what local resources might have made this area attractive to the people in meeting their fundamental human needs. Students also had a chance to learn basic compass skills like how to operate the bevel and take a bearing. It was a great way to make use of an unseasonably warm winter day.