Did you know there are alligators in Arizona? There are. They are Alligator junipers, named for the checkered scales of their dark bark. They are the most ancient plant species in the state. Alligator junipers may live a thousand years but exist only at a certain elevation band above the classic cactus desert and below the higher elevations of the Ponderosa Pine. Alligator junipers, along with their fuzzy barked cousin, the Utah juniper, pinion pines, Gambel oaks, and the red-limbed manzanita bush, define the rocky high desert chaparral. Conger Water runs along the southern slopes of the Prescott National Forest's Chino Valley Ranger District through a pristine chaparral forest with impressive Alligator junipers. An outstanding example of the species canopies over the shady campsite at Waypoint 5. The botany alone would make Conger Water worth the drive, but it offers much more. Conger Water offers surprisingly good views of the varied and dramatic topography of rugged west-central Arizona. B.T. Butte lords over the smooth eastern section of Conger Water. The rounded shoulders of the butte are like all the others in the area, but the rocky-scaled promontory on its southern side sticks up like a rhinoceros horn making it unmistakable. The rocky shelf road climb up the side of Anderson Mesa slowly reveals a topographical tapestry of buttes, mesas, canyons, valleys, and mountain ranges as far away as the Bradshaws. Visit Arizona's alligators and take in the views while you are at it. Conger Road is short in distance but long on interest.
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