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Monument Hill (B&M Wildlife Area), AZPrint Full | Basic
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Description 6 Triplogs 0 Topics
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 Phoenix SW
Statistics
Difficulty 1    Route Finding
Distance Round Trip 0.6 miles
Trailhead Elevation 946 feet
Elevation Gain 215 feet
Accumulated Gain 230 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 0.5 hour
Kokopelli Seeds 1.75
Interest Historic, Seasonal Creek, Perennial Creek & Peak
chumley
Descriptions 48
Routes 245
Photos 5,629
Trips 577 map ( 3,611 miles )
Age 41
Location Probly Boulders
Photos
Rated Viewed All Mine Friends
9  2013-02-01 burntlizard
15  2013-01-20 chumley
Large Profile
Trailhead Forecast
Historical Weather
Radar
Backpack - No
Seasons - Autumn to Spring
Official Route
 
Alternative Routes
 
Water
Nearby Hikes Area Water Sources
direct air miles away to trailhead
1.2  Estrella Competitive Track
2.5  Durango Trail
2.8  Tres Rios Wetlands
3.4  Butterfield / Pedersen / Coldwater Loop
3.4  Coldwater Trail - Estrella Mtn RP
3.4  Rock Knob / Rainbow Loop
[ View More! ]
Culture
     Cadastral Survey Marker
Space
Fauna
     Belted Kingfisher
     Common Moorhen
   Marsh Wren
     Osprey
   Sora
   White-faced Ibis
Space

It All Starts Right Here!
by chumley

Mobile Version
History: Arizona's Initial Point (the intersection of the base line and primary meridian now known as the Gila and Salt River Base Line and Meridian respectively) was officially established in 1865 by John A. Clark, the Surveyor General for NM and AZ. This followed the Gadsen Purchase, completed in 1854. For the previous six years (under the Treaty of Guadalupe HIdalgo), the Gila River was the international boundary between the United States and Mexico, making this small hill at the northern terminus of the Sierra Estrella Mexican territory. The point had originally been marked with a monument by a Mexican Boundary Commission crew led by Francisco Jimenez in the early 1850s. In 1867, the first survey was conducted from the initial point, covering 36 miles in 5 days.

Benchmarks: If you ever encounter survey markers around Arizona you can figure out how far you are from Monument Hill. Each Range and Township is 6-miles. So the 6x multiple of the township and range numbers stamped on the benchmark will tell you your distance from the Salt and Gila Base Line and Meridian. (There are some deviations to this system because land is not flat, but that's the basic premise). All survey marks in Arizona are established from the Initial Point on Monument Hill!

Vandalism and Resoration: The monument originally constructed at the Initial Point was a stone and concrete structure six feet high and eight feet in circumference at it's base, with a four foot circumference at the top. From the top of the stone monument, an 8 foot pole jutted higher into the sky, making the total height of the monument fourteen feet. I can't find any photos or information on when the original was destroyed, but it was long gone in 1984 when six agencies got together to refurbish the monument. (BLM Cadastral Survey Team, AZ State Lands Dept, Salt River Project, Gila River Indian Community, AZ Professional Land Surveyors Assn, and Bureau of Reclamation).

The 1984 refurbishment was not a replication of the original tall monument, but rather the flat concrete cross that exists today. In 2002, the monument was awarded status on the National Register of Historic Places. A plaque indicating it's historic status was erected near the monument and can be seen today. Additional refurbishment occurred in 2006.

Location and Access: Monument Hill is divided by the principal meridian, with the west side belonging to Phoenix International Raceway (PIR) in the City of Avondale, and the east side belonging to the Gila River Indian Community. While there are currently no signs posted prohibiting access--and a well traveled trail (the remnants of an old road) leads to the summit on Gila River Indian Community land--hiking and other kinds of recreation on Gila River land is subject to tribal laws and regulations. Please make sure you are in compliance before proceeding onto tribal lands.

The west side of the mountain is owned by PIR. Monument Hill is used for seating during race events. Access to this side of the hill is only permitted during race events with a valid ticket. During non-event days, access to the hill requires the permission of PIR, the owner of this private property! Please respect private property and obtain necessary permission to hike on any non-public lands!

Keep in mind that if there is an event at PIR, more than 75,000 fans may be in attendance, making traffic and parking an issue. You will very likely be unable to park anywhere near here without a ticket.

Hike: From the parking area, proceed through the gate into the B&M Wildlife Area. A gate in the fence along the walkway opens to the east. Proceed down along the base of Monument Hill following the old roadbed. Follow it as it turns southward and climbs the mountain. The monument and register are clearly marked at the peak. Head back the way you came, or follow the road south along the fence line toward the racetrack before turning back toward the parking lot.

Also Nearby: The Base & Meridian (B&M) Wildlife Area is a 200-acre BLM preserve at the confluence of the Salt and Gila Rivers managed by Arizona Game and Fish. This is a wetland riparian riverbank habitat and is open to recreation including fishing. There are excellent bird-watching opportunities with common species including: white-winged dove, mourning dove, gambel's quail, coots, Yuma clapper rails, western yellow-billed cuckoo, and gallinules. Other wildlife includes common yellowthroat, great blue heron, belted kingfisher, western screech-owl, beaver, bobcat, desert kangaroo rat, javelina, California kingsnake, Sonoran mud turtle, and western diamondback rattlesnake. Additionally, special status species including Lowland leopard frog, Ferruginous hawk, great egret, loggerhead shrike, osprey, American peregrine falcone, southwestern willow flycatcher, California leaf-nosed bat, and Sonoran desert tortoise occur on or near the B&M Wildlife Area. (Species reported via azgfd.gov).

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    Directions Preferred Months Feb Mar Oct Nov
    Water / Source:Gila River only
    Preferred Start9 AM Cell Phone SignalYes Sunrise6:01am Sunset6:59pm
    Road / VehiclePaved - Car Okay
    Fees / Permit
    information is in description

    Directions
    Print Version
    To hike
    Drive to west Phoenix on I-10 and exit on Avondale Blvd/115th Ave. Drive south 6 miles and turn left into the PIR parking lot after crossing the Gila River bridge. Follow the road 1/2 mile back toward the river and park in the marked stalls or dirt lot at the end of the road.
    Login for Mapped Driving Directions
    WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.
    page created by chumley on Jan 22 2013 12:17 pm
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