Having inspected some of the Salado cliff dwelling ruins we decided to look over some of the Hohokam ruins. The Hohokams were the basic settlers of the Phoenix valley and ruins of their villages are dotted all over the area. On the 9th we went to 3 of them between Cave Creek and Horseshoe Dam. This total area was badly burned in the Cave Creek Complex fire of July 2005. The Hohokam built many villages on ridge tops where the various rooms would string out along a ridge connected by a few larger courtyard type rooms.
We first drove to the Sears Kay Ruins clearly marked a couple miles north of the Bartlett Dam junction on Cave Creek road. There is a fairl steep climb for about a half mile to the ruins and they are well worth the short jaunt. Some of the broken walls have been reconstructed by park people to try to preserve the ruins. It is very historic to wander through these rooms. There are about 40 of them atop the ridge. The views in all directions are marvelous. Weaver's needle is clear, Four peaks, Pinnacle peak and Camelback plus Piestewa are clearly visible. So is the fountain at Fountain Hills!
We left Sears Kay and went back to the Bartlett Lake road, east on that to the junction with the Horseshoe Dam road, then almost 2 miles to an unmarked jeep road with 2 poles blocking access. We parked there and headed toward Kentuck mountain directly to the Northwest. After a continuous climb of close to 1.5 miles we climbed a very steep off road shute and found an entire set of ruins stretching to the northeast with remants of many rooms and quite intricately stacked rock walls. Another Hohokam ruin called Kentuck.
Here the fire has devastated the area. No need to follow the jeep road; just go cross country. On the way back to the car we spotted another partial ruin and went to it. I would bet there are hundreds of such ancient villages dotted all over many of the ridges. Back at the car we went on toward horseshoe Dam to St Clair mountain and found another jeep road; very steep looking, that will lead to more hilltop ruins. Due to the time of day we did not climb up to those as we rushed back to El Encanto in Cave creek for several tons of Mexican food. Excellent!
We intend to go back to the St Clair ruins and maybe a few others in the area. The only thing that is disappointing are the new developments of very large homes in the Tonto Hills area of Carefree. On the seven Springs highway there is actually a sign that advertises new homes from "1,400,000". Wow! Never had seen a sign like that before!!! The contrast of the Hohokam ruins of 1000 years ago with the extremely wealthy of today is rather amusing!!!