Paleo watchtower in a sea of cypress
Table Mountain is a small, rocky mesa that rises above Cypress Thicket, on the east side of the Mazatzal Mountains. Crowning its cliff edged summit is a crumbled, circular ruin, somewhat similar to (but much less impressive than) Circlestone. Views from the summit are impressive for this little peak. Table Mountain is unusual geologically, as it consists of an isolated patch of Paleozoic sedimentary rock in the middle of Cypress Thicket's Tertiary sediments. No trail leads to the summit, but the saddle on the west side of Table Mountain, along forest road 193, makes a good place to start.
Roads in Cypress Thicket can be extremely muddy (and impassable) after prolonged periods of wet weather!
Where forest road 193 crosses a cattle guard at the saddle, there is a dirt parking area that makes a good place to park. From here, a short side road takes off towards Table Mountain, heading southeast. It comes to an end at the base of the mountain after a few hundred yards. At this point, start hiking up the mountainside through the pinyons, and over the many purplish terraces of Tapeats sandstone. There is nothing difficult here, as it's only a few hundred feet of elevation gain, through fairly open terrain.
Once you reach the top, the rock changes to the dense, chalky colored limestone of the Martin Formation. Head northeast through the junipers along the mountain top, to the true summit at the northeast corner of the mountain.
When you reach the summit, head a few hundred feet to the north along the mountaintop to reach the ruin. It is about 30 feet in diameter, circular, and constructed of the mountain's pale limestone. The large quantity of rocks which compose the ruin seem to indicate that it once had sizable, upright walls. The walls, however, have completely collapsed, and the ruin may not be immediately recognizable.
Be sure to wander over to the cliffs on the mountain's edge. There are nice views in all directions, depending on where you are at. The Rim, the Mazatzals, and Tonto Basin are all visible.
For the return trip, retrace your steps, as all sides but the west are cliffs. Locate, then head towards your vehicle, which should be visible from the mountaintop.
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.