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Table Mountain - Cypress Thicket, AZ

Guide 4 Triplogs  1 Active Topic
  4 of 5 
no permit
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HAZ reminds you to respect the ruins. Please read the Archaeological Resources Protection Act of 1979 & Ruins Etiquette
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Difficulty 1.5 of 5
Route Finding 2 of 5
Distance Round Trip 1.2 miles
Trailhead Elevation 3,845 feet
Elevation Gain 285 feet
Accumulated Gain 325 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 1.5
Kokopelli Seeds 2.83
Interest Off-Trail Hiking, Ruins & Peak
Backpack Possible - Not Popular
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Photos Viewed All Mine Following
3  2012-07-11 PrestonSands
14  2006-02-17 PrestonSands
Author PrestonSands
author avatar Guides 169
Routes 148
Photos 5,617
Trips 1,516 map ( 7,711 miles )
Age 43 Male Gender
Location Oro Valley, AZ
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   Oct, Apr, May, Sep → Any
Seasons   ALL
Sun  5:34am - 7:30pm
Official Route
0 Alternative
Historic Fire Perimetersacres
🔥 Willow 2004117.2 mi*
🔥 2004 Willow Fire120k
🔥 2004 Willow117.2 mi*
🔥 View All over Official Route 🔥
*perimeter length in miles

Paleo watchtower in a sea of cypress
by PrestonSands

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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.

Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.

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2008-03-24 PrestonSands
    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.

    Permit $$

    Map Drive
    High Clearance possible when dry

    To hike
    From Payson on highway 87, drive west on Main Street. Stay on Main Street, go past the golf course, to where the pavement ends and the road becomes FR 406. About 5.2 miles from highway 87, turn left on FR 414 (Cypress Thicket Road). Follow FR 414 for about 0.8 miles to its junction with forest road 193. Turn left on FR 193, and follow it for about 3.15 miles to a saddle with a grassy meadow, where the road crosses a cattle guard (Two side roads take off to the right at about 0.66 and 0.9 miles: stay left!). At the saddle, an unmarked side road heads southeast toward Table Mountain. Start hiking! (See hike description)
    90+° 8am - 6pm kills
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