Located in the Sierra Ancha Mountains within the Del Shay Basin area NE of Pumpkin Center,AZ, the middle of Jan'11 on our "1st attempt" we made it to within .40 miles http://hikearizona.com/photo.php?ZIP=175102
of this remote, difficult access, and seldom visited ancient Indian Ruins Hilltop Site at 5246ft.
The moon, stars, other planets, needed pre-planning, with good weather luck and a high tolerance for bushwhacking and route finding must all be lined up correctly for one to successfully pull-off this rugged out and back day hike. All was lined-up correctly for our "2nd attempt" this day to reach the site which ended in success and for me, a high degree of self satisfaction
. For me it is always a humbling experience to visit an ancient Indian Ruins site like this and especially so knowing that few others to date have done so.
This hike description is now correctly documented with a driving GPS track, default GPS hiking track, and photo sets to help aid all qualified who would like to visit this remote and rewarding site. Some of the issues to consider before and during
..From the PHX area(east valley) to TH Start is a recommended 4WD-high clearance vehicle driving time of ~2hrs 45min for a 2.7 mile one way totally off-trail, route finding hike;
..The topo maps do not correctly represent the true ruggedness of this hiking area;
..At Pumpkin Center, one need to crossover flowing Tonto Creek coming and going, so water flow level and rate should be monitored closely prior-to Pumpkin Center arrival;
..Determining a "best day" to do this day hike outing can be somewhat of a lucky guess as Pumpkin Center is around 2375ft elevation and the TH elevation is at 5890ft (so in winter and spring can be snow, ice, slush, and/or mud at 5890' and dry at 2375'; In summer and fall can be very hot with the snakes out, and hiking exposure to bad monsoon weather conditions;
.. I personally don't think that one proficient in only map and compass can correctly do this out and back hike without a lot of lost time roaming the countryside; I would highly recommend having GPS knowledge and being able to download the posted driving route and default GPS track for this hike and following those two tracks out and back;
..This is a very rugged off-trail hike with brutal varieties of cactus to stick you on every turn;
..This is also a very
scenic and very
rewarding ruins hike once successfully completed!