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Lost Ranch Ruins Trail, AZ

no permit
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Guide 562 Triplogs  1 Topic
Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Phoenix > South Mtn
3.1 of 5 by 17
HAZ reminds you to respect the ruins. Please read the Archaeological Resources Protection Act of 1979 & Ruins Etiquette
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Difficulty 2.5 of 5
Route Finding 2 of 5
Distance One Way 0.9 miles
Trailhead Elevation 1,484 feet
Elevation Gain 824 feet
Accumulated Gain 920 feet
Avg Time One Way 0.5-1 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 3.97
Interest Ruins
Backpack No
feature photo
Photos Viewed All Mine Following
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5  2019-03-21
Lost Goat Pyramid
6  2019-03-02
Pyramid Trail - South Mountain
7  2019-01-27
Lost Mine - South Mountain
4  2018-10-21
Pyramid Trail - South Mountain
4  2018-07-29
Pyramid Trail - South Mountain
3  2018-07-22
Lost Mine - South Mountain
2  2018-07-01
Lost Mine - South Mountain
1  2018-03-14
Night Goat
Page 1,  2,  3,  4,  5 ... 12
Author DarthStiller
author avatar Guides 15
Routes 229
Photos 6,003
Trips 433 map ( 3,769 miles )
Age 50 Male Gender
Location Mesa, AZ
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   Nov, Dec, Jan, Feb → 7 AM
Seasons   Late Autumn to Late Spring
Sun  6:11am - 6:36pm
Official Route
31 Alternative
Fauna Nearby
Flora Nearby
Meteorology Nearby
Named place Nearby
Culture Nearby
not Salado culture, but a nice climb
by DarthStiller

Data updated to reflect the specific one-way segment and name changed from "Mine Trail". The beginning of the trail appears to be 0.5mi up the Lost Ranch Mine Trail or 1.1mi from the Chandler/19th Ave trailhead. Description below is from the Chandler/19th Ave trailhead.

The Ruins Trail is one of many new trails in the southwestern section of South Mountain Park. None of these trails appear to have been given official names yet, but this one has been unofficially named the Ruins Trail according to a map posted on, undoubtedly because of the abandoned building at the lower end of the trail. (The names of the other trails in this area are also taken from this source.) These "ruins" aren't Indian ruins, but the term still seems to apply somewhat. This trail is very steep in sections, but as a result, it gets you up to the ridge and the National Trail rather quickly.

Start at the end of Chandler Blvd. where the road barricade is. As of Feb. 2011, parking spaces have been striped in along the end of the road there as parking for hikers. A section of trail is visible just beyond the barricade heading west. This trail will head west for a few hundred yards and then turn north and east. A shortcut is to head north on 19th Ave., intersecting Chandler Blvd. at the dead end. From the end of that short road, you drop down into a wash and through makeshift party area, complete with empty containers and an abandoned couch under a mesquite tree. Make your way past this mess and up out of the wash heading north to the trail. Once on the trail, head east. Pink "hairy" survey markers mark the trail in some spots, such as junctions, but the trail is well built and easy to follow.

At the first junction, head to your right. If you head east you will end up on the Gila View West Trail and on the ridgeline immediately in front of you on your left. Taking the trail to the right will swing you around the eastern edge of the ridge and towards the Valley Trail. Take the Valley Trail (in the lower portion of a wash) until you see a cairned junction to head up and out of the wash. This trail junction will be just past the junction of two washes and the trail you take will be like taking the right part of a fork of two trails, similar to the one at the beginning. Once you're out of the wash, the wash heading north towards South Mt. should be to your right. If it's to your left, you turned too soon. Go back and get up on the west side of the wash.

This junction is the beginning of the Ruins Trail. Once out of the wash, you'll be heading north towards the ruin and South Mt. This area is fairly level but with a gradual climb. About halfway to the ruins, you will encounter the junction of the Mine Drop Trail. Stay to your left and continue towards the ruin.

Once at the ruin, the modern day junk strewn about and graffiti is much more visible, making it very obvious that this is not a product of Salado culture. Look to the western most wall, which is about 4 feet high. A section of that wall is notched out to about 2 feet high and some rocks are piled to make it passable. That's where you pick the trail up to get to the National Trail. Once you get over this wall, a steep sided wash immediately adjacent to the ruins becomes visible. The trail down to the wash is very faint and dicey with a lot of scree. If you look past the wash, the trail coming out of it uphill on the other side is very prominent and much more stable looking than what's in front of you. Make your way over to that trail and you're on your way up the hill.

The trail here gets steep in a hurry, making it a nice workout and challenge. It's rocky in spots but not too bad. The trail heads NW and wraps around the west side of the canyon that lies behind the ruins. As you ascend, the views to your right into the canyon get much nicer. You can also see further south down towards Tucson if you look behind you.

The trail continues to curve north and then even west as it ascends along the canyon until it reaches a ridgeline. As you crest the ridge, you're facing southwest and the first view you see is the Estrellas. Once on the ridge, the trail makes a hard right to the north toward the National Trail and levels out. As you get closer to the National Trail, the Ruins Trail gets fainter, although it is still very easy to follow as the vegetation is very sparse. The rocks on the ground are small enough to be considered scree if the trail were steeper at this point. Once you get to the National Trail, a cairn is there adjacent to a palo verde tree to mark the junction, as the Ruins Trail at this point has all but disappeared (as of Feb. 2011). On a previous we hiked the National Trail looking for this junction to make our way down the Ruins Trail and missed it, so making your way uphill is the best bet if you want to make sure to do this one.

Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.

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2011-03-11 DarthStiller

    One-Way Notice
    This hike is listed as One-Way.

    When hiking several trails on a single "hike", log it with a generic name that describes the hike. Then link the trails traveled, check out the example.
    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.

    Most recent of 68 deeper Triplog Reviews
    Lost Ranch Ruins Trail
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    Night Goat
    A really nice evening for a hike. The breeze was nearly constant, air quality crystal clear, and I didn't have to climb Guadalupe Ridge! :y: The summit of Goat must have just reached into the jetstream because the wind on the top was over 30mph and resulted in a quick retreat back down to national. Probably saw 25 non-giant centipedes on the trail. Not sure what that was all about. I also got bored and took some side trips that added up to an extra half mile. :)
    Lost Ranch Ruins Trail
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    Goats in the Mist
    Up Lost Mine to Goat Hill and down Ruins. Light rain the first half hour eventually turning to sunshine. Low clouds made for some cool views. Saw nobody up top. Ran into Linda and her daughter getting ready to go up the Lost Ranch Mine (Mine Drop) trail. Good to see you again Linda. :)
    Lost Ranch Ruins Trail
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    Lost Ranch Ruins-National-Pyramid loop
    Finally--summer is pretty much over, comfortable temps all evening, and a great breeze. We headed up Lost Ranch Ruins, already using headlamps before 7pm, east on National with a quick stop on Goat Hill, heard someone shoot a gun down at the Max Delta mine, continued east on National, then down Pyramid and back to the trailhead. Lots of bugs, scorpions, and mice, but no snakes. Didn't see anyone else all evening.
    Lost Ranch Ruins Trail
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    Hot, no shade, no breeze, hot. Went up the Ruins trail, it's been eroded in some places by the recent rains, but nothing terrible. East on National, then down Lost Ranch Mine. I prefer Lost Mine, but Lost Ranch Mine is a little easier on the knees, although I think it's rockier, so really probably a draw. Lots of fallen barrel cactus all along the loop. Only saw one other hiker, near the big mines.
    Lost Ranch Ruins Trail
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    Last night, my kids asked me if they could eat breakfast at the "chimney house", which is what they call Lost Ranch. So we got up early this morning, and headed up to the ruins. They had a breakfast of bagels, dry cereal, and juice, then played up there until I couldn't handle sitting around any longer.

    The trailhead at 6am was pretty much a ghost town compared to the mob scene it was at the same time yesterday morning. And the skies were very hazy/smoky this morning with the smoke drifting in from the Pinal Fire, I guess. The kids had a great time though, and they even filled a small bag with some trash from around the ruins.
    Lost Ranch Ruins Trail
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    Lost Mine Trail South Mountain
    Saw an ummm, interesting person heading towards Pyramid. Nobody on my route except for some javelina. Scared the :pk: out of all of us when I snuck up on them. They took off like a herd of buffalo! :)
    Lost Ranch Ruins Trail
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    Went up Lost Ranch Ruins, and came down Lost Ranch Mine. We only saw two people once we were away from the trailhead. Warm, without much of a breeze. Saw two Speckled rattlers at the bottom of Lost Ranch Mine, the second of which was probably the fattest Speckled I think I've ever seen. Also saw a Gopher snake off Pyramid near the trailhead.
    Lost Ranch Ruins Trail
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    Lost Ranch-National-Pyramid loop
    One of my usual weekday hikes. Headed up the Ruins trail; for some reason, someone has built cairns in a few places along it since last week. Not sure why, because there's pretty much only one way to go on that one! Near the top, I made a quick side trip to 2197, then headed up to National.

    Went east on National. Nearly all the wildflowers are gone, the only ones left are the brittlebush, which is drying out. Creosote & ocotillo are blooming too. Went up Goat Hill, but only stayed for a minute since there were three tarantula hawks buzzing around. Continued east, then down Pyramid. I saw a couple more tarantula hawks, and plenty of bees all day, but they had no interest in me. Nice, cool morning, with a pleasant breeze.
    Lost Ranch Ruins Trail
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    Quick hike with Daniela. The clouds and breeze made it a little nicer than yesterday. Went up the Ruins trail, and came down Lost Mine. Saw nothing but bugs and spiderwebs, and a few people near the trailhead. Spent the first half of the hike talking about ex-boyfriends, best quote of the morning was "I haven't seen that guy since his 40th birthday, and that was 13 years ago. I'm guessing we're not friends anymore." And spent the last half discussing actors and trying to remember Bradley Cooper's name, which neither of us could think of until about five minutes after we finished the hike. Daniela always lets me know which movies I need to watch, then I watch...none of them, because I almost never watch movies or tv.
    Lost Ranch Ruins Trail
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    Somo Wildflower Recon
    Checking out the wildflowers on South Mountain was this hike's objective. Denny's pics of the Bajada looked good, so I wanted to get over that way. Started hiking from the Chandler Blvd trailhead. Up Ruins, east on National to Goat Hill, down Ranger, west on Bajada, east on National, east on Bursera, east on Gila/Valley View.

    Wildflowers can be seen on all the trails. Poppies are in abundance. Nothing overwhelming, but a nice show. I saw poppies on 80% of the hike. Very nice day. Saw Sreeeram and friends on the Bajada finishing their Alta hike. :)

    Permit $$

    Map Drive
    Paved - Car Okay

    To hike
    From I-10 going S exit on 202/Pecos Road. Go W on Pecos Road for about 9 miles and turn right on 17th Avenue. Turn left on to Chandler Boulevard and go to end of road and park where road is closed off at 19th Avenue.
    page created by DarthStiller on Mar 11 2011 10:32 pm
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