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Sears-Kay Ruin, AZ

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326 53 1
Guide 53 Triplogs  1 Topic
Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Phoenix > Phoenix NE
Rated
2.3
2.3 of 5 by 25
 
9
HAZ reminds you to respect the ruins. Please read the Archaeological Resources Protection Act of 1979 & Ruins Etiquette
Statistics
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Difficulty 0.5 of 5
Route Finding 1 of 5
Distance Round Trip 1.1 miles
Trailhead Elevation 3,363 feet
Elevation Gain 220 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 1 hour
Kokopelli Seeds 2.2
Interest Ruins
Backpack No
feature photo
Photos Viewed All Mine Following
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14  2019-05-17 RowdyandMe
8  2017-11-18 cw50must
5  2016-03-01 phlak
4  2015-04-26 friendofThunderg
13  2013-04-28 Nightstalker
9  2013-02-20 burntlizard
7  2012-06-10 Al_HikesAZ
77  2012-02-16 outdoor_lover
Page 1,  2,  3
Author annette
author avatar Guides 4
Routes 0
Photos 0
Trips 1 map ( 0 miles )
Age 69 Female Gender
Location Phoenix, AZ
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Preferred   Nov, Dec, Jan, Feb → Any
Seasons   Autumn to Spring
Sun  6:12am - 6:31pm
Official Route
 
1 Alternative
 
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Walk thru history ...
by annette

The Hohokam Indians chose a great place to live because this perfect ridge was easy to defend with a few well-placed scouts who could easily check for enemies without the need to travel far. They had panoramic views all around including Pinnacle Peak, Four Peaks, the Superstitions, and Weaver's Needle.


This can be a very short instructive hike of the Hohokam ruin or a more extended hike down the the hill on the southeast side of the ridge and then back to the picnic / restroom / parking area by way of the next ridge.

There is some very nice signage at the trailhead that is worth a read before heading up the trail. The ascent to the ridge is on a medium-sized foot trail that is approximately 600 feet long. From this point, take the trail that bears off to the right and follows the ridge. This trail remains rather wide the rest of the way to the ruins. Some of the ruin foundations have been restored, or rather restacked, including the Mystery Room.

There are some awesome rock formations on the southeast side of the ridge including this one toward the northeast that we dubbed from one angle "The Foot" and from another angle "The Warrior".

At this point, we made the decision not to backtrack but to head on down the hill toward the wash to explore and possibly stumble onto the site of an old homestead mentioned on one of the plaques. We never did see the old homestead, but suspect that it might be close to the Sears-Kay Ranch that we could see in the distance.

There are several trails in this area, some of which are pretty steep and have loose rock, so be careful if you decide to return this way. We had to climb another very steep ridge which then leveled out under some power lines where we picked up a 4WD road which we followed most of the way back to the parking area. ( Hiked on 09/09/01 )

Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.

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2001-10-01 annette
    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 Triplog Reviews
    Sears-Kay Ruin
    rating optionrating optionrated 3rated 3rated 3
    Nice to explore a new-to-me part of the Valley on a beautiful, hot Saturday. Wish we'd taken the "alternate" trail that leads down from the ruin site through the rock formations. We opted not to because the end of the trail isn't visible from the top, but it appears to lead back out to the road below the parking lot. Figured I'd mention it as other descriptions make it sound as though one must go off-trail to get among the rocks, but actually there is a well developed trail.
    Sears-Kay Ruin
    rating optionrating optionrated 3rated 3rated 3
    Got this one in for the first time on the way back from a family camp up by Seven Springs. Good trip for kids (family of 4 did this all in flip flops) nice side trip to check out some ruins. There are a few well preserved rooms to see and nice interpretive plaques along the way. Wildflowers in full display, saw dozens of butterflies. Well worth the stop if you have not been here before.
    Sears-Kay Ruin
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    Brought my non-hiking wife here to start off our 1 year anniversary day. She loved it. Or said she did anyway.

    We got here early in the morning so we had the site to ourselves. On the drive over, 3 mule deer crossed the road in front of us. They stopped to look at us, or we stopped to look at them, one of the two.

    This is a beautiful place to bring any non-hikers who want to taste the outdoors and see some authentic ruins, without getting blisters.
    Sears-Kay Ruin
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    With the promise of low elevation snow and my dispatcher saying "stay home" :) I decided it would be worth while to head up towards Cave Creek and see if anything white is falling. I left the house around 0730, listening to the RUSH album Power Windows, I hit the Carefree Hwy. Once in Cave Creek the temperature held steady at 39 :( which did not bode well for snow. I headed up towards Seven Springs road and the rain was mixed with Graupel(small ice pellets), then I entered the Sears Kay Ruin area and parked.

    After an hour, I headed back toward CC for coffee, I went to Janeys Coffee House, mmm! With some fresh joe in my hand, I then looked North and noticed some convective looking showers and heavier bands of precipitation, that was my Que to go back :y: . Glad I did. Once I got to the Bartlett turn off, snow covered the road :y: , in fact, I was second guessing my decision, but I pressed on. Sears Kay was blanketed in fresh snow and it was coming down in a flurry, perfect weather for a hike.....no really! I love this stuff. I ended up hiking up to the ruins and East of the parking area too. I ended up spending a few hours up in the winter wonderland.
    Sears-Kay Ruin
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    My co-worker is from Europe, so I thought he might enjoy some Southwest Culture. We headed up here after doing the Camp Creek falls hike. Believe it or not.....I saw my first rattlesnake today(while hiking,not ever) :o I was walking among the ruin site and heard his rattle, stopped and backed up, lucky for me! He was in a bush, no more than 3 feet from me, thanks dude ;) , he was a Black tailed rattlesnake.
    Sears-Kay Ruin
    rating optionrating optionrated 3rated 3rated 3
    After doing Spur Cross, I drove down the road and hit the Ruin Site. It had been threatening to rain for almost half the day, but never did. The Ruins were very cool and covered a pretty good size area. Must have been quite the compound in it's day.... The Hike was easy and once again, I brought the camera, soooo.....

    Couldn't decide whether to post all of the Informational Signs and decided that maybe some people would actually like to read them, so I did. There's alot of them though. :sweat:
    It's going to take me longer to post them all than the whole trip took. :lol:

    After hitting Sears Kay, I was thinking that the Sunset might be worth sticking around for, but wanted to leave that particular area because of the huge power lines. So I drove down Bartlett Road for about a half a mile and parked in an ATV Recreation Area and climbed a small hill. Couldn't get the actual Sun from there, but the light was hitting the landscape pretty well. I did get a few pics of the actual Sunset, but ended up having to move again due to those same power lines. The last three were taken at the intersection of Bartlett Road and Cave Creek. :)
    Sears-Kay Ruin
    rating optionrating optionrating optionrated 2rated 2
    This is a pretty easy hike up to the ruins and back. The ruins are not that impressive, but pretty typical for what you can expect. There were about 50 people on some forest service topography course up top.

    Saw half of a snake when someone yelled out, the first time I've seen any sign of any snake in any of my trips. Couldn't make the ID though, it was out of sight too quick.
    Sears-Kay Ruin
    rating optionrating optionrating optionrated 2rated 2
    WAS HEADED TO SEVEN SPRINGS TH IN THE CAVE CREEK PARK FOR A CAVE CREEK LOOP BUT WAS ONLY TO FIND THAT THE ROAD PASS THE SEARS KAY RUIN WAS CLOSED UNTIL SUNDAY THE 1/28/07. DECIDED TO CHECK OUT THE RUINS AS I HAVE NEVER HEARD ABOUT THEM. WHAT A NICE SUPRISE. I REALLY ENJOYED THE RUINS. COULDNT REALLY CALL IT A HIKE THOUGH. ALOT OF RUINS TO EXPLORE, AND IT WAS NICE TO SEE WEAVERS NEEDLE IN THE DISTANCE. GREAT VIEW ON THE HILLTOP. HEADED BACK DOWN AND STILL FELT LIKE I NEEDED TO DO A "HIKE". ENDED UP GOING TO THE SPUR CROSS RANCH CONSERVATION PARK NEARBY, AND DID A NICE 6 MILE LOOP THERE.
    Sears-Kay Ruin
    rating optionrating optionrating optionrated 2rated 2
    This was a fairly easy hike of 0.5 mile to the ridgeline and 0.5 miles back to the trailhead. Having become fascinated with ancient Indian ruins, I had planned on doing this hike for sometime. It was a little cool when I left and the half mile hike to the plateau was uneventful. I was amazed at how dry the area is and while the fire signs said there was a moderate fire danger, the entire area looked like a tinder box. The ruins looked like the typical Hohokam ruins you can see in Phoenix and around the valley. The area is not as isolated as it was 900 years ago because in some directions you can see new homes being built on the hillsides and power lines on the eastern side. You also can see 4 Peaks, the Superstitions, and Weaver's Needle. This is a great educational hike for children and I intend to go again with my grandchildren in tow. There are signs at the ruins explaining what the rooms are and they are most helpful.
    Sears-Kay Ruin
    rating optionrating optionrating optionrated 2rated 2
    Nice description Annette! The rock formation is known as the Apache Thunder God. I believe Jay Fraser wrote in 'Lost Dutchman Mine Discoveries' why he believes the mine is nearby. I searched the area day and night years ago... okay, about a half hour...lol If ya wanna know where the mine is just ask. BAH!

    http://hikearizona.com/books.php?ID=1239

    Permit $$
    None


    Directions
    Map Drive
    or
    Road
    Paved - Car Okay

    To hike
    Drive north on Scottsdale Road until it ends at Cave Creek Road. Turn east on Cave Creek Road and drive 9.1 miles to the entrance to Sears-Kay Ruin.
    3 pack - loud whistle
    safety first
    help comment issue

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