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Sears-Kay Ruin, AZ

Guide 57 Triplogs  1 Topic
  2.3 of 5 
no permit
409 57 1
HAZ reminds you to respect the ruins. Please read the Archaeological Resources Protection Act of 1979 & Ruins Etiquette
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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 202 feet
Accumulated Gain 219 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 1 hour
Kokopelli Seeds 2.2
Interest Ruins
Backpack No
feature photo
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17  2021-01-19 blueberry1222
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14  2019-05-17 RowdyandMe
8  2017-11-18 cw50must
5  2016-03-01 phlak
4  2015-04-26 FOTG
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Author annette
author avatar Guides 4
Routes 0
Photos 0
Trips 1 map ( 0 miles )
Age 71 Female Gender
Location Phoenix, AZ
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
Radar Map
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Preferred Nov, Dec, Jan, Feb
Seasons   Autumn to Spring
Sun  5:35am - 7:32pm
Official Route
1 Alternative
Historic Fire Perimetersacres
🔥 2020 Sears Fire14.5k
🔥 2005 Cave Creek Complex169.4 mi*
🔥 1979 Verde Fire22.9k
🔥 View (All) - over Official Route 🔥
*perimeter length in miles

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 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.

Leave No Trace and +Add a Triplog after your hike to support this local community.

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.

    Permit $$

    Map Drive
    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.
    90+° 8am - 6pm kills

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