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South Fort - Castle Creek Wilderness, AZ

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Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Prescott > Black Canyon
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HAZ reminds you to respect the ruins. Please read the Archaeological Resources Protection Act of 1979 & Ruins Etiquette
Statistics
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Difficulty 1 of 5
Route Finding 1 of 5
Distance Round Trip 1.7 miles
Trailhead Elevation 6,435 feet
Elevation Gain 359 feet
Accumulated Gain 390 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 1 hour
Kokopelli Seeds 3.65
Interest Ruins
Backpack Possible & Connecting
feature photo
Photos Viewed All Mine Following
Collective Slideshow
42  2017-04-29
Horsethief Basin East Fort South Fort Loop
Nightstalker
12  2016-08-06
Horsethief Basin East Fort South Fort Loop
Nightstalker
11  2016-04-16
Bradshaws Fort Loop
Hansenaz
5  2015-05-27 AZWanderingBear
45  2015-05-17
Horsethief Basin East Fort South Fort Loop
Nightstalker
15  2014-06-28
Lane Mountain - Willow Spring Loop
The_Eagle
20  2012-03-17
Kentuck-217 Coal-203 Jim-235 Willow-236
The_Eagle
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   Oct, Apr, May, Sep
Seasons   Spring to Autumn
Sun  7:27am - 5:21pm
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Official Route
 
4 Alternative
 
Water
Nearby Area Water
Willow Creek Trail #236 - Prescott NF
0.2 mi away
3.5 mi
220 ft
Jim Creek Trail #235
0.4 mi away
3.0 mi
111 ft
East Fort Trail #31 - Prescott NF
East Fort Trail #31 - Prescott NF
0.9 mi away
2.1 mi
388 ft
Coal Camp Spring Trail #203
1.0 mi away
2.0 mi
33 ft
Kentuck Trail #217 - Prescott NF
1.9 mi away
2.5 mi
704 ft
Tiptop Trail #234
Tiptop Trail #234
2.0 mi away
2.7 mi
70 ft
Horse Thief Lake Trail
Horse Thief Lake Trail
2.1 mi away
0.6 mi
35 ft
Twin Peaks Trail #240 - Prescott NF
2.2 mi away
9.0 mi
1,437 ft
Horsethief Canyon Trail #30
2.6 mi away
2.2 mi
130 ft
Recreation Trail #201
2.7 mi away
1.5 mi
308 ft
[ View More! ]
Flora Nearby
Geology Nearby
Named place Nearby
Fortifying Views
by AZWanderingBear

Overview: Short climb to Unimpressive ruins with Extraordinary Views!

Warning: The drive from Crown King to the trailhead is on a seldom maintained dirt road and may be closed during winter months. 4-wheel drive is not required, but moderate clearance is.


History: Like the nearby East Fort, South Fort is a Hohokam site dating back to approximately 1300 AD. It is one of many hilltop sites that form a network with each site being visible to at least one other. The sites stretch from the northern Phoenix Valley, across the Bradshaws to Prescott and down to Wickenburg. Archaeologists are not certain of the purpose of this extensive network.

Hike: You may park at Coal Camp and walk up the old Jeep trail to the east or attempt to drive the rocky and rough trail as far as you dare. Either way, you are going uphill for .6 miles before turning sharply right to proceed southwest on a foot path to the rocky outcrop that hosts South Fort. Along the way you will pass a very nice camp spot on your left set back in a stand of large pines. The setting is almost park-like. Manzanita, oak and the occasional alligator juniper make up the remainder of the forest here. Scattered wild flowers are present in season. Keep your eyes open for deer and other wildlife. Many species call this area home.

The final leg of the hike up to the Fort crosses a fence marking the Castle Creek Wilderness Boundary. Ahead you'll see a large rock outcropping and the single rock wall that remains of the ruin. The views south as simply spectacular. Slightly west is a huge granite boulder precariously perched on the edge of the ridge.

Time permitting, the Willow Springs trail goes southeast and the rugged Jim Creek trail goes south out of Coal Camp. Or you could just head back to Crown King for a beer and burger.

Water Sources: Water is available on the drive in at the Ranger Station, Hazlett Hollow Campground and Turney Group Campground (maybe turned off in winter months).

Camping: Nearby Hazlett Hollow Campground is open Spring through Fall. Multitudes of dispersed camping sites are available.

AZWanderingBear
    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 $$
    None

    Prescott Forest
    Prescott National Forest Pass

    Only trailheads with six "amenities" have fees. Amenities are picnic tables, trash, toilet, parking, interpretive signing and security.


    Directions
    Map Drive
    or
    Road
    FR / Jeep Road - Car possible when dry

    To hike
    From Phoenix take I-17 north to the Bumble Bee Exit 248. Follow the Crown King dirt road 27.5 miles to Crown King. Continue through Crown King along the Senator Highway for .5 miles and turn left on Horse Thief Road. Follow Horse Thief Road 10 miles to the gate for the Horse thief Fire Tower. Stay left at the road up to the fire tower and continue .85 miles to Coal Camp and the end of Horse Thief Road.
    page created by The_Eagle on Jun 02 2015 3:45 pm
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