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Sundad Ghost Town, AZ

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Guide 4 Triplogs  0 Topics
Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Southwest > Buckeye SW
3 of 5 by 2
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 One Way 1.25 miles
Trailhead Elevation 967 feet
Elevation Gain 60 feet
Accumulated Gain 100 feet
Avg Time One Way 1.5 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 1.58
Interest Ruins & Historic
feature photo
Photos Viewed All Mine Following
Inaugural Calculation on Button Tap!
11  2017-08-02
Oatman Massacre / Fourr Cemetery
15  2017-01-02
Oatman Massacre / Fourr Cemetery
8  2015-03-30
Oatman Massacre / Fourr Cemetery
18  2015-03-30 kingsnake
53  2015-03-30
Oatman-Sundad-Aqua Caliente
Author kingsnake
author avatar Guides 83
Routes 182
Photos 7,946
Trips 637 map ( 5,893 miles )
Age 57 Male Gender
Location Sunnyslope, PHX
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   Jan, Dec, Feb, Nov
Sun  6:16am - 6:39pm
Official Route
2 Alternative
Culture Nearby
The Hills Have Eyes
by kingsnake

There's not much information on Sundad available on the internet, but it was established as a tuberculosis sanitarium in the 1920s. With TB being highly contagious, the distance from Phoenix kept healthy folks safe, while it was felt the dry, warm, air would be beneficial to the patients. The sanitarium did not last long. In more recent decades, it has been a party spot for off roaders. That is not as bad as it sounds, and is actually quite cool, as they have turned the rocks and many bottles into interesting rock art designs. (Just look at sat view!) "Sundad" is spelled out several times, and there are circles, diamonds, wheels, flowers, sunrises, arrows, and many other designs. Pretty cool!

Watch your step: Lots of nails as well.

As with many places in Arizona, it almost goes without saying, there was also mining in the area. Not sure when that started & ended, but it could be around the same time as the sanitarium as there are cement tanks next to the two shafts I found, as well as many prospects. Not sure what a cement tank would be doing up hill from a shaft? Unusual.

The entire Sundad site is about 500 yards south-to-north, and maybe 100 yards wide.

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2015-03-31 kingsnake

    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 Triplog Review
    Sundad Ghost Town
    rating optionrating optionrated 3rated 3rated 3
    Headed out with Stoic to follow up on some previous trips, throwing in the Sundad ghost town / rock art as a side trip.

    First up was the Oatman massacre site. The actual massacre site up on the bluff, not just the memorial down on the very dusty Oatman Flat. Stoic agreed I was not exaggerating about the depth of the dust on the farm access road. Reminder: Cars should park at the Fourr Cemetery, then walk in. The massacre site itself is marked by a stone mound, topped by a cross, next to which is a historical sign. I explained the circumstances of the massacre, and that afterwards the Western Yavapai had supposedly taken the Oatman girls to the Agua Caliente hot springs, pointing out the not-too-far distant Agua Caliente Range of hills. We poked around for a few minutes on top, then headed back to the Stoic's Xterra.

    Sundad has many rock designs on the ground, some I had not spotted on satellite view. I had noticed a few whazzit's on sat view, and on close up inspection, they turned out to be grated mine covered by the BLM's Fun Prevention Police, plus some associated workings. Stoic was surprised when he looked down a shaft, and saw eyes staring up at him. :o (It was an owl.) Details to follow in a new hike description.

    Then it was down to Agua Caliente. I had explored the ruined cabins along the road a few weeks ago, but today we also checked out some ruins further up the very rocky and rather steep hill. Turns out that there was only one identifiable cabin wall on the hill, but many large cairns (as in 4+ feet tall piles of rocks). In fact, from higher up on the hill, we were able to notice something not obvious to the naked, road-level, eye: Large cairns on each of the Agua Caliente Range's summits.

    With 97° predicted for Gila Bend, it was surely that hot further west, and the heat was starting to get to me. Despite drinking plenty of water and lime-cucumber Gatorade (serious!), I was actually feeling a bit woozy. We briefly checked out the various foundations (ghost towns?) along Hyder Rd., before pulling into the lot of the cantina at Dos Palomas. It was closed. As we were headed back to the Xterra, it opened. :y: (The cantina opens at 2:00 p.m.) Though they had a new cinnamon & horchata (serious!) Blue Moon, I opted for a cruddy beer: Tecate. Then another. Then a third. (I was not driving.) Nothing refreshes quite like a bad beer on a hot day. :D (Our total damage for a bottle of tea, three beers and a bag of chips was only $9.75!) Feeling human again, we bid adios to our friendly bartender Carmen. :)

    Oatman / Fourr Video:
    Sundad Video: ... wF4A


    p.s. Stoic said he is going to steal my triplog. :lol:

    Permit $$

    Map Drive
    FR / Jeep Road - Car possible when dry

    To hike
    From Gila Bend ... head west on I-10 to the Sentinel exit. Go north on Agua Calliente Rd for 14.5 miles. Turn east on Hyder Rd for 2.25 miles. Turn north on 555th Ave for 4.5 miles. Turn east on Lahman Rd, which immediately bends north (as Agua Caliente Rd), for 5 miles. Cars can easily make it this far, where the large "Sundad" rock sign is located. Cars should proceed no further, due to several SUV+ only wash crossings. Turn east on the jeep trail for a half mile, to the next split. I recommend splitting right, so that you approach the ghost town from the south, with the sun at your back for better photos. Splitting right, the southern end of the town is a half mile curve to the left.

    DO NOT DRIVE THROUGH SUNDAD! There are nails everywhere.

    Note that you can continue on the dirt Agua Caliente Rd all the way northeast to Buckeye. The distance from Hyder Rd to Arlington, on dirt, is 39 miles.
    page created by kingsnake on Mar 31 2015 8:46 am
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