|Guide||♦||3 Triplogs||0 Topics|
Digging up Bones
Skull Mesa (elevation of 4,595 feet and prominence of 555 feet) is a prominent landmark in the Tonto National Forest near Cave Creek. This guide documents the Mesa's highpoint, which is 1.3 miles east of and over 350 feet higher than the popular overlook on the SW side of the Mesa.
For putposes of this guide, the hike to the Skull Mesa Highpoint is a one-way hike starting at the Skull Mesa Overlook on the SW side of the Mesa. While there are several ways to hike to the overlook, the most common is to start from the Spur Cross Ranch TH and hike on Skull Mesa Trail #248 to get to the overlook. Note that there is a per person fee if you start the hike from the Spur Cross Ranch Conservation Area.
From the overlook, the author of this guide went off-trail (mostly heading east) to get to the Skull Mesa Highpoint. It is reasonably easy off-trail, despite hiking through some knee-high grass with some ankle-busting rocks and prickly pear cactus lurking underneath the grass. Game-trails can be followed in places, and if you are careful, you can come through the off-trail hike unscathed. It is a gentle uphill grade most of the way to the highpoint, and you'll be so focused on avoiding the prickly pear that you will hardly notice that you are going uphill.
The highpoint is near some large rocks that are at or very, very near these coordinates: 33.92639, -111.90491
The rocks provide a convenient place to sit down and enjoy the views and bask in the glory of attaining the Skull Mesa Highpoint.
Note that you might be able to follow Skull Mesa Trail #248 from near the overlook to the highpoint. However, this would be a longer route, and this trail may not be easy to follow up on the mesa, so taking it might not be any better than merely going off-trail in a more direct route.
When leaving the highpoint, you can either go back the way that you came or spend some time on the mesa exploring some of the Indian ruins that are on the mesa.
Link to this guide only if you go to the highpoint of Skull Mesa.
Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.
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.