Prehistoric Indian Ruins
by Kelli Pearl
Walk about 0.3 miles down a dirt road to the Dutchman's/Second Water Trail. Take the Second Water Trail east (left). Cross First Water Creek bed (which will most likely be dry) and continue on well-marked trail to Garden Valley. No route finding skills are necessary on this trail, and most hikers will enjoy the rock and sometimes boulder filled paths. You will have no doubt you've arrived in Garden Valley because the entire area is flat and covered with mesquite trees and chain fruit cholla cactus. In the middle of the Valley, you will come to the intersection of Second Water Trail/Black Mesa Trail. Just past the sign, you will see a mound of rocks, overgrown with grass and palo verde trees. This is the ruins of a prehistoric stone house, and the place where you can find red pottery shards and metates (grinding holes) in the rock floor.
From here you can take the unmarked horse trail continuing west to Hackberry Spring. Look toward the hillside when you get below the trail and the ravine to see evidence of old mine diggings. There are alternate return routes you can take, but we did this as an out and back. It's surprising how much beauty you find you missed when you're heading downhill.
Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.
2002-03-01 Kelli Pearl