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Sierra Estrella
Sierra Estrella, Arizona - Maricopa CountyRidge
.: sbkelley :.
Nov 1 2014
Peak 3650 - Sierra Estrella
Featured Detail Photo mini map Featured Full Photo.: Randal_Schulhauser :.
Jun 8 2013
Ray Road Access Trail - South Mount
ID579522
TypeRidge
Topo MapMontezuma Peak
Nearby Ridges
8.2mi Alta Ridge
11.1mi South Mountains
13.0mi Palo Verde Mountains
Other Nearby Places
1.0mi Butterfly Mountain
1.4mi Quartz Peak - Sierra Estrella
1.4mi Sierra Estrella Wilderness
1.4mi Crusher Mica Quarry
2.3mi Montezuma Peak
2.9mi Montezuma Sleeping
Temperatures on the peaks are usually 8-10 degrees cooler than the surrounding desert floor valley.

Estrella Mountain Regional park occupies 19,840 acres in the northern portion of the range. The park offers multi-use trails including a competitive loop for running and mountain biking. Equestrian use is permitted. The park has parking and a riding arena.

History
The Sierra Estrellas were inhabited by the Akimel O'odham people and also some Yavapai bands at the north end of the range at the time of Spanish colonization, and today the mountains tower over several of the Akimel O'odham and Maricopa villages of the Gila River Indian Community. There are petroglyphs throughout the Southern portion of the range. In the colonial era, they were part of the land claimed as New Spain. Occasionally Spanish explorers or priests, most notably Father Kino, would venture near the range to document the area and contact the Akimel O'odham. On his return from the Colorado River in March 1699, Kino climbed a pass through the Sierra Estrellas and saw the Río Salado and Río Verde that he drew on his maps.

In 1810, Mexico declared its independence from Spain, and the Sierra Estrellas went on to become part of Mexico. In 1827, a French fur trapping expedition led by Michel Robidoux was attacked by indians. Survivors escaped into the Sierra Estrella mountains. In 1853, the United States acquired the Estrellas from Mexico as part of the Gadsden purchase. It soon became part of a trade route for settlers in California known as the Butterfield Overland stage. People and equipment could be moved across the area much quicker. The route was massively successful its time, moving millions of dollars in supplies. However, it was short-lived. Steam locomotives soon replaced stage coaches across the United States, and the Butterfield Stage Route was no longer utilized.

In 1857, the Battle of Pima Butte was fought in the area of the mountains. The allied Yuma, Mohave, Yavapai and Apache peoples attacked the Maricopa village of Sacate. The Maricopa and their allies, the Akimel O'odham, defeated the attackers, leaving approximately 200 of them dead or wounded. It is notable for being the last major battle fought solely between indigenous Americans in North America.
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