In 1935 the CCC, camped nearby, was years from finishing park amenities. One of the challenges was ensuring pleasant experiences to all throughout the construction phase. These ladies traveled at least eight miles from Phoenix. By 1950, cities across the US admired South Mountain. They felt it represented a quintessential element to "Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."
2015 Memorial Day - careless minds, urban sprawl and a lack of unity to the history that built this wonderful city have left this area locked and deserted. I came in hopes of laughter. I ate my lunch alone.
Okay a little less drama. One or two days prior, knew it was locked, no lunch and the first time I'd seen anyone there in awhile. A ranger "drove" in and I heard the gates squeaking. Actually more of a scary screech. Went to go ask some questions but couldn't easily get his attention. Looked like he was carrying a 5 gal bottled water to the recently remodeled yet locked restroom. As of this writing Piedras Grandes is closed until further notice for maintenance. Figure they are waiting on budget for plumbing or such.
In the above photo you can see the restroom in 1935. In 2015 you can make out parts of it from this point at different angles, though mostly blocked. I couldn't find any Saguaro matches in roughly a half dozen trips. The tree that canopies this tea bench must be hundreds of years old.