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mini location map2010-03-30
26 by photographer avatarThe_Eagle
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Skull Mesa RuinsPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Mar 30 2010
The_Eagle
Hiking14.54 Miles 2,601 AEG
Hiking14.54 Miles   9 Hrs   57 Mns   1.46 mph
2,601 ft AEG
 
1st trip
Started at 9am from the Spur Cross TH. Went down the Metate trail instead of the FS48 for a more homey feel, to get more creek crossings, to view the huge Saguaros, and to get a view of the lizard on the rock. If I counted right, there are 7 creek crossings before getting to the Skull Mesa Trail head 2.25 Miles after leaving the Parking Lot.

The creek as of 3/30/2010 was lower and boulder hopping is not be a problem.

Trail 247 was in good shape and not too much of a workout. Saw a Crested Saguaro in this section of the trail. Through the gate and on 248 the climb begins. It starts out slow and gets to be a pretty good workout to the top of the Mesa.

Once on top we walked to the south end of the Mesa for some great views! It's 1:15 now and time for some shade and some lunch.

The walk north across the Mesa towards the Ruins was pretty easy except for one thing. There are many areas of grass that are close to knee high, that are real good at hiding small prickly pear cactus. I found a number of them (Feet, shins, and knees). When the Mesa starts to narrow you will reach a small mound before you get to the Ruins. The easier route here is around the mound, either side, no need to climb the hill.

The ruins were a bit of a buzz kill. Some rocks piled up maybe knee high, maybe 6 - 10 rooms in a few different locations. We saw some pottery shards but no glyps. We worked our way over to "The Fort". From what I can surmise, they are located on/by the northern most peak (just north of the ruins).

We went around the West side of the peak, and think we saw the remnants of "The Fort" but for lack of time and water supplies we decided to bushwhack the west side of the hill down to Route #4. If you decide to do this pick you route carefully. It's a little steep, slippery, and has numerous ways to help you let some blood. It was loosing 600ft of elevation in 9/10 of a mile and 53 minutes for us to get down. Please follow a previous hikers GPS route down. If they were able to post a route down, then they made it. Once on route #4, it's just a 5.7 mile march back to your car. All the elevation is gone..... just the march back.

We got back to the TH and enjoyed an icy cold adult beverage and high fived the great day in the wilderness!

I really enjoyed this hike. The views from on top of the mesa are spectacular!!!
Fauna
Fauna
Mallard Duck
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Moderate
_____________________
There is a very fine line between "hobby" and "mental illness."
Dave Barry
HAZ Member
The_Eagle's
744 Photosets

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