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Spur Cross to 6L Ranch, AZ
mini location map2012-10-30
17 by photographer avatarOregon_Hiker
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Spur Cross to 6L Ranch, AZ 
Spur Cross to 6L Ranch, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Oct 30 2012
Oregon_Hiker
Hiking11.40 Miles
Hiking11.40 Miles
 
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
I needed a hike to get some exercise but it always helps to have something to search for during the hike to make it more interesting. The bench above Cave Creek between the old 6L Ranch and Skull Mesa has Indian Ruins and an old 1950s plane wreck site to make a hike more interesting. I've found the plane wreck site and several ruin sites on previous hikes but I was sure there were more ruin sites yet to be found. I've always thought the top of the bluff above the 6L ranch would be a likely location for ruins. I got an early (for me) start to give time for exploring leaving the Spur Cross trailhead at 8:30 AM. The hike was uneventful until I got to the trailside petroglyphs just past the 6L gate. A javalina came out of the thorn bushes about 30 feet away, checked me out and then sauntered back into the brush. A few minutes later I got a glimpse of several javalina walking through the brush paralleling my path - made me a little nervous because they didn't seem to have much fear of me. I proceeded down the path until I was downwind of their location and climbed up on a rock hoping to get some pictures of them. But no luck, I could hear them walking around in the brush and probably settling down for their daytime nap no more than 50 feet away. I decided to leave them to their daytime nap and proceeded on to the 6L Ranch site stopping to once again inspect the rusted hulk of an old pickup in the middle of the trail. I had posted a picture of this wreck in a previous triplog and there were some comments speculating on the make of this vehicle. I don't remember who said it was a Ford, but I was able to confirm that today after closely inspecting the tailgate and seeing FORD imprinted in the rusty metal.

After arriving at the 6L Ranch site I took the trail up the side of the canyon that connects with Cave Creek Trail #4. At the point where the trail reaches the bench above the creek I left the trail and headed for the top of the bluff that overlooks the 6L ranch site. It wasn't long before I was in the middle of crumbled down rock walls outlining small rooms. There was also a long wall which appeared to form a terrace on the hill side but could have been the remains of a defensive wall. Lots of pottery sherds littering the ground confirmed that this was a ruin site. This now makes a total of 5 ruin sites that I know of within an area about 0.5 miles long by about 0.75 miles wide, all located on this bench above Cave Creek on the side of Skull Mesa. Why so many in such a small area?

I enjoyed a leisurely lunch sitting on a boulder in the ruin site and then found my way back down to Cave Creek about 0.5 miles upstream from the 6L Ranch site. I followed the creek downstream and took some time to explore the ranch site. I found a rock wall with barbed wire fence on top of the wall enclosing an area approximately 1 to 2 acres in size between the ranch site and the creek partially hidden by thorn bushes. The wall was about 2 to 3 feet thick and upto about 5 feet high in some places. Someone when to alot of effort to build this wall. I suspect it's purpose was to divert flood waters away from the ranch site. Too many things to ponder so I headed back to the trailhead. An interesting day of exploring that made the 11.4 mile hike seem short.
Flora
Flora
Prickly Pear
Named place
Named place
Skull Mesa
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