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Cave Creek Trail #4
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7 by photographer avatarAZLumberjack
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Cave Creek Trail #4Phoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Jan 02 2013
AZLumberjack
Hiking9.20 Miles 1,490 AEG
Hiking9.20 Miles   7 Hrs      1.84 mph
1,490 ft AEG   2 Hrs    Break
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
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Oregon_Hiker
Went hiking with Larry (Oregon Hiker) today up into the Cave Creek area for the first time visit into this area. Larry invited me to tag along as he wanted another pair of eyes (and legs) to better search an area that was supposed to have ancient ruins high on a seldom visited shelf.

We arrived at the trailhead to only a few cars in the parking lot so we figured that we would have the mountains to ourselves (correct assumption). Since Larry is intimately familiar with the mountains around here, it was like a history lesson as we hiked on down the road, crossing Cave Creek numerous times. We made a few turns on well marked trails as we continued into the heart of the wilderness. Skull Mesa loomed high above our right while Black Mesa dominated the views on our left and we kept crossing the creek.

It was pretty chilly down in the valley and a light wind whipped the brush around so I kept my down vest and gloves on to keep warm. We finally left the creek and began gaining altitude heading in the direction of Skull Mesa and suddenly left the trails as we began bushwhacking up a steep slope towards a "shelf" well above us.

Before long we were in an area where pottery sherds were becoming obvious and numerous so we began looking for telltale signs of rock walls. At first it was hard for me to discern the outlines, but Larry was more familiar with what to be on the lookout for. And there we were, in the midst of fairly large areas outlined with a low wall of stones.

The outlined areas were too large for living quarters, often exceeding 20 feet on a side, so we surmised that they must be garden areas (but then, where are the living areas?) This walled in complex continued on for a couple hundred feet and was heavily littered with pottery sherds where ever we looked.

We spent a lot of time up on this shelf looking for more signs of ruins, but only small groupings of broken pottery indicated that one-time occupants had made this their home. As we searched, we came across incomplete "glyphs" on some of the stone surfaces, but no major areas of rock art.

The trip wasn't what Larry was hoping to find, but was still an interesting day and soon we began our return back down into the Cave Creek trail system. We met a few hikers on a bird identifying mission and one back-packer on the trail, beyond that, the wilderness was ours alone.

Thanks Larry, for an educational day in the Cave Creek area. Maybe next time, you'll find that elusive village :)
_____________________
On every trip into the Superstitions, I find another Gold Mine. Today the mine was filled with Memories. I can not wait for the next trip.
HAZ Member
AZLumberjack's
371 Photosets

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