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Spur Cross to NF Trail 252, AZ
mini location map2013-11-03
10 by photographer avatarOregon_Hiker
photographer avatar
 
Spur Cross to NF Trail 252, AZ 
Spur Cross to NF Trail 252, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Nov 03 2013
Oregon_Hiker
Hiking6.20 Miles 1,122 AEG
Hiking6.20 Miles   5 Hrs   25 Mns   1.14 mph
1,122 ft AEG
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
I returned to the Spur Cross Ranch Conservation Area (a Maricopa County Park) to continue some Indian ruin searching which was cut short last week by a mild on-set of heat exhaustion. This time I came prepared with a Frog Toggs Chilly Pad cooling towel to keep my head cool and an electrolyte drink mix. The area to be searched is on the south east side of Sugarloaf Mountain on the north and south sides of Tonto NF Trail #252. This is outside the Spur Cross park so I wasn't in conflict with the park rules against going off trail.

It was a beautiful morning and I reached the area where I would start my off-trail search without incident. It wasn't long before I discovered what appeared to be a small semi-circular terraced area with a rock retaining wall on the hillside. It was really small (10 ft diameter) and the "rock wall" was barely discernible from natural rock features but the presence of a few pottery shards greatly increased my confidence that this had been a habitation site of the ancients. I was certain there would be more significant ruins on the top of the hill above this site or in the flat below but found nothing.

I then decided to search a ridge top on the south side of TR 252. I had been in this area over 2 years ago without finding any sign of ruins but today I had more time and was more experienced at what to look for. I found faint evidence of fallen down rock walls hidden in the bushes and scattered small pottery shards. The walls encompassed an area only large enough for a few rooms. This is not typical of other habitation sites in the Cave Creek Canyon area which are characterized by 30 to 50 rooms enclosed by an outer wall approximately 100 yds long by 50 yds wide. There are several springs in the near vicinity which currently are not perennial but probably were when the Indians inhabited this area.

Although today's find was certainly not significant it adds to my growing list of habitation sites in Cave Creek Canyon and will keep me returning to search for more.
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