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mini location map2013-11-27
21 by photographer avatarHansenaz
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Skull Mesa RuinsPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Nov 27 2013
Hansenaz
Hiking13.54 Miles 3,549 AEG
Hiking13.54 Miles   7 Hrs   53 Mns   1.98 mph
3,549 ft AEG   1 Hour   2 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
I wasn't sure if this plan would work, but I figured if nothing else I'd have an interesting day looking around the flats below the ruins at the north end of Skull Mesa. It turned out that the steep route up didn't look too bad so the loop worked out just fine.

Coming in on the Cave Creek Trail #4, after ~5 miles I took a detour and passed by an old plane wreck and a few petroglyphs I'd seen before. Eventually I left the trail and picked a path up the side of the steep hill at the north end....it really wasn't too bad. Along the way I did notice one area of stacked stones indicating an old ruin.

Once past the steep stuff I hit the ridge and took a right. This was a lot of fun as the ridge was narrow with good views on both sides and led directly to the fort at the top of the hill. The fort is very impressive with well preserved massive walls (relatively speaking of course).

Continuing south you get a great view of the whole mesa ahead of you and then drop to the main Skull Mesa Ruin. Many logs comment that the ruin is disappointing but I thought it was a good one. It covers a wide area with many articulated rooms. I found quite a few large pottery sherds and even a turquoise pebble in one of the rooms. I think the fact that cows and motor vehicles get nowhere near this ruin has kept it in better condition than many of the other mesa top ruins in the area.

From there I continued south along the mesa top until I hit trail #248 which connected to others to get me back. It made for a nice loop.
Geology
Geology
Turquiose
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