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mini location map2013-12-27
44 by photographer avatarThe_Dude
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Skull Mesa RuinsPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Dec 27 2013
Hiking16.30 Miles 4,166 AEG
Hiking16.30 Miles   8 Hrs   26 Mns   2.48 mph
4,166 ft AEG   1 Hour   52 Mns Break14 LBS Pack
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Beautiful day for a hike! started off from the Spur Cross TH at about 7:15 and on we go. We saw a few folks at the parking lot, but did not see anyone else until we were on our way down from the Mesa. Very dry out here, this is the first time I have been up here and there has been no water in Cave Creek on the lower stretch. We did find one small, stagnant pool on the Cottonwood trail not long before the junction with the #248, adn that was all we saw that we did not bring. Made good time on the Cottonwood trail and up to the Mesa, but the top had an abundance of tall grasses that were doing their best to hide all of the rocks and snake holes, so we had to slow down considerably once we got up there. We were able to find some nice petroglyphs along the trail up to Skull Mesa, and we saw some on the big Black rock wall too. it is a long traverse to get back to the ruins, but they did not disappoint. The village and fort were well preserved considering how long they had been out there, and there were thousands of pottery shards to be found if you looked around. We saw some of many different colors, even saw a few edge pieces, pretty cool! The magnitude of work that had to have gone into this settlement is astounding. The fort walls were 3' think in most areas, meticulously stacked and even filled in at the middle. I am guessing this was in attempt to stop bullets from the white man! I can't figure how anyone could have stormed these walls considering how there is basically only one decent way up. Had lunch at the fort and started our way back, eyed the scramble down to the #4 trail, but it looked unsavory enough that we just went back the way we came. Long day, but well worth it! I had done the Cottonwood/Cave Creek loop back in the spring, so this was a must after that trip. Can't imagine doing this one when the rattlesnakes are active, the mesa seemed like a minefield.
Named place
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Continental Mountain
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