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West Estrella, AZ
mini location map2016-02-06
23 by photographer avatarHansenaz
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page 1   2
 
West Estrella, AZ 
West Estrella, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Feb 06 2016
Hansenaz
Hiking14.41 Miles 1,277 AEG
Hiking14.41 Miles   6 Hrs   25 Mns   2.36 mph
1,277 ft AEG      19 Mns Break
 no routes
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
In 1699 Father Kino (with the aid of local native guides) walked the Komatke Trail from west to east short-cutting the big bend in the Gila River by crossing the lowest pass over the Estrella Range. This route (roughly) traveled from the Gila River south of Gillespie Dam, through the Maricopa Mountains and Rainbow Valley, over the Estrellas to the vicinity of Komatke in the present day GRIC. This was apparently a well used trade route and I wanted to try to walk part of it.

As anyone who's driven in Rainbow Valley knows, it has a maze of dirt tracks and it's pretty easy to get stuck in the sand out there. Turns out I picked a sub-optimal approach (wash-outs and fences), so I jettisoned the car early and had a long walk through the flat desert to get to the interesting part - the canyon on the west edge of the Estrellas.

I was at first disappointed that the likely areas for petroglyphs (at the mouth of the canyon) didn't have much. As I continued up though I found a few good spots: plenty of evidence that ancient people spent a lot of time there. Unfortunately my late start and long approach kept me from reaching the pass....maybe someday I'll go back.

On the way back I noticed a lot more scattered pottery (only in the canyon) and even found a broken quartz arrowhead. Enjoyable day in beautiful weather.
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