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Hardscrabble to Hells Hole Hill, AZ
mini location map2016-09-17
27 by photographer avatarHansenaz
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Hardscrabble to Hells Hole Hill, AZ 
Hardscrabble to Hells Hole Hill, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Sep 17 2016
Hansenaz
Hiking12.41 Miles 2,887 AEG
Hiking12.41 Miles   9 Hrs   21 Mns   1.71 mph
2,887 ft AEG   2 Hrs   5 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
I spotted some walls on a hill in a place called "Hells Hole" coming off Hardscrabble Mesa. Pretty irresistible.

I've had good luck with just random walks in that area so I was hoping to find other interesting stuff along the way to HHH and it worked better than expected.

While crossing a shallow drainage to get over to the right ridge I was lucky to hit a really nice spot - better than the other nice "creek shrines" I've previously happened upon up there. Two creeks came together there and there was a small pool -and the ancient residents left many petroglyphs, metates, and mortars.

Continuing along to a high point I noticed some pottery pieces and flaked black rock at my feet. Expanding the search I found plenty more pottery (a few painted pieces) and some low ruins. On my return I found a bigger ruin concentration there.

Maybe I should have quit there because the next couple hours were tough. Getting to HHH I contoured around another high point but it was steep and loose and the vegetation was thick. Elk paths helped but it took a lot out of me. The hilltop itself was pretty cool: a nice place for a fort/lookout and that's what it was. Some walls but no pottery - people didn't really live there.

Next task was to get out of Hells Hole and I figured going over the high point couldn't be worse than the contouring. I was right: but it was just as bad. From there it was a slow walk back. Missed Happy Hour :cry: but otherwise a good outing.
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