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2 Photosets

2017-04-23  
2016-10-08  
Thirteen Mile Rock Butte and Ruin Loop, AZ
mini location map2016-10-08
29 by photographer avatarHansenaz
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Thirteen Mile Rock Butte and Ruin Loop, AZ 
Thirteen Mile Rock Butte and Ruin Loop, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Oct 08 2016
Hansenaz
Hiking7.09 Miles 1,752 AEG
Hiking7.09 Miles   4 Hrs   45 Mns   1.86 mph
1,752 ft AEG      56 Mns Break
 
1st trip
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Seemed like a good plan to combine an ascent of a prominent landmark via a historically significant route with a trip to a cliffside native ruin.

Thirteen Mile Rock Butte is along the road between Camp Verde and Strawberry and was a barrier for General Crook's men's construction of a wagon road 140 yrs ago. From a convenient pull-out/parking spot along Rt260 I went up the hill and through a fence and soon intersected the old wagon road. Apparently it was quite a challenge to get loaded wagons up the hill so a less steep version was added a few years later; this fork is conveniently sign posted and I took the original branch which is nice walking up to the ridge crest.

I walked back along the ridge to the top of the butte passing a few small collapsed ruins along the way. I didn't see any summit bling (benchmarks, registers, etc) but there's a commanding view. I could (roughly) see where I wanted to go next - a ruin marked on topo maps that I believe is called Black Mountain Ca$tle.

I thought I could drop to the NW but the rock face wrapped around and I had to back track a bit before bushwacking down the fairly steep north side. It wasn't too bad (no stickies/blood) and I was lucky to pass right by a large boulder covered with petroglyphs just above a little flat bench. I didn't see much on the bench (a few sherds) but I did intersect a jeep road there which I could follow almost all the way to BMC. I checked out a couple small hilltops along the way, one which had a couple ruin rooms and a faint glyph.

BMC is a good sized fort/lookout sitting high above Black Mountain Canyon. Well-defensed with thick walls but no pottery or signs that people lived there.

I took the jeep roads back and when I got near 13 mile I ran into a couple guys in trucks who were out looking for bears. We had a nice conversation - they were experienced and knowledgeable in wildlife management (they were both veterinarians) and were telling me about all the wildlife in the area (particularly after I told him I never saw anything but milk duds after quite a few trips to this area). 15 min after we parted they drove up behind me to point out some bighorns they just spotted (while driving!) at least 500 yds away across a ravine. Sure enough, even I saw them then.

This is a pretty nice trip I'd recommend to just about any hiker. Easy access, nice country, just one section of free lance bushwacking. Loop is finished with about 0.5mi road/shoulder walk at the end.
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