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Hardscrabble Creek, AZ
mini location map2017-04-22
13 by photographer avatarHansenaz
photographer avatar
 
Hardscrabble Creek, AZ 
Hardscrabble Creek, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Apr 22 2017
Hansenaz
Hiking5.13 Miles 1,236 AEG
Hiking5.13 Miles   5 Hrs   5 Mns   1.02 mph
1,236 ft AEG      2 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
In the past year or so I've had good luck looking in drainages on Hardscrabble Mesa for signs of the ancients. After some recent chit chat with Alston I looked at the satellite picture of Hardscrabble Creek, further uphill than earlier trips, and was surprised to see a bunch of pools. Permanent water is a good place to look for petroglyphs and the like and these were reasonably accessible (by car and by foot) so that was the plan for the day.

Compared to most other walks in the vicinity I didn't have to travel far on the mesa's dirt roads to get to the start of this one. The creek bed is a bit over-grown with pines and sycamores sprinkled in and I soon came to the first set of pools. It's normal that pools occur at the bottom of drops where waterfalls dig a hole and so it was on this creek. I passed about 8 very nice pools, they appeared to be permanent, and all were associated with rocky drops. Took a bit of work to get past some of them. Unfortunately these sites hadn't been extensively bookmarked by the ancients: I saw no petroglyphs and only two bedrock metates.

I had planned to go about 3mi down the creek then climb out to the mesa edge for the return but that was not to be. Before I could get there I hit a drop which was too hard to get down or bypass. I tried to climb up to the mesa edge but it was just too steep/loose and overgrown and so I abandoned the attempt and just slid back down to the drainage and reversed my path out.

I don't think many people walk down this canyon, more trouble than it's worth, and that was probably also true a thousand years ago too.
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429 Photosets

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