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mini location map2017-11-24
7 by photographer avatarDixieFlyer
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Skull Mesa RuinsPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Nov 24 2017
DixieFlyer
Hiking17.50 Miles 4,000 AEG
Hiking17.50 Miles   9 Hrs   2 Mns   2.56 mph
4,000 ft AEG   2 Hrs   12 Mns Break
 
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Six intrepid hikers decided to #OptOutside on Black Friday and hike up to the Skull Mesa ruins. The first 2 miles were very easy, and the next 3 miles were fairly "normal" for an Arizona hike on a trail in a national forest. The next 1.2 miles up to the top of Skull Mesa were a bit more strenuous, but not too bad. The hike from the top of the mesa to the ruins was totally off-trail through knee high grass with lots of prickly pear cactus along the way. Thankfully the gps track that I downloaded from HAZ took us right to the ruins. The fort ruins were very interesting and are worth going to imho. I did not see the pueblo ruins, although I did not really know what to look for. I also did not see any of the petroglyphs that are supposed to be there. There were some pottery shards scattered around though.

I made one deviation from the gps track: as we neared the ruins, rather than going up and over the second peak that you come to, I went around it on the west side. There was a faintly marked trail to follow, and it was much easier than going up and over this peak.

On a future hike, on the way back from the ruins I am going to explore the feasibility of going from the ruins over to Cave Creek Trail #4. There will be a descent involved, but it should shorten the route back by over 2 miles.

I have done this hike twice over the past month and saw wildlife both times: the first time I came across a half dozen or so javelina; the second time I saw a tarantula on Trail #247, and I came across a deer leg on top of the Mesa.

We made good time on this hike, with a moving avg. of 2.6 mph. We spent about 2 hours of 'downtime", mostly on top of the initial summit to Skull Mesa, and at the fort ruins.

Flora
Flora
Barrel Cactus
_____________________
I'd rather die of exhaustion than die of starvation.
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DixieFlyer's
314 Photosets

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