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5 Photosets

2018-05-12  
2018-02-05  
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2013-07-21  
Cooks Mesa Wander, AZ
mini location map2018-05-12
20 by photographer avatarHansenaz
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Cooks Mesa Wander, AZ 
Cooks Mesa Wander, AZ
 
Hiking avatar May 12 2018
Hansenaz
Hiking8.67 Miles 1,520 AEG
Hiking8.67 Miles   6 Hrs   19 Mns   1.42 mph
1,520 ft AEG      12 Mns Break
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
I had walked around up on Cooks Mesa once before and hadn't found a thing. It's a big mesa so I wasn't inclined to return until Petrophile gave me the coordinates of a structure he spotted on a satellite picture. Though usually I like to find my own destinations I'm thankful for this tip which looked like a good choice given the 10deg temp drop for the weekend.

I took a close look at the jeep road that climbs the mesa before deciding (once again) it wouldn't be a smart choice for me (alone) in my Subaru. It's probably doable, but the safer choice doesn't add that much to the hike. I mainly followed jeep roads past the tanks (all dry) until I got near the buttes I was heading for. These are sort of cool formations coming off the south edge of Cooks Mesa and look like natural lookout/habitation locations for defensive-minded people.

The first butte has a small rectangular room clearly visible in the satellite picture. The walls were low but reasonably intact and a small section of wall continued of one edge of the structure. I found some pottery there so probably people lived there. The view to the second butte was more interesting though: looked like a bigger wall on that one.

The 2nd butte is very well defended. The rock cliff goes almost the way around - only reasonable approach is from the SW where the cliff is more broken. Plenty of overgrowth adds to the defense. Once on top I found it was a fortified enclosure: one clear entry way but on the south end, the only accessible side, a barrier wall was constructed across the entire butte width (30-40' or so wide). Inside the enclosure were several ruin room outlines and again some pottery. I found a couple small petroglyphs there as well.

I walked back across a drainage so I could sample another butte and some new ground. Didn't come across any more cultural signs but I did see 5 or 6 deer running away in the distance. Good day, not to hot, thanks for the tip Mike!

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397 Photosets

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