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Hardscrabble North, AZ
mini location map2018-05-19
15 by photographer avatarHansenaz
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Hardscrabble North, AZ 
Hardscrabble North, AZ
 
Hiking avatar May 19 2018
Hansenaz
Hiking6.01 Miles 1,021 AEG
Hiking6.01 Miles   5 Hrs   24 Mns   1.15 mph
1,021 ft AEG      11 Mns Break
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
I had followed a tip from Alston that took me to an interesting looking butte overlooking Hardscrabble Creek [ photo ] , but I couldn't get there that day. So I returned with a plan to do some mesa edge walking and ending up at that spot.

I walked a mile or two of edge and found a couple pottery/flaked rock scatters but no ruins till I got to the mesa edge opposite the butte. This was probably the spot Alston was thinking of...ruins scattered over a pretty good size area...I think it's the most extensive one I've found on HS Mesa. Again lots of pottery pieces and flaked stone.

I turned my attention to getting out to the butte which is connected to the mesa by a ridge/peninsula just below the ruin. Below is the important word here because there's a formidable cliff band in the way. I walked along the edge far enough to find the crumbly end of the band and headed down. Heavy brush and steepness made for a nasty traverse and I wasn't sure it would work out for me til I made it across to the ridge.

As I got closer to the butte I could see some stacked stone at the top, so at least the work was not for nothing. When I got there I found a nice, standard-looking fort: semi-circular stacked stone enclosure backing on to a natural wall. Good view up and down the creek. I doubt it gets many visitors.

For the return I wanted to avoid the traverse and decided I'd take my chances with the cliff band. From a distance I saw a possible spot and except for the last 100yds or so (manzanita!) it was much easier to walk straight up the ridge thnn the way I came down. When I got there I was discouraged though...the "break area" still was mainly vertical with exposure, but last chance was a short ramp to a blind corner and luckily that (surprisingly) worked. Much relief. Limped back with a couple agave tips in my toe...gotta love AZ off trail walking.
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