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Doll Baby TH to Ruins, AZ
mini location map2019-12-07
19 by photographer avatarN8TRGRL
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Doll Baby TH to Ruins, AZ 
Doll Baby TH to Ruins, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Dec 07 2019
N8TRGRL
Hiking5.16 Miles 1,570 AEG
Hiking5.16 Miles   4 Hrs   18 Mns   1.45 mph
1,570 ft AEG      45 Mns Break20 LBS Pack
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Route Scout Route Recorded  on Route Scout Popup | MapDEX
Twas a grand day for this
my 3rd time. Technically 2.5 times I guess, since the 1st time, I knew nothing of the hidden gem atop the Tapeat "pancakes". We did note the little side trail that heads up there but this was also at dusk, so we opted to instead take in sunset as we wistfully gazed at the expanse of LF Ranch.
On this, my 2nd top out, we were treated to a perfect overcast day with cool autumn temps.
Soon after parking at the small dirt pull out, next to an ancient tree, you'll cross through a gate and over the Mazatzal Winderness boundary. Quickly thereafter, past the odd teal green gravel, you'll head up, up n away, passing old beasty trees. Stay quiet and chances are supreme for catching glimpses of wildlife. I've seen javelina sign (prevalent), an owl (barely), beaver sign, ample riparian activity and a soil centipede. On this trip by golly, we even bumbled right past a dead horse which incited about a half mile of "waddaya suppose happened there?" conversation.
🐴.0.72 miles - 12:53 pm
Dead horse
Now you're well on your way up the elliptical, stair master, jeep road where eventually, you'll kinda top out and pass through another gate. Segue right for some views of the river which'll be especially enticing during the foliage show. And on that note, this hike is better in cooler temps as it's exposed and sans shade. The seasonal gullywash (one of two springs in the immediate area) was almost non existent although during rain or melt probably causes quite the scene. Oh- I digress again- the road in to the TH? Ya, defffff check what the weather's recently done. Two water crossings and potential for some rhino holes.
Ok, digression over. For now.
After you've taken in your little ledge view, after passing that last gate,look to your left for the spur that leads you to the pancakes. (Tapeat sandstone layers). Once you hit the base of the pancakes, toss a coin. I've gone both ways (snicker, snort), left or right and found right to be better. In either case, follow cairns. Once you reach the top follow more cairns in a south easterly direction (I think) till you approach massive walls of red and lichen stacked rocks.
There's not much info on these ruins outside of the misnomer "Spanish Ruins" however, deeper digging had us convinced this was a ceremonial or ritual spot, possibly Salado. Feels more party, less homey 🤔 (scientific deduction)
We did a little compassing on the formation of the structure, location of two spiral rooms, the "J" wall and directional pointing of certain walls and in our amateur opinions felt this was marking the equinox and solstice and the structure served as some sort of calendar or clock.
But we don't know ish about ish. We were kinda just daydreaming about it all.
Head about 100 yards below the ruins, towards the mazzies and get treated to a large smooth boulder with four grinders in one rock. Another grinding stone is near that.
Also notable were the haphazardly teetering tapeat "tables" and a couple of caves that look to have been utilitarian.
Pretty views, lotsa wildlife sign, 3rd time having the area to ourselves. Would be a nice sunrise or sunset spot as well as a cool place to watch outlying monsoons. I found a ledge looking to the river to be a novel spot for a frosty and a sammich while I stretched and breathed damp fall air.
Go back down the way you came. Bad knees/ankles will appreciate trekking poles.
Leave no trace. Take no stuff. Ladies- pack out your TP for cry-eye!
foliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observation
Autumn Foliage Observation Isolated
A tad of clingers
_____________________
"Cover the earth before it covers you"~Runes
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