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mini location map2019-12-21
7 by photographer avatarLindaAnn
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Skull Mesa RuinsPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Dec 21 2019
LindaAnn
Hiking14.21 Miles 3,022 AEG
Hiking14.21 Miles   8 Hrs   21 Mns   1.87 mph
3,022 ft AEG      44 Mns Break
 
Route Scout GPS Route Recorded on Route Scout View
Met Laurie at Spur Cross at 0700, and we got started a few minutes later. At Mariposa Hill, we went past the Area Closed sign and took 247A up to Cottonwood, then east on Cottonwood. Saw one deer bounding north not far from the gate.

On the way up to Skull Mesa, I commented to Laurie that I always see campers up top, but that I couldn’t figure out how anyone could camp comfortably in all the rocks and cactus on the mesa. Sure enough, we topped out and saw two tents.

We headed north northwest across the mesa towards the ruins. After a short distance we ran across two guys who weren’t sure of the exact route to take to the ruins, so they ended up joining us on the hike across the mesa. Turns out, they were the campers whose tents we had seen. Lots of tall grass along the top, which obscured a lot of the prickly pear, so it was slow going in a few places.

Once at the ruins, we looked around and took a break, then headed back. Plenty of good conversation to fill the time during our tedious cactus avoidance endeavor. Saw another group of four hikers on our way back across the top. Once back across, we exchanged contact info with the guys before parting ways, then Laurie and I headed back downhill.

Saw group of five hikers on the way back down. Slow through the steep part, plus it was getting warm. Once back down, it was an easy hike retracing our steps back to the trailhead, finishing up a little before 1530. Nice to see Laurie again and good weather for this hike today. Definitely a cooler weather hike; the lack of shade and risk of snakes hidden in the grass up top makes this a hike I would never attempt in warmer weather.
Flora
Flora
Saguaro - Crested
Named place
Named place
Skull Mesa
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459 Photosets

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