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Seven Springs Rd Side Track, AZ
mini location map2020-04-11
27 by photographer avatarOregon_Hiker
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Seven Springs Rd Side Track, AZ 
Seven Springs Rd Side Track, AZ
Hiking avatar Apr 11 2020
Hiking4.40 Miles 1,100 AEG
Hiking4.40 Miles   4 Hrs   30 Mns   0.98 mph
1,100 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
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I set off on this hike from Seven Springs Road to checkout what looked like, on Google Earth, a possible ancient rock pile on the ridge top above the north side of Sycamore Creek. It was a long shot but it was a good excuse to get out there before the spring time green and wildflowers disappear for another year. It was an easy hike up the ridge but I took my time to enjoy the views. Unfortunately there was no sign of ancient habitation at the location indicated on GE, just rock formations in geometric patterns that had looked like small walled rooms on GE.

On the way back down the ridge I spotted a few small pottery sherds laying on the ground so started to scan surrounding areas with my super zoom camera. A small sign in the distance caught my attention. It was on one of those brown fiber glass sticks used by the Forest Service and was in front of a large tangled mess of brush, tall grass and tree skeletons. Deeming it worthy of closer inspection I made a detour from my planned route back to the car. The sign was one of those notices that "archaeological resources in this area are fragile and irreplaceable, etc." - a sure indication of an ancient habitation site, much more reliable that some fuzzy GE image.

Hidden in the tall grass and brush were the crumbled down walls of many rooms. One had been excavated and one of its remaining walls was about 6 ft tall. It appears that most of the rooms had been all or partially below ground level with rock walls to hold back the dirt. I would later discover that these rooms weren't the only thing hidden in the tall grass, the closest I've ever come to actually testing my snake gaiters.

On my return to the car I decided to take another detour to look at some remains of more recent habitation - cabins near Columbine Spring that had been burned down by the 2005 Cave Creek Complex fire. All that remains of these 3 to 4 cabins are partial walls which I was surprised to find had been originally constructed with adobe bricks and mortar. It looked like the type of adobe construction used by early settlers in the late 1800's. The exterior exposed surfaces of the walls had been protected by a layer of cement stucco over chicken wire. It would be interesting to know the history of these buildings but I couldn't find any info in a quick search of the internet.
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