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Kentuck Mountain 5013 - Tonto NF
9 Photosets

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mini location map2020-12-19
28 by photographer avatarHansenaz
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Kentuck Mountain 5013 - Tonto NFPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Dec 19 2020
Hansenaz
Hiking6.63 Miles 2,623 AEG
Hiking6.63 Miles   7 Hrs   26 Mns   0.97 mph
2,623 ft AEG      36 Mns Break
 
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
There is a "semi-well-known" ancient fort on a spur above Sears-Kay Ruins. I was never tempted to go there but after enjoying my "burn hike" last weekend I thought it would be nice to walk the ridges of Kentuck Mountain and include a detour to the fort.

The SW ridge is not the most direct way to the top but it gets close to the fort so that's the way I went. I was pretty lucky to notice just a couple pieces of pottery along the way, and as I snooped further in that area I found a real nice ruin. It was so "clean", with free standing walls for the main room and several surrounding walls that I first doubted it was authentic - I very seldom see such a thing. Maybe because it was tucked between a couple natural outcrops it weathered better. Anyway very cool.

Further up the ridge I hit the turn-off to the fort. It was steep and further than I thought, and the fort was about what I expected. You can tell by the satellite picture that it is big with thick walls. Quite a view to see anyone approaching and no need to defend the south side - very steep. Probably whoever built this (and the other habitation sites "behind" it) were more worried about their neighbors than the Sears-Kay people were.

From there it was back to the ridge and on to the summit. Pretty nice walking and I passed a few more ruins. One had nice stone walls on two sides (looked like the other two had been deliberately knocked down). I got the impression this might have been a small lookout/fort protecting another habitation site a little further up the hill.

At the top I said hi to the Buford arrows and then headed down the NW ridge. I figured a new ridge gives me a chance to find new stuff, but this one just irritated me - slow and tedious due to the rocks. It also had the temerity to end early and put me in a creek which had a lot of drops and made me nervous about getting cliffed. But in the end it was OK.

Walked the power line road (aka Maricopa Trail) back to the car. Good trip - a little more work than I've been doing lately.
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