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Hells Hole Ruin & Underground Bunker, AZ
mini location map2022-06-05
25 by photographer avatarCannondaleKid
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Hells Hole Ruin & Underground Bunker, AZ 
Hells Hole Ruin & Underground Bunker, AZ
Hiking8.90 Miles 2,544 AEG
Hiking8.90 Miles   5 Hrs   50 Mns   1.62 mph
2,544 ft AEG      20 Mns Break20 LBS Pack
 no routes
1st trip
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Hike #1 of 4 from our Sierra Ancha 2022 camping/hiking trip.

We had but 2 goals for this hike:
1. Visit the ancient Native American ruin site on Peak 5682 above Hells Hole.
2. Explore the underground bunker/water tank a quarter mile from the trailhead just off the trail.

First stop:
The rectangular metal cover over a pair of water valves for a quick photo.

Second stop:
Check out the underground bunker? Nope, Tracey was having none of it... maybe on the return trip? We'll see.

Third stop:
Leaving Trail #284 for an ascent to the ancient Native American ruin site on Peak 5682.
Pretty good size site... larger than Circlestone. While they both have roughly a 150' circle, this site has a secondary wall making it an oval-shape of about 200' in length.
While Tracey went about her job of finding pottery I took the scenic route around the perimeter for a photography-loop and followed that up with a video-loop.
Although I took 75+ photos on the hike, I figured the video would be more representative of the ruin site so I limited the photoset to just 25 photos.

YouTube video: Exploring an Ancient Native American ruin site

BTW, please pardon the shaky video and the incessant cicadas... I did not even realize there were cicadas due to the fact my newly acquired (within last 6 weeks or so) severe tinnitus is the same sound as cicadas. Only when I edited the video did I realize it... and that at first thought it sounded like a rattlesnake.

After time out for lunch and a quick nap we descended back to the Hells Hole Trail for what we expected to be an uneventful return trip... but that was not to be.

At the last saddle just over a half-mile from the trailhead we were surprised by a Wild Turkey which really gave us the run-around... gobbling loudly while running around us in roughly a 100' circle more than three times before finally heading off into a drainage.
We both had the same thought... "What was that all about!?"
It was running so fast I was lucky to get even part of it in any photos, and of course what may have been the best photo when it was barely 20 feet from me all I got was a blur of a turkey making like the Roadrunner... so I guess in this scene I just happened to be the Coyote. Such is life!

Fourth Stop:
Ok, time for another attempt at goal #2, the underground bunker.
As we returned to it I realized my flashlight was still in the car so we continued to the trailhead, retrieved the flashlight and returned for my exploration... Tracey was ADAMANTLY OPPOSED to tagging along so I went solo.

As it turned out the trip back to the car for the flashlight was a wasted trip... ](*,) due to plenty of light inside for taking photos due to white painted walls (ok, so after who knows how many years they're now more like off-white).

After taking a bunch of photos I climbed out, of course that was when I realized photos wouldn't do justice to the experience like a video would, and proceeded to take another dive into the bunker.
(Although really an underground water tank, bunker just seems like a better term for it.)

YouTube video: Exploring a long-defunct underground water tank/bunker

BTW, mea culpa... I goofed up a bit in the video:
1. I described the screened pipe as the tank intake when in fact it was the filtered OUTFLOW.
2. I described the 'out' OVERFLOW pipe as an another intake pipe.
3. I described the INTAKE pipe as a possible overflow.
But no matter, the video should provide @John10s with the information he sought.

In summary, we accomplished both our goals so the hike was a success, even if turned out to be a hot one, hitting 89.06° by the end... certainly hotter than we had expected.
 Fauna [ checklist ]
[ checklist ]  Wild Turkey
 Named place
 Named place [ checklist ]
[ checklist ]  Hopkins Mountain
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