for free!
show related photosets
Salome Cny Overlook - Peak 5344, AZ
mini location map2023-04-22
26 by photographer avatarOregon_Hiker
photographer avatar
page 1   2
Salome Cny Overlook - Peak 5344, AZ 
Salome Cny Overlook - Peak 5344, AZ
Hiking7.50 Miles 1,586 AEG
Hiking7.50 Miles   8 Hrs   52 Mns   0.85 mph
1,586 ft AEG
 no routes
Linked   none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
This hike has been on our To-Do List ( @grasshopper and myself ) for a few years. It got on our list after @ssk44 gave us a tip, based on a Google Earth search, that there is an ancient habitation ruin on Peak 5344 deep in the Salome Wilderness of the Sierra Ancha Mountains. He has given us many similar location tips over the years. GH and I have been able to verify the presence of these ruins on most, if not all, of the ones we could get to on day hikes. We made an attempt to reach this site last October, [ popup triplog ] , but could only get close enough to take photos from a distance before running out of time and energy. We decided to come back for another attempt this spring but GH got sidelined for 6 months. So, despite some protesting by GH, I decided to make a solo attempt during a 6 night car-camping trip to the SA April 20-26.

Getting to a location on the edge of the Salome Wilderness that would put me within day-hiking range requires a 5-mile drive on a very rough 4x4 track, FR2752, off of HW288 to the Park Tank area. This, despite both GH and I briefly vowing we would never drive this old road again after our Oct 2022 trip. I had my doubts that this route would be drivable after the winter storms but was surprised to find it in the same condition as last year, still rough requiring a high clearance 4x4 vehicle with heavy duty tires due to to the abundance of tire shredding rocks. Arriving at Park Tank I passed the long-abandoned White Trailer Trash encampment and continued on to camp at the location of last year's campsite 0.5 mile northwest of the tank. There were several range cattle near the tank but they did not stop by my camp near sundown to serenade me with loud mooing protests of our presence as they had last year.

The day after arrival was devoted to searching for the cell phone GH lost on our off-trail hike along the nearby ridge-top last Oct. The phone contains a SD card with many photos he holds dear but were not backed up. Unfortunately I had no success after methodically searching twice along his last year's GPS track.

On the second day I started the hike to Peak 5344 early in the morning. The hike up to the top of the long ridge leading to my destination went much quicker than last year thanks to a convenient cow trail that climbed at a gradual grade up the side of the ridge staying clear of the dreaded manzanita thickets. The cows had obviously already used that trail this spring as evidenced by their relatively fresh trail markers (cow pies). After reaching the ridge top I headed towards the cliff-lined rim overlooking Workman Creek Canyon and followed that rim until the ridge line started its steep descent towards Peak 5344. There were some great views of the canyon and I took my time taking photos.

Continuing on across a more level ridge top through scattered meadows, brush thickets and oak trees I reached our turn-around point from last year at the top of another steep descent down to Peak 5344. The descent from there looked menacing with heavy cover and scattered mini-cliffs. But, the intrepid range cows had been there recently and their trails again provided a relatively easy way down to a mini-plateau that must have contained some cow feed delicacies. The canyon rim along the cliff edge of this mini-plateau provides great views down into Hell's Hole in Workman Creek Canyon. It also provided a view of a puzzling surprise on a wide ledge protruding from the canyon side above the confluence of Workman and Salome Creeks. I did not identify the bright orange object until I got home and viewed telephoto pictures on my PC. It is an abandoned kayak. How it got to this remote location in the middle of the Salome Wilderness is a mystery. Those creeks would only be high enough for navigation in a kayak during high floods and in my opinion be way too dangerous for any sane person to attempt.

The final approach to Peak 5344 was blocked by a narrow cliff-sided ravine but I got close enough to the peak, about 200 ft, to get a good view of ruin walls, mostly collapsed, but with short sections that were 4 to 5 ft high. There appeared to be a perimeter defensive wall surrounding the top of the peak and several other short walls. Lots of rock piles that may have been rooms but they were obscured by tall grass and bushes. The narrow ravine blocking access to Peak 5344 tops out near the northeast side of the peak providing a route to cross over to the peak. I decided at this point not to descend to this crossing, then climb up to the ruins, in favor of saving energy for the long return hike back up the ridge and down to camp. The photos taken from across the ravine provided considerable evidence of what the ancients had built here. Returning to camp after the exhausting uphill trek to the top of the ridge, I decided that I would take the next day off from hiking to recover. That led to my decision to leave the Park Tank area back to HW288 on my day off from hiking the next day to explore some alternate hiking explorations on my list during the remaining 3 days of my camping trip.
HAZ Member
592 Photosets

1,  2,  3,  4,  5 ... 30  

end of page marker