username
X
password
register help
GuidesRoutes
 
Photosets
 
 Comments
triplogs   photosets   labels comments more
1, 2, 3, 4, 5 ... 21  Next
406 triplogs
Feb 27 2021
Hansenaz
avatar

 Guides 4
 Routes 181
 Photos 7,035
 Triplogs 407

68 male
 Joined Apr 06 2005
 Phoenix, AZ
Agua Fria Places, AZ 
Agua Fria Places, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Feb 27 2021
Hansenaz
Hiking3.73 Miles 787 AEG
Hiking3.73 Miles   3 Hrs   55 Mns   1.02 mph
787 ft AEG      15 Mns Break
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
I caught wind of a couple walled sites near the Agua Fria River that I didn't know about so I went out to have a look.

The first site sits on a narrow hilltop and is just two rooms but has fairly tall walls. It's obviously a fort or lookout since it has good views and showed little sign that people lived there. (I noticed one little pottery piece.) It overlooks the river and the other site I was heading for. Possibly this was a lookout location for the lower habitation site.

While going down the hill I did notice a fair amount of pottery and when I got down to a flat "bench" I decided to look around since it appeared to be a good spot to grow crops. The bench area had a lots of plain pottery scattered about but I didn't find another habitation site.

I looped back to the 2nd target site and it has at least 10 rooms with well-defined walls. It's located on a steep hilltop...you wouldn't pick this place to live unless you wanted to sleep more soundly at night.

Coming down from there I passed a petroglyph and so spent some time walking around the low bench just above river level looking for more. Nice area with quite a few glyphs. Seemed like older ones than others in the area. Good day.
_____________________
Feb 20 2021
Hansenaz
avatar

 Guides 4
 Routes 181
 Photos 7,035
 Triplogs 407

68 male
 Joined Apr 06 2005
 Phoenix, AZ
Oatman Redux, AZ 
Oatman Redux, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Feb 20 2021
Hansenaz
Hiking3.91 Miles 539 AEG
Hiking3.91 Miles   3 Hrs   59 Mns   1.05 mph
539 ft AEG      16 Mns Break
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Return to the Oatman area of the Gila River. I think my more recent pandemic Saturday trips are more "outings" than hikes - just getting out of the house for the day hoping to see something new.

My plan was to check out the "edge" for petroglyphs. I've looked in the general area before but there are places I'd skipped and different "paths" along 1) the top edge, 2) just below the cliff bad at top, and 3) in the rock jumble along the bottom, show different things. I was pretty sure there was more to see.

I first checked a new section on top. I didn't expect much because it had been scarred by vehicle tracks (the pristine sections along the river are so much nicer), but I saw a couple formations that might be ancient. No glyphs though.

I went down to walk along the bottom edge of a section I knew had nice petroglyphs on the top cliff band. I saw an upside down petroglyph which I assume fell down from the top (the crumbling of the top-edge is obvious in many places). I headed up here and when I got near the top I heard some buzzing and simultaneously got a couple stings. Quick and undignified retreat which cost me some skin. Usually I hear the bees in advance and dodge them. Of course the fear is that a bunch of them will come after you, so I was lucky, but I can also report the stings weren't that bad.

Anyway after that I went up and down the big rocks on the hillside and found quite a few new (to me) glyphs. The pictures aren't great - forgot my favorite camera/phone but had my cheap super-zoom - and the light was tough.

Took the fast way back on the top past the Oatman massacre sign, and noticed the old Mormon Battalion track sign. The history here is deeper than I'd realized - apparently the Battalion built a wagon road up from the river to the basalt plain just 4 years before the massacre.
_____________________
1 archive
Feb 13 2021
Hansenaz
avatar

 Guides 4
 Routes 181
 Photos 7,035
 Triplogs 407

68 male
 Joined Apr 06 2005
 Phoenix, AZ
Oatman Grave Loop, AZ 
Oatman Grave Loop, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Feb 13 2021
Hansenaz
Hiking3.83 Miles 337 AEG
Hiking3.83 Miles   3 Hrs   29 Mns   1.22 mph
337 ft AEG      20 Mns Break
 no routes
1st trip
Partners none no partners
Noticed a section of the Gila edge I hadn't walked and thought it would be worth a look. Near the start, walking a barren mudflat (not sure why these even exist), I noticed lots of pottery pieces. I've found very little pottery in many previous trips to the Gila River edge but this apparently was a large Patayan habitation site. The pottery concentration continued for a couple hundred yards extending into the mouth of a side canyon.

I hoped to find some petroglyphs along the cliff edge and succeeded on the first try. There is lots of edge to check there but I decided to save the rest for another trip.

On the way back stopped at the Oatman grave site. And at the car met a couple ladies who were heading out to find petroglyphs - not common to have a glyph conversation with strangers in the field!
_____________________
Jan 30 2021
Hansenaz
avatar

 Guides 4
 Routes 181
 Photos 7,035
 Triplogs 407

68 male
 Joined Apr 06 2005
 Phoenix, AZ
Gillespie Volcano Loop, AZ 
Gillespie Volcano Loop, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Jan 30 2021
Hansenaz
Hiking6.05 Miles 862 AEG
Hiking6.05 Miles   4 Hrs   25 Mns   1.49 mph
862 ft AEG      21 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Linked linked
Partners none no partners
There are petroglyphs near Gillespie Bridge/Dam but I'd never stopped to see them figuring the area was probably overused and a bit trashed. But looking for a non-muddy daytrip I decided combining some glyph seeing with an easy desert walk fit the bill.

It was foggy when I started and the first edge I looked at was disappointing - overgrown at the bottom, smelling of decay, and I wasn't seeing any glyphs or even good rock for writing. Cut that short and headed further along and hit a nice section with a lot of interesting petroglyphs.

From there I headed west toward a high point I've looked at from various angles the last couple years. This is one of the sources for the black rocks along the Gila River. It's a shield volcano, about 3M years old, and is called Gillespie Volcano on some maps. Not much to see along the way but a little exercise and a nice view from the top.
_____________________
Jan 23 2021
Hansenaz
avatar

 Guides 4
 Routes 181
 Photos 7,035
 Triplogs 407

68 male
 Joined Apr 06 2005
 Phoenix, AZ
West of Pinal Airpark, AZ 
West of Pinal Airpark, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Jan 23 2021
Hansenaz
Hiking5.00 Miles
Hiking5.00 Miles   3 Hrs   30 Mns   1.43 mph
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Last week while walking around the flat desert west of the Pinal Airpark I noticed the dirt roads crossing the area were pretty good and it got me thinking maybe I could combine a "drive through" adventure with some unfinished business I had finding places.

I started from the west taking the gas Pipeline road off W.Silverbell Rd. There are a number of forks (and gates) but I'd planned the route pretty well. Most traffic out there is probably ATVs and Jeeps but there are no rocks to speak of, just some sand and ruts, and other than AZ pinstripes I had no problems in my Outback. Only people I saw: a 4 or 5 vehicle ATV convoy and a couple on fat-tired bikes.

First stop was near a hill that I'd walked by before and even up and down another time. But a thesis I read said there were petroglyphs so I had another look and this time I found them. Nothing very impressive though.

I continued the drive toward another petroglyph site I had looked for once before. Eventually I found this one too...it was a few hundred yards away from my initial guess. This was a nice one.

Then I continued the drive east to have another look for the main site I couldn't find last weekend. This is where I encountered the fat-tire bikers who (to my surprise) we're looking for the same place. I had drawn a box a couple hundred yards on a side where I expected to find it but it wasn't there. I headed back to the car and on a whim decided to check the other side of the road and then I found it. Not much remains of the "melted" Hohokam platform mound but broken pottery.

I continued my drive east and connected up with the same agricultural roads I drove last weekend, so the one way "through-drive" worked, and the three sites were found...good day. The GPS track for the drive: [ gps route ]
_____________________
5 archives
Jan 16 2021
Hansenaz
avatar

 Guides 4
 Routes 181
 Photos 7,035
 Triplogs 407

68 male
 Joined Apr 06 2005
 Phoenix, AZ
Los Robles Walkabout, AZ 
Los Robles Walkabout, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Jan 16 2021
Hansenaz
Hiking5.49 Miles 307 AEG
Hiking5.49 Miles   3 Hrs   29 Mns   1.69 mph
307 ft AEG      14 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
The Hohokam lived on the flats west of the Pinal Airpark. I've walked around there before and didn't find much but I recall @Petrophile has been in there and found the main site. He may have even sent me some location information, but my plan for the day was to just (semi-randomly) walk around the area and see what I could see.

Driving in was complicated by private property but eventually I got onto State Trust land and followed a cowpath through the Los Robles Wash thicket. Cows are shorter and with tougher hide so it was still a little painful for me. On the other side, the desert is a sort of disappointing: too much cow sign and it looks like it may have been scraped a while ago in some places. Still plenty of room to walk around.

I found a couple pottery pieces and searched around looking for a gradient that would lead to a busier area but didn't see anything else there. A while later I sat down on a small creek bank for a snack and noticed several pieces of pottery in the sandy bottom. Following that little wash upstream (that flat desert is not completely flat) I found a lot more pottery, in many places pieces were sticking out of the bank. I didn't find a center, or origin for the pottery and eventually circled back and hit another area where there was some red-on-buff painted pieces mixed in with the plain pottery. But again no center or site.

The area is not great but maybe I'll go back some time.
_____________________
Jan 09 2021
Hansenaz
avatar

 Guides 4
 Routes 181
 Photos 7,035
 Triplogs 407

68 male
 Joined Apr 06 2005
 Phoenix, AZ
4660 Loop, AZ 
4660 Loop, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Jan 09 2021
Hansenaz
Hiking5.69 Miles 2,432 AEG
Hiking5.69 Miles   6 Hrs   30 Mns   1.00 mph
2,432 ft AEG      49 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
I knew I was not going to enjoy this walk - too much steep bushwacking. But these high hills had loomed over many of my "ruin walks" the last few years and who knows? Maybe I'd find something up there. To add a little intrigue I could pass a stone wall in the wash behind St Clair Mountain that my friend (a quail hunter) told me about and is easily seen in satellite pictures. I figured it was modern, built by ranchers, and I probably wouldn't find anything on the inhospitable ridge. But it's relatively close to home and would get me outside.

I was pretty much right. Impressive wall, likely a corral, and I didn't see any signs that ancients wasted their time on that steep ridge. The recent burn had hit most of the ridge making travel a little easier. Worst ascent was the last pull to the high point (4660 on some maps) which was still manzanita-choked. Worst descent was the last one off Pt 4522 which was very steep and slow. Leave out these two, and I guess the initial climb from 2700' to ~4000', and the ridge was fine with nice views all around. Much of the nearby stuff is steep country and doesn't get a lot of traffic, but it was interesting to have a different view of places I'd been before.

As I got nearer 4660 there was a faint game trail and I did see a white-tail doe. Plenty of hawks, one was startled by me when he came around a corner at the same altitude. Summit register on 4660 was placed in 1992 and is crumbling. I suspect some pages are missing (nothing between 1999 and 2018), but one entry each for 2019 and 2020 was more than I expected.

Once off the ridge I joined a route I'd taken before, part of which is now heavily rutted by (I think) motor-bike traffic. Passed a ruin I'd been to twice before. The room outlines, terracing, and perimeter walls are all easier to see after the fire. Followed low ridges and washes back to the car. Can't recommend this route.
Culture
Culture
Summit Register Log
_____________________
Dec 29 2020
Hansenaz
avatar

 Guides 4
 Routes 181
 Photos 7,035
 Triplogs 407

68 male
 Joined Apr 06 2005
 Phoenix, AZ
Horseshoe SE Loop, AZ 
Horseshoe SE Loop, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Dec 29 2020
Hansenaz
Hiking8.74 Miles 1,202 AEG
Hiking8.74 Miles   5 Hrs   5 Mns   1.80 mph
1,202 ft AEG      14 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Had a vague plan to walk around SE of the Horseshoe Dam. I first looked from the (well) below the dam crossing road and no surprise it was plenty wet. And on a 37deg morning I was not gonna wade it so I went up to the spillway for a dry crossing with no particular destination in mind.

Walking the road south toward the ranch the hill to the left started to look a little interesting so I headed that way, up a couple ridges, ending up back overlooking the lake. Along the way I noticed a rock alignment, looked down and saw some pottery pieces, and simultaneously 5 or 6 javelina ran by me. This was all the excitement for the day and it happened in a span of about 10 seconds.

Walking the long ridge SE of the dam had fine views in all directions but no more cultural signs. A steep drop to the east brought me near enough to a big ruin I looked at briefly a few years ago that I thought I'd go there again. No change: its messy, dug up and overgrown, but I was in the neighborhood.

Walked the road out past the ranch. I was passed by 4 guys on fat-tired mountain bikes. In a brief exchange one mentioned they'd done 30mi. Driving in that morning I'd noticed 5 other bikepackers laboring up the dirt road so it seems this area is on the biker's map. I'm guessing they combine the Horseshoe crossing with Sheep Bridge.
Named place
Named place
Horseshoe Reservoir
_____________________
1 archive
Dec 19 2020
Hansenaz
avatar

 Guides 4
 Routes 181
 Photos 7,035
 Triplogs 407

68 male
 Joined Apr 06 2005
 Phoenix, AZ
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.
_____________________
1 archive
Dec 12 2020
Hansenaz
avatar

 Guides 4
 Routes 181
 Photos 7,035
 Triplogs 407

68 male
 Joined Apr 06 2005
 Phoenix, AZ
Tonto Loop, AZ 
Tonto Loop, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Dec 12 2020
Hansenaz
Hiking5.27 Miles 1,207 AEG
Hiking5.27 Miles   3 Hrs   55 Mns   1.46 mph
1,207 ft AEG      18 Mns Break
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
My friend Ken told me about a ruin he'd taken drone movies of. I planned a loop that would take me by it and connect to another ridge I'd walked down before. I knew it was a pretty good area to walk around. The area burned this year I think and about 80% of the day I was in burned country - the other 20% was mainly good walking on jeep roads or open ridges, a small fraction was catclaw dodging.

The main ruin was much more impressive than I expected. The fire had cleared the area exposing the room outlines and it went on and on along a ridge. I found my planned loop met up with a "trail" which probably was made by motor bikes and it passed a couple more isolated small ruins along the way.

Very nice day seeing so much ancient habitation with nice easy walking through the burn.
_____________________
1 archive
Dec 05 2020
Hansenaz
avatar

 Guides 4
 Routes 181
 Photos 7,035
 Triplogs 407

68 male
 Joined Apr 06 2005
 Phoenix, AZ
Gila/Woolsey Desert Wander, AZ 
Gila/Woolsey Desert Wander, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Dec 05 2020
Hansenaz
Hiking7.60 Miles 1,113 AEG
Hiking7.60 Miles   4 Hrs   38 Mns   1.73 mph
1,113 ft AEG      14 Mns Break
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Friday afternoon I still had no plan for a Saturday hike. So I dug deep and thought I'd go and check out a couple of interesting things I noticed in satellite pictures of the Woolsey Wilderness... but I didn't have high expectations for excitement. Then it occurred to me that really I should be out looking for mysterious monoliths - way more relevant nowadays.

I always enjoy walking in the nice open desert. When I got on top of a bump that had "something" on top, I found it was a nice stone circle but not convincingly ancient (or somewhat re-stacked by later visitors). It did have a Fliver-type "Height of Light" or "Tower of Power" (great horn section) on top.

I continued along to find a rock arrangement I hadn't been to before. Its a distinct manmade X. Without any context I'd think it was modern, made for "whatev" - but it's actually pretty close to some other rock arrangements (I've visited before) that archaeologists and native people apparently take seriously and are pretty cool.

I didn't find any monoliths but I didn't look behind every saguaro. I saw a spot where possibly someone had already removed a monolith - you'll have to decide yourself.
_____________________
Nov 28 2020
Hansenaz
avatar

 Guides 4
 Routes 181
 Photos 7,035
 Triplogs 407

68 male
 Joined Apr 06 2005
 Phoenix, AZ
Gila Wander, AZ 
Gila Wander, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Nov 28 2020
Hansenaz
Hiking5.75 Miles 664 AEG
Hiking5.75 Miles   4 Hrs   45 Mns   1.28 mph
664 ft AEG      16 Mns Break
 no routes
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
I wanted to see a new area along the lower Gila so I plotted previous tracks and looked for gaps. [ photo ] I noticed one in a good area I'd been to a couple times before so off I went. The drive-in was worse than last time (no recent jeep tracks!) and marginal for a Subaru, but worked out OK in the end.

As expected there were many petroglyphs and some pioneer inscriptions along the way, top and bottom.

I continued along to the next mesa segment just to have a quick look but it appears the ancients did less decorating there.

Days like this are always fun. If I go back again and take a different "wander" I'll probably find many more.
_____________________
Nov 21 2020
Hansenaz
avatar

 Guides 4
 Routes 181
 Photos 7,035
 Triplogs 407

68 male
 Joined Apr 06 2005
 Phoenix, AZ
Lower Gila East Loop, AZ 
Lower Gila East Loop, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Nov 21 2020
Hansenaz
Hiking8.40 Miles 671 AEG
Hiking8.40 Miles   4 Hrs   59 Mns   1.79 mph
671 ft AEG      17 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
I'm running low on new places to walk on the lower Gila. Today I picked a section south of Painted Rocks. The mesa edge is pretty far from the river edge so I didn't expect much and I didn't find much.

Wasn't sure what to expect from the road heading due south from Painted Rocks. It's not bad on average but had a couple jeepy sections that I could have given up on. I think I've been watching too much Matt's Towing though and just powered ahead. My new Outback picked up some pinstripes - this will help my outdoorsy credibility in grocery store parking lots.

As usual I enjoyed walking out there but I only saw a couple minor rock alignments and maybe got another clue on the dotted paths - Alston might be right that animals could do that.
_____________________
Nov 14 2020
Hansenaz
avatar

 Guides 4
 Routes 181
 Photos 7,035
 Triplogs 407

68 male
 Joined Apr 06 2005
 Phoenix, AZ
Bumble Bee Ruin Loop, AZ 
Bumble Bee Ruin Loop, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Nov 14 2020
Hansenaz
Hiking4.44 Miles 950 AEG
Hiking4.44 Miles   4 Hrs   7 Mns   1.17 mph
950 ft AEG      19 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
A friend sent me a report about racetracks in the Perry Mesa area. I've never been very interested in racetracks (they are hard to see) but the report mentioned a ruin west of Black Mesa that I didn't know about so I thought I'd see if I could go find it.

I saw a "smudge" in the satellite picture and figured that was it...but no, just some rocks. I was not sure if it would be worth just looking around (it had been a non-stellar journey through sticky cow country so far), but when I got a clearer view ahead it looked better so I continued down the hill through some open country and hit the Alkali Creek bottom. I went "upstream" and was surprised to find good-sized pools in a few places. I suspect the water is not good (based on the name) but I did see a few birds at the edges and a few bugs swimming around.

I exited the creek at about the same place I had crossed it 3 weeks ago (part of a trip from the top of Black Mesa). I planned to loop back from there, and was lucky to start finding stuff on the ridge as I headed back west. Bedrock metates and pottery and then collapsed rooms near a highpoint. Very overgrown so I couldn't really judge how many rooms but it was plenty, quite spread out. There were two other high points within a few hundred yards and they also had collapsed walls and pottery. So I guess I found the ruin I was looking for.

Looped back a different way, staying more on ridge tops and some cow paths, and that was a little better. I'll call it a success.
Named place
Named place
Bradshaw Mountains
_____________________
Nov 07 2020
Hansenaz
avatar

 Guides 4
 Routes 181
 Photos 7,035
 Triplogs 407

68 male
 Joined Apr 06 2005
 Phoenix, AZ
Wild Horse Canyon (Lower Gila), AZ 
Wild Horse Canyon (Lower Gila), AZ
 
Hiking avatar Nov 07 2020
Hansenaz
Hiking7.20 Miles 630 AEG
Hiking7.20 Miles   4 Hrs   27 Mns   1.76 mph
630 ft AEG      21 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Celebrated the first cool weekend by going south to the lower Gila River. I've just about run out of new places on the river edge but thought Wild Horse Canyon (a tributary) might be an interesting place to walk around.

I looked along the edges but saw little sign of ancient inhabitants. Probably too far from the river. The area is criss-crossed with paths beaten into the basalt pebbles and some may be very old (who the heck ever goes there?). Some of them show the mysterious "dotting" that is common in the area - I still don't know a good explanation for it.

But I always like it out there.
_____________________
1 archive
Oct 31 2020
Hansenaz
avatar

 Guides 4
 Routes 181
 Photos 7,035
 Triplogs 407

68 male
 Joined Apr 06 2005
 Phoenix, AZ
Eric's Fort Fail, AZ 
Eric's Fort Fail, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Oct 31 2020
Hansenaz
Hiking6.41 Miles 1,098 AEG
Hiking6.41 Miles   5 Hrs   23 Mns   1.29 mph
1,098 ft AEG      25 Mns Break
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Eric (@ssk44) is a Google Earth ninja. He's found a lot of cool ruins through the years, many of them posted as triplogs by Larry, Hank, and himself. Now and then he tells me about a "find" and last week it was a really cool one. I was surprised by it because 1) its in a pretty obvious place in a pretty popular area 2) it shows up fairly clearly in satellite pictures, 3) I couldn't find any information on it all - so it's apparently not well known. These are all good reasons to go have a look.

My trip did not start well. My carefully thought out route info didn't appear on my gps. (User error: I copied a .kml file instead of a .gpx). But I had stared at the map closely enough that it was burned in my memory so the main problem was finding the right roads to the start. A couple wrong turns, probably cost me 30 min.

I could drive within a couple miles of the ruin and had a couple mile bushwack through the junipers to the edge where I could see the spur. I passed a small ruin (pottery and low walls) along the way.

The first view of the "target" was about as expected - intimidating. Steep down and no obvious way up. With my superzoom camera I could clearly see walls on top - the location on top of a spur protruding into a big canyon makes me think it is more likely a fort or lookout rather than a habitation site. But it looked like a lot of walls so maybe a penthouse apartment.

It was tedious getting there but once I got to the bottom the best way to get closer went past a man-made wall (probably to keep bad guys from coming in the back door). A way up was not obvious and the most likely spot was just too sketchy for me. I decided to retreat but made one more try on the other side, passing another wall, but again was stopped by steep rock.

I think a braver climber could do this without too much trouble (obviously there was a standard route 700-800 yrs ago) and maybe I could have with some knowledge that a particular route really goes without barriers.
_____________________
2 archives
Oct 24 2020
Hansenaz
avatar

 Guides 4
 Routes 181
 Photos 7,035
 Triplogs 407

68 male
 Joined Apr 06 2005
 Phoenix, AZ
West Black Mesa Loop, AZ 
West Black Mesa Loop, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Oct 24 2020
Hansenaz
Hiking6.33 Miles 881 AEG
Hiking6.33 Miles   5 Hrs   25 Mns   1.26 mph
881 ft AEG      24 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
I didn't have a good idea of where to go today. I initially planned a "central" eastside of Black Mesa walk, the edge above the Agua Fria is usually worth exploring. But Friday afternoon I ran across an old gps track which reminded me I'd already walked the planned route 4years ago so I needed a quick plan B.

I've not looked on the west side of the mesa (west of I-17) before. Though I didn't expect to find much in the tall grass it had an easy approach (at the I-17 Sunset rest stop exit) so why not?

For the first hour or so I only saw one or two small pieces of pottery and was prepared to be skunked. But then I walked right into a really nice petroglyph and things started looking up. Small (not too good) petroglyphs started showing up and then a ruin site with associated collapsed walls, petroglyphs and pottery sherds pretty near the Interstate.

I had originally thought I'd go down Alkali Canyon - sometimes drops like that have rock art and metates at "water falls". But the very top was pinched by the highway and looking down it looked both "no fun" and unlikely to have ever had much traffic. So I continued north along the edge. Good choice because there was a pretty substantial ruin at the mesa corner.

Steep drop down to Alkali Creek (butt sliding on crumbly rock was involved) then I walked the flats through ranch land before walking up to the car. I don't think a lot of hikers travel around here - the few faint paths on the mesa top probably due to wildlife. A ranch road on the flats is probably the best route but I didn't figure that out til the end.

Still learning the phone camera. I now know the funny noise it makes when I take a picture means it's recording a video. Got a lot of footage inside my pocket.
_____________________
Oct 17 2020
Hansenaz
avatar

 Guides 4
 Routes 181
 Photos 7,035
 Triplogs 407

68 male
 Joined Apr 06 2005
 Phoenix, AZ
Badger Springs Loop, AZ 
Badger Springs Loop, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Oct 17 2020
Hansenaz
Hiking8.46 Miles 1,178 AEG
Hiking8.46 Miles   6 Hrs   23 Mns   1.44 mph
1,178 ft AEG      31 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Linked linked
Partners none no partners
I noticed a section of the Perry Mesa edge I haven't walked before and figured I could make a loop passing a few good spots I'd been too before.

Badger Springs Trailhead is a good place to start: very accessible and instant riparian scenery. I crossed the dry river and walked up to the mesa top on the far side, turned north and walked the mesa edge. Passed a couple favorite petroglyphs along the way up and ran across a couple new sites (for me) on the way to Baby Canyon. I had been a little worried about tall grass on the mesa but it wasn't as bad as it could have been (knee high). Still I probably missed plenty while trying to avoid tripping over the hidden rocks.

Steep bushwack down to the mouth of Baby Canyon where I visited another couple familiar petroglyphs then a return down the sandy, rocky, dry riverbed. I noticed only one very small pool in this stretch - there looked to be a bit more surface water at Badger Springs in the side canyon.

Not a bad day...by the end I was feeling fairly confidant with my new camera phone!
_____________________
Sep 16 2020
Hansenaz
avatar

 Guides 4
 Routes 181
 Photos 7,035
 Triplogs 407

68 male
 Joined Apr 06 2005
 Phoenix, AZ
Petrified Forest Petroglyphs, AZ 
Petrified Forest Petroglyphs, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Sep 16 2020
Hansenaz
Hiking17.25 Miles 2,201 AEG
Hiking17.25 Miles   14 Hrs      1.23 mph
2,201 ft AEG
 no routes
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
I had to use up some vacation days so I decided to camp out at the Holbrook EconoLodge and do some day hikes in the Petrified Forest. I've been to many nice places up there and planned to visit some new ones.

The first day a ranger saw me returning to my car and told me I wasn't allowed to be off the pavement (indeed the sign says that). I explained that back country hiking is allowed and you have to park somewhere. He mentioned calling "law enforcement" but eventually came around and told me I need to talk to the Park Resource Officer. (I got the distinct impression several times that the Park people you see are volunteers and rangers who deal exclusively with casual tourists and don't know much about Park details relevant to hikers.) Anyway, next morning I did talk to the Park Science/Resource Officer who told me I was right. The caveats are 1) that you are not allowed to hike out of the Park and then back in (relevant because some places of interest are on adjacent private land), and 2) some areas are marked "permit only", this because they are on checkerboard land involving State Trust land. Since I have a state permit I was AOK.

Day 1
I walked to an excavated (then reburied) ruin site that has an impressive large round dance circle Not much to see but a little pottery. Then I did a real nice mesa top and bottom walk to some excellent petroglyphs. About 6mi all together.

Day 2
I really wanted to get to a particular more remote petroglyph site. I had a good guess where it was based on some internet research that led me to a Chinese post whose author loves petroglyphs, saying in Google Chinese: "Just be careful not to damage it. Whoever messes and destroys things here, I will curse you for being a dwarf, ugly, poor and smelly fat house in your next life!". I was careful.

This was about 8.5mi round trip through varied country to a really great assemblage of petroglyphs. These first two days were fantastic.

Day3
I planned to walk from Rainbow Forest a mile north to a mesa edge where some topo maps say "Petroglyphs". I discovered along the way though that my camera was not going to work. (Intermittent problem had become permanent.) So it was just as well I saw hardly any glyphs. I then drove south down the Little Colorado to a site that I learned about from a HAZ buddy the day before. That was a good one - but no pics so I'll be back another time.
Geology
Geology
Gypsum
_____________________
1 archive
Sep 05 2020
Hansenaz
avatar

 Guides 4
 Routes 181
 Photos 7,035
 Triplogs 407

68 male
 Joined Apr 06 2005
 Phoenix, AZ
PFNP East of Crystal Forest, AZ 
PFNP East of Crystal Forest, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Sep 05 2020
Hansenaz
Hiking6.49 Miles 560 AEG
Hiking6.49 Miles   4 Hrs   15 Mns   1.65 mph
560 ft AEG      19 Mns Break
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
It's a long drive and during the week the forecast kept getting hotter (98deg in Holbrook). But in the end I decided to go anyway.

I think every Petrified Forest trip I've logged I say just how nice the place is and how much I like walking around up there and today it was re-confirmed. I was hoping to find a petroglyph site but the direction were none to precise ("it's near a tree"). Luckily there aren't many trees out there and I found it on the 5th try. It's a small site and I was initially bothered that I couldn't find the "star" glyph (the one on the book cover). But eventually I figured it out (see the pictures).

I continued along, on the mesa top and bottom just enjoying the flat open walking, the petrified wood, the eroded formations, the random pottery pieces, the occasional petroglyph, and a man-made rock structure. Of course the petrified wood steals the show: the beautiful specimens (color, patterns, length, mass, etc) are hard to describe and need to be seen.

I'll keep doing that long drive, the heat was bearable and it was another fun day.
_____________________
average hiking speed 1.39 mph
1, 2, 3, 4, 5 ... 21  Next

WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.

help comment issue

end of page marker