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441 triplogs

Apr 21 2018
Oregon_Hiker
avatar

 Guides 8
 Routes 342
 Photos 6,001
 Triplogs 447

73 male
 Joined Dec 07 2010
 Phoenix, AZ
Bull Canyon Rim Hike, AZ 
Bull Canyon Rim Hike, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Apr 21 2018
Oregon_Hiker
Hiking6.80 Miles 1,700 AEG
Hiking6.80 Miles   7 Hrs      0.97 mph
1,700 ft AEG
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
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Grasshopper
RedRoxx44
Day 3 of our planned 6 day camping trip in the Sierra Ancha Mountains near the Bull Canyon Trail Head on FR203A. Our plan was to take what we call the off-trail Deep Creek shortcut up to the rim of Bull Canyon, then turn right and follow the rim south to a ravine which cuts across the top of the rim. That ravine looked like a good place to explore for ruins and old mining prospects.

RedRoxx44 met us in camp in the morning and we all drove to the Bull Canyon TH to start the hike. We were a little surprised to find FriendofThundergod's white 4-Runner at the TH but knew he was probably doing a day hike with the pups to the Moody Point Cliff Dwelling. What we didn't know is whether he had taken the Deep Creek shortcut or opted to take the longer Deep Creek Trail 128 route (about 6.5 miles vs 12 miles). So we kept an eye out for him as we hiked the Deep Creek shortcut but soon determined that he must have taken the other route.

The old mining road which we followed down to Deep Creek was a little overgrown in places but didn't seem too bad until on our way back when we were tired and anxious to get back to camp so GH could cook dinner for us. After crossing the very dry Deep Creek we started up the side of the canyon. GH was leading the way following FriendofThundergod's gps track from his March 3 "Sierra Ancha" hike. The scrub oak and manzanita were thick and trying to lead the way through this maze with gps in one hand was slowing our leader down. RedRoxx44 who doesn't use a gps struck off on her own and glided through that brush like a ghost - I followed doing my best to keep up with out success. We eventually all met up at the top of the rim with a great view of the Moody Point cliff dwelling. Unfortunately the brush had pulled GH's camera out of its case and it had disappeared somewhere along the up-hill climb. We hiked about 0.6 miles south along the top of the rim until reaching a view point of our destination. Looking at how much further we had to go and the time, GH and I decided it was best to turn around and head back. Especially if we wanted time to carefully backtrack looking for GH's camera and get back to camp in time for him to cook one of his famous camp dinners for us. RedRoxx44 agreed but I have a feeling she'll be back with out us two old guys to slow her down. :)

The three of us followed GH's gps track as closely as we could searching for that camera but with no luck. We had determined that he had hiked about 150 yds from the point where he last took a photo to the location where he discovered it was missing. I still can't believe we didn't find it.

Although we had to turn around early it was an enjoyable hike (except for the lost camera) with great views. We got back to camp around 5 pm and GH cooked up a great group meal - linguini with meatballs and smoked sausage in spaghetti sauce plus a salad of fresh greens and other assorted garden vegetables. A most fulfilling end to another amazing day in the Sierra Ancha.
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Apr 20 2018
Oregon_Hiker
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 Guides 8
 Routes 342
 Photos 6,001
 Triplogs 447

73 male
 Joined Dec 07 2010
 Phoenix, AZ
Upper Coon Creek Ruin, AZ 
Upper Coon Creek Ruin, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Apr 20 2018
Oregon_Hiker
Hiking6.00 Miles 1,333 AEG
Hiking6.00 Miles   7 Hrs   12 Mns   0.83 mph
1,333 ft AEG
 
1st trip
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Grasshopper
Ssk44 found another ruin on Google Earth for us to go check out. This one was on a ridge overlooking upper Coon Creek, hence the name. We started the hike at the Bull Canyon TH on 203A and then took the Coon Spring Trail #124 to where we would start off trail. GH had led ssk44 and Randal_Schulhauser up to this same area 6 years ago looking for cliff dwellings with no luck. [ photoset ] Could ssk44 be getting back at GH for leading them on that fruitless boon doggle years ago? :-k That thought briefly crossed my mind but I quickly dismissed it. We used GH's gps track from that adventure to guide us and it proved to be helpful in finding a route through the thick scrub oak and manzanita that covered much of the off-trail portion of our hike. We were surprised to see the occasional beer bottle or can marking our route. It appears that others, perhaps hunters, have been attracted to this same remote off-trail area.

The seemingly endless thrashing through the brush slowed us down considerably so we were approaching our turn around time as we neared the ruin. With one last obstacle, a deep ravine, to cross and running out of time and energy we decided to turn around and head back without reaching the ruin. However we were close enough to see the ruin across the ravine and get some zoomed photos to prove its existence. Based on those photos and the Google Earth image I estimate that the ruin had about 6 to 8 fairly large rooms and was a pueblo style ruin with no surrounding defensive wall. The walls had mostly collapsed but had sections that were 3 to 4 feet high. The large amount of rocks mounded up where the walls had collapsed indicated it had fairly massive and high walls back in its day.

So, another one of ssk44's GE ruin finds confirmed. Although we couldn't make it all the way to the ruins, the views along the way as usual in the Sierra Ancha, still made the hike a success. I've lost track of the number of ssk44 GE ruin finds that have been confirmed in the last year between the three of us (GH, ssk44 and myself). But I think it's been at least 8.

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3 archives
Apr 19 2018
Oregon_Hiker
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 Guides 8
 Routes 342
 Photos 6,001
 Triplogs 447

73 male
 Joined Dec 07 2010
 Phoenix, AZ
Lower Deep Creek Ruins, AZ 
Lower Deep Creek Ruins, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Apr 19 2018
Oregon_Hiker
Hiking4.20 Miles 744 AEG
Hiking4.20 Miles   6 Hrs      0.70 mph
744 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
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Grasshopper
This was our first planned day hike on a week long car camping trip to the Sierra Ancha Mountains. Our camp was within a quarter mile of the SA Wilderness Boundary and all our planned hikes would be within the southern part of the wilderness. ssk44 had previously located this ruin on Google Earth and personally checked it out in February. However we would find out a couple days later when RedRox44 visited us that ssk44 was not the first HAZer to go to that ruin site. (sorry, ssk44) She had been there years before but never reported it on HAZ. It was a pleasant hike with great views of the south side of the SA. More than half of the hike is off-trail but animal trails made it easy to make our way through the scrub oak and manzanita.

The ruin lived up to ssk44's description. The layout of the site is somewhat unique in that there is a small cliff sided butte in the center of what was at one time about a 20-30 room pueblo style community. There was evidence of retaining walls along two sides of the butte to provide level ground for building rooms. Most of the walls had collapsed partially or completely but there were many sections 3 to 4 ft high. One remarkable section of wall was slightly over 10 feet tall and held back rock rubble from collapsed walls above it almost to the top of the wall. There were walls on top of the butte indicating probably 2 to 4 rooms were located there. The cliff sides of the butte were crumbling layers of rock making it too risky for GH and I to consider trying to climb to the top.

There is evidence of a bulldozed road leading along one side of the ruin. There was a lot of prospecting/mining activity in this area in the mid-1900s. We saw many cairns marking mining claims and stumbled across one that still had the claim paper in a very rusty tin can hidden in the rock pile. It was for the Donna Lee #1 claim and was dated 1967. Mining history indicates claims in this area were originally made in the 1950s so the claim we found was probably somebody "re-claiming" old claims that had not been patented. It appears that the bulldozer may have knocked out a substantial section of the pueblo style rooms on the west side of the ruin. Large piles of rocks (building blocks) had been pushed down the hillside to clear a pad where a vertical 3-4 inch diameter pipe is stuck in the ground. This was probably left there by a core drilling machine used to check for minerals in core samples.

This ruin is significant enough in size and uniqueness that I'm surprised there is no mention of it in the "Echoes in the Canyon" archeology report of the Sierra Ancha. It does show up in a map showing the scattering of sites throughout the SA so they must have known of its existence. Perhaps they didn't include it in their report because it had been so corrupted by mining activities.

We got back to camp in time to relax and cook ourselves a nice dinner before dark. Unfortunately the wind had started to blow kicking up enough dust to obscure the great views from our ridge top campsite. After dinner I retreated to the shelter of my FJ Cruiser while GH got to listen to the wind flapping his tent half the night. Just part of the wilderness experience. :)



Culture
Culture
Cairn
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Apr 18 2018
Oregon_Hiker
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 Guides 8
 Routes 342
 Photos 6,001
 Triplogs 447

73 male
 Joined Dec 07 2010
 Phoenix, AZ
Camp Grasshopper - Sierra Ancha - FR203AGlobe, AZ
Globe, AZ
Car Camping avatar Apr 18 2018
Oregon_Hiker
Car Camping5.50 Miles
Car Camping5.50 Miles
 no routes
1st trip
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Grasshopper
RedRoxx44
Another annual April camping trip to the Sierra Ancha with Grasshopper. Our campsite on top of the east rim of Coon Creek Canyon within 0.4 miles of the Bull Canyon TH provided great views in all directions but was more than a little exposed to the high winds on Thursday and Friday. RedRoxx44 visited over the weekend - it was a pleasure to finally meet this intrepid explorer and skilled photographer. FOTG passed through camp on Saturday after he completed his forced march to the Moody Pt Ruins but we were hiking along the ridge above Bull Canyon at the time so only saw him from a distance.

Our day hikes were the usual ruin searches and scenic overlooks with a little uranium mining history thrown in. GH cooked up a great group meal Saturday evening - linguini with meatballs and smoked sausage in spaghetti sauce plus a salad of fresh greens and other assorted garden vegetables.
Meteorology
Meteorology
Sunrise
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Mar 22 2018
Oregon_Hiker
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 Guides 8
 Routes 342
 Photos 6,001
 Triplogs 447

73 male
 Joined Dec 07 2010
 Phoenix, AZ
Ash Creek - Salt River CanyonGlobe, AZ
Globe, AZ
Hiking avatar Mar 22 2018
Oregon_Hiker
Hiking2.00 Miles 350 AEG
Hiking2.00 Miles
350 ft AEG
 
1st trip
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Grasshopper
This was a short but very scenic and rewarding hike in Ash Creek canyon. See the Description for more details on the hikes features. We chose to drive the 3.2 miles to the posted parking/TH location from FR303 for this hike. The road has some areas where it passes through drainages that require high clearance 4x4. As mentioned in the description, hiking in on the 4x4 forest roads would only add 7.2 miles round trip or 6.4 mi if you park just outside the ranch grounds and wouldn't require high clearance or 4x4.

The ancient Indian walled compound at this location was another find by ssk44 using Google Earth. Unfortunately he finds them faster than GH and I can hike to them so we will be busy working off the backlog over the next year or two. :)
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1 archive
Mar 21 2018
Oregon_Hiker
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 Guides 8
 Routes 342
 Photos 6,001
 Triplogs 447

73 male
 Joined Dec 07 2010
 Phoenix, AZ
Hike to Gleason Flat - Salt River Canyon, AZ 
Hike to Gleason Flat - Salt River Canyon, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Mar 21 2018
Oregon_Hiker
Hiking4.10 Miles 612 AEG
Hiking4.10 Miles   4 Hrs      1.03 mph
612 ft AEG
 
1st trip
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Grasshopper
GH and I decided to drive down FR303B to Gleason Flat on the Salt River on day 3 of our 5 day camping trip near Haystack Butte. It would be a short day with plenty of time back in camp to cook a dinner of jambalaya with smoked sausage and garlic sauteed shrimp. The drive ended up being a 4 mile hike due to partially washed out road conditions where FR303B does the final descent to the Salt River. As we hiked down the hillside to Gleason Flat I pondered what had gone on here in the past.

The remains of some type of mining activity could be seen on the reservation side of the river near the mouth of Medicine Creek. Some research after returning home revealed that the mining stuff was the remains of a gravity concentration plant for extraction (benification) of manganese from ore that had been mined near Medicine Butte. By 1967 it had been dismantled. The greatest production of ore from these mines, approx 12,000 tons, occurred in 1955 and 1956.

A landing strip can be seen on the south side of the river. It did not appear to have been in use for quite some time. US General Land Office Records show that William L Nail patented a homestead of 63 acres on Gleason Flat in 1919 under the Homestead Act of 1862. I'm not sure whether this is the William L Nail who was born in 1850 or his grandson William L Nail who was born in 1899. Since it took 5 years to prove up on a homestead it probably was the elder. Notes from a biography of Jesse W Ellison who founded the Q-Ranch east of Young in 1895 mentions the Nail boys, William, Pete and George, all living at Gleason Flats for a time with their only schooling at the Q-Ranch. Their mother was Sarah Mattie Ellison, daughter of Jesse W Ellison. These same notes say "old man Nail" lost the ranch at Gleason Flat and bought in Pleasant Valley. Somehow the homestead site eventually reverted back to the Forest Service.

So a hike to Gleason Flat provides scenic views of the Salt River Canyon, a chance to get your feet wet, maybe even do a little fishing, and ponder the history of this place.

Culture
Culture
Mining Equipment
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Mar 20 2018
Oregon_Hiker
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 Guides 8
 Routes 342
 Photos 6,001
 Triplogs 447

73 male
 Joined Dec 07 2010
 Phoenix, AZ
Peak 5255 - Mule Hoof Bend QuadGlobe, AZ
Globe, AZ
Hiking avatar Mar 20 2018
Oregon_Hiker
Hiking1.40 Miles 906 AEG
Hiking1.40 Miles
906 ft AEG
 
1st trip
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Grasshopper
Grasshopper and I headed to the top of this peak to check out a possible ancient Indian hilltop fortress based on a tip from ssk44. The peak turned out to be a small butte with cliffs on all sides. With the help of a planning track supplied from ssk44 we found a nearly vertical chute with just enough hand and foot holds to enable two old geezers to climb to the top. The fortress had just a few crumbled down walls and maybe about 4 to 6 rooms but the views were the real reward for the climb. Those folks who once occupied this fortress had a clear view to the west of the Salt River Canyon and the Sierra Ancha in the distance. To the northeast were views of Ash Creek canyon. The peak also provided the only cell phone service we would have during our 5 day camping/hiking trip to this area.

On the drive back on FR1052 we stopped to check out the site of an old homestead near the Haystack Butte Ranch. The small roofless cabin built with local stone was (or had been) an attractive and solidly built home at one time. The rock construction was very similar to the rock house at the Haystack Butte Ranch. We could find no evidence of when the cabin had been built. When we drove by the ranch two days later the ranch manager drove up so we stopped to talk to him. He said the ranch had passed through many hands over its history and was currently leased from the Forest Service by the Oddenetto's of Globe. He had been told the homestead cabin had been built by a previous owner/lessee of the Haystack Butte Ranch by the name of Sanders for his son with the plan that the son would prove up on the homestead and become an owner of the land included in the homestead application. The son never proved up on the homestead so the land remained under Forest Service ownership. The ranch manager did not know when that occurred but I'm guessing it may have been in the 1920s to early 1930s.


Culture
Culture
Stone Dwelling
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Mar 08 2018
Oregon_Hiker
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 Guides 8
 Routes 342
 Photos 6,001
 Triplogs 447

73 male
 Joined Dec 07 2010
 Phoenix, AZ
New River Mesa Fortress, AZ 
New River Mesa Fortress, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Mar 08 2018
Oregon_Hiker
Hiking2.50 Miles 850 AEG
Hiking2.50 Miles   3 Hrs   28 Mns   0.72 mph
850 ft AEG
 no routes
Linked linked
Partners none no partners
The purpose of this hike was to check out a possible ancient Indian habitation site I had seen on Google Earth in the New River Mesa area. The GE image wasn't very clear and I could very possibly have just been seeing natural rock formations. So I sent the coordinates to ssk44 and asked him to check it out on GE. His response was very encouraging and inspired me to make the long drive and steep hike with some scrambling up to the site. It turned out to be a large hilltop type fortress with defensive walls surrounding at least six large rooms on two separate levels and smaller rooms on side levels below the top. There were pottery sherds scattered everywhere indicating people had lived here, it wasn't just a lookout. The walls extended about 300 feet along cliff edges on each side of the narrow hilltop and varied in height from 3 feet to 7 feet. In my opinion this site is as impressive as the Skull Mesa Fortress.

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1 archive
Mar 07 2018
Oregon_Hiker
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 Guides 8
 Routes 342
 Photos 6,001
 Triplogs 447

73 male
 Joined Dec 07 2010
 Phoenix, AZ
Explore Lower Robbers Roost Cny, AZ 
Explore Lower Robbers Roost Cny, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Mar 07 2018
Oregon_Hiker
Hiking10.10 Miles 959 AEG
Hiking10.10 Miles   7 Hrs      1.44 mph
959 ft AEG
 
1st trip
Partners none no partners
This was my third day of hiking while camped on top of New River Mesa. The goal was to check out a rock wall on the northwest side of the mesa near the mouth of Robbers Roost Canyon and to look for signs of ancient Indian habitation along the way. I followed FR17 for about 3 miles to where it ends at Reed Tank then headed off trail north along the top of top of the mesa. Along the way I spotted a cluster of 6-7 embedded metates amid scattered pottery sherds. Other HAZ members have reported seeing large numbers of embedded metates on this mesa indicating it was a major food gathering site for the ancients. Perhaps they were able to grow crops up here. The soil is fairly deep in many areas. I checked this area for dwelling ruins on the way back but found none.

At the end of the point between Robbers Roost Canyon and Hells Canyon I found the section of wall that appeared on GE to be isolated by some distance from other walls. It's location didn't match with the pattern of the other wall locations which was the reason I had come to check it out. I was surprised to find it had at one time been attached to a woven wire fence which had stretched 550 ft across the point but was now burned down and partially disassembled. At the other end of the wire fence I looked over the side of the mesa and there was another rock wall section to which the fence had been attached. This integration of the wire fence section with the rock walls is another indication that these mystery walls were built by ranchers. The use of woven wire is puzzling since barbed wire is almost always used for cattle fencing. My experience having grown up on a cattle ranch is that cattle were prone to knocking fences down if the fences weren't made with barbed wire or electrified. Could this have been a sheep fence? Oh well, something to ponder on the hike back to camp.
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Mar 06 2018
Oregon_Hiker
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 Guides 8
 Routes 342
 Photos 6,001
 Triplogs 447

73 male
 Joined Dec 07 2010
 Phoenix, AZ
Explore Upper Big Spring Cny, AZ 
Explore Upper Big Spring Cny, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Mar 06 2018
Oregon_Hiker
Hiking8.20 Miles 895 AEG
Hiking8.20 Miles   7 Hrs      1.17 mph
895 ft AEG
 
1st trip
Partners none no partners
This was my second day hike out of camp on top of New River Mesa. The plan was to check out some rock wall sections on the east rim of Big Spring Canyon which I had spotted on Google Earth. Much of the hike was on FR17 with only a couple of miles of off-trail. I confirmed that the rock walls were as anticipated and decided it wasn't worth my time to check out more wall sections in this canyon. On the way back to camp I checked out a new Game and Fish water catchment system. It must have been installed within the last year because it doesn't show up on the 4/21/17 Google Earth image. It had water while all the earthen tanks I saw on this trip were dry. Got back to camp in time to enjoy a beer and cook a spaghetti dinner before it got dark.
Culture
Culture
Campsite
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Mar 05 2018
Oregon_Hiker
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 Guides 8
 Routes 342
 Photos 6,001
 Triplogs 447

73 male
 Joined Dec 07 2010
 Phoenix, AZ
Explore Upper East Fork Robbers Roost Cny, AZ 
Explore Upper East Fork Robbers Roost Cny, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Mar 05 2018
Oregon_Hiker
Hiking3.80 Miles 451 AEG
Hiking3.80 Miles   4 Hrs   30 Mns   0.84 mph
451 ft AEG
 
1st trip
Partners none no partners
Went camping up on top of New River Mesa for 3 nights to check out the New River Mesa Mystery Walls I had found on Google Earth. These walls appear to have functioned as fences just based on looking at their location. The mystery is who built them and for what purpose. The drive up the side of the mesa and across the top was a nightmare - very rocky (large rocks) with lots of exposure for high centering. It took 2 hours to drive 4 miles. I could hike it that fast but couldn't carry enough provisions to camp for 3 nights. I would not recommend driving this road unless you have a high lift, large tire (35 inch diam would be nice) 4x4 vehicle and a locking rear axle would also be nice. I will never drive up there again. The whole time I was up there I worried about whether or not my FJ would survive the drive out of there. I had planned on driving about 2.4 miles further along FR17 to set up camp but got stopped by a drop off over large embedded boulders in the road that looked like they would high center my FJ on the undercarriage between the front and back wheels and cause a lot of damage in the process. This added 5 miles round trip to two of my planned hikes.

The first priority of this trip was to confirm that what I was seeing on GE were actually rock walls and to see if there were any clues that would help solve the mystery. This triplog is for my first hike out of camp on this trip to check out several wall (fence) sections at the south end of the east fork of Robbers Roost Canyon. This hike confirmed that what I had seen on GE were real rock walls averaging about 4 feet in height. The surprise was that an old wire ranching fence had been integrated with the rock fence and had recent repair work. This would support the conclusion that the rock fence was a historic ranching fence but it's also possible that the rancher re-purposed existing Indian rock walls as a cattle fence.
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2 archives
Feb 21 2018
Oregon_Hiker
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 Guides 8
 Routes 342
 Photos 6,001
 Triplogs 447

73 male
 Joined Dec 07 2010
 Phoenix, AZ
White Rock Compound - Sierra Ancha, AZ 
White Rock Compound - Sierra Ancha, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Feb 21 2018
Oregon_Hiker
Hiking2.00 Miles
Hiking2.00 Miles
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
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Grasshopper
Grasshopper and I were in the Sierra Ancha on a day trip to check out possible Indian ruin sites. Some prior research on Google Earth had revealed a mysterious white rectangle on a ridge top in a fairly remote area accessible by a rough 4x4 road. It looked like the collapsed rock wall of a compound style Indian ruin. The dimensions at 100 ft x 60 ft were similar to other compounds I've seen which housed about 20 to 30 small rooms and a courtyard inside a surrounding defensive wall. So we decided to check it out near the end of our day. The short hike to the ruin was more pleasant than the drive on 4+ miles of rough 4x4 road. We were rewarded for our minimal effort with confirmation that this was an Indian ruin of the compound style. The walls had collapsed but had been constructed of mostly white rock. Many pottery sherds were scattered on the ground both inside and outside the walls. Overall, an interesting find because of the unique white rock construction and a nice end to another beautiful day in the Sierra Ancha.
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1 archive
Feb 21 2018
Oregon_Hiker
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 Guides 8
 Routes 342
 Photos 6,001
 Triplogs 447

73 male
 Joined Dec 07 2010
 Phoenix, AZ
Lost Sierra Ancha Ruin, AZ 
Lost Sierra Ancha Ruin, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Feb 21 2018
Oregon_Hiker
Hiking1.70 Miles 750 AEG
Hiking1.70 Miles   4 Hrs      0.43 mph
750 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
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Grasshopper
ssk44 found this ruin on Google Earth and took some great telephoto pictures of it on an earlier trip to the Sierra Ancha. [ photoset ] Grasshopper and I decided to get a closer look. The ruins are located on top of a very small butte hidden in the bottom of a canyon - perhaps the reason ssk44 named his photoset "Lost Sierra Ancha Ruin". The hike starts on a high ridge above the butte and descends about 750 feet down a very steep hillside covered with prickly pear and numerous rock out-croppings. Then you have to find a way up the cliffs to the top of the butte. Fortunately ssk44's photos gave some hints for the best and only approach without rock climbing gear and skills. We found no artifacts such as pottery sherds or metates at this site which is often the case for these hilltop fortress/lookout type ruins. The ancient occupants of this site had a commanding view of the Salt River basin which may have been the reason for locating here.
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Feb 18 2018
Oregon_Hiker
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 Guides 8
 Routes 342
 Photos 6,001
 Triplogs 447

73 male
 Joined Dec 07 2010
 Phoenix, AZ
Metate Trail - Spur CrossPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Feb 18 2018
Oregon_Hiker
Hiking3.00 Miles 75 AEG
Hiking3.00 Miles
75 ft AEG
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
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Took some family members for a short hike in Spur Cross Ranch Conservation Area in the desert mountains north of Phoenix. My two granddaughters, their Dad and Uncle Sparky from California came along for the hike. Bella spotted a baby rattlesnake under the car where we parked. Always fun to see wildlife. We made a loop out of the hike taking the Metate trail on the way out and returning on the Spur Cross Trail with a side trip to Mariposa Hill. It was a beautiful day with great scenery and good company.
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Feb 15 2018
Oregon_Hiker
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 Guides 8
 Routes 342
 Photos 6,001
 Triplogs 447

73 male
 Joined Dec 07 2010
 Phoenix, AZ
Tom's Thumb Trail - MSPPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Feb 15 2018
Oregon_Hiker
Hiking4.70 Miles 1,400 AEG
Hiking4.70 Miles
1,400 ft AEG
 
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
A very pleasant hike with my Michigan snowbird neighbor from the north MSP trail head to Tom's Thumb. The overnight rain made for lots of fresh air and some nice views of cloud shrouded hills. Took a side trip to show her what many call Ogre's Den. The "den" has been completely cleaned out with the only evidence of this hide away camp site being the old red lantern and a length of stove pipe laying on the ground. I should have never told that trail steward about the place. :cry: Lots of trail work has been done on the trail segment from the Wingate Trail out to Tom's Thumb.
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5 archives
Feb 11 2018
Oregon_Hiker
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 Guides 8
 Routes 342
 Photos 6,001
 Triplogs 447

73 male
 Joined Dec 07 2010
 Phoenix, AZ
Pueblo Canyon RuinsGlobe, AZ
Globe, AZ
Hiking avatar Feb 11 2018
Oregon_Hiker
Hiking5.20 Miles 1,785 AEG
Hiking5.20 Miles   7 Hrs      0.74 mph
1,785 ft AEG
 no routes
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
It was a guys’ weekend in the Sierra Ancha with my son-in-law, Lloyd, and his Dad, Tom. The plan was to camp near the Pueblo Canyon Ruin trailhead and then do successive day hikes to the ruins in Cold Spring Canyon and Pueblo Canyon over two days. I drove up a day early to check the road conditions and secure a campsite. The road between Ellison Ranch and Devils Chasm had some rough sections best negotiated at a crawling pace in 4x4 low range. High clearance is recommended unless you’re a risk taker and skilled at picking a path through the large rocks. The large boulder blocking the road about a half mile past Devils Chasm is still there but a fairly wide bypass has been dug around it on the uphill side. Unfortunately I didn’t have anyone with me to check clearances to the boulders on both sides as I drove through the gap. Also, I was a little over confident knowing that a FJ Cruiser and numerous Tacoma pickups had negotiated this gap with no scrapes. So I now have a couple of short AZ racing stripes along the right rear quarter panel of my FJ as well as a couple of small dents.

Our planned camping site at the trailhead was unfortunately covered with cow pies thanks to the salt block placed there by the Ellison Ranch. I camped there that first night but decided to move camp to the corral below Devils Chasm early the next morning. This time I successfully drove through the boulder gap with no damage thanks to stopping several times to check my vehicle alignment with the gap. The corral was a good choice with no cow pies and plenty of room for parking and the large tent Lloyd and his Dad would stay in. Because of the road conditions I decided to meet Lloyd and Tom on Cherry Creek Road about a mile south of Ellison Ranch. We would leave their car there and load up their stuff in my FJ Cruiser to ferry them about 4 miles up to the campsite from where we would start our day hikes. There was no way I wanted to risk damage to Lloyd's Honda Pilot on this very hazardous road - that car is my daughter's daily driver.

Side Note on Ellison Ranch History:
While waiting for Lloyd to arrive Saturday morning I had the pleasure of meeting Nathan Ellison, the owner and occupant of Ellison Ranch. I was standing by the road texting Lloyd about the change in plans when he drove up and stopped to see if I needed assistance. I had just read a short book on the Ellison's ranching history so was primed to ask him questions. Nathan is the great grandson of Jesse Washington Ellison. Jesse W. Ellison was a cattle rancher from Texas and a veteran of the Civil War. In 1885 he sold out his ranch in Texas and transported his herd of 2500-3000 cattle by train from Colorado, Texas, to Bowie, AZ. From there he and his crew drove the cattle across AZ past Globe to the current location of Roosevelt Lake. They lost many head of cattle on the drive across AZ and the herd was in poor shape by the time they got to Globe. He intended to ranch in an area now covered by the lake but ended up staying only long enough for his herd to recover from the drive. The local ranchers in that area felt there was not enough room there to accommodate another large ranch so pressured him to move on. He established his first ranch in AZ about 15 miles east of Payson. There were a number of his Texas friends who came out to that area in that same time period. Jesse had 8 children, 2 boys and 6 girls, who in 1985 ranged in age from 4 to 19. At this first ranch they planted many fruit trees and the Ellison family referred to it as the “Apple Farm”. Little physical evidence of this first ranch now remains. About 1895 Jesse left this ranch near Payson and established the Q Ranch east of Pleasant Valley. His reason for leaving the Payson area was that the range was overstocked and over grazed. He sold the Q Ranch to Pecos McFadden, a fellow Texan, in 1915 and retired to Phoenix. The current Ellison Ranch in Cherry Creek Canyon was homesteaded by Jesse’s grandson, Buster (Travis) Ellison and is now occupied by Travis’ son, Nathan.

Back to the Hike:
Sunday morning we drove from camp at Devils Chasm up to Cowpie Point where we would start our hike. This time I drove through the boulder gap with no damage thanks to guidance from my two passengers. The hiking route up the old mining road is easy to follow. There's a fork in the road just pass a very large rust colored boulder. The left fork goes to Cold Spring Cny and the right fork goes to Pueblo Canyon. The huge patch of manzanita that caused confusion on my trek six years ago is now gone thanks to the Juniper Fire. At the end of the road start following the undeveloped trail up the south side of the canyon. There's some minor route finding required to find the safest route and a number of traverses on steep hillsides can be a little scary. I rested up for the return hike at the innermost ruin while Lloyd and Tom continued on to the other two ruins which I had seen on a previous trip. We got back to camp just as it was getting dark with time to cook a spaghetti dinner before retreating from the cold night to the warmth of our sleeping bags.
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Jan 30 2018
Oregon_Hiker
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 Guides 8
 Routes 342
 Photos 6,001
 Triplogs 447

73 male
 Joined Dec 07 2010
 Phoenix, AZ
Conner Canyon Ruins - Sierra Ancha, AZ 
Conner Canyon Ruins - Sierra Ancha, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Jan 30 2018
Oregon_Hiker
Hiking4.50 Miles 1,355 AEG
Hiking4.50 Miles   6 Hrs      0.75 mph
1,355 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners partners
Grasshopper
Grasshopper and I had been running out of new places to search for ancient Indian ruins in the Sierra Ancha. But fellow HAZer @ssk44, who is a real ace at finding ruins on Google Earth, recently provided us with several appealing alternatives. This site above Conner Canyon on the west side of the Sierra Ancha looked like a good choice for a day trip. The hike starts from HW288 at a location with amazing views of Armer Mountain. After a steep descent and then climb back up out of Conner Canyon on an old perilous washed out 4x4/ATV trail we reached the off-trail section of the hike along a ridge line covered with scrub oak and prickly pear. My knee high Kevlar snake gators and elbow length rose pruning leather gloves were very nice accessories for this portion of the hike. Viewpoints along this ridge line confirmed that there were rock walls lining the top edges of a cliff sided butte near the end of the ridge.

Once we reached this small butte the problem was finding a safe way to climb the cliff to an opening in the walls. After some scouting back and forth along the base of the cliff we found a small hole beneath a boulder that led us to a safe climbing route. GH called this "cracking the code" for entry to this hilltop hideout. I crawled through the hole on my stomach after removing my pack. GH "helped" by taking photos to capture the calamity of a slightly overweight HAZer trying to squeeze through a small hole. You can always count on your HAZ hiking buddy to have your back in such situations.

The top of the butte had a number of rock walls lining the tops of the cliffs and possibly enclosing a couple of rooms. The walls appeared too delicate, in my opinion, to be defensive walls so may have been more for sheltering occupants from the elements. We found no scattered artifacts such as metates or pottery sherds. Some sections of the walls were up to 5 ft high but others had crumbled down. There were three small ledges on the south east side of the butte which had partial rock walls and had been leveled, possibly for living quarters, by retaining walls back filled with small rocks. The amazing thing about this site, besides the modest ruins, are the views of Roosevelt Lake, Armer Mountain, Conner Canyon, Zimmerman Point, Asbestos Point, and the SA mountains above Parker Canyon. After exploring the top of the butte we enjoyed taking a lunch break in the pleasant sunny weather while enjoying the views and contemplating the lives of the ancients who once occupied this site.

If you visit this site, please be careful not to disturb the rock walls. We have chosen not to hide the location of this site because it is somewhat difficult to reach and has no artifacts which might attract people who would illegally remove them.
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1 archive
Jan 15 2018
Oregon_Hiker
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 Guides 8
 Routes 342
 Photos 6,001
 Triplogs 447

73 male
 Joined Dec 07 2010
 Phoenix, AZ
New River Mesa - Southwest End, AZ 
New River Mesa - Southwest End, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Jan 15 2018
Oregon_Hiker
Hiking6.20 Miles 1,277 AEG
Hiking6.20 Miles   7 Hrs      0.89 mph
1,277 ft AEG
 
1st trip
Partners none no partners
The goal of this hike was to check out a long rock wall on the south side of New River Mesa. When topohiker posted pictures of this wall in March 2017 there was some discussion as to whether it was an old ranching wall/fence or of ancient Indian origins. [ photo ] I chose the shortest access point to start the hike approximately 6.2 miles on FR41 from I-17 at the Table Mesa Rd exit. Some steep rocky sections of this road require high clearance and 4-wheel drive and took me 40 minutes to drive. (I'm a slow cautious driver under those conditions). I would not attempt this road if it was muddy. This route takes you through state trust land which is posted with signs announcing a recreation permit is required. An annual pass is $15 per person or $20 per family and is available on-line. From the "trailhead" there is an old washed out 4x4 road up the steep side of the mesa which provides a brush free but rocky path to the top. Once at the top of the mesa all signs of a road or trail disappear. The hiking distance from the TH to the location of the wall is only about 3 miles but the scattered volcanic rock of all sizes hidden in the tall grass require a slower cautious pace. I found it easy to get off course on the large wide open spaces of the mesa top without my nose-to-the-gps pathfinder hiking buddy (grasshopper) to keep me on track.

Views from the edges of the mesa are spectacular and well worth the hike even if you aren't going to the old rock wall. I kept my eyes open for signs of ancient Indian habitation as I crossed the mesa but did not see any despite the abundance of large boulders that would have been great for chiseling petroglyphs or embedded metates. Arriving at the rock wall, I found it extending along the side of the shallow end of Big Spring Canyon for about 270 yards. Following the wall from its west end I encountered an opening in the wall that had the remains of an old barbed wire gate - the first clue that this was an old ranching wall/fence. Near the gate there was a short semi-circular section of wall with one end attached to the longer wall. This may have been the partial remains of a corral. Further along the wall there was the remains of a barbed wire fence that had been added to the top of a low section of the wall. There are a number of fairly long rock walls in the Superstitions that were early ranching fences so this one is not a surprise. My curiosity about the wall having been satisfied, I stopped to enjoy lunch from a viewpoint overlooking the Cline Creek area before starting the return trek across the mesa.
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Jan 11 2018
Oregon_Hiker
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 Guides 8
 Routes 342
 Photos 6,001
 Triplogs 447

73 male
 Joined Dec 07 2010
 Phoenix, AZ
Gateway Loop Trail - MSPPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Jan 11 2018
Oregon_Hiker
Hiking5.40 Miles 838 AEG
Hiking5.40 Miles
838 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Another short hike with my snowbird neighbor. The clear sky and clean air after the recent rain were refreshing. Added a mile to the hike when I had to backtrack a half mile to retrieve trekking poles I left at the side of the trail. Was surprised to find the poles still there despite the heavy traffic. A much better outcome than the last time I forget my sticks leaning against the side of my FJ and ran over them as I was pulling away. :)
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Jan 05 2018
Oregon_Hiker
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 Guides 8
 Routes 342
 Photos 6,001
 Triplogs 447

73 male
 Joined Dec 07 2010
 Phoenix, AZ
Lost Dog Wash-Old Jeep Trl- Ring Tail Loop MSP, AZ 
Lost Dog Wash-Old Jeep Trl- Ring Tail Loop MSP, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Jan 05 2018
Oregon_Hiker
Hiking5.98 Miles 600 AEG
Hiking5.98 Miles   3 Hrs   4 Mns   2.00 mph
600 ft AEG      5 Mns Break
 
no photosets
1st trip
Took my Michigan snowbird neighbor for this hike starting at the Lost Dog Wash TH in the southern section of the McDowell Sonoran Preserve. This TH has both water and restrooms, always a nice but not necessary feature for this aging fugitive from Oregon. We went on probably the longest loop hike (5 miles) available from this TH but the low elevation gain makes it a fairly easy hike. The worthwhile side track to the Taliesin Overlook added a mile. The nice views and mid-70's temps were just what my friend needed after escaping sub-zero temps back in Michigan.
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average hiking speed 1.01 mph
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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.

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