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St Clair Peak 4230 - Tonto NF - 3 members in 8 triplogs have rated this an average 2.3 ( 1 to 5 best )
8 triplogs
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Feb 17 2022
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 Guides 9
 Routes 418
 Photos 7,472
 Triplogs 556

76 male
 Joined Dec 07 2010
 Phoenix, AZ
St Clair Peak 4230 - Tonto NFPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Feb 17 2022
Oregon_HikerTriplogs 556
Hiking4.40 Miles 872 AEG
Hiking4.40 Miles   4 Hrs   48 Mns   0.92 mph
872 ft AEG
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
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This seemed like a nice choice for an afternoon hike with my grandson, Michael. The access is off of the Horseshoe Reservoir Rd about 1.8 miles mile from its intersection with the Bartlett Dam Road and before the pavement ends. There is no formal trail but following the official gps track takes you along old 4x4 tracks which eventually degenerate into a single trail leading to the saddle between St Clair Peak and a lesser unnamed peak on its northwest side. From there to the peak it is very steep and close to being a scramble over loose granite gravel and scattered rocks while avoiding the occasional cats claw. This reduced my rate to a crawl while my grandson scampered ahead unimpeded with plenty of time to do some extra exploring while waiting for me.

We proceeded from the saddle more or less traversing around to the northeast side of the peak to find a less steep approach. Although the approach was not quite as steep, getting there required crossing or going around several steep sided ravines. We followed a faint trail on which I was surprised to see a fairly recent dirt bike track in and out of those ravines. I now realize that what appear to be numerous hiking trails in this area when viewed from the peak are most likely dirt bike trails.

Reaching the peak we took time to take in the views and to eat a late lunch. Then a short visit to the ruins The ruins are similar to many hilltop ruins with what may have been a surrounding wall with only two rooms inside. Perhaps a lookout or maybe a site for religious type ceremonies with no one living there. In explaining this to Michael I said maybe the ruin was like a church to the ancients - perhaps it was St Clair's Church. He wasn't buying it. From the ruins we proceeded to search for a shorter and hopefully less hazardous route for the descent partially guided by the official HAZ gps track. I managed to make the descent without resorting to butt sliding. With Michael scampering ahead and doing some route finding for a safe route for his grandpa we were shortly back on the trail at the northwest base of the peak. This took some direction from me because Michael's normal idea of route finding is to pick the most challenging route requiring the most rock climbing.
Named place
Named place [ checklist ]
[ checklist ] Saint Clair Peak
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2 archives
Jan 18 2022
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 Guides 2
 Routes 189
 Photos 4,214
 Triplogs 2,617

60 male
 Joined Feb 26 2008
 Scottsdale, AZ
St Clair Peak 4230 - Tonto NFPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Jan 18 2022
BobPTriplogs 2,617
Hiking3.43 Miles 1,037 AEG
Hiking3.43 Miles
1,037 ft AEG
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
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Route Scout Route Recorded  on Route Scout Popup | MapDEX
Started by walking under the fence in a tiny ravine. Walked the road and then thru a little tributary then the Ridgeline. Catsclaw was annoying at times but not too bad. Nice summit views. Took an express route down then up the sub peak and then a somewhat direct route to vehicle avoiding cats claw at every chance.
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1 archive
Jan 29 2017
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 Guides 1
 Photos 1,481
 Triplogs 106

66 male
 Joined Apr 19 2008
 Phoenix, AZ
St Clair Peak 4230 - Tonto NFPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Jan 29 2017
Alston_NealTriplogs 106
Hiking4.80 Miles 1,080 AEG
Hiking4.80 Miles
1,080 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
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My beloved had the crude so with my faithful hiking dogger Tus we set out toward St. Clair Pk. I had planned to just go through the saddle and check out the boulder outcroppings on the east side. But when I got there I said to myself I have wanted to go to the top of this mountain for over forty years. Why not! Well about mid way up as I clawed my way through the brambles and loose rock, three things occurred to me. A. I have no phone, B. I'm at the awkward stage of my life where I have no health insurance and C. That thing about with age comes wisdom thing is highly over rated. Alas I made it to the top with minor blood loss. I found the summit jar by accident and realized it had been HAZified. Who knew? The ruin was ok and on the way back came upon a nice cultivation site with lots of pottery, broken metate and check dams.
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1 archive
Jan 12 2014
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 Guides 6
 Routes 174
 Photos 5,442
 Triplogs 1,640

male
 Joined Mar 12 2004
 Scottsdale, AZ
St Clair Peak 4230 - Tonto NFPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Jan 12 2014
John9LTriplogs 1,640
Hiking4.51 Miles 1,078 AEG
Hiking4.51 Miles
1,078 ft AEG
 
no photosets
1st trip
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DBmooner
Hippy
Hippy wanted to see some ruins and Devin was willing to drive. Our original plan was to go up the 17 but we decided to do something closer to home. We drove up in the morning and headed up Horseshoe Dam Road where we started following Hansenaz's track from last month. The route starts off following a dirt road. There is a spiderweb of roads and we did a combination of off trail and on trail to reach the first satellite peak. There is nothing of interest besides the flag holder in the shape of a cross. From there we dropped back to the saddle and then headed to the main summit. Once on top we found a small register and we signed HAZ in. There are no ruins on the true summit. The walls sit down below on a mesa. We checked out the area and didn't find anything else besides the walls. We couldn't even find pieces of pottery. From the ruins we bushwhacked back down to the road and returned to the truck. These ruins are just okay.
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Jan 12 2014
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 Guides 8
 Routes 4
 Photos 1,845
 Triplogs 649

36 female
 Joined Dec 02 2009
 Grand Canyon
St Clair Peak 4230 - Tonto NFPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Jan 12 2014
HippyTriplogs 649
Hiking4.51 Miles 1,078 AEG
Hiking4.51 Miles
1,078 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
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John9L
We had to walk a ways down a winding dirt road to finally reach a hill we all went our own ways up the hill, found a flag holder up top then we regrouped and played follow the Hippy to the saddle and around to what seemed to be the less steep side of St. Clair Peak. Pretty hidden valley on that side.
Then up we went to the peak, explored the top and spotted the ruins which consist of one "hippy sized wall" and some shorter walled rooms. Didn't find any pottery up here but the views were fantastic!!
Scrambled down the steep side and back to the little double track road and to the truck.

Lovely day for some ruin hunting!
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Jan 12 2014
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 Triplogs 99

37 male
 Joined Jan 03 2011
 chandler, Az
St Clair Peak 4230 - Tonto NFPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Jan 12 2014
DBmoonerTriplogs 99
Hiking4.51 Miles 1,078 AEG
Hiking4.51 Miles
1,078 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
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Dec 14 2013
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 Guides 4
 Routes 194
 Photos 7,962
 Triplogs 451

69 male
 Joined Apr 06 2005
 Phoenix, AZ
St. Clair Peak-Indian Butte, AZ 
St. Clair Peak-Indian Butte, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Dec 14 2013
HansenazTriplogs 451
Hiking10.71 Miles 2,521 AEG
Hiking10.71 Miles   6 Hrs   13 Mns   1.98 mph
2,521 ft AEG      48 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Partners none no partners
I knew three things about St. Clair Peak: the 1998 log from Mazatzal stating "there's a wall up there", the satellite view showing a bit more extensive structure, and while there has been a lot of archaeology work in the Horseshoe Reservoir area, none involved St. Clair Peak.

I also wondered where the name came from since a neighbor (with a well known hilltop ruin) on the other side of the road is called St. Clair Mountain...alas even 5min. on the internet didn't tell me.

There's a locked gate along Horseshoe Rd. roughly due west of the peak and I parked near there and walked the road. Fresh jeep tracks - the road does get used by someone. This one is in pretty good shape but a lot of the other old tracks I'd follow today haven't seen a vehicle for a long time.

I went up the NW satellite peak first. Didn't notice much of interest but there was a concrete cross on top. Nice broad saddle and a steep pull up to the top of St. Clair Pk. No cairn but a glass jar register with a few names from 2013 and 2001 (?). The "ruin" is just down the hill to the south on a level section. A confusing thing with a long wall and some discrete rooms. The higher walls looked like they'd been restacked but the rooms suggest ancient - I only saw 4 or 5 pottery sherds.

Further east is Indian Butte and I decided to head over there. Sort of an attractive route to drop off the north side of St. Clair and pick up some old tracks that stay on the ridge tops for a while. There are interesting rock formations along the way.

I bypassed the Indian Spring thicket on the right following what has to have been a Javalina track (I saw a half-dozen of them parallel across the draw and the track effortlessly went under low hanging branches). Pretty nice trail.

Top of Indian Butte has a large cairn but I didn't see a register. Nice view of the Bartlett Lake area and points east from the top. In spite of the name didn't notice any habitation signs, not even the odd sherd which were more common near St. Clair Pk.

I descended the NW ridge and took the maze of tracks back to the car. Only person I saw all day was a quail hunter and his hounds. Pretty enjoyable day.
Fauna
Fauna [ checklist ]
[ checklist ] Javelina
Culture
Culture [ checklist ]
[ checklist ] Aircraft
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Dec 26 1997
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 Routes 34
 Photos 2,517
 Triplogs 1,207

65 male
 Joined Jul 28 2004
 Scottsdale, AZ
St Clair Peak 4230 - Tonto NFPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Dec 26 1997
mazatzalTriplogs 1,207
Hiking4.00 Miles 980 AEG
Hiking4.00 Miles   3 Hrs      1.50 mph
980 ft AEG      20 Mns Break
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
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guitar
Took an off trail route over to St Clair Peak from the Bartlett Rd and then east up to the saddle and south to the summit. One wall up here.
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1 archive
average hiking speed 1.46 mph

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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