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Sears Point Petroglyph Sites - 5 members in 14 triplogs have rated this an average 3.8 ( 1 to 5 best )
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Mar 09 2019
Hansenaz
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 Guides 4
 Routes 189
 Photos 7,372
 Triplogs 425

68 male
 Joined Apr 06 2005
 Phoenix, AZ
Sears Point Petroglyph SitesSouthwest, AZ
Southwest, AZ
Hiking avatar Mar 09 2019
Hansenaz
Hiking3.76 Miles 588 AEG
Hiking3.76 Miles   3 Hrs   5 Mns   1.27 mph
588 ft AEG      8 Mns Break
 no routes
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Took my wife's UK relatives out to Sears Point to see some petroglyphs. I figured we'd walk around some of the fringe areas before finishing with the main attractions...but they'd had enough of stumbling around the uneven terrain by then...still a nice day out. Virtual traffic jam out at the end of the wiggly dirt road...saw 3 trucks there during our stay.
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Jan 20 2018
Hansenaz
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 Guides 4
 Routes 189
 Photos 7,372
 Triplogs 425

68 male
 Joined Apr 06 2005
 Phoenix, AZ
Sears Point Petroglyph SitesSouthwest, AZ
Southwest, AZ
Hiking avatar Jan 20 2018
Hansenaz
Hiking4.50 Miles
Hiking4.50 Miles   4 Hrs      1.13 mph
 no routes
Linked none no linked trail guides
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I'd only been to the lower Gila once before, guided by Mike and Ali. I was impressed with the setting and all the petroglyphs left by the people who lived along the formerly flowing river. So a trip to Sears Point today seemed like a good idea.

The description and triplogs on HAZ provide excellent information. I'd describe this as a semi-public petroglyph site: it's on BLM land with an informational kiosk, but the Sears Point BLM website no longer exists and there are no signs directing you. It's an obscure and rough 7-8 mile dirt/sand road through the desert to get there but was no problem for my Subaru. The road's really not that bad though it's pinched in a couple places by wash-outs. The sign-in book at the last parking area showed about a dozen parties have been there so far this year.

The great petroglyph panels start right above the parking area and continue along the cliff band overlooking the river. There are petroglyphs everywhere.

I had planned to not spend too much time at the main popular area and instead to walk to more distant buttes to see what was there. Unfortunately I had to replace batteries in my Garmin and my saved route disappeared! Can't understand the gremlins in that machine...a check when I got home showed the route was still in memory. Didn't matter much - I pretty much walked the planned route anyway.

The glyph quality/density dropped off as I continued along but there were still plenty of them. There was also an impressive number of interesting inscriptions left by 19th century migrants heading west. At one point I recognized a glyph as one I'd seen on my previous trip to the lower Gila - I hadn't realized I was close to that area. Anyway that was a good place to turn around and loop back. I enjoyed following the old trails (many of them supposedly dating back 1000 yrs) back and passed a couple ancient stone circles.

Impressive place! I'll be back...
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Sep 26 2017
GrottoGirl
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 Guides 3
 Routes 314
 Photos 11,581
 Triplogs 1,359

46 female
 Joined Sep 18 2009
 Tucson, AZ
Sears Point Petroglyph SitesSouthwest, AZ
Southwest, AZ
Hiking avatar Sep 26 2017
GrottoGirl
Hiking1.25 Miles 95 AEG
Hiking1.25 Miles   1 Hour   30 Mns   0.83 mph
95 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
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Managed to fit this hike in on the way back home from San Diego! Definitely worth the trip. I wasn't able to fully read beta or download tracks because it was a spur of the moment idea to go. I hope I didn't miss anything good!
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May 19 2016
Ysabet
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 Photos 100
 Triplogs 6

60 female
 Joined Jan 15 2016
 Tucson, Arizona
Sears Point Petroglyph SitesSouthwest, AZ
Southwest, AZ
Hiking avatar May 19 2016
Ysabet
Hiking1.00 Miles 95 AEG
Hiking1.00 Miles   1 Hour      1.00 mph
95 ft AEG5 LBS Pack
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
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I drove out to the Sears Point Petroglyph Site a little later in the afternoon than planned; it was way too hot for hiking, truthfully, and this was made even worse by the reflections from the dark rocks there. But it's a beautiful place in its own harsh way; I climbed to the top of the ridge and wandered along the flat jet-black desert pavement, noting cleared areas that must've been used by the Hohokam centuries ago for their own rituals and sleeping areas. Honestly, I didn't go very far, no more than a mile, and I missed a lot of the petroglyphs that I've seen photos of, but it was just too hot-- the sun pouring down, and the reflected heat rising up baked me like a loaf of bread. I did get to watch a Nighthawk darting among the cliffs, calling desolately; but after that I headed back and found myself a hotel room in Gila Bend (it was just too bloody hot to camp!)

My suggestion: Go there, but go in Spring, Fall or Winter; this place will kill you otherwise. I'm serious, the next poor hiker to come along will find what the vultures and coyotes left of you. All the drinking-water in the world won't help you if you pass out from the heat.
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Mar 30 2014
Grimey
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 Routes 3
 Photos 445
 Triplogs 20

53 male
 Joined Oct 17 2005
 Phoenix, AZ
Sears Point Petroglyph SitesSouthwest, AZ
Southwest, AZ
Hiking avatar Mar 30 2014
Grimey
Hiking1.45 Miles 95 AEG
Hiking1.45 Miles   2 Hrs      0.73 mph
95 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
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What a great place. Pretty much just as it has been for hundreds of years, you can really try to put yourself in the mindset of the people who made these petroglyphs.

Not another soul in sight. If the sign in sheet were to be believed, I was the first person to visit in 2+ weeks. Recent boot tracks, however, tell a different tale.
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Dec 19 2012
Charger55
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 Guides 4
 Photos 542
 Triplogs 563

42 male
 Joined Oct 19 2010
 Mesa, AZ
Sears Point Petroglyph SitesSouthwest, AZ
Southwest, AZ
Hiking avatar Dec 19 2012
Charger55
Hiking9.00 Miles 95 AEG
Hiking9.00 Miles   4 Hrs      2.25 mph
95 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
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Accessing Sears Point can be difficult without a 4WD but I found a way. I started from Agua Caliente Rd to the east. There's jeep roads that head west across farmland. It's level terrain but I'm not sure if it's public land or not. No one bothered me and I was able to make the four mile trip in about 90 minutes.

At Sears Point I hit up the south wall first. Not much going on there. The north wall was starting to look disappointing too, but then I rounded a bend and it was glyph city. Panel upon panel with all sorts of shapes and figures. My favorite is the monkey petroglyph. It's clearly a monkey too and maybe a good indication of trade with civilizations further south. Once the glyphs petered out I walked the mesa top and took in the scenery. You do get the feeling of walking inside a crater up there.

After Sears Point I visited Agua Caliente, highlighted by a sheep farm, a pioneer cemetery and the old resort. Then I went through Hyder and took the back road to the interstate at Dateland. I grabbed a date shake and some date bread (not as good as Shield's in Indio, but still good) before heading back toward the Valley.
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"I've driven across deserts, driven by the irony, that only being shackled to the road could ever I be free"
- Frank Turner "The Road"
Dec 18 2011
Randal_Schulhauser
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 Guides 71
 Routes 98
 Photos 9,967
 Triplogs 1,009

61 male
 Joined May 14 2003
 Ahwatukee, AZ
Along the Gila Trail - Dec2011, AZ 
Along the Gila Trail - Dec2011, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Dec 18 2011
Randal_Schulhauser
Hiking5.00 Miles 250 AEG
Hiking5.00 Miles   6 Hrs      0.83 mph
250 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Along the Gila Trail - Dec2011

Put some miles on the F-150 today dodging rain showers and retracing a section of the GILA TRAIL while on the "trail of the ancients" from;

Casa Grande Ruins National Monument => http://hikearizona.com/decoder.php?ZTN=836
Hohokam Pima National Monument (aka "Snaketown") => http://www.nps.gov/pima/index.htm
Patio Area Petroglyph Site => http://hikearizona.com/decoder.php?ZTN=16371
Gatlin Site - Gila Bend => http://hikearizona.com/decoder.php?ZTN=1961
Painted Rocks Petroglyph Site => http://hikearizona.com/decoder.php?ZTN=787
Sears Point Petroglyph Site => http://hikearizona.com/decoder.php?ZTN=868
Antelope Hill Petroglyph Site => http://hikearizona.com/decoder.php?ZTN=892
Confluence of Gila River with Colorado River near Yuma AZ? => Unexplored territory for this author (but suspect the area is rich in ancient artifacts...)

Missed out on a "drive-by" of the Fortaleza Ruins between the Gatlin Site and Painted Rocks Petroglyph Site => viewtopic.php?t=2915#p32656

I've embedded in a HAZ FORUM post a reference document I used researching the GILA TRAIL => viewtopic.php?t=6627 . Thought I would share with HAZ members.

I'd appreciate hearing from anyone with some "insights" on rock art near the confluence of the Gila and Colorado Rivers. I've never had a chance to explore this area and suspect there are some significant sites. :wrt:


Started the day heading down the I-10 towards Casa Grande searching out the "Snaketown" site near Gila River bridge. From the NPS website;

"Hohokam Pima National Monument was authorized by Congress on October 21, 1972, to protect an ancient Hohokam village known today as "Snaketown." Excavations in the 1930's and again in the 1960's revealed the site was inhabited from about 300 BC to around 1200 AD and may have had up to 2,000 inhabitants. Following the last excavations, the site was completely recovered with earth, leaving nothing visible above ground. The Monument is located on the Gila River Indian Reservation and is under tribal ownership. The Gila River Indian Community has decided not to open the extremely sensitive area to the public. There is no park brochure, passport stamp, picture stamp or other free literature available. Snaketown was first excavated in 1934 by the Gila Pueblo Foundation, under the direction of Harold S. Gladwin. Between 1964-1965, a second excavation was led by Emil Haury. The two expeditions discovered that the site contained more than sixty midden mounds. A central plaza and two ovel shaped fields were surrounded by pit houses, and an elaborate irrigation system fed the nearby fields in which beans, maize and squash were grown."

My home library has many historical photos from the principal archeologists from the "Snaketown digs" and I recall some of the artifacts are on display at the Casa Grande Ruins National Monument. I conduct a drive-by of the Snaketown site bounded by the I-10 on the east, the Gila River on the south, Maricopa Road on the west and Riggs Road on the north. The site is completely buried, unkown, and returned to nature. Check out the 2009 video archive posted by University of Arizona commemorating the excavation's 75th anniversary => http://uanews.org/node/26247

I now head towards the village of Maricopa and Hwy 238 in search of the Patio Area Petroglyph Site => http://www.brazilbrazil.com/patio.html A chance to explore before a squall line comes in from the south bringing some serious rain. Time to head out.

A stop at the Shawmutt Trainspotting Loop yields some interesting clouds. The dogs are appreciative of the chance to stretch their legs after that bumpy escape along the 4x4 tracks from the Patio Area.

Next up is the Gatlin Site. A sad, lonely spot after the acrimonious divorce between the Town of Gila Bend and the Arizona Archeological Society.

A stop in Gila Bend to pick up some 'burgs and we make the trek out to the Painted Rocks Petroglyph Site to enjoy lunch in the pouring rain!

Sears Point and Antelope Hill (was also going to check the nearby Texas Hill rock art site, but had enough rain for one day) are up next before the stretch run home to catch the 2nd half and OT of the Cards game...
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Nov 17 2011
kbunny
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 Photos 35
 Triplogs 19

50 female
 Joined Nov 19 2010
 chicago/chandler
Sears Point Petroglyph SitesSouthwest, AZ
Southwest, AZ
Hiking avatar Nov 17 2011
kbunny
Hiking1.45 Miles 95 AEG
Hiking1.45 Miles
95 ft AEG
 no routes
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Can't seem to stay away from this magical site! Camped under meteor showers, then the next morning climbed up to visit the glyphs.
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Jan 02 2011
darkhorse1975
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 Triplogs 1

46 male
 Joined Jan 01 2011
 Chandler, AZ
Sears Point Petroglyph SitesSouthwest, AZ
Southwest, AZ
Hiking avatar Jan 02 2011
darkhorse1975
Hiking1.45 Miles 95 AEG
Hiking1.45 Miles
95 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Great location. Bees were active.
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Nov 27 2010
kbunny
avatar

 Photos 35
 Triplogs 19

50 female
 Joined Nov 19 2010
 chicago/chandler
Sears Point Petroglyph SitesSouthwest, AZ
Southwest, AZ
Hiking avatar Nov 27 2010
kbunny
Hiking1.45 Miles 95 AEG
Hiking1.45 Miles
95 ft AEG
 no routes
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Fascinating, remote, totally worth the frequently treacherous 7 miles of dirt road through the desert (lots of potential sand-traps; high-clearance vehicle definitely recommended!)

The site consists of a series of black basalt mesas surrounded by sandy/rocky dry riverbed and palo verde-covered desert. From the trailhead there is a mesa to either side, and a sandy rise in front of you. No clear trails, but whatever route you choose it is easy to pick your way through the rocks. Bring a compass, or climb to the top of a mesa to see where you are.

Hiking straight up the rise from the trailhead takes you into a saguaro-studded "bowl" full of black volcanic rocks and surrounded by mesas.

To get close to the petroglyphs requires a brief scramble up one of the mesas. We avoided the one to the left (south) because of reports of beehives. The right-hand (north) mesa seems to have the most glyphs anyhow.

As you climb the north mesa, find your way around to the far side where you can walk along the ledge next to several petroglyph panels. A sort-of trail follows the ridge just under the mesa-top. From here it is easy to climb up on top, where you can walk for quite a ways, with amazing panoramic views of the entire site, surrounding desert, distant mountains - and few signs of civilization in any direction save a trailer here and there, and the freight-train line along the interstate to the south.

It is also easy from up-top to see the contours of the dry riverbed and imagine what the site might have been like with the Gila flowing through it, and how it would have been an obvious way-point for travelers following the river. Perhaps half a mile to the northwest is another volcanic mesa; we didn't hike out to that one but clearly it would be possible to spend hours exploring this incredible site.

We camped in the parking lot and had the desert to ourselves all night!(It is BLM land so primitive camping is allowed; campfires are restricted in the summer months, but a summer visit would be inadvisable as this is open desert with no shade.)

A note on finding the trailhead: it is actually a bit more than a mile that you have to double back along the I-8 frontage road until you come to the left turn at Ave 76E. There is a turn before this, next to what appear to be some old ranch ruins - don't take that one! 76E was signed. It deadends at the trailhead parking lot.
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Jul 24 2010
cabel
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 Guides 4
 Photos 2,750
 Triplogs 400

56 male
 Joined Nov 13 2005
 Cave Creek, AZ
Sears Point Petroglyph SitesSouthwest, AZ
Southwest, AZ
Hiking avatar Jul 24 2010
cabel
Hiking3.00 Miles 95 AEG
Hiking3.00 Miles   3 Hrs      1.00 mph
95 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
This is a great site and one that I will have to go back to. Two suggestions, 1 don't go in the summer. It was hot as hell at 117. Second, the best glyphs are to the right of the register. By the time I found them I was cooked.
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All who wander are not lost...just me.
Jul 06 2006
Randal_Schulhauser
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 Guides 71
 Routes 98
 Photos 9,967
 Triplogs 1,009

61 male
 Joined May 14 2003
 Ahwatukee, AZ
Sears Point Petroglyph SitesSouthwest, AZ
Southwest, AZ
Hiking avatar Jul 06 2006
Randal_Schulhauser
Hiking1.45 Miles 95 AEG
Hiking1.45 Miles   2 Hrs      0.73 mph
95 ft AEG
 
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
A return visit to explore some areas we weren't able to cover previously. Although the forecast was a high of 110 degrees F, we were blessed with overcast skies and the odd rain shower! The rumbling of thunder echoed through the Gila valley creating a unique, if not eerie setting.

We found some minor clusters of petroglyphs along a ridge trail to the southeast. This trail follows the extreme east side of the basalt walls. Additional glyphs can be found by contouring down the slope and into the wash. As we headed north back to the BLM sign-in kiosk there are isolated boulders along the slope covered with rock art.

We continued along the northwest ridge trail reviewing the major panels the site is renowned for. Matt pointed out that the sun symbol seems to consistently appear on every major panel. Don't know the significance of this observation...

As we reached the extreme northwest ridge (technically Sears Point proper), we were rebuffed again by an extremely active bee hive! Beating a hasty retreat down the slope into the flood plain of the Gila River, we could see to the south what appeared to be a potential ruins site. From a distance, the site looked very similar to Crack-In-Rock. Although we didn't locate any rock art at this site, there is a curious rock arrangement that could be of archeological significance. We surmised the purpose to be an ancient hearth site, but we're just guessing...

From this site there are numerous "cultural trails" radiating in various directions. We chose the route heading east. We didn't see any rock art along this route, but did locate a couple of rock alignments and numerous cultural trails.

I'm often asked how I find out about these relatively obscure hiking sites. The Arizona BLM website contains many links to archeological sites. Check out;

http://www.blm.gov/az/trails/de_anza/sears_fact.htm
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Jul 02 2006
Randal_Schulhauser
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 Guides 71
 Routes 98
 Photos 9,967
 Triplogs 1,009

61 male
 Joined May 14 2003
 Ahwatukee, AZ
Sears Point Petroglyph SitesSouthwest, AZ
Southwest, AZ
Hiking avatar Jul 02 2006
Randal_Schulhauser
Hiking3.83 Miles 95 AEG
Hiking3.83 Miles   3 Hrs      1.28 mph
95 ft AEG
 
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
With Matt Bond.

Original plan was to hike Pinal Mountain, specifically the Icehouse/Telephone/Sixshooter loop hike. But found out before we set off that the area is closed as a fire precaution. Needing an alternate destination, we decided to take in the petroglyphs at Sears Point as well as Texas Hill and Antelope Hill.

I'll do a write-up on the two "hills" later in the week...
_____________________
Apr 15 2006
Randal_Schulhauser
avatar

 Guides 71
 Routes 98
 Photos 9,967
 Triplogs 1,009

61 male
 Joined May 14 2003
 Ahwatukee, AZ
Sears Point Petroglyph SitesSouthwest, AZ
Southwest, AZ
Hiking avatar Apr 15 2006
Randal_Schulhauser
Hiking1.45 Miles 95 AEG
Hiking1.45 Miles   2 Hrs   30 Mns   0.58 mph
95 ft AEG
 
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Incredible petroglyph site that leaves you wondering why this is such a secret? Word of warning about the deep sand traps through the Gila River flood plain leading up to the trail head - thought I was going to get stuck a couple of times but managed to get my 2WD F-150 through it. Some of the mud holes showed evidence of stuck vehicles! Also had one of my first bee encounters while exploring the southern rim. Managed to escape by scrambling down hill while holding my breath. Guess my biologist friend is right when he says that bees track their perceived enemies by detecting carbon dioxide...
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average hiking speed 1.06 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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