We did this hike as a near-trifecta of Upper Tonto Basin ruins that included Jake's Corner Ruins and an attempt at the Gisela Ruins.
As mentioned in the hike description there is no trail, you just beeline up the side of the hill, dodging hedgehog and prickly pear cactus along the way. The hardest part of the ascent was crawling under the barbed wire fence just above the wash. There doesn't appear to be an easy way around it.
The ruins are much bigger than expected. There are several rock walls still intact and even some gourds growing around the room on the northenmost section of the ruins. Could gourds that were planted several hundred years ago still be growing to this day? Great views of the Mazatzals and down into the Tonto Basin.
On the return we headed west to investigate the smaller peak with the rocky outcropping but didn't see any ruins there. Be careful on the way down. Loose rock caused me to lose my footing and the left side of my body became a human pincushion. Still, it was worth it to take the brief step back in time.
Parked truck along road just east of Black Mtn. I followed a dirt road and stream bed to the north side of the mountain and went up. The summit is covered with many rooms. Century plants now occupy most rooms. Although the walls are only a couple of feet high, the layout is pretty obvious. Summit also provides great views of the Tonto Basin and Mazatzals.
I did this hike with a different approach. It made the hike longer but eliminated much of the bushwhack. Just to the east of Black Mountain on Gisela Road you will find FR 554A. A 4 X 4 road, follow this road north past Black Mountain Tank and around the rear of Black Mountain and then it makes a U turn and heads straight for the north side of the mountain. The road ends and a cairned trail takes you the rest of the way up the steep mountain to the ruins. Check out the GPS route. A great day of exploring.
"I'm going for a coffee, but you never know when a hike might break out." -Jim Gaffigan
average hiking speed 1.04 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.