S.M.H.I.C. #4 - Follow the Old Road  LbNA # 53496

Placed DateMay 14 2010
LocationPhoenix, AZ
Found By Desert Flower
Last Found Feb 21 2013
Hike Distance?

This letterbox is done in coordination with geocaching.com. The purpose it to take the user across South Mountain and learn some history along the way.

This cache is the fourth installment of the South Mountain Historical Icon Challenge. There will be information on the inside of the container that you will need in order to find and open the final stage of this challenge.

Your journey to this cache begins at the north end of the Buena Vista parking lot. Take the Central Ave. entrance to South Mountain, and go to the top. Follow the signs to the Buena Vista Parking Lot and park there (gps coordinates N 33° 20.584 W 112° 02.659)

I have not found any documentation to confirm this, but it appears the road used to continue from here all the way to the unnamed summit southeast from here. The total walk to the letterbox is less than ½ mile. You will be traveling on an old road, but it is not very even. The actual container is about 300 feet off this road. After finding the cache you can either come back the way you went out, or continue up the road until you reach the National Trail. Then head west on National back to the parking lot. It makes for a great loop.

From the opening in the stone wall, head 320 degrees to the bench beside the trail. At the bench continue down the trail for 28 strides. At this point turn about 90 degrees to your right and go another 18 strides. You should be standing in the old road overlooking a pretty valley. Turn to your right again and follow the old road. At about ¼ mile from the start you should be in a wash.

Continue down this wash. The wash will narrow because of 2 boulders on your left. Just past this it opens back up. There will be a large saguaro with many arms on the east side of the wash.

There is an old oil pan guard on the left side of the wash.
Standing next to the saguaro the road heads 100 degrees and up the hill.

Stop at the top of the first ridge. Turn and leave the road at this point to go find the cache. You will head 345 degrees over a rock pile. When you are about 150' from the road you can see the cache location about another 150'; ahead. There are 2 saguaros just to the left of a rock outcropping. The cache container can be found at the base of these saguaros.

The stamp in the cache comes from a drawing done by Reg Manning in 1938.