Sinagua Turtle LbNA # 56732
|Owner||Me N The Wiz|
|Placed Date||Dec 14 2010|
|Location||New River, AZ|
Distance: Less than 1/2 mile round trip, takes 5-10 minutes to walk up to the top.
Difficulty: Trail flat and easy, becomes a a little faint in spots, and then becomes rocky and moderately steep near the top of the mesa
*** Edited July 4, 2011 due to some minor changes in the senior center parking lot and trail starting point description. Letterbox is intact!
This search will take you to the top of a small mesa with some ancient Sinagua ruins on top. It is a short pleasant hike through the Sonoran desert, but still, remember to bring water (and some caution in summer-time heat) and watch for cactus and other stinging and prickly things! As an added bonus, you will see many classic Sinagua-style pottery shards on top and on the approach, so look and enjoy, but do resist the temptation to take one, and please leave them for others to enjoy. (For practical reasons as well, as there is a federal law about this where the penalty is pretty stiff, so not really worth the risk!)
Begin by getting on I-17, which runs between Phoenix and Flagstaff, and get off at the New River exit, #232. This is about 45 miles north of downtown Phoenix and 30 miles south of Cordes Junction. Go east toward the small community of New River. You will shortly come to a T-intersection, at which you will need to turn left, and then almost immediately you will take a right onto New River Road at the Roadrunner Restaurant.
Drive 3 miles east until you see a brown sign for Kiwanis Community Park and the New River Senior Center. Turn left here (15th Ave.) Drive approximately one mile on paved road until you see an identical sign, and turn left again. You will see the small mesa directly in front of you at this point. Drive on in to the park, and go up the short road on the right that dead-ends in the senior center parking lot. (Please park in a place that doesn't obstruct access to the center for the seniors!) At the west end of the senior center parking lot, there is an obvious trailhead. Follow this trail, which winds up toward the broken area visible in the middle of the mesa.
When you get to the top, the principal ruin is just on your left with a large jojoba bush growing out of its east wall. You can walk around the mesa and identify other old sites, and just enjoy the 360 degree views!
When you are ready to leave, start down the same way you came up. Within about 20 feet or so, you will see a medium sized mesquite tree on your right. As you stand next to the mesquite, look at the short rock band to your left that is about 6 feet high. The box will be in an indentation near the top of the second crack over, concealed with some small rocks.
Most times you will find yourself alone up here unless there is an event at the park, but be aware it is well-known to the neighbors, especially the kids, so please make sure you re-hide it well so that it is not visible from the trail.
I will only be able to check on the box infrequently, so please do register your finds, and contact me if you find any problems with the box. Happy hiking!