Skull Mesa

Cave Creek, Arizona

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1 Review
4 out of 5
To a true hiker, all types of terrain have some sort of appeal. Pine forests have their glamour, rolling prairies possess a more sublime beauty, and rugged desert canyons always hold a certain mystique. However, for all their special qualities, none of these landscapes can provide a hiking experience that beats trekking across the top of a huge mesa that rises high into the air like a big flat island in the sky. If the mesa top also happens to have Native American ruins and petroglyphs, you’ve got a hiking destination that simply can’t be beat—and that’s Skull Mesa.

Skull Mesa Professional Review and Guide

"To a true hiker, all types of terrain have some sort of appeal. Pine forests have their glamour, rolling prairies possess a more sublime beauty, and rugged desert canyons always hold a certain mystique.

However, for all their special qualities, none of these landscapes can provide a hiking experience that beats trekking across the top of a huge mesa that rises high into the air like a big flat island in the sky. If the mesa top also happens to have Native American ruins and petroglyphs, you’ve got a hiking destination that simply can’t be beat—and that’s Skull Mesa."

Activity Type: Hiking
Nearby City: Cave Creek
Distance: 14
Trail Type: Out-and-back
Skill Level: Difficult
Duration: Day Hike
Local Contacts: Tonto National Forest
Local Maps: USGS New River Mesa
Driving Directions: Directions to Skull Mesa

Recent Trail Reviews

2/24/2008
0

This was a fun trail. For the first 2 miles it is a stroll through the desert, crossing cave creek wash 4 times. On this trip, the wash was flowing so boulder hopping was necessary. Be careful in the summer months, as water may be waist high!! After you finish the final wash crossing, you will see a milepost that shows all the trails in the area. Skull mesa is a beautiful view from the top, however it is not an easy climb up. You will see petroglyphs along the way, carved into the stones. If you decide to go to the indian ruins at the top as described in the guide, it is very difficult to find. We couldn't find much out there, and after 2 miles of bushwacking and getting stuck with cactus hidden in the bush, it was rather dissapointing. This trail is very remote, not many people use it. Be prepared, and bring lots of water!!



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May 2018