Gila Bend

Gila Bend, Arizona

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If you really want to see what a Hohokam fortified hilltop looked like before centuries of wind, rain, and gravity reduced it to rubble, take a hike to the ruin located just across the Gila River from the town of Gila Bend. The rooms of this place appear so intact you’re likely to question whether or not you’re actually wandering among prehistoric buildings. The ruin has more than forty rock rooms, all clustered in groups on top of an isolated mesa in the desert. Some of the walls stand as high as 7 feet. Only the roofs, which were probably made of mud and thatch supported by wooden beams, appear to be missing from the buildings. Some of the rooms are thought to have served as permanent living quarters, others for storage or ceremonial purposes. The site also has a great rock wall, 125 paces in length, that bisects the slanted mesa top in the center and divides the village into an upper and lower ruin.

Gila Bend Professional Review and Guide

"If you really want to see what a Hohokam fortified hilltop looked like before centuries of wind, rain, and gravity reduced it to rubble, take a hike to the ruin located just across the Gila River from the town of Gila Bend. The rooms of this place appear so intact you’re likely to question whether or not you’re actually wandering among prehistoric buildings. The ruin has more than forty rock rooms, all clustered in groups on top of an isolated mesa in the desert.

Some of the walls stand as high as 7 feet. Only the roofs, which were probably made of mud and thatch supported by wooden beams, appear to be missing from the buildings. Some of the rooms are thought to have served as permanent living quarters, others for storage or ceremonial purposes. The site also has a great rock wall, 125 paces in length, that bisects the slanted mesa top in the center and divides the village into an upper and lower ruin."

Activity Type: Hiking
Nearby City: Gila Bend
Distance: 3.5
Trail Type: Out-and-back
Skill Level: Moderate
Duration: Day Hike
Local Contacts: Tohono O'odham Nation, Bureau of Land Management
Local Maps: USGS Citrus Valley East, Smurr
Driving Directions: Directions to Gila Bend

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May 2018