“AZR”, January 22, 1933
Phoenix Mountain Park Trips Reveal History Of Southwest
Attractions and varied places of interest to be found in Phoenix Mountain park are described in a letter received from C. M. Holbert, local outdoors enthusiast.
“There are so many inquiries from teachers and others that such a description will be appreciated and made good use of for the east half of the park is a perfect hiking field with plenty of interesting places to be found,” writes Mr. Holbert.
“A possible hike for a day could include assembly in Neighborhood canyon, ascent to the saddle between Two peaks, finding Wonder Rift, the natural bridge, Lone cottonwood, Pima spring where Indian metates ground in the granite and many prehistoric writings, Haunted cave, Padre Hill, which marks the spot where legend says a padre met death at the hands of Indians, the De Niza inscription rock, and Santa Cruz hill.
“All of these with the exception of Haunted cave could be included in a single day’s outing. Lunch and water should be taken and rubber-soled shoes worn. Finding Wonder Rift is the key to all the rest.
“To reach this point it is necessary to descend from the saddle between Two peaks southwest across the first gorge, and down over a low divide, into the second wash and you are near the rift. The wash soon narrows to about 19-inch width between water worn granite walls, which overlap above so that they shut out the sun. Less than a mile down the same wash is Natural bridge-a tunnel under a massive roof 50 feet long and high and wide enough to lead a saddle horse through.
“On down the wash are the Lone cottonwood tree and Pima springs. To find Padre hill, go north from Pima springs to the north summit overlooking the Salt River valley. Four stone crosses each seven feet long and pointing to the four directions are found on one of the nearby higher summits.
“De Niza rock bears the only inscription of the early Spaniards in these hills. It is dated 1539. The rock is southeast of Pima springs about three fourths of a mile. Autos can reach it by taking the desert road at the south side of Guadalupe and traveling west to the hills on the south side of a big wash.
“Santa Cruz hill is a spot sacred to the Indians of Guadalupe. Here is a shrine at which they place the cross which figures in their religious occasions. The airways beacon light is on Beacon hill northeast of De Niza rock and near Santa Cruz hill.
“A shorter hike can be planned starting from the same place and taking in Wonder Rift, Natural bridge and Haunted cave and autos can meet the hikers at or near the starting place. After leaving Natural bridge go north to the summit one canyon east of Two peaks. Haunted cave is almost halfway down. Many prehistoric pictures are found on the canyon walls as you descend. The cave is in the canyon’s west wall.
“Eventually saddle trails will traverse this entire section. At Wonder Rift a trail will lead Southwest to the summit overlooking the Gila desert and Pima Indian reservation, following that crest westward nearly two miles of Summit trail and the splendid road systems that are now open and being constantly extended from Heard Scout pueblo to Telegraph and Delta passes.”