Monday, June 16, 2008

Phoenix Mountain Park Trips Reveal History Of Southwest - 1/22/1933

“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.”


South Mountain Richard said...

According to P. J. Conover, a current South Mountain park ranger, Wonder Rift is an old name for Fat Man's Pass. In other maps and articles I've also seen it called Fat Man's Misery, Fat Man's Trap, and the convoluted Fat Man's Trap Pass.

Steve - AZ said...

Haunted Cave - isn't that where the UFOs fly from, that the Petroglyphsinthesky website claims are "out there" south of Baseline? Better ask PJ about South Mtn's own Area 51.....

Anonymous said...

I'd love to see this Haunted Cave myself. Now that the weather has broken, I'm gonna go hunt for it... Descriptions are good, and with Google Earth, I have a good idea of where it is.



Anonymous said...

ommg i love rainboewss and ponies with cherries

Anonymous said...

and sprinkles with low fat soychips

Anonymous said...

Padre cave has not been found yet. It's said to be on the west side wall of a canyon, the pic Jeff woolwine posted is from a cave in the middle of a wash. I was just there today.

Anonymous said...

I spoke too soon. People know of this cave. There's trash and old graffiti on the outer walls. But I found it today following the above directions. I also found large pieces of pottery near a different cave.

Jon Veitch said...

Has anyone found the 4 crosses?

Jon Veitch said...

Jeff have you seen the 4 crosses?

SteveG said...

I went there today: North of the natural tunnel, and one canyon east of two peaks, half way down the west wall from the summit.

The only thing resembling a cave is not much of a cave. More of a hollow under some huge rocks. It would be good shelter if a Padre needed a place to stay though.

SteveG said...

I went back today and found the cave that Jeff Woolwine posted.

It's directly north of the one I was looking at before, and also east of two peaks. The photo he posted was looking at it from the south-east, looking toward the north-west.

It's located in the Pima wash between the National Trail and the Morman Loop trail, and North of the Natural Tunnel. Easiest access is to Hike in from the Morman trail until just before it meets the National trail at a Post marked with the number 4. Head eastward down the wash and you'll soon walk right by it on the left.

This one is not a cave either, it's a hollow under large rocks. Like a rock lean-to. Something you have to crawl into like a pup tent. It's better than the last one I looked at though, but not by much. It gets an extra point for headroom.

The best "cave" on South Mountain that I know of is south of the Natural Tunnel, up on the ridge on the midlife crisis trail. There is a trail from hidden valley that leads almost right to it. You can stand upright and walk around in what I call the fortress of solitude. You could have a party in there. If I was a Padre looking for a nice cave to live in on South Mountain it would be the fortress of solitude, not those other coyote holes. Who knows, maybe somebody already lived there.