Located just North of the Town of Cave Creek lies the Tonto National Forrest. This chunk of land that stretches from Phoenix to the Mogollon Rim in Payson. The area is the fifth largest National Forest in the United States, hence we spend a hell of a lot a time in it. This particular trip was hosted by a friend and was a return trip to Skull Mesa. The area was home to the Hohokam Indians but all that remains now is a few walls around their fort area. Skull Mesa can be accessed from multiple ways, but this particular trip found us heading in from the Spur Cross Recreation Area just North of Cave Creek. From there the hike was a leisurely 5.5 miles to the top of the mesa. The hike includes rolling hills, as well as a series of switchbacks that materialize into about a1000ft climb in the final mile. The most difficult part of this trip is the lack of water, hence it is normally done as a day hike. Day hikers may enjoy the ruins but the real beauty happens at night. The entire metropolitan Phoenix area can be seen from the mesa. This is not a epic backcountry experience but it has it's own beauty and history in a different way.
Hike Description- http://hikearizona.com/decoder.php?ZTN=651