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Friday, September 19, 2008


BEN AVERY TRAIL Eagletail Mountain Wilderness Deep within the remote Eagletail Wilderness, a cluttered gallery of rock art has survived among basalt niches for more than 3,500 years, leaving behind a mysterious record of the area’s ancient inhabitants. The Ben Avery Trail is the only designated path into the wilderness and although it is over 20 miles in length, an out-and-back hike to the petroglyphs is much shorter. The trail begins in open desert and then drops into a dry wash where carefully placed cairns serve as guides through a maze of arroyos. In spring, water lingers in tiny pools and wildflowers, including fields of owl clover, ajo lilies, chicory and lupine soften views of the surrounding jagged ridges. Follow the trail toward a distinct black outcropping to the south east and soon the cliffs will reveal seldom-seen images of sheep, tortoises, plants, scorpions, deer, reptiles and a mysterious collection of geometric designs. LENGTH: 7 miles round trip RATING: Easy ELEVATION GAIN: 1,700 - 1,820 feet DISTANCE FROM PHOENIX: 76 miles one-way GETTING THERE: From Phoenix, take I-10 west to just past the town of Tonopah and take exit 81 (Harquahala Road). Follow Harquahala Road south for about five miles to Courthouse Rock Road. Head west (toward the very prominent Courthouse Rock landmark) on Courthouse Rock Road and then merge right onto an obvious Pipeline Road. Continue for about 11 miles to a turnoff on the left and continue south toward Courthouse Rock for another 1.5 miles to the signed trailhead. A high-clearance vehicle is required. INFORMATION:

1 comment:

Unknown said...

When I was younger, in the 1970s, I tried several times to climb the Eagletail, but I just couldn't carry enough water. A spectacular area. I did make it to the top of Courthouse Rock thanks to Bob Box.
Don McIver
I still hike, but mostly in Phoenix Sonoran Preserve.