Back down the I-10 today, on another excursion into the Eagletail Mountains Wilderness area. This time we are going on a hike to Indian Spring on the Ben Avery Trail. A new area to explore!
The road to the trailhead was gravel and dirt or sand, the washes not very steep and near the end a high clearance and or 4 X 4 is necessary to make it over the hill. Otherwise a highway vehicle could park at the bottom of the hill and you could hike to the trail head.
Following the old jeep trail we were quite surprised it took about 30 minutes or so to get to the wash where we turned right. Continuing down the wash we exited on the old jeep trail. In the distance I could see a low black mesa which I suspected was our destination. The trail went to the next wash where we turned left. Along the route we occasionally spied cairns and were reassured we were on the right path. You get to a point where you can either continue in the wash or go out on the jeep trail. Indian spring turned out to be that low black mesa we saw on the horizon. What an amazing place to spend a few hours and the weather was perfect! One thing to remember – you can always see Courthouse Rock and that is where the car is parked. 😄
You can see Courthouse Rock on the right side in the top picture taken at Indian Spring.
Indian Spring is believed to have been an important cultural and ceremonial site since 1500 BC, used first by the Archaic people. Later ethnic groups included the Hohokam, Yavapai and Patayan. The Archaic Style petroglyphs seem to be the most prevalent in the area indicating a long usage by Archaic peoples (1500 BC to AD 1). They consist of rectilinear designs like grids, ladders, zigzags, beehives and bulls eyes. The second distinct petroglyph style found here is the Gila Style, common to the Hohokam people after AD 500. It includes abstract curvilinear designs, human and animal forms.