Marilyn and I hiked at the Spur Cross Ranch Recreation Area on Sunday.

We hiked the Spur Cross Trail to Tortuga, at which point we continued straight on Tortuga.  Tortuga branches off to the left, but we continued going straight which is the Elephant Mountain Trail at that point.  The Elephant Mountain Trail descends into a wash, follows the wash for a time and then gradually ascends to a pass which separates the main bulk of Elephant Mountain from a  lower peak to the East.  This lower peak is the site of an old Native American fortress, complete with walls somewhat below the relatively flat top of the peak.  We continued on Elephant Mountain Trail until it met up with the Spur Cross Trail, which we followed back to the parking area.

A view of Elephant Mountain from either the Tortuga Trail or near the beginning of the Elephant Mountain trail from where it connects to the Tortuga Trail.  The fortress peak with the shear sides is in front of the main bulk of Elephant Mountain.

In the photo below, we were on the Elephant Mountain Trail, beginning our descent into the wash.


A view of the Elephant Mountain fortress peak from where the Elephant Mountain Trail dips into a wash:

I think this might be Sugarloaf Mountain with Skull Mesa to the right.  (I’m not certain though.)

Another view of the Elephant Mountain fortress rock:

Great views…

A wall of ridged rock on Elephant Mountain:

One of the views as we were making our way back to the Spur Cross Trail:

Another look at one of the rock walls on Elephant Mountain:

Marilyn amidst some very tall saguaros:

A mountain biker descending the Spur Cross Trail:

Marilyn on the Spur Cross Trail:

Saguaros on the Spur Cross Trail:

White stone and brown rocks along the Spur Cross Trail:

The sun came out shortly before setting, bathing the trail in an orange glow:

Marilyn, waiting for me as I take lots of “golden hour” photos:

More views near sunset…

I noticed these ruins near the parking area just prior to leaving.  I’m puzzled about the wood beam though.  It doesn’t look weathered enough to be original.