Friday, January 25, 2008

Hike #25: Antelope Hill Trail

Length: 2 miles

Located just 30 miles east of the California border (near Yuma, Arizona), Antelope Hill towers over the lush green farmland and citrus orchards that are common in Southwest Arizona. The popular sandstone of Antelope Hill has been quarried in both modern and ancient times; the telltale sign of a modern quarry exists along the northwest face of the hill, while numerous petroglyphs along the north side speak of the importance of Antelope Hill to the ancient peoples of Arizona.

Unfortunately, there isn't a developed trail to the summit of Antelope Hill. Along the north face of the hill (near the truss railroad bridge), is a sign-broad explaining the history of the site and a steel-cable protecting the numerous petroglyph-covered boulders at the hill's base. Although this seems like the most logical place of the "trail" to start, there is actually little more than a rough path wrapping between the petroglyphs and abruptly ends after about 1/4 mile. From here, I began working my way uphill without a trail - climbing up the steep, rock-covered hillside. Unfortunately, the sandstone rock did not make the best climbing surface; the sloop was covered with small, highly unstable stones that made for a difficult accent and extremely dangerous descent!

Sadly, I was unable to actually reach the hill's summit by scaling the rocky north face. If I was to attempt this hill a second time, I would ignore the trail description I found online and attempt to either climb over the modern quarry on the northwest side or climb the opposite face near the large "A" on the southern face of the mountain. Fortunately, the beautiful farmland and interesting bridges over the Gila River more than made up for the disappointment of being unable to reach the hill's top.

To view more pictures of the Antelope Trail, click here.

1 comment:

  1. Have you started seeing physical benefits to all this hiking you do?