Indian Fort

Black Canyon City, Arizona ( County)

Last Updated: 02/26/2021
4.5 / 5 ( 5 reviews )
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Highlight: Indian Fort
The Hohokam flourished in southern Arizona from approximately 200 to 1500 AD. They were known for their complex system of irrigation ditches along the Gila and Salt Rivers which allowed them to grow corn, beans, and squash as well as cotton. While largely living in the valleys near the Salt and Gila Rivers, their villages extended into the surrounding mesas, hills, and mountains Between present-day Gila Bend, Phoenix, and Prescott, the Hohokam also constructed what appears to be fortifications on high points. Each walled fort had a direct line of sight with at least one other fort. When archeologists mapped the known forts a network appeared. The purpose of the forts remains a mystery. Were they for defense? Communication? Ceremonial? All of the above? This short loop takes you to a hilltop Hohokam ruin in this complex network. A brief steep footpath leads you up the hill to the rock-rimmed fort. Indian Fort trail is located in the Table Mesa Recreation Area, a BLM-operated OHV complex that offers everything from easy scenic drives to hardcore rock crawling. Enjoy a short easy drive back into the history of this rugged landscape along the Indian Fort trail. If you hike to the top, see if you can spot any other hilltop fortifications nearby. Take some time to ponder the purpose the Hohokam had for these unique structures. Please respect all archeological sites so future generations have the same opportunity to ponder the past.


Route Information

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1. Trailhead - Immediate Right (0 mi)
The trailhead is located at the intersection with AZCO Mine Road. Indian Fort is marked as 9985. Once on the trail, make an immediate right turn at the Y intersection. Indian Fort is a loop and you will come back out on the left leg of the Y.

Directions to Trailhead

Starting Point: Phoenix

From Phoenix proceed north on I-17 to Exit 236. On the west side of the exit proceed north 1.7 miles on Table Mesa Road - West and turn right onto AZCO Mine Road. Follow AZCO Mine Road 4.1 miles to the trailhead on your left.



Trail Reviews (5)

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Writer Information

Wade May

Hi! I'm Wade. After 43 years as a pilot, split evenly between flying fighters for the Air Force and Boeing 737s for the airlines, my feet are firmly planted on the ground. Seems I spent a lot of my flying time looking out the cockpit window thinking, "Yep, I could drive that trail." My trips range from a few days to a month. Most are solo in my silver 4Runner named Bullit. We range over all the southwest exploring remote places and trying to get as much dirt under the wheels as possible. Occasionally I get in some hiking, backpacking, and bushcraft as well. My most ambitious Overlanding plans include a trip to Tuktoyaktuk and Dead Horse when travel restrictions permit. Sharing my experiences as a member of the Trails Offroad crew, instructing at Overland Expo, and hosting the Gaia GPS Offroad podcast are true pleasures. Hope to see you on the trail soon.
For individual use only, not to be shared.