Indian Fort

Black Canyon City, Arizona ( County)

Last Updated: 02/26/2021
4.5 / 5 ( 4 reviews )
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Status: Open
Typically Open: Year Round
Length: 1.09 miles
Highest Elevation: 1922 feet
Duration: About 30 minutes
Shape of Trail: Loop
Best Direction to Travel: South
Nearest Town: Black Canyon City
Nearest Town w/ Services: Black Canyon City
Official Road Name: 9984/9985
Management Agency: Bureau of Land Mangement
District: Hasayampa Field Office
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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.



7 day forecast for Indian Fort

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

Trailhead Coordinates: 34.019883, -112.179267

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)

Status: Open
Offroaded on:
We always take out of towners to the Indian Fort and then on to Tip Top Mine/Town which isn't listed. That's ok, because like the town of Gillett it now appears that the land and the towns Ruins are now privately owned. there is many signs reading private property but also a locked gate. There's is no access to the town so don't waste your time driving down to cattle corral. Back to the the Indian Fort, the trail is clearly marked there's really nothing to report, oh yeah we got there before anybody else by the time we climbed up to the top, at least 20 rzrs showed up from a commercial outfit. 20 rzrs 2 seats 40 people. They are over running the trails. Enough of the rant. The Indian Fort trail in my opinion is a easy trail narrow in spots, and with the off camber don't run it in the rain. Ill get some pictures of the signs posted.

Author: Official Crew
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Southwestern archeology never ceases to inspire me. This is one of many similar Hohokam sites in Arizona and perhaps the easiest one to get to.

Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Great little trail with awesome views and great historical value

Status: Open
Offroaded on:
A good little run. The view is awesome. If you have any issues with mobility you may not make up to the actual fort. There’s was nothing hard about this trail. It’s be a good idea to have the maps that include the BLM roads in the area.

Status: Open
Offroaded on:
For our last spot of the day, our group decided to visit the Indian Fort. This is not a tough trail at all and it is very short. In fact, you only need 4 Lo in one spot. The view from the Indian Fort is awesome. Please do not disturb anything when you visit the Indian Fort. Looking at the fort and imagining the effort taken to stack these rocks is amazing.

Questions & Answers (0)

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. Sharing my experiences as a member of the Trails Offroad crew is a true pleasure. Hope to see you on the trail soon.
For individual use only, not to be shared.