If the beautiful Horse Thief Basin wasn't adventurous enough for you, just keep going for a short side trip on Coal Camp Road. This narrow rocky trail is seldom used and offers the driver a few challenges. But Coal Camp Road also provides some great views from the southeastern tip of the Bradshaw Mountains. There's also another little-known gem along this lonely trail. The Hohokam Culture lived in both the Bradshaw Mountains and the valley that now is Phoenix from 300 to 1500 AD. Contemporaries of the famed Anasazi Culture, they built pueblo-style dwellings and complex irrigation systems. They also built rock fortresses on high points throughout the area. Each fortress had a line of sight with at least one other forming a network. The purpose of the structures is not known. A short hike from the trail takes you to South Fort, where one small wall of a fortress remains. The views of Lake Pleasant, Phoenix, Perry Mesa, and New River Mesa from there are fantastic. Coal Camp Road delivers amazing views and entertaining driving challenges along its entire length. Come enjoy the adventure.
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