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The end of hiking season in the Valley of the Sun typically occurs in April as the temperatures start to creep up into the 90s (F). As a last hurrah, a friend and I tackled the 12-mi round trip trek to the summit of Skull Mesa outside Cave Creek, AZ. After following the creek for the first couple of miles, the trail zig zags across pristine Sonoran desert toward the base of the summit. From there, its steep switchbacks to the top, where you are greeted with near-360 degree views of the surrounding area. There’s lots to explore at the top, including the point which is where I captured this image. Despite being close to the middle of the day, colors were still vibrant and visibility was good across the various mountains and ridges below. At the other end of the summit are old ruins of an ancient Hohokam pueblo and fort. Several petroglyphs can also be seen on the way up to the top. Best time to do the hike is in the cooler months – we didn’t have much time at the top since it was starting to get hot and we still had the return trip to go.
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