Discover Perry Mesa Off Of Sunset Point

Last weekend was a wonderful time for a May outing in Central Arizona.  Typically, we would be expecting 100+ days in early May.  Just warm enough to make one uncomfortable on a long outing.  Saturday was a beautiful day on Perry Mesa starting in the low 50’s and reaching the 70’s.

Susan and I love to explore Arizona.  It has remarkable diversity and beauty.  Often, we go with friends.  This time it was just us.

11209651_1616137765339402_4880326652968974690_nPerry Mesa rests just East of Sunset Point (Black Mesa) along I-17 and is largely a part of Agua Fria National Monument.  From the Interstate, it looks desolate and foreboding.  In reality, it is ripe with ancient culture and wildlife.  Tens of thousands of Hohokam Indians inhabited that prairie, mountains and canyons. Hundreds of miners, ranchers and pioneers traveled the dusty roads, living and dying in the area.  Evidence is everywhere. If you know where to look.

11243456_1616136858672826_4601028119845553121_nMost of the following pictures were taken in and around the Brooklyn Mine in Brooklyn Basin.  The mine operated sporadically from 1907 to 1970.  The mine was established for copper, but gold and silver usually occur in the same areas.  (Note the turquoise in the stone hearth.) The mine was also subject to one of the early mining scams in Arizona.  One of the owners went to New York to raise significant funds from shareholders.  I read the incorporation document and it was somewhat entertaining for someone with a geology background who is intimately familiar with Arizona.

This area also has some extremely good petroglyphs.  We took pictures of some of the more interesting ones.  There are literally hundreds more.  I doubt you can walk a canyon wall in the area without encountering this Stone Age art.  In fact, I’ve encountered petroglyphs in most parts of the state.  Some are obvious, others are not.  Why don’t you see if you can figure out what the artist was trying to say?




rick100Richard Oxford is an avid outdoorsman who loves to hike and camp in Arizona. He is also a master barbecue chef. Rick is an Investment Advisor Representative with Richard Oxford Financial, and affiliated with Sowell Management Services. He is also a Certified College Advisor, with College Funding Solutions. His offices are in Scottsdale, Arizona. He may be reached at, or 602-697-7657.

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