I figure there has to be a trail from South Palm Desert up to Pinyon Flat. I just don't know where it is. I'd heard of a trail up Seven Level Hill (now covered by Highway 74) and this seems feasible but I think there may be something else. I park at the Art Smith Trailhead and start hiking toward Dead Indian Canyon. It doesn't take me long until I find some promising.
I've hiked by this hill a thousand times and never bothered to look at it too closely but hiding behind a bush is what appears to be a trail.
Further up the ridge, the trail becomes even more apparent. It then comes upon a section where somebody actually bulldozed a road of some sort but I try to stay on the trail as much as possible.
I lose it as the ridge starts to flatten out and go through this potential Cholla minefield.
I come upon a spot where someone did some exploratory digging.
Or maybe they were leveling out a foundation for a cabin. It certainly offers a nice view.
Not too far from the cabin foundation I find a campsite.
Too bad I didn't bring any hamburgers and hot dogs.
I drop into Grapevine Canyon, which is below the campsite and find something I haven't seen since I got up on the ridge, footprints.
The Indians would not have used this wash as a way to travel. They generally traveled outside these places so their trails would not wash out but it's still fun for me to explore so I'll see what I can find.
I find a Palm Tree, which means there is subsurface water here.
There is also a far amount of mesquite. Another sign of water and something Indians would have been aware of due to it being one of their food staples. I think I'll just hop out of the wash here and see if I can find sign of a trail.
I don't have any luck finding a trail but I do find another area of digging. What on earth was someone doing up here?
Whatever they were doing they, they had enough spare to time build this shrine. I guess they didn't find much worth that was worth anything.
Or maybe they left because they didn't like the Cholla.
Down a little lower I find another dig and this one is the largest I've found. But why would someone come up here, do all this digging and then leave?
Maybe they ran out of beverages.