Scottsdale Tour SEARS-KAY RUIN HIKE Review— Pre-Historic Hohokam Site

Scottsdale tour stop recommendation- SEARS-KAY Ruin near Hilton Boulders Resort and Spa for vistas and Native American history


Historic Ruin Near Boulders Resort

Take a tip from Rico Riley of Black Mountain Adventure—lead hiking and mountain climbing guide at the luxury Hilton Boulders Resort and Spa— and put a quick visit to Sears-Kay Ruin on your Scottsdale tour itinerary.

It is on the outskirts of Carefree, Arizona, a short ride from the Boulders Resort and Spa. Combining a hike here with a visit to the Cave Creek Museum makes for a fun outing.

Hohokam Fort

1000+ years ago this site was a fortified home to some of the Hohokam tribe, whom many say were ancient precursors of today’s Pima Indians. The signs that introduce you to this site remind that this was before the time of Christopher Columbus. That becomes very significant when you consider that the sophisticated canal systems that made agriculture and life possible in this area were created by these ancient peoples.

Today at Sears-Kay Ruins there are remnants 5 walled compounds, where vestiges of 40 rooms are found. These were made with stones from as far as 35 miles away. Signs along the tour give you a view into the building methods and floor plans, sparking curiosity about how these ancient people used passive heating and cooling principles to make the desert terrain hospitable.

Restorative Hike

Though history and archeology may bring you there—note: this is in the National Registry of Historic Places—it is the lovely views and ability to get close-up with desert flora that will make you linger there. The Hohokam located this fort high up so they could see who was coming, presumably. It affords vistas in all directions.

With a mild grade, it’s an easy 1.6 mile trail to follow. The sun does get bright! Bring your sunscreen, hat and shades.



Open year-round


North Sears Kay Ruins Road
Tonto National Forest
Carefree, Arizona


Free and open to the public.


For more information visit the US Forest Service webpages about Tonto National Forest and Sears-Kay Ruins.

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