GISELA RUINS IN GILA COUNTY, ARIZONA

These ruins are a hilltop fortification near the town of Gisela, Arizona.  Thought to be left behind by the ancient Salado People. The ruins are composed of a main circle surrounded by quite a few individual rooms.

 

This is a common configuration for Southwestern native societies, with daily activities occurring in a central, communal area and rooms being primarily used for sleep and storage.

 

Many of the walls are still at chest height. The location seemed to be a good choice, with a commanding view of the surrounding area and an accessible water source.

This ruin was made even more exciting by the discovery of a grinding stone among the rooms.

IMPORTANT RUIN INFORMATION

Basic operational information for the park is showcased here.  Simply click on the "+" for specific details.  For more info visit the website below.

Physical Address & Contact Info:


Located outside the Town of Gisela, Arizona




Hours of Operation:


There are no set hours for visiting Goat Camp Ruin. Come at your leisure.




Driving Directions:


Take Arizona 87 north towards Payson. A few miles before the town of Rye, there is a turnoff called Gisela Road. Turn right onto Gisela Road and follow it for just over 4 miles at which point you need to take a right onto Tonto Creek Drive. Follow this through the homes as far as you can go. The first mile or so is well-maintained, but then it starts getting a bit rough. You'll want to get as close to Tonto Creek as possible. We had to park about .25 miles away, which wasn't a big deal.




Weather:


During the summer months it can be warm. Make sure you have water with you before you set out on the trail. Winter can be quite cold so have extra clothes if needed. Spring and Fall are quite nice weather months.




Fees & Passes:


There is no fee to experience Goat Camp Ruin.




Visitor Center:


There is no visitors center for this attraction.




Goat Camp Ruin - Hiking Information:


There is no trail to get to these ruins, but the bush-whacking isn't very hard. First find Tonto Creek. You'll want to follow Tonto Creek downstream for about 1 1/2 miles. The ruins are on the east side of the creek, but if the water is low enough it is suggested that you wait until you're close to the ruins before you cross the creek. After hiking along the creek for about 1 1/2 miles, you'll come to a spot where the creek squeezes through a cliff on the west side and a tall butte on the east side (further east is a taller mountain). The ruins are on top of the butte. Hike up the north side of the butte to get to the ruins and then down the west side. If you go in May there are severak places to cross Tonto Creek just west of the butte, but at other times during the year it is most likely flooded.
Once you're at the ruins you'll see a great view up and down Tonto Creek. The thing we found most interesting about these ruins was the large room on the southern end of them--perhaps it was used for ceremonies, meetings, or other large gatherings. In addition to the rooms on the very top of the butte, you will also come accross a wall on the northern slope, about half way up (GPS: N 34 04.704' W 111 16.942').





Photo Credit: Arizona Ruins & Petroglyphs

Photo Credit:  Arizona Ruins & Petroglyphs