Ghosts of The Past Carved In Stone
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This formation is found along the West Fork of Oak Creek Trail.
The hike begins from the "Call of the Canyon" day use area, a bit more than 3 miles north of Slide Rock State Park, itself about 7 miles north of
From the parking area, the trail goes past an old orchard and quickly
crosses a bridge over Oak Creek. Look for the RUINS of the Mayhew Lodge
about 1/4-mile from the trailhead. The oldest of the structures was built by
"Bear" Howard, who earned his nickname by killing four bears, supposedly with his knife, in the 1870s.
In the 1880s, the Thomas family homesteaded nearby, developed several
orchards and turned Howard's cabins into a lodge where (western-writer)
Zane Grey wrote Call of the Canyon. In 1922, the movie version of Grey's
novel was filmed in the area. The small lodge, whose clientele included
Jimmy Stewart, Clark Gable and Walt Disney, among other Hollywood notables,
operated from 1925 until 1968, when the Forest Service purchased the land.
In 1976, the lodge burned to the ground. The suspected cause of the blaze
was an unattended fire left in a vacant building.
October 23, 2008