4. FROM TRUXTON SPRING TO PRESCOTT.
On the 24th my party started for Prescott, moving out nearly due east, following for three days the guide-stakes established by the railroad surveying party, which had preceded me only a short time at Truxton. The country was found to be a series of terraced plateaus, each one to the east growing in height, and being gained by following up an easy grade through cañons leading to their summits; these different table-lands have all the appearance of being regular mountain ranges when seen from the west; the slopes in many cases are covered with timber. No water was found after leaving Young's Spring until the volcanic country, nearly northwest from Mount Floyd, was reached. Here the plateau is cut up by box cañons in the volcanic rock, and in many of them large reservoirs have been formed where the water collects during the rainy season and generally remains throughout the year, the temperature not being sufficiently great to evaporate the whole.
Mount Floyd is an irregular mountain north of the Juniper Range, and is surrounded on all sides by strong evidences of volcanic agency. The whole country is strewn with eruptive matter, and cut up by narrow box cañons, which are impassable except at certain points; the general direction of all these old water-beds was to the south, about the southern point of Bill Williams' Mountain, emptying into the Verde. The Red butte, mentioned by Ives, could be seen standing out by itself to the north, and beyond it what appeared to be an elevated table-land, considerably higher than the one upon which we then were.
The trail led about to the north of Bill Williams' Mountain, until the San Francisco Mountains and Sunset Crossing road to Albuquerque, New Mexico, was reached; this was then followed out through Chino Valley to Prescott. Mr. Gilbert, chief geologist, ascended the mountain (Bill Williams') with a small party. Barometrical observations to obtain its height were taken, and a careful examination of the character of the formation made by that gentleman, the results of which will appear in his report. The foot-hills all about, and the mountain itself, are covered with a heavy growth of pine, and occasional oak thickets are found.
The road, after leaving the mountain, gains the valley beyond by a series of very heavy grades, crosses Hell and Rattlesnake Cañons, of volcanic origin, and breaking through a rough, rugged range of hills, gains Chino Valley; from this point to Prescott there is a fine track. The Juniper Mountains, lying to the southwest of Bill Williams, are low, rolling hills, and densely wooded. In the report of Lieutenant Ires this country is called the Black Forest. To the east of Chino Valley are the Black Hills, very rugged, with extremely steep slopes; these hills constitute one of the many strongholds of the Apache-Mohave Indians. The country to the north is cut up with box cañons which extend to the Verde beyond, and the approaches on all sides are so difficult that in nearly all cases pursuit of the Indians in this vicinity is attended with very meager results.