We arrived around 8:45AM at the TH parking lot and grabbed our garbage bags to walk southeast up the old road leading to the LFP hike. We spent an hour cleaning up various debris, most of it the result of target shooting. To read more about the clean-up results etc, read the event posting http://hikearizona.com/dex2/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=4715
. What I liked is that we only
took an hour, did our hike, came back and then took the trash to John's pickup.
John had done this route a couple times so it was pretty easy finding our way around. There is NO trail so you are just trying to find the easiest and straightest route up. You are rewarded rather quickly when you come to the first saddle and have some sweeping views of the Superstitions to the South and the Goldfields to the North with First Water below.
From there you make your way on the south side of the mountain so that you can come around on the west side of Summit Peak (where the register is). Once on top of this, the 360 is "WOW"
. You can see two areas of Canyon Lake along with mountains far, far away in EVERY direction. Jim was with us so between he and John, they could help identify a lot of what we saw including the slightly snow-covered Four Peaks, a little bit of the Sierra Ancha, most of the Superstitions (incl Battleship Mtn, Geronimo's Head, Weavers Needle, the Flat Iron, Malapais, Hackberry Spring area, Garden Valley, La Barge Canyon, Black Top Mesa), a lot of the Mazatals, the McDowell Mtns, among others.
I'm not so sure on my desc of the four peaks of the LFP but here goes: Next we headed west to the LFP #2 (I call it the big Northern LFP) bypassing #1 (the little Northern LFP) to the North. We climbed our way up; Jim was designated to do the "Wendy". To get to the next peaks you hike down thru a cholla filled saddle and then up before climbing down to another littler saddle. Now getting to the next two peaks would be a little tricky as you are presented with a shelf to overcome right out of the gate. John climbed up LFP #3 (I call it the middle LFP) like it was nothing, performed the requisite "Wendy" and then came down seeing if anyone wanted to join him.
As I was thinking "maybe not", Jim and Linda decided not to but then I said to myself, "well, as long as I'm up here I better go for it". so with John's guidance up I went. This is really the hardest ascent of all the peaks here. Next we headed down on the east side so that we could get to LFP #4 (I call it the Southern LFP). You do need to be careful as it can be a bit slippery with the loose rock. And for this descent you do have to manuever around a century plant but that was the only tricky area of this. John had taken the spear of the plant and made an arrow the last time he was here and it was still there.
Getting up the last peak is not too hard. I really never have a problem crawling, I mean climbing, up the Peaks, it's the coming down that makes me nervous but this really wasn't too bad; especially having John there as he seems pretty nimble at this. But now of course, we have to take the exact same route back
It was funny to see Jim after he had made his way up Peak #3. I guess he was worried about us and decided he better come take a look. It's too bad he tried after we had completed the other peak because technically he mastered the hardest of the 3. However, getting down was a bit of an adventure but once again with John's guidance, we both got down without a nervous moment.
Next we headed back down (north) so that we could complete the last leg of the "Grandmother" lode by walking out on Peak #1. There were lots of downed Desert Foothill Palo Verde trees. At this point we had only seen about 1/2 dozen downed saguaros. We were quite surprised to see these trees uprooted as well.
Last we had to get back to the trash. There is NO trail so you need to stay close and high to the mountain on your south (walking east). Eventually you will see the wash/drainage area to your north along with a little hill of reddish rock. Here the actual grandparents of our group did their "Wendy". It is around this area that you can start descending north back to the trailhead, or in our case, back to the trash
. You will want to cross the drainage so that you are walking on the east side of it. You will end up crossing it one more time as it ends up in front of you again. And then you are about 10 minutes from the road.
All in all, another great day in the outskirts of the Supes, the incredibly awesome Goldfield Mountains. It was totally cool to meet another HAZer, Jim, who took the lead on the last part of our hike. And as always, I had a great time with Linda and John. They make hiking so much fun. One last comment, the lichen was so very irridescent today; especially at the top of the Peaks.