Okay so maybe deciding to finally hike the Pass Mountain Loop trail from the Trailhead by my house with a late start when the temps were all ready hitting 90 was not a great idea. I have wanted to make the loop from home for the last few weeks but something would come up that time wise would prevent me from doing it. so I finally decided today was going to be the day. I got up at 630 and prepared. Then after several things came up around the house it was 930 and I was walking to the trailhead. It was all ready getting warm. It was in the high 80's as I entered Usery and the Spillway TH and I started thinking maybe I should just make this a shorter local loop and wait for another day, but I made up my mind that today was it.
I hiked the 2 miles up to where you leave Usery and enter the National Forrest and link up with the Pass Mountain Trail. I decided that based on the time of day that doing the west side first may be a better choice that way I might have an opportunity for some shade on the eastern side as the afternoon approached. I stopped at the Wind cave TH and topped off with water and continued around the west side to the north side of the mountain. The views are impressive and being up close and personal with the mountain I look at daily from home was cool. I snapped pictures and kept track on my GPS of my total distance traveled. As I made it around to the east side I was rewarded with more views of the Goldfields and the river valley. All the time the temps are still rising. As I found shady areas I took breaks to cool down and talked to a fellow hiker doing the loop from east to west.
As I got to the top of the saddle it was another rewarding view to the north more of the river valley, the Goldfields and up to the rim, and to the south and east the Sups the Santan's and the rest of the valley. I began my climb down the saddle and was realizing that I was not going to see shade for a while. I got down to the bottom of the saddle and made my way around the south side to the Cat Peaks Trail and started heading south to home. At this point I was overheated and even though I thoroughly enjoyed the hike and the views that accompanied it I was definitely approaching my limits for hiking in full sun and 90 + heat. I exited the park at Spillway and made my short walk home happy I got the loop done I have wanted to do for some time, but also happy to be out of the sun and able to cool off. I plan on doing this again once it cools down some more.