In my wanderings through the Sycamore Canyon area I had never driven any of the roads north of the main wash so I figured I was due. I've tried to stay away from this area as much as possible on weekends due to the huge masses of ATV and gun enthusiasts and this was no exception. Although it was a Friday I knew I wanted to be out of there by early afternoon so I got an early start.
After a short drive around most of the mesa on the lookout for the best climbing routes I finally just made a choice and got started. I began from the north below the second rise from the west end. I headed straight for the westernmost peak with plans to loop back along the spine of the mesa, crossing over every peak on the way east.
Lots of steep climbing but thankfully the terrain was open enough even the cholla and buckhorn forests were easy to pass through unscathed. At one point as I was dropping down through a large rocky area I was attacked by a large bee. Thankfully it wasn't in the stinging mood but it just kept flying full speed into me, bouncing off and circling back around to hit me again and again. As it turned out I was passing very close to a massive nest and I suppose the bee was warning me off... and it worked, I moved away fast.
By time I had reached the USCGS marked summit (second peak of the mesa from the east) it was getting close to the time I wanted to bail out of the Sycamore Creek area, so I had to make a decision. With another long and steep descent plus the ascent up the last peak ahead of me, and of course the return just as rough and time-consuming I decided to wrap it up and head back. Good thing I did because on my way out to the Beeline the waves of ATV's, motorcyles and trucks pulling huge campers, trailers and/or toy-haulers were flowing in and the gunfire was already a constant.
This was definitely rattlesnake country with plenty of prey and uncountable numbers of holes in the ground but even though the temperature did get high enough for them to be out I saw none.
I was hoping to add to my snake video collection. Oh well, I'll be back soon to summit the easternmost peak of the mesa so I should have another chance.
I'm posting a small set of photo's on HAZ but the full set of 55 photos is here: