No Summit. I did not set out for the summit, just Lemmon Creek, so that was as far as I got. However, back and forth to Lemmon Creek is still a hard hike. I used Tough_boots GPS tracks from last June and played with them a bit. I was able to edit and sync them just fine, but never got a profile that looked like I hiked a mountain, always a canyone. Either way, the AEG would be the same, and after syncing they went from almost 6800' to 6490'. Not a bad hike. Mileage was easy to get with the GPS map as it is just twice the 10.2 miles to the creek.
This is really a great hike. Not just the scenery and views, but the sounds of the wildlife. Birds in the day and barking frogs in the evening and at night (I got out 90 minutes post sunset). Also, the smells are great. The rock and soil in the heat of the day, the tannins from the oaks, and scent of the oils from the pines up higher. Then, the desert as it is cooling off in the early night. This hike had a lot of those nice relaxed moments of peace.
This year, I opted to do what we didn't really do last year. I took my time, and lots of breaks. I spent about 30 minutes at Lemmon Creek, and was glad I did. I also carried my filter and used it. I drank 6 liters on the hike. I had a little more food, too. I could easily have summited if I had a ride down, but not done a back and forth in a day and enjoyed it. Not with my 0920 AZT start time. For me though, I don't think I would enjoy a summit and back in a day. I would be open to another shuttle summit, though. I just want to take 10 hours to do it.
The trail up high was virtually deserted, and the only real people I met in the middle were a group of guys out on a well planned 7 day backpack trip. Down low was crowded, but I expected that. Unbelievably, I met a couple from Anchorage, AK, and surprisingly, they know my brother and his wife. I don't think they like yesterday's warm temperatures. I loved it, but then with a hike like this, it is hard not to.
||Wildflowers Observation Isolated