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2012-04-28  

Sombrero Peak Sierra Ancha, AZ
2012-04-2818 by
 
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Sombrero Peak / Sierra Anchas, AZ  
Hiking22.00 Miles   33 Hrs       1.22 mph
5,729 ft AEG   15 Hrs    Break  
No Photoset1st Trip Logged
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The mission was to walk Bronco Canyon and the Cooper Forks, then bag Sombrero Peak along the way.

Arrived at Cherry Creek at 0900 and then proceeded up Hog Mountain to check a couple of springs. I always incorporate springs into my trip plans whenever possible. They are great places to find wildlife and also a means to replenish my water supply, a couple of gallons a day in the summer.

Next stop was Bronco Canyon, which has a running stream and a thick deciduous forest over much of its length. There are a couple of small Indian ruins in there, but it was definitely a low-rent district compared the fancy dwellings west of Cherry Creek. The canyon has a couple of waterfalls and drops, but nothing requiring ropes to get around them.

Sombrero Peak is a 6400' mountain demarcating the western boundary of the Fort Apache Indian Reservation. I suspected there to be some elk up there, as they always tend to gravitate to highest peaks in a region, if for no other reason as to be left alone. Elk sign was abundant, but the elk were nowhere to be found. It turned out that two hikers had already been to the summit, just hours before my arrival, and must have spooked off the herd. What a surprise to have found human footprints there. Folks are still out yet, but the Heat will drive them away soon enough, leaving the Maz and Ancha Country to me and the bears.

The best decision of the trip was to call off the 7 mile excursion into the Rez, which would have ended in a night hike with empty canteens. Camp was at Willow Spring, which is actually one mile below its marked location on the map.

The night turned cold and I froze on account of leaving the heavy bag at home. Had I been back on the Borderlands, it would have been easy to scrounge up a blanket or a sleeping bag, which are strewn about the many layup sites. Not here. One would be hard pressed to find garbage in beautiful central AZ. A sleepless night ensued, to which the miracle of caffeine, in the form of Rockstar Energy Drink, kept me from falling asleep at the wheel on the drive home.

The next day was a leisurely stroll down Cooper Forks, portaging around Bermuda Falls on the north side of the canyon. The forested canyon between the falls would be an excellent place to hide to if you were ever on the lam. The only access is with rope and gear. I gave it a quick perusal, looking for the usual suspects. It would be a score to locate America' most wanted, Robert Fisher, or perhaps get a photo of the elusive yeti, the creature known as 'bigfoot'. A bunch of people went looking for 'bigfoot' in the wilderness to the east, though it turned out that the Indians just made the whole thing up.
Wildflowers Observation Moderate

Bermuda Falls Spring Dripping
Dry for the most part, though water runs just down river in Cooper Forks.

Half Barrel Spring Dry
This spring is not much of anything and seldom has water. It seeps just enough to keep a few wild grapes alive.

Hog Mountain Spring Gallon per minute
This is a nice spring that runs most of the year.

Sycamore Spring Gallon per minute

Willow Spring Dry
The location shown is nothing but a dry wash, the actual spring is about a mile down the creek at location: 33. 8667 110.7735

It was running at a quart/min

Yellow Jacket Spring Quart per minute
Busy cattle area. water suspect.
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Outlander's

74 Photosets
  2012-06-07
  2012-05-13
  2012-04-28
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