|Hiking||7.00 Miles|| || |
|2,057 ft AEG|| || || |
This one turned out to be much better than anticipated. The drive from Awatukee is a quick hour and forty minutes. Within an hour you feel like you're there but you have to off-road the 15+ miles to the trailhead. Which eats up at least thirty minutes. One section of the road is definitely the origin of dust. Before the questions start rolling in... Like the Quartz Peak trailhead... you could probably make it out in a car going slow. If it happened to rain you'd be in serious trouble without four-wheel drive. Unless you're
good friends with the Vekol's I wouldn't want to be stranded out here! On the trail... The lower-elevation desert-vegetation is amazing. Saguaros pack the land. Any sunset would surely give the classic desert photo opportunity. These saguaros don't flaunt many arms but they are healthy and dense! For what seems like the middle of nowhere, this trail is in excellent shape. The tough section is steep but well laid out. The ascent here is a masterpiece of switchbacks. One section of the switchbacks is covered with loose rocks. It's just not quite steep enough for them to roll off... ALMOST! It's easy to see on two or three of the switchbacks what Mike calls scree slides. They switchback on the edge of infinity. If you were to fall the scree would act as ball bearings and shoot you right off the side of the mountain.
The Verley's site ArizonaHikingTrails.com has some interesting stuff on this trail. What got my attention was they mentioned the summit sign missing a couple years ago. Annette & Rodney hiked this trail recently and it's in their photo. I can tell you it wasn't there today...hmmm I also found it odd that you can bring a horse on this trail, but not a dog. When I saw the bikes in Rodney's photos I figured you could bike in and hike the ascent. First of all, the lower desert isn't boring. As for second... The Wilderness Act of 1964 prohibits bikes, hang gliders etc. I'm not trying to be mean, just informing... =)
Thanks Annette for getting me out on this trail. It never appealed to me before in other writings. It is indeed interesting and unique. You gain elevation... it doesn't seem like it as the peak is still in front of you... however, a quick glance back reveals impressive progress. I wasn't able to capture much in the way of good photos. I think a cloudy day may be better. The sun reflects too much on the haze. The only thing I could make out was Baboquivari. That never panned out. I think some binoculars would help. There was a nice sunset on the drive out.