Early Saturday rendezvous at the Ahwatukee Einstein's for coffee and bagels. We decided to take the southern approach to the trail head via Maricopa. HikeAZ's southern access directions are "spot on". Bumpy ride along the 4WD track paralleling the hydro tower right-of-way on the south side of Seven Mile Mountain.
Once at the trail head, we signed in at the register and started the relentless push up to the 4052 ft summit. We were constantly distracted by the mineral displays along the trail. Even saw the occasional gold fleck embedded in the quartz!
At the top sitting on the distinct quartz formations, we soaked in the views and consumed our trail lunches. Stunning views to say the least!
The trek back down (why is a steep downhill so hard on the knees?) was done in record time allowing us to explore some of the mining relics. Appreciate hearing from anyone with information about the "Old Spanish Gold Mine"http://www.brazilbrazil.com/mine.html
Great hike, great work out, perfect conditions! We did not see another soul the whole day in Rainbow Valley or in the Wilderness. Only downside was the disturbing sight traveling the 4WD trail north to the trail head - there were 2 recently killed desert gray foxes strung up to one of the hydro towers - who'd do such a thing? Makes you wonder...