Escudilla Fall Colours
A 545 mile day trip with Lynn and Skippy. After I made my first trek to Escudilla this past summer (see http://hikearizona.com/photoset.php?ID=5966
trip report), I made up my mind that I needed to return to take in the autumn colours. Thanks to some tips from Elizabeth (azbackpackr) concerning current foliage status on Escudilla, we decided to make a day trip of it this weekend despite the stormy weather forecast.
We left the house in Ahwatukee 6-ish and made it to the trail head before noon. The drive through the White Mountains proved to be a big tease, as the fall colours progressively got better and better until you arrived at the Escudilla trail head to observe a yellow-gold nirvana.
While preparing our packs before making the mountain climb, we met Tom? and his daughter from Nutrioso - a teacher, photographer, and leader for the "White Mountain Conservation League". They were also planning to make side trek along Profanity Ridge to get optimum views of the aspen groves.
When we made our way along Profanity Ridge, the weather started to degenerate into a misty rain. By the time we made our way back to the truck at the trail head, a steady rain was falling with increasing winds.
I can report that the Aspens on Escudilla were a mixed bag - some trees completely bare, some trees completely green, but the majority a spectacular yellow/gold. Many leaves were being knocked off the trees by the wind and rain making for a slick trail surface on our return hike down the mountain.
After refueling ourselves at the trail head, we made a slow circuit around Terry Flat and then down to Alpine to take FR249 over to Big Lake. The scenery along FR249 merits a return visit for a future adventure. The planning has already started...