A walk in the park! NOT!
Baldy Mountain aka Francis Rogers Mountain. The author refers to it as 2HIKERZ Trail.
We do a lot of hiking north/northwest of Lake Pleasant. For the last few years, as I've driven north on Castle Hot Springs Road, I have looked to the west at a high peak (Baldy Mountain) and the ridge line leading to the top. I kept saying that someday I wanted to blaze a trail to the top, although I envisioned it as being a rather easy walk/climb to the top. Not! The entire ridgeline and slopes are covered with loose rocks, large rocks, cactus, and brush. It's about two miles long (GPS says 1.7 miles, but it measures in straight lines) with an elevation change of about 900'.
In the past few months I, and my wife Margaret, have been creating a hiking trail to the top of Baldy Mountain. We have marked the trail with rock cairns, removed brush and cactus, cut tree branches, and moved loose rocks and raked the smaller rocks off of the trail. All rocks that are firmly (or appear to be) implanted in the soil remain intact. End result is an easy to follow hiking trail. It is clear of any debris in most spots, has larger rocks in place that must be stepped on, over or around, and somewhat steep in some places due to the slope of the land. If you want to gain 900' you have to go up at some point. Murphy's Law, I guess! :}
But, it is a fun trail. Easy to follow. Good healthy cardiovascular workout. Pretty countryside. And the views are spectacular. You are looking down at Lake Pleasant. Four Peaks in the distance. And of course, Vulture Peak, White Tanks, Estrellas, and South Mountain. Downtown Phoenix and the AZ Cardinals Stadium. Bradshaws, Indian Mesa, Burro Mountain. On the topo maps it is called Baldy Mountain, but a plaque on the top has it renamed as Francis Rogers Mountain in memory of Mrs. Francis Grace Rogers. She was a Cartographer for the Arizona Highway Department from 1915 to 1960.
Next to the Francis Rogers Mountain plaque is a 6' high rock cairn with one large rock engraved as follows: Homer Campbell, Julia Campbell, March 1, 1920.
From the trailhead:
After 200' +/- you need to cross over a barbed wire fence. Top wire is loose so it is easy to hold down the wires and raise your legs over (one at a time). Cross the old jeep road and you will see a rock cairn at the fence line. Follow the path/rock cairns. Early part of the trail is deliberately vague so as not to be noticed by anyone on a motorized bike who would just tear up the tread.
Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.
WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.
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