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Green Thumb, AZ

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Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Phoenix > Mesa NE
3.3 of 5 by 4
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Difficulty 1.5 of 5
Distance One Way 1.5 miles
Trailhead Elevation 2,126 feet
Elevation Gain 209 feet
Accumulated Gain 412 feet
Kokopelli Seeds 2.87
Interest Seasonal Creek
feature photo
Photos Viewed All Mine Following
Inaugural Calculation on Button Tap!
15  2017-01-08
Arches & Top Hat via Hackamore
62  2017-01-08
Arches & Top Hat via Hackamore
11  2016-11-19
Pedestal Arch from Hackamore TH
15  2015-01-18
Bulldog Canyon Trailhead Sampler
45  2015-01-18
SE Goldfield Loop with variation
2  2014-03-29 gymx
4  2011-08-13
Twin Arches
14  2010-11-29
Orohai Wash
Page 1,  2
Author HAZ_Hikebot
author avatar Guides 16,882
Routes 16,052
Photos 24
Trips 1 map ( 6 miles )
Age 22 Male Gender
Location TrailDEX, HAZ
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   Jan, Dec, Feb, Nov
Sun  6:13am - 6:24pm
Official Route
4 Alternative
Fauna Nearby
Flora Nearby
Geology Nearby
Meteorology Nearby
Culture Nearby

Author Full Detail Guide
Overview: Nice exercise trail to make moderate loops or connecting for longer backpacks in the Goldfield Mountains. The Green Thumb is the unusual rock outcropping about one quarter mile into the hike.

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    One-Way Notice
    This hike is listed as One-Way.

    When hiking several trails on a single "hike", log it with a generic name that describes the hike. Then link the trails traveled, check out the example.
    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.

    Most recent Triplog Reviews
    Green Thumb
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    Arches & Top Hat via Hackamore
    What she said: [ triplog ]
    What he said: [ triplog ]

    I can't think of much to add but I will.
    It was a little windy/cool to start but after the unplanned summit of Top Hat, the sun pretty much stayed out and the breeze subsided. I'm glad we chose to summit Top Hat when we did as I doubt I would have toward the end. As summits go it really is pretty easy especially the way we took using the bedrock for traction for 1/2 of it. The views are surely worth the climb!

    and then the ridge walk down to Palo Verde Arch was another unplanned bonus for "as long as we're up here". You can get some nice pictures through both sides of the arch. Now from here down to Weeks Wash was a whole other ball game. It is difficult between the rolly poly rocks and the downess of it. Kelly and I remembered that from one of our hikes we did previous in this area.

    The rest of the hike toward Pedestal Arch was in and out and along some drainages with a path for some parts of it. We followed the track where you have to go alongside a wash (north), thru it and then back (south) as you go back toward the drainage and up it toward Pedestal. We didn't enjoy that part too much as you hate not going in a somewhat straight line. We ventured up the drainage and this is when I started to lose most of my energy and steam. We had started at 8:45 and it was now almost 1:00 PM without a break or snack. I usually need a break and/or snack around the 5 mile mark.

    I kept wanting to pullover for just a moment to refuel before finishing the ascent but that wasn't in the cards and just when I was ready to give up the ghost Kelly says from what looked to be a top area, "sit down for a moment and have a snack as you will want to have lunch at the Arch". She says, "you'll be sorry if you don't and you're so close". She and/or Ray were willing to carry my pack... but that wasn't the issue. I just needed a little fuel. Well Kelly hasn't steered me wrong yet so after a couple bites of my Payday and drinking some coconut water, up I went and there it was :y: . Whew!

    Now that the drama for the day was over, we enjoyed the company, the views and the weather. Kelly ventured south over to the top of a little mountain side and I joined her. As I was peaking over the side and she was running from a bee, I noticed the terrain looked a lot better for our descent so we decided to give that a try. It was a good choice. I hope that made up for the whining earlier. We made our way down to the drainage and took a bit of a shortcut from earlier and headed over for the next waypoint I had marked as "Must See". We hiked up to what I dubbed the Squishing Boulder so Kelly could see how far she could go but she got chock-stoned so had to come back the way she had started. Next it was to the Tunnel and that was really cool. We spotted some grinding holes too.

    We discussed following Mark's route to the south but because of time limitations and not knowing the area, we went back the way we came. We found the Figure 8 intersection up thru some bedrock but decided due to time once again to continue the way we came. It was a pretty hike back as the sun was lighting up the golden rock. We took a break below Top Hat before finishing off the hike with some great views toward the sun lighting up the Four Peaks, Weavers Needle and the Western Supes. We did have to pull aside for what seemed a mass exodus of ATVs. We were glad to be able to finally pull off the road.

    At the TH we all had a beer and enjoyed watching the sunset change the colors of the sky on various views around us. Ray headed home and Kelly and I went to Mammoth Steakhouse for some burgers and coffee. FYI - My sirloin burger was good but the Mammoth burger is much better. The service was a little slow this time but I like the place and it's close and open until 8. We even got fiddled at. Thx for a great hike as always Kelly. You got me up another peak. This is my second hike with Ray and second peak.

    1-13-2017 I only have one video up on youtube so far, two others are done in production with a few more to complete. I set out not wanting to film too much but alas, when it's so beautiful out there, it's hard not to. I also got carried away with the pictures but like Kelly says, I am a Documentarian... I'm thinking of changing it to Tibbernarian :lol: .

    Thank goodness for the long weekend, here are the videos:

    Green Thumb
    rating optionrating optionrating optionrated 2rated 2
    Arches & Top Hat via Hackamore
    hikerdw and cannondalekid have done quite a few trips into the goldfields
    today we planned to see pedestal arch via hackamore trailhead, courtesy of the route dave has posted
    ray joined tibber and i for an 8:30 meet time
    the last mile to the trailhead is a bit bumpy, but easily manageable by swerving around the dips
    temps were slightly cool with a breeze to start with, warming up nicely to t-shirt conditions
    set off on a road, passing the green thumb
    next a horse trail, and i don't know how you guys find these trails other than trial and error
    this took us to the 4wd road that goes right past top hat, so we hiked up to the summit
    great views of the superstitions and goldfields from the summit :)
    took a slightly different route than john and i did last year, then dropped down the ridgeline to palo verde arch
    headed back to the road, then the drainage, then another horse trail
    about 3/4 mile of off trail heading up the pedestal arch
    followed dave's route up, but angela spotted what we thought was a better route down - less brush, more slickrock and shorter
    the arch was pretty cool; a new one for me
    had lunch, took pictures and headed down
    near the trail junction, there are some cool alcoves and even another arch, more like a tunnel in the rock base
    be fun to explore this area more another time
    finally headed back on our original route after a discussion of looping options that would have required more time
    spotted keyhole arch near the green thumb, and that will require a hands on visit next time
    finished up with tibber-provided beers and root beers :)
    ray headed home while angela and i had tasty burgers at the mammoth steakhouse - thank you for dinner!
    a fun day of exploring mostly new territory for me with good company and nice weather
    the goldfields are amazing
    i've been out there a half dozen times now, and feel like we've just seen a small percentage of what's available
    several trailheads yet to start from and features to find
    razorback knob and golden dome are high on my list
    the off-trail isn't bad - mostly good footing but some cactus to avoid
    the trails are unofficial, unsigned and not on any map
    a good topo and study of tenny's book might be helpful
    Green Thumb
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    Pedestal Arch from Hackamore TH
    Been wanting to check out Pedestal Arch so for a third Saturday in a row we had boots on the ground in the Goldfield Mountains. On the hike in, just as we entered Orohai Wash west of Top Hat, we ran into a herd of 6 deer at pretty close range, however they scattered off to quickly for a picture. The off trail route we took turned out to be really good, a tad steep at the end but not too bad. Of course Pedestal Arch was the highlight but the whole area was really cool. A little warm on the hike out but overall a pleasant day in our great hiking state.

    I am starting to get more and more addicted to the Goldfield's with each trip.
    Green Thumb
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    SE Goldfield Loop with variation
    Love hiking Sundays with Kelly; especially if I have Monday off. Last Saturday Ambika and I were going to do Bulldog Canyon Loop but in my Rx I stumbled onto the Desert Safety and Survival class at the Superstition Museum so we did that instead. By the way, the course was great. We learned a lot and the instructor was entertaining as well. The thing that impressed us the most was how quickly he was able to get a fire started using lint. As Ambika says, she'll never look at her dryer lint the same way :lol: .

    We were going to go for a little hike after but the weather was tenuous and a bit nippy so we went over to the Goldfield Ghost Town. In the over 30 years I've been here and all the times I've driven by I had never been. We spent the rest of the day there. Ambika says it is quite improved and includes a lot more then when she was here last.

    So the point of the above dissertation is that Kelly and I decided to do the same thing but add on some more trails. I originally wanted to do the eastern portion of hikerdw's loop but I didn't realize it started right where we parked. We headed out onto the Bulldog Canyon Trail thinking there would be a right hand turn but obviously not. So we continued on the eastern leg until hooking up with the Orohai Loop. We used the HAZtraks and my printed map to find our way many times this day. Kelly has a neat system of comparing the two to establish where we are. My Scout II refurbished is just not cooperating but that's a whole 'nother discussion :x (I will share on the forum).

    The views were really quite wonderful. Kelly pointed out Dome Mountain as there are three in a row. Dome doesn't look the tallest but as Kelly says, it's set back so you can't quite see its full height. We hiked by the Rock House wondering what it was and a mile or so later realized we were on the Rock House Trail and that was the Rock House, sheesh :doh: ! As the Orohai (Kelly pronounced this several different ways during our hike) Loop veered toward Top Hat, it is such a cool mountain. We got to the 3-way intersection and determined we had to go north.

    The tank below the mountain had quite a bit of water. We headed toward the wash and walked in it... but too long as we missed the turn east. We thot it was a bit further up and had planned on looking at HAZtraks in a bit but I think we were having so much fun hiking in the wash we just continued... until we saw a big rock face in front of us. We then got out the map and HAZtraks. We could have gone back but I suggested we climb south out of the wash to see what we could see. We saw a mountain (Peak 2509) that looked like it had a cave or large alcove and Kelly spotted a saddle. This was our day to explore the area and this was definitely that. I said let's do our wallymode and check out the alcove first before going to the saddle.

    The alcove was pretty large and the views from there were pretty incredible. I caught my breath for a moment while Kelly did her scouting for the best way off the side of this peak. She decided that going down and then up to the saddle was NOT the preferred way so we headed east. I kind of contoured along the side while Kelly went up trying to find a route down for us. Nope that wouldn't work but I spotted a shelf as we headed down so Kelly went and looked over the side to see if the down was doable which it was. She started down but I veered to the right as this was a free for all. I noticed a hoof print and then later saw a horse shoe print which turned out to be a bit of a trail. It almost looks like it was built. The trail eventually disappeared (surely it would be pretty hard for a horse) and then you just had to keep finding your way. I spotted a fence line so we followed that down to the road we could see from above.

    I spotted a wire corral and when I went around it to the road I saw some golden leaves fluttering. Of course they were attached to cottonwood trees and lo and behold, somehow we ended up EXACTLY :DANCE: where we would have if we hadn't missed that turn. We were so proud of ourselves we decided to have lunch there. The spring is full by the way. Back on the trail we were now on FR 3512. We admired the lush green grass below the trees and the wash area to our left that we walked in for just a moment.

    We almost missed the direction we wanted to go at another 3-way intersection. We chose NOT to go up the hill to the east or west on 1356 but continued on FR 3512 (from the spring). During the earlier part of our hike we were on FR 1356. From here, if you take the 1356 east you end up on the Tomahawk Trail or the 1356 west takes you back to the 3-way intersection by Top Hat (where we were earlier). We continued south for quite a bit until the trail finally did a long u-turn and headed up toward the Green Thumb (very cool rock formation for sure and climbable according to Kelly, there is a rope there too). We watched one idiot on a motorbike as he tried to get out of the tree that he ran into. Every sentence he and his buddy uttered had the "f" word. Big boys they are.

    From here you go just a bit west up the hill and then south. It's a little tricky to find that turn so you'll need to pay attention. Here again as we topped the hill we had great views all around us including the Goldfields to our north, Four Peaks to our east and the Superstitions to our south. Plus it's always cool to hike a ridgeline :y: . We came upon the playground of gold or lime green boulders where we spent a moment looking around as we spotted some kind of arch, cave or alcove below us. We also could see the trail we would eventually get on even though we blew a bit past it and Kelly made me hike back up the hill : rambo : but it wasn't too bad really.

    From here we continued the descent from the ridgeline past some of these giant tuft boulders. It gets a bit slippery in a few sections as you make your way down. As we got closer to the bottom the clouds in the sky were creating these very cool waves. And to top it off, we were getting some of the sunshine on those golden rock faces plus the area had some beautiful cactus. Yep, this was a good preliminary hike in this part of the Goldfields. And even though there is a lot of road walking, that's not such a bad thing when you have good company and great views. Plus the scrambling is not so bad cuz you know it's clear sailing when you get back to this part of the trail.

    We feel the road looked pretty drivable. I think it would be nice to drive out on part of it a little further so that you can spend more time exploring. Quite frankly we are surprised more people don't hike out here. Needless to say I've created a map in Route Manager of "Goldfield Possibilities" and there are a lot. John9L would particularly like this because there are so many trails to link ;) .

    Lots of video (new area): I have to say that video 5 has some beautiful footage. They all turned out pretty good but the colors in the last video were so brilliant as was the sky.

    Video 1 Bulldog Wash to Top Hat
    Video 2 Top Hat to Peak 2509
    Video 3 Peak 2509 to Cottonwood Spring
    Video 4 Spring to Green Thumb
    Video 5 Thumb to up on the Blue Ridge and down to TH
    Green Thumb
    rating optionrating optionrating optionrated 2rated 2
    Bulldog Canyon Trailhead Sampler
    angela and i have both been intrigued by the goldfield mountains
    we decided on departing from the bulldog canyon ohv trailhead to sample some of the trails in this area
    somewhat followed hikerdw's se goldfield loop, although we started up bulldog wash
    hit all or part of the above trails
    saw the rock house
    saw a cool arch near top hat
    went too far north in a wash to summit top hat :(
    went up to the peak north of there and checked out an alcove
    dropped down to cottonwood spring, where we stopped for lunch
    my least favorite part was packsaddle trail, although still good views of the superstitions from it
    checked out the green thumb :)
    finished with the blue ridge trail, which was a lot of fun
    perfect day for this
    a nice sample of what the area offers, and a few things left for another time
    quite a few vehicles, atvs, motorcycles and one group of horseback riders, but not enough traffic to affect the trip
    angela put together a map of several trails in route manager (impressive ;) )
    we navigated by comparing the haz track trail to the map - worked fine
    had a good dinner at dos gringos afterwards
    thanks for a fun day, angela
    certainly more to do in this area, not to mention from the other trailheads

    Permit $$
    Information is listed below

    Map Drive
    High Clearance possible when dry

    To hike
    Access by vehicle to the Green Thumb trailhead is via Bull Dog Canyon OHV area and an administrative permit can be obtained at no cost from the Mesa Tonto Forest Office. The permit will allow further access beyond the gate for those with a four wheel drive vehicle. Highway 60 to Apache Junction exit 196, SR 88 ( the Apache Trail )north to milepost 199, turn left on Hackamore, 1.5 miles to the Packsaddle Trailhead. Take the Packsaddle trail north .50 miles to the unmarked Green Thumb Trailhead at the northwest corner of the former quarry.
    page created by AZLOT69 on Nov 07 2010 6:50 pm
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