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Praying Hands - Crosscut TH, AZ

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Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Phoenix > Superstitions NW
3.2 of 5 by 12
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Difficulty 2 of 5
Distance Round Trip 4.2 miles
Trailhead Elevation 2,118 feet
Elevation Gain 900 feet
Accumulated Gain 920 feet
Kokopelli Seeds 8.8
Interest Off Trail Hiking
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15  2019-02-27
Canyon of the Waterfalls & Massacre Falls
6  2019-02-23
Hands WFFWC Loop
10  2019-02-16
Hackberry - Prospector - Baby Willow Loop
11  2019-02-16
Crosscut Prospector Praying Hands Loop
29  2019-02-05
Praying Bear Falls Loop
11  2018-11-24
Praying Hands Loop
2  2018-08-09 AZLumberjack
15  2018-03-25
Praying Hands / Massacre Falls Loop
Page 1,  2,  3,  4
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
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Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   Jan, Feb, Mar, Apr
Sun  6:10am - 6:31pm
Official Route
8 Alternative
Fauna Nearby
Flora Nearby
Meteorology Nearby
Named place Nearby
Culture Nearby

Author Full Detail Guide
Follows Jacob's Trail #58 to a social trail that leads up near the Praying Hands. Out-and-back variation on the "Praying Hands Loop" hike.

Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.

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    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 of 11 deeper Triplog Reviews
    Praying Hands - Crosscut TH
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    Massacre Falls Loop
    Hike 1 of 3 planned with Hazer and fellow Marine Mark Thurman of Tucson. We'd been talking about getting together since this summer. The last week of December turned out to be the right time.

    Mark drove up this morning, so we settled on a shorter hike for today. This is Mark's first time in the Supes, so he wanted to explore around the NE side of the mountain during his short stay. For today he chose Massacre Falls and was hoping I knew of a way to loop in the Praying Hands. As a matter of fact I do, so that's what we did, starting from the crosscut trailhead at around 11:30.

    We took the official route to the Falls with a tour around massacre ramp along the way. As we followed the trail, I pointed out several options for different hikes, including the reverse flatiron route, plus many of the landmarks in the area. After a brief stop at the falls, we started back the way we came. About a quarter mile into the return, you pass a large boulder with a cairn on top. At this point we headed (left) west and followed a cairned route towards the fins. If you lose the cairns, stay to the center right of the mesa and keep looking for them.

    The cairned route drops you at the bottom of the fins. We headed up the hill to the first fin and followed the unnamed but well used path that takes you past the fins and back around to the praying hands. From there, it was an easy meander down the treasure loop trail to the crosscut trail then back to the trailhead.

    We closed out the day with a burger and fries at the Bluebird Mine gift shop. Fun day. Nice meeting you Mark!
    Praying Hands - Crosscut TH
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    With morning temps in the upper 60's and today's high projected into the 90's, it's best to get an early start. It was 0630 as I headed out of the Mining Camp parking lot with a destination of Praying Hands rock formation. There were several vehicles already in the lot but I only ran across a few hikers along the trails... kinda nice and quiet.

    After gaining some altitude, I stopped and watched the sun as it lit up the Goldfield Mountains on the other side of the Apache Trail, that's always one of the advantages of getting an early start and today didn't disappoint. Got up to Praying Hands rock and took a short break before hitting the trail back the way I came. Still having some problems with a sore right ankle but the doc says he can't find anything wrong so; "just take these pills".

    Everything's dry and crispy.
    Praying Hands - Crosscut TH
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    Went out this morning to burn off some of the calories that had mysteriously accumulated over the last couple of days. Parked at the Mining Camp and was surprised at the number of cars in the lot so there must be lots of hikers with the same plans as mine. I left the Siphon Draw Trail at the Prospectors Trail and headed towards Praying Hands. When I got to the Treasure Loop Trail, I headed uphill to see if I could find a higher trail leading to the "Hands" but it just got steep, loose and tough going so I turned around and cautiously slipped & slidded back down.

    Chilly morning out in the foothills and the wind's still blowing at a pretty good clip so I just returned to my truck. Guess I'll go home, get comfy and watch some football this afternoon.... and replace a few of those calories that I just burned up :D
    Praying Hands - Crosscut TH
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    My wife's been hacking and coughing for a couple of days now and I needed to get away for some peace and quiet. I settled on a quick shot to the Praying Hands so I would be back home before too long.

    I started around 0830 and was surprised at the few cars at the Crosscut TH, but that just means a little more peace and quiet on the trails. Beautiful weather with a light breeze from the North. Good views of Four Peaks off in the distance. On the return trip I ran into two hikers heading up the trail, can't ask for a better way to spend a couple of hours.

    Following the recent rains, everything's green again.
    Praying Hands - Crosscut TH
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    This scene captured my heart over the summer. Our record breaking rain earlier in the week produced the fresh clean air I’ve been waiting on for this photo. The view was breathtaking to experience in person. It was over as fast as it started. A sneaky storm line sliding up from the south swallowed the sun shortly after this photo was taken.


    Praying Hands - Crosscut TH
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    Stopped in at Costco yesterday and found a daypack on sale for $29.99 and since mine is showing some age (mostly due to Catsclaw), I bought one. Not totally satisfied with the Chinese construction and not sure about the water reservoir but it held water overnight so I thought I would take it out on a test run.

    I drove out to the Mining Camp Restaurant, reset the GPS and slipped the new pack on.... fits good and feels good, although there isn't much in it yet and hit the trail for Praying Hands rock formation. Lost Dutchman State Park has been doing a lot of trail work and they show it, lots of erosion control timbers have been placed across the trail and they're not high enough to be a problem to step over like the ones on Bluff Spring Trail (aka Cardiac Hill) : rambo :

    Soon the Treasure Loop Trail gives way to the Prospectors Trail which continues up hill in the right direction but then an unnamed trail breaks off for the rest of the hike. This trail has not had the same tender loving care as the others as it's full of loose rocks and lots of gravel to slip on and the trail is quite steep now :yuck:

    Eventually the trail leads between the Praying Hands rock formation on your left and the Tower rock formation on your right, with lots of "slick rock" in between. I removed my pack and got the camera going as I hiked around the area even managed to get on the mountain side of the Tower, a steep and slippery climb with some Manzanita and Catsclaw to spice things up. Can't get any higher than that now unless ya bring climbing gear to scale the vertical rocks. Rock climbers do ascend the Praying Hands and the Tower and I found a tight slot back on the mountain side with a rope still hanging :o

    Now it's time to go back down that trail with the loose rocks and it caused me to slip on several occasions but fortunately no falls and once back on the maintained trails, I was soon back at the Mining Camp.

    OK. the pack survived an easy hike and it isn't leaking, so I guess I'll keep it.

    Most all the flowers are now past their peak blooming.
    Praying Hands - Crosscut TH
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    Got to the TH about 6:20AM, the temperature wasn't bad but with the breeze the windchill was uncomfortable. By the time I got to peak 3039 the wind at the saddle had to be in excess of 50 mph. Explored the area around the 3 peaks closest to peak 3039. Nice views. Then missed the possible trails to Praying Hands so pretty much bushwhacked and used game trails. This was actually the best as I discovered an old garbage dump full of very rusted tin cans. And an interesting boulder fairly hollowed out that had been used as a camping spot. Of course not all was good, as I was navigating down a small drop with my primary handhold being the left hand and the right on a secondary. The primary suddenly came loose. The secondary ended up being a lot sharper than planned. It wasn't until 15 minutes later that I found I had been leaving a trail of blood from my right index finger that had been torn open. :o

    At Praying Hands and the other peak just to the west did more exploring. Then took a route that kept me high on the hill until I dropped onto the Treasure Loop trail.

    My plans were to then go on the Prospectors View trail to the Palmer Mine trail. First I got distracted about a quarter of the way along the Prospectors View trail with a small side trail heading up to the cliff face. Didn't really find a good reason for the trail but the couple hundred feet plus of elevation was great for the views. Then back on the Pros Views trail I missed the Palmer mine trail. Just as I got down to the Crosscut I finally faced the realization that it had to be behind me. So I had to climb back up to locate it. Not much of a trail at the point it breaks off. But it was an interesting place to explore around the old mine area and tailings.

    Took the Syphon Draw trail back to the Crosscut then took a detour to check out the western portion of the Treasure Loop. Finished with the Crosscut back to the TH.
    Praying Hands - Crosscut TH
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    Last week I did this hike and found an old mine shaft that was partially blocked by a large boulder. I couldn't see beyond the boulder and that alone perked my interest, so I build an extension arm that would fit on my hiking pole. Now I was able to mount my camera on the end of my hiking pole to reach higher or extend deeper into the unknown.

    Once at the site of the old mine shaft, I assembled the pieces, and attached my camera as shown in the photo. I set the shutter delay for 10 seconds, pressed the shutter button and stuck the camera behind the rock and waited for the flash. Hot Dang, it works :y:

    I experimented with the extended camera adapter and took a series of shots of the inside of the shallow mine shaft. OK, so there isn't a gold mine in there, but at least now I know and can once again get a full night's sleep (see Joe, it isn't a camera slingshot) :)

    Now that my curiosity was satisfied, and it was still a few hours before the first kick-off, I decided to explore the high foothills area above the 3,000ft levels. I did some scrambling, climbing and bushwhacking as I worked in a Northeasterly direction, hoping to access the Massacre Falls Trail.

    I came upon a large (dry) waterfall, but it didn't look like Massacre Falls and was tucked away in an inaccessible canyon with few marked trails. The large rock formations a couple hundred feet above, showed that a lot of water flowed through this area when conditions were right. My GPS showed coordinates; 33-deg 26.973, 111-deg 27.080 at an altitude of 3,190 feet. As I looked for a descending trail, I noticed cairn's marking a trail going farther up the canyon (Is this another route to the top?).

    I continued working my way back down through the wash as the sides were too close, steep and loose. The going was difficult with a lot of bouldering and bushwhacking until I was able to finally escape the wash and work my way back down towards more familiar areas. Eventually I came upon a trail that I followed the remaining two miles to my waiting truck.

    This turned out to be a fun romp through the foothills exploring areas that were new to me and I was able to make it home before the start of the first football game :gun:
    Praying Hands - Crosscut TH
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    I normally don't hike on weekends so those who can only hike on weekends don't have to put up with the additional traffic on the trails. But I had to get out today, and I'm glad I did and glad I made the selection I did :) .

    My initial plan was to do the Praying Hands Loop, a hike I tried to complete last year but spent too much time photographing a pair of Rock Climbers. So today I got an early start and was one of the first at the Cross Cut Trailhead and enjoyed the solitude along the well worn trail headed straight up through the foothills.

    The trail I was on was angling too much towards the Massacre Grounds, so I left the trail and began bushwhacking my way over towards the Praying Hands formation. The route I took was rewarding because it took me past some interesting formations along the way and presented some excellent photo ops of the scenery behind me. The sun was just coming up on Four Peaks and the Goldfield Mountains and they were showing their best first-sun colors. Peak 2636 along the Massacre Grounds Trail (the pointy one), was especially interesting from this angle as I was now high enough to be looking down on it as the sun lit it up.

    If we can get some more rain, it should be a knock-out spring, already everything is showing a lot of green and the plants appear healthy (even the Catsclaw has sharpened its talons) :sl: As I got closer to Praying Hands, I could hear voices, and was soon able to make out six figures at the base of the rock formation. So I approached the group and during introductions, found out that one of the climbers is suzaz out testing her healing ankle again. I told the group that I would stick around for a while and take some photos of them from various angles as I explored the area below the cliff face.

    The exploration part was interesting, the photo work was fun and the ground, although steep, provided good footing so I worked my way around the rocks and the base of the cliffs shooting wherever I could find steady footing. I was using a lot of zoom so I used a small portable tripod to steady the camera. I gave the camera a 2 second shutter timer to allow me to obtain focus, trip the shutter button and take my hands off the camera. I would like to have called out for the group to "Say Cheese" because from 1/4 mile away, I was able to capture facial expressions ;) .

    I had promised my wife that I would be back around noon, so I began working my way back along the same route I came up on. As I descended, I kept shooting as the group worked their way up the steep sides of the Praying Hands. Soon the sunlit rock was in shadows and I was only able to capture silhouettes of the climbers as they clung to the rocky surfaces :scared: and finally the lead climber broke out into the sun on top of the rock :y:

    I have a lot of respect for those climbers who challenge the heights and the vertical rock walls and formations :worthy: , but it ain't for me [-( . I prefer the walking and hiking with the steepest climbs only high enough to ascend without ropes and tools :DANCE: . I'm sorry I had to leave early, but I hope the group completed the climb without incidents. You guys ROCK :y:

    This of course, leaves it open for another trip, when maybe I can complete the loop :y:
    Praying Hands - Crosscut TH
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    I made this hike with a few relatives. We were looking for a nice mellow trail for a morning hike and this was perfect. We started around 10am and gradual made our way up the trail. The going is very easy. After 1.5 miles the terrain steepens as you continue. We made our way for another half mile or so as we came to a nice saddle with a great view. We had some lunch and decided to head back. The return was smooth and uneventful. Before long we were back at the car and made our way home.

    Permit $$

    Map Drive
    FR / Dirt Road / Gravel - Car Okay

    To hike
    From Mesa follow Highway 60 East to Idaho Road. Turn North onto Idaho Road which is SR88 and follow North 2.2 miles. SR88 bends right just past Scenic St. and Idaho continues North. Be sure to go right and stay on SR88. Follow SR88 5.2 miles to the signed turnoff for First Water Trailhead, this is FR-78. Turn right on to FR-78 and follow 0.6 miles to the large dirt parking lot which is the Crosscut Trailhead.
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