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Ladybug Peak 8780, AZ

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Guide 32 Triplogs  0 Topics
Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Tucson > Safford
3.7 of 5 by 7
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Difficulty 1 of 5
Distance Round Trip 0.9 miles
Trailhead Elevation 8,498 feet
Elevation Gain 256 feet
Accumulated Gain 256 feet
Kokopelli Seeds 2.18
Interest Peak
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16  2019-07-19
Bear Canyon Trail #299 Upper
4  2018-09-01 chumley
24  2017-01-04
Snow Flat
28  2016-07-15
Ladybug Peak from Turkey Flat TH
3  2016-07-08 cactuscat
6  2016-06-18
Heliograph Peak Loop
12  2016-06-18
Heliograph Peak Loop
4  2016-06-03 friendofThunderg
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
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Preferred   Sep, Aug, May, Jul
Sun  6:04am - 6:23pm
Official Route
5 Alternative
Fauna Nearby
Meteorology Nearby
Named place Nearby
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Likely In-Season!

Author Full Detail Guide
Overview: A short 1 mile round trip hike up to the peak where at certain times of the year ladybugs can be found on top by the thousands.

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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 18 deeper Triplog Reviews
    Ladybug Peak 8780
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    Fall color hunt along the Swift Trail was the main focus for this trip.
    Parked at Twilight and hiked up the Swift Trail switchbacks to Ladybug Saddle. Lots of color along the way, but about half of it is on the ground already, I was a little surprised at this early fall.
    From Ladybug Saddle I took the trail up to Ladybug Peak. Arrived on top to find that the new ammo box register I placed up there after the Frye fire a few months ago was missing. WTF ..... why do people do this pumpkin?
    On the way back down I stewed for a while about the box missing as I took the Ladybug Trail down to Turkey Flat. Ladybug trail was great! I rested for a bit on a rocky overlook for coffee, snickers & the views down before completing the trail down back on to the Swift Trail. A short walk along the road pass the cabins brought me back to Twilight completing the loop.
    Except for discovering that my register box was missing, I enjoyed my morning on the mountain. The colors were great, the peak and trails were great and the weather was cold ..... I love the cold!
    Ladybug Peak 8780
    rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5
    Rolled into the Gila Valley on Saturday afternoon for a weekend of adventure with Chad, and soon the two of us headed up the Swift Trail, surveying the burn damage from the Frye Fire.

    An A.D.O.T. crew halted us at Wet Canyon while they loaded a dump truck with flood debris that had piled up behind the Wet Canyon bridges. After our short wait we drove slowly over the muddy torrent of Wet Canyon, looking over to see the horrendous field of boulders, mud, and mangled logs that had avalanched down from above following the start of monsoons a few weeks earlier. Quite the scene of destruction!

    The end of the line for us was at Ladybug Saddle, as it will be for everyone until at least next spring. Everything was the same at Ladybug: big trees and big views. We entered the damp, cloud covered forest, and were soon on Ladybug Peak, along with thousands of ladybugs. We tried with limited success to determine the extent of burn damage on Heliograph Peak and along the Graham Ridge crest. Most areas appeared to have come through as a mosaic burn, but there were definitely a number of crown fire areas.

    Next up was a stop at Arcadia Campground, where Chad lead the way on the Arcadia Nature Trail to an overlook of Wet Canyon, to check out the flood damage. We couldn't see the canyon floor, but the water was roaring down there.

    As darkness fell, a lightning show over the Gila Mountains provided a great photo op from the forest boundary overlook. We then drove back to Safford to conclude the day. I enjoyed a sandwich from Mount Graham Market and then found a campsite for the night.

    So good to hang out with Chad and see ol' Graham again!
    Ladybug Peak 8780
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    Drove up with Preston in the late afternoon to Ladybug Saddle to check things out.
    Preston's first time up since the Frye Fire.
    We first hit up Ladybug Peak. 1000's of Ladybugs on top and with great 360 stormy views.
    Then back down the Swift Trail to hike the Arcadia Nature Trail. More great views down into Wet Canyon.
    We then stopped at the Wet Canyon crossing and talked with the stationed ADOT employee about the canyon.
    Wet Canyon crossing/picnic area has been all but destroyed from flooding due to the fire ..... heartbreaking.
    I can't imagine it ever being returned back to what it was :(
    Lower on the mountain we stopped for a bit to photograph a nice lightning storm hitting over the Gila Mountains.
    It rained on us a bit on the drive up, but stayed away on our 2 short hikes & the cool 60 deg temps were nice!
    Twas good to be on the mountain again with my friend!
    Ladybug Peak 8780
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    With the Swift Trail re-opened up to Ladybug Saddle after containment of the Frye Fire, we headed up.
    Separate triplog posted for the bad - This one is the good!
    Chad, Addie, Bianca & Vaho was the fun bunch for this one.
    Started with Ladybug Peak. Made the short hike up, enjoyed the awesome views & placed a much needed new register box in the crack. Found a few hundred ladybugs on the north face.
    Next up was a drive down the Swifty and hike through the cabins with a play stop at the swing & rope (no broken bones, close, but no).
    Last up was a short drive down to Cluff Dairy. We hiked to the dairy then down further to the old sawmill. Still (to me) a spooky place down in that dark canyon ..... the other 3 laughed at my confession ..... jerks!
    Back up at the dairy I showed them my secret apple tree, lots of apples this year, but not quite ready for pickin'

    Mostly overcast skies, couple claps of thunder, a sprinkle here and there, 1 doe, several squirrels, a peak, old family cabin visit, 2 historic sites and a most needed return back up into the cool breeze pines after a devastating 5 week wait -
    Ladybug Peak 8780
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    Headed up Graham for a snowshoe.
    Didn't encounter continuous snow until the 8000 foot mark.
    I had four options and choose down Snow Flat road to the closed campground.
    Beautiful snow covered road down to the very small frozen lake.
    Left the snowshoes at the lake and out-n-backed the Snow Flat trail in boots.
    Then back up Snow Flat road to the Swift Trail.
    I then hit up Ladybug Peak on the drive back down, 50/50 mix of snow on the trail.

    Cool beginning before the hike when I met 3 young UofA students on top radio collar tracking a gray fox.
    Talked to them a bit about their research and watched as they circled around the antenna listening for the ping.
    No ping and we parted ways with them heading to a new location and myself heading down to Snow Flat.
    I had no idea gray foxes lived in such high altitude!

    I enjoyed my day.
    Ladybug Peak 8780
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    Clockwise Loop.
    Turkey Flat TH up to get it started.
    Hung a right onto the Ladybug Trail.
    Off-trail side trip up to Mount Baldy Peak, flipped a step boulder and lost some shin skin, but the amazing view down on Turkey Flat was worth it!
    Ladybug Peak still holding plenty of ladybugs, long time register box was missing :(
    Took the Swift Trail switch-backs down to complete the loop.

    Mountain + AddSanz = :D
    Ladybug Peak 8780
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    Motivated by the day before rain I watched hit the upper mountain, I headed up high to the pines .....

    Shake Trail - Started the day with an out-n-back down to the meadow hoping for the yellow sunflowers that usually fill up this area in summer. I was not disappointed, a good sea of yellow with much more to come!

    Twilight Peak - From the Shake TH a walk across the Swift Trail took me up the "secret/hidden" Twilight trail. The trail has some new tape markers that made it a lot easier to find my way up to the saddle than my last trip! At the saddle, I decided on peak 9592 rather then Twilight. I payed the price on this idea bushwacking the ridgeline north to the highpoint I believe was 9592? There was blood, cussing & the "why" question on this never again adventure.

    Ladybug Peak & Bear Canyon Trail - On the way back down I hit up the mandatory Ladybug Peak for this time of the year. True to it's name, there were thousands on top! Within minutes I had them in my hair, up my shorts & down my shoes. Signed the register, took my pics and climbed down removing ladybugs all the way down to the Bear Canyon spur.
    I then out-n-backed upper Bear Canyon down to Dutch Henry to finish the day. Only had time for the short upper section, but any section along Bear will always be on my Pinaleno Favs list!

    Sunset was had at Ladybug Saddle along with a nice little thunderstorm hitting north over the Gila Mountains.
    Wildlife spotted - 4 Does, 2 Abert's, Turkey Vultures, Spiny Lizards, Fungus Beetles, Hawk, Many species of Butterflies & the highlight - 4 nighttime skunks running alongside my truck down the Swift Trail!
    Wonderful day on Graham, painful day on Graham, rewarding day on Graham!
    : rein :
    Ladybug Peak 8780
    rating optionrating optionrating optionrated 2rated 2
    first visit to the pinalenos
    two night car camp with john
    drove up saturday morning, and were on the mountain by noon
    checked out a few campgrounds, setting up at hospital flat
    thought we might have trouble getting a site, but plenty were available in shannon and arcadia
    this area has been on my wish list for some time
    good timing for getting away from record temps in the valley
    picked out a handful of hikes with some input from fellow haz members
    started out on this loop around 4:00, taking the trail from shannon campground
    good trail up with some nice views to the north
    really liked the grassy aspen area near the top
    a collection of antennas, a cabin and a fire tower at the summit
    no one home, so we went up as high as we could before the locked gate
    great views from the tower
    took the road down to make the loop
    drove down a few miles to hit ladybug peak from the saddle
    cute little summit with good views but no ladybugs
    headed back to camp
    cooled off quickly once the sun went down, so we enjoyed the fire john built
    very quiet night, brightly lit by the nearly full moon
    Ladybug Peak 8780
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    First up, Ladybug Peak from Ladybug Saddle. The ammo box register is gone, has been replaced with a round tin located a little lower down the peak. Ladybugs? I nailed it on this trip! Thousands x thousands of them covering the rocky peak. I was pulling them out of my hair, clothes & gear for the next 1/4 mile back down (that's a cool thing).

    Second up, Bear Canyon down to Dutch Henry. Dutch Henry trail was cleared a few years ago, but once again has become a mess to get down. Only made it a 1/2 mile down before it became too much work to enjoy.

    Third up, climbed back up to the Bear Canyon trail and took it down a ways off the south end of the mountain. Great views as always with monsoon storms in the distance moving in, was time to get back on the other side before they hit.

    Last up, a short trip down the Ladybug Trail for the northern valley views before heading back up and down to Ladybug Saddle.

    I ended with a short drive up the Swift Trail for sunset at the Arrow Tree overlook. Watched the sun go down and the storms move off the mountain never hitting the top. Not much on the ground for wildlife, but I saw and heard it all in the trees and sky today! Spotted owls, vultures & squirrels to name a few.
    Another day well spent on Graham.
    Ladybug Peak 8780
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    Our 2nd short hike of the day on Mt. Graham. It's not quite obvious which way you need to go at the 2nd junction, but after heading downhill for a few minutes we realized we must have been going the wrong way. Saw a little snake as we were going downhill here. Not sure what it was. We headed back and took the upward path instead, which took us to Ladybug Peak.

    The trail gently climbs through a nice forest. A tiny bit of fall color. The short spur trail to the peak was unmarked but obvious. No ladybugs on the peak, but awesome views all around. This is a nice little trail and an easy peak bag with very rewarding views. No one else on the trail.

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    Coronado Forest
    MVUMs are rarely necessary to review unless mentioned in the description or directions
    Coronado Motor Vehicle Use Maps (MVUMs)

    Map Drive
    Paved - Car Okay

    To hike
    From Safford - Travel south on US 191, turn west onto Hwy 366 (Swift Trail) and take it approximately 16.75 miles to the large paved pulloff at Ladybug Saddle.
    page created by SkyIslander18 on Apr 29 2011 10:04 pm
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