In my search for more hikes in the area between SR87 and Bartlett Lake there wasn't much to offer so I joined Indian Spring Peak and Diamond Mountain and made a loop hike out of it.
Although I used Route Manager and flipped back and forth between map, topo and satellite I got off to a little bit less than a good start. At the end of FR1697 there was a large tree so I parked next to it while I prepared to set off on my hike. Looking at the GPS route it appeared the trail would be about 100 feet north (down the slope) from where I parked. So I followed what turned out to be a cow-path until the point where the trail should be but just found more cow-paths. Not knowing if the trail was still in existence I just set out in the direction of the wash I knew I'd have to follow.
Although I had to vary the route due to the numerous ravines and ridges I tried to keep going in the same general direction. At about the half-mile mile point I was tiring of all the ups-and-downs so I figured I'd seek a higher elevation and try to follow a terrain line even if it meant winding in and out at each ravine. I hadn't gone but fifty feet or so when I hit what turned out to be a real trail. From there on the hike was far less demanding... especially knowing I had already racked up as much AEG as the whole hike should have been! (I'd find out how I missed the trail on my return trip)
Now being on a reasonably well-used trail there was no need for the GPS and I just followed the trail until making a bee-line for the saddle just below the false summit of Indian Spring Peak. I took a few photos before heading to the peak but the closer I got the more I realized how sheer it was and I wasn't going to actually 'summit' it. I'm sure I could have gone another 30 feet higher if I took my time and carefully picked out the route but with the temp getting higher it was better idea to just climb into the first crevice and lay back in the shade for a short break.
Break over, now I'm heading down to start the next up-and-down part of my hike. I would drop down between each and every peak and climb up to the next one on the way to the Diamond Mountain summit. After all the climbing early in my hike this seemed pretty easy, the only dangers were the small agave-looking plants (looked like sharpened french fries sticking up) that were everywhere!
And they were sharp!
I'd be lathering myself with aloe lotion to sooth the pain once I got home.
After numerous ups-and-downs I'm at the Diamond Mountain summit. Wanting to figure out how I missed the first part of the trail I planned on dropping down toward the north until I hit the trail to follow it all the way back to the TH. But what seemed like a good route from below turned out to be very loose terrain so I ended up looping around the first terrace below the summit until dropping down a ravine toward the east. Afterward I realized I should have followed the route I had drawn down from Diamond Mountain because it hit the trail right about where I first found it on the way out. That route would have been almost directly east down from the summit.
Now that I'm back on the trail I followed it all the way back to the trail head. Although it wound more than my more direct route, it had none of the ups-and-downs as I did and ultimately it was shorter as well. Oh yeah... as I approached the trail head the trail came to within 40' of where I parked... only it was uphill
from where I parked instead of downhill. Oh well, it upped my AEG which has been lagging lately.
Some of my photos for the day are in the photo set for this hike and two are tied to my 4x4 trip logs:
[ triplog ]
[ triplog ]
All photos for the day are in one set here:
http://changephoenix.com/jpserver/web/p ... .php?id=59