Little it was.
In search of a short, nearby hike we found Little Keyhole Saddle on HAZ. We downloaded AZLOT69's GPS route and headed out. The hike starts out on an old jeep trail and then turns into a well-worn, lightly cairned path. Actually, this hike follows the same route as that for hiking to the Horns of Dillema up until about 1.25 miles in. From there the route takes a southwesterly turn.
We attempted to follow the GPS route as much as possible, but I'm sure we strayed numerous times as there was no obvious path and, furthermore, we didn't know where the Little Keyhole was hiding. Trying to stick to the route we ended up scrambling up to and around a small set of peaks. The footing was loose on the way up and I'd recommend gloves in case you slip and fall. Not knowing if we'd already passed the Keyhole or if we'd ever spot it, we decided to make our way down the other side of the peaks and get back on the trail. Lo and behold, I looked up and there it was. And it was, indeed, little. I regret not dropping a waypoint for future hikers. My apologies.
From the Keyhole we picked our way down to the canyon floor, trying to find pathways with stable footing and avoiding cats claw and thorny mesquite. We aimed for a yellow rock formation that reminded me of the backbone of a dinosaur (see photos). After rounding the "backbone" we continued in a northeasterly direction until we picked up the trail that we'd come in on. From there it was an easy hike back to the truck.
It was often difficult to know, even with a GPS device, which side of the small group of peaks you needed to be on to be "on route". As such, we rated the hike a "3" in regards to route-finding as, without a waypoint, it's very possible you might miss the Keyhole entirely. But, if you enjoy bushwhacking, scrambling, and the challenge of finding a not-very-obvious rock feature...This could be just the hike for you!
I should also mention that there was little-to-no shade, so take that into consideration when planning your trip.
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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.
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