This was the bizarro weather day!
I'm used to leaving PHX in the sun/heat. Then when arriving in rim country, it would rain from noon till I left.This time it was pouring rain when I got to Ord. In fact there was fog on the beeline. It poured to about Heber. The rain stopped and I saw some blue in the clouds.
On the way home there was clear skies all way till I got to Mt. Ord.
Now the hike!
"A tale of two trails"
Since its close to a 3 hour drive to the Lewis Canyon TH, I wanted to squeeze out as much hiking as I could. So I planned on doing the General Crook Connector/Cottonwood trail and the Juniper Ridge trail. Both start at the same place.
General Crook Connector
This trail been a mystery for me since I finished the General Crook trail. Last year I tried to find where it the Gen Crook ended, but I couldn't. I had the route in the GPS, but there was no trail.
This time I started at the other end by Pinedale. I got the campground and found the trail-head. There was a really nice trail map sign.I would say it was the nicest map I've ever seen. There are pegs in it representing the trail markers.
The hike out was nice. There was a light rain through the day. Only 3 times it rained so hard that I had to put my rain jacket on. After 6 miles, the Gen Crook Connection trail ended and the Cottonwood wash trail started. I saw 2 Gen Crook Chevron on 2 trees
! I thought Bruce was playing a joke on me
. I think that the cottonwood trail might have been part of the Gen Crook trail at one time. This would explain why the Gen Crook connector trail doesn’t actually connect to the Gen Crook trail.
The cottonwood trail by Bald / Butler points was steep and loose. The rain made it slick and I fell down once. The trail markers dumped me into the Cottonwood wash. This brought back memories of last year when I went the Cottonwood wash lookin’ for trail. It started to pour and the road/wash started to fill up with water. I saw the BBQ that I went past year and decided enough. I was concerned if it keep raining the wash would fill up and plus I had my mind set on going to the Juniper Ridge look out. I turned around. On the way back I avoided the slick trail by the Bald / Butler points by going around it on forest road.
Juniper Ridge Lookout
I got to the campground a little before 6 and was determined to hit the LO before dark. The Juniper Ridge trail has 2 loops within it. There’s a short and long loop. Then there's a LO connector. Due to daylight, I took the shortest route to the LO. The trail hops road to road and the last 1.5 miles is trail. The trail is super easy to follow. There are trail markers everywhere. I got to the LO just as it turned dark and got some pictures in. You can see the Show Low city lights from the LO. After the sun dropped, the stars came out and a bitter cold wild started to blow. I had to put on two jackets for return trip. The hike back in the dark was a blast. The trail markers light up from a far distance. I flew down the trail JJ style! It think it was easier hiking the Juniper Ridge trail in the dark. When I got to the Jeep, the temps dropped down to 52!
It was a really fun hike. On the drive up, I was doubtful if I wanted to hike in a rain storm. Most of the hike had no shade, so the
clouds /rain made the hike enjoyable (minus the slippery mud).
So my motto for the hike was "When given lemons, make lemonade". My wife would say that I'm just too stubborn.