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blue copper mining country
The Durham Hills are roughly 35 miles north of central Tucson, as the crow flies. The hills are near the "Blue Copper Mine" and some private ranch property. The road going in passes through AZ State Trust land. This hike involves hiking in a wide open wash, hiking up a ridgeline, and on an old mining road, and is more of an open country hike rather than a bushwhack. The high point is near the north end of the ridgeline.
From where I parked, I walked north to the wide and long wash, called "Suffering Wash" that I just drove across minutes before. Strange name and no, I didn't happen to do any suffering during my wash walk. I did see a herd of cattle near where I parked. Hopefully, those cattle weren't the ones suffering. I followed this sandy and sometimes deep sand wash west for about 0.8 miles and then walked out of the north side and up the ridge. By the time I reached just over 1 mile, I saw an old road, which was probably an old mining road.
This road took me north and then northeast. The road seemed to take me to the ridgeline and then the road continued to a lower elevation, so this is where I started my "open country" hike going up the ridgeline. There were a few places where I needed to squeeze between some cactus, palo verde, and maybe a few catclaw bush, but overall, this hike was 90% open country and only 10% bushwhack. There were probably 2 small saddles along the way, but I eventually made it to the endpoint, found a glass jar registry, and signed my name.
Near the peak, I saw some larger birds perched up high and they flew off as I approached. I believe they were turkey vultures and I could tell by the reddish head. Along the entire hike, I saw a lot of wildflowers in March, lots of lupines especially, some yellow and orange poppies, chickory, Arizona daisies, miniature woolystar, and occasional blue chia. On the way down I took the road down further to see where it went and it continued west. When I started to get too far west, I dropped down to Suffering Wash and hiked back east to where I parked. Overall this was a good hike and it had a nice summit that extended for a good distance.
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