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mini location map2011-01-09
11 by photographer avatarCharger55
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Rough Eye Javelina LoopPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking5.00 Miles 1,156 AEG
Hiking5.00 Miles   4 Hrs      1.25 mph
1,156 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Today was a good lesson in preperation...

So I have this part-time job that I work on Saturday night. It doesn't require any actual work unless something goes wrong, so most Saturdays are spent on the internet prepping my hikes for Sunday and Monday. Last night I took careful consideration in plottiing a route through the Goldfields.

It went something like this. Javelina Mine Trail to Checkmate Arch, check out the arch, on to the Quartz Crystal Arroyo, loop around to Willow Spring Basin to the back end of the Golden Eye Mine Trail, check out the Golden Eye Arches, then finish the loop by reconnecting to the Javelina Mine Trail.

It all made perfect sense when I plotted it out on the topo map last night. Problem is, I'm more of a Carl than a Russell. I don't have one of those fancy GPMs. So I just printed up all the paperwork, since that's what company printers are for, and shoved it in my backpack before I went home.

Then I overslept...

I woke up this morning in a McCallister family-style rush and in my mad dash to get out of the house I forgot to take the paperwork out of my backpack and place it with my hiking gear. By the time I realized it I was already on the Apache Trail.

Now I had to piece together everything based off memory. I thought I remembered reading the Javelina Mine Trailhead was just shy of mile marker 203 (...or was it 204?) and that parking was on the right. So I found the most logical place to park, crossed the road and looked around for the trail. Not being able to spot it I decided to head for higher ground and bushwhacked up the side of a nearby hill.

When I reached the summit something just below the north slope caught my eye. Had I looked south I would have seen the double-wide jeep trial. But I was drawn in by the concrete foundation to the north. My first thought - stock tank. Upon further inspection I realized it was a mine shaft with a concrete foundation around it and a steel gate placed over it. Testing it's depth revealed it to be quite deep.

Continuing on a few yards I came across an area with a ton of glass bottles. They were mostly brown bottles and mason jars. No labels on them and they didn't look like they were from recent partygoers. Before the thought of collecting one massive bottle deposit entered my mind I spotted another mine shaft. Then another. And another. This area was loded with them (bad pun, I know). Some were filled in, some were not. Sadly no gold nuggets laying around.

From the mining area I bushwhacked my way up another slope to the summit of a hill northwest of the first one. Looking north I spotted a well-concealed tent covered in a black tarp in the bushes below the slope. Looking south I spotted the jeep road. South seemed like a safer option. Working my way down the slope I made my way to the rutted-out vehicle mentioned in the Javelina Mine Trail hike description.

Alright, now I was on my way, right? Well, not quite. I couldn't remember where to go from here. I thought the hike description said something about going right so I took the jeep trail to the right. I never noticed the horse trail that was in fact the correct route.

The jeep trail dead-ended at the top of a small hill so I found myself bushwhacking down yet another slope to a wash. By this time I knew I wasn't on the right path and I decided to make the best of it and continue down the wash. A little ways up I saw a large white cloth hanging from a bush in the center of the wash. Now that I'm looking at trail descriptions I'm 99.9% sure I was in Rough-N-Ready Wash. The white cloth is idenitcal to the one in sventre's triplog for the RoughEye Javelina Loop and the route seems to match.

Working my way down the wash I noticed an interesting ridge on the northeast slope. It looked like Stegosaurus fins. It might have another name but I'm calling it Stegosaurus Ridge. So I started heading up to the saddle between Stegosaurus Ridge and the much taller summit to the east. When I reached the saddle I headed up to the fins. They're razor thin and a little difficult to be climbing on, but I did find a comfortable seat between two fins to take a break.

Seeing as how my original game plan had fallen apart I took a chance on reaching the summit of the peak to the east. It looked difficult and after scouring the south, west and north slopes I was convinced the top was unreachable. Then I found a route to the top on the east face. It took a lot of exposure and a healthy amount of climbing but it doesn't require technical gear. No summit marker that I could find but great 360-degree views.

I headed down the northeast slope and around the ridge to the north. Then I came across a mossy rock outcropping with several natural alcoves. Working my way back southeast I found a javelina skull. Just after that a wash opened up and then...finally, a trail! Ten feet into the trail I took a look to the right. Checkmate Arch! By this time I was too tired to turn around and go complete the original hike so I decided to call it a day.

I knew now I was on the Javelina Trail. Heading back to the trailhead I ended up passing right near the black tent I so cautiously avoided earlier. If only I had gone down that slope. Then the trail emptied out onto the jeep road right near the rutted out vehicle. I shook my head in disbelief realizing the error of my ways. Following the jeep raod back to the Apache Trail it led me right to my car. I'm talking chauffeur distance. How I missed it on the way in I just don't know...

Looking back on the hike it turned out to be pretty fun. I gather not too many people summit the peak I did so that was quite the adventure. There doesn't seem to be a hike the matches this triplog 100% but I was definitely on the RoughNReady and Javelina Trails so to file it under RoughEye Javelina Loop seems most logical. The peak I summitted is north of the RoughNReady, south of the Javelina on the southern ridge.
Geology [ checklist ]
[ checklist ] Natural Arch
Culture [ checklist ]
[ checklist ] Mine Shaft
"I've driven across deserts, driven by the irony, that only being shackled to the road could ever I be free"
- Frank Turner "The Road"

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