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Marsh Valley Loop
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mini location map2012-02-03
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Marsh Valley LoopPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Feb 03 2012
Hiking16.25 Miles 2,330 AEG
Hiking16.25 Miles   10 Hrs      2.17 mph
2,330 ft AEG   2 Hrs   30 Mns Break
 no routes
1st trip
My longest Hike by far, to date. I had some trepidations about this hike and they grew quite a bit when I realized that I was going to have to wear my least favorite boots. (My good ones need more surgery, lol!) The anxiety started to really peak once I knew I was going to have company and had never hiked with Mike before. I was hoping for two things. One, that I could do the hike without embarrassing myself by crawling for the last 4 miles. Two, that Mike wasn't one of these Freight Trains that was going to be able to do this loop in two hours and I was going to end up holding him up. :scared: Picketpost kinda came to mind. ;) Then, had a little trouble on the Home Front and only got 2 hours of sleep....

I needn't have worried. :) Mike was great and very patient with the Photo taking "pauses". :) The Boots weren't too bad on this Hike, I took extra precautions to prevent blisters, especially on the one foot that was barely healed from last week. That seemed to work well, no blisters! :) They were still very tight in the toe area and after awhile my feet would really start hurting and it translated up into my legs, along with the stiffness from the Arthritic Knees. :( But again, Mike was very patient and allowed me to sit a few times and get the weight off the legs for a few minutes and that helped us both. I stayed pretty strong on the Pace and finished well! Thanks Mike!!!

I had done a few parts of some of these Trails when I did the Black Mesa Loop, so kept the picture taking to a minimum on these parts, but hadn't been on Second Water past the Black Mesa Junction, had not done any of the Boulder Canyon or Cavalry Trails, and just the Home Stretch of Dutchman, so there was alot of new country to see and it was Fabulous!!!

There were a couple of areas that kind of reminded me of Fremont Saddle. You just hit a spot and are suddenly blown away by the views in front of you. It was totally cool! I think even Mike got caught off guard a few times... :) I'm really going to have to study some pictures and topo maps to find out the names of everything I was seeing. I think I figured out why LaBarge Canyon is named. We saw one formation that looked just like a Barge. Of course, just getting done talking about Battleship kept the "Ship" topic in the front of my mind, so maybe I'm wrong...But it seemed to make sense.

Confused about one Spring area. Looking at the Official Route shows just 1 Spring in the area of Second Water Spring, but when you look at the same Route in "my Topo", it shows Second Water Spring a ways up the hill from the Trail and an unnamed Spring by the Trail. I now think that the Pictures I took of the Spring area by the Trail were from the unnamed Spring and we couldn't follow it to the Source because the reeds in the Creekbed were just too thick. But there was a little flow in the Creekbed which sure looks like it was Springfed. Would not call it a Quart a minute though. Maybe a Pint??? So, not sure how to do a Spring Report on this. Forgot to look for and check White Rock Spring, sorry....

Beautiful day for Hiking! After awhile, some nice puffy white clouds showed up and played shadow games on the mountains, making the awesome scenery even more superb! I don't think the temp was that hot, but there were times where it felt hot, but always found some nice shady areas too. There are some great looking campsite areas on this loop and we ran into 2 backpackers when we got to the Dutchman. Other than 2 more people just before we got back to the TH, those were the only people we saw. We had this place all to ourselves, it was very cool!

When we got to the Bull Pass Junction, we checked our time and decided we had the time and energy to take the Traditional Loop, so we did. Got to see Aylor's Arch from the backside and will definitely be back to make that a destination! Mike hiked up to another, smaller "window" just east of there and got a few pics. The thought crossed my mind to try and do Aylor's Arch on this trip, but by the time we got to that point, I knew it would be too much. Saw a few birds including a very skittish Cardinal and a very high flying Hawk, but no other wildlife to speak of, including HAZers. :lol:

Totally enjoyed this Hike and the company! Now I know that I can do this length of a Hike, at least on fairly level terrain with short ascents. :) Will be back in this area to do some exploring as well...Would really like to see this area after some good rains....

Thanks to Mike for accompanying me on a Great Hike!
Named place
Named place
Malapais Mountain
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Isolated

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Second Water Spring Dripping Dripping
Not sure if this is the actual Second Water Spring or not. Could not follow the Water to it's source as the Reeds in the creekbed were too thick. Topo shows another unnamed Spring closer to the Trail than the Second Water Spring, so the water may be from that one instead. The Water was flowing slightly, so if it's from a Spring, I would put it at about a Pint a minute....
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty & well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, totally worn out & proclaiming, "Wow What a Ride!"
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