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Peak 3465 - Hieroglyphic Mountains
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mini location map2012-02-06
15 by photographer avatarleonesiegel
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Peak 3465 - Hieroglyphic MountainsPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Feb 06 2012
leonesiegel
Hiking13.25 Miles 2,778 AEG
Hiking13.25 Miles   6 Hrs   44 Mns   2.45 mph
2,778 ft AEG   1 Hour   19 Mns Break
 no routes
1st trip
Partners none no partners
Was chomping at the bit to do this hike for a couple reasons and it will always be a special one for me. My girlfriend figured out how to download a route to my new etrex 30,(Massacre Falls here I come, third times the charm!) so my thanks for that, as well as to Coanbru for the route, without it I would not have attempted this hike. This was the first time I followed a downloaded route on my GPS, and I needed it! Having visited this area twice in the past month I knew how important it would be here. I had previously tried to do the Walkin' Jim trail and had lost the path. At the TH at 0650, waiting for the light, in the parking lot I spied something white on the ground. Dead animal? No. Trash. McDonald's bag and aluminum cans. What is wrong with people! Hit the trail and hiking along my merry way when about twenty minutes in I heard a loud ROOMPH! What the ....? To my right perhaps twenty feet away was a bull looking at me. Not knowing what to do I just stood there. We stared at each other for perhaps thirty seconds as I moved slowly to take a pic of him. I took two shots but in the morning light and with my crappy camera he came out as a blur. (Ugh!) He turned and went on his way, got a couple pics but he looks like a small brown dot. Okay my attention has been dialed up a notch! After some twenty five minutes of hiking I saw something brown up ahead, a brown head. Another steer? Cautiously I moved forward. Two wild mustangs. Not burros. I took pic after pic of them, but now after about five minutes of neither of us vacating the trail I was like, hmmm, guys that's where I need to go!Okay they were not going to move, so I did, down a small embankment into Cottonwood Creek. Keeping an eye on the area they were in I hiked a little ways and went over what I assumed was the Wilderness fence. As I did here was another rush of noise...what now? I had scared a group of birds out of a tree...dialing up my senses even more. Thanks to the gps route I found the trail quickly and went on my way. Peak 3465 loomed off in the distance, the goal, it looked far away too. Seemed the closer I got to it, the farther away it looked! Checking the gps route (awesome things these gps!) I noted that I went off trail a few times. Still heading in the right direction but not quite on that red path on the screen. This area, there is something about the terrain, there are lots of other trails about, but even lacking that it is easy to lose the way. It seemed that I was always looking for the next cairn, the next beacon, even if I could "see" a trail. As I reached the Walkin' Jim/Big Jim junction more route finding awaited. A faint trail in many spots, thanks for the cairns guys! I hiked into a creekbed before the ascent to the Peak, here I heard strange noises. What the heck is that? Could not identify it but it creeped me out. Cautiously I made my way out of that closed in area, and here was that noise again! Seemed like four times, getting closer? Okay I am moving! Started the ascent to what I would later call the First Saddle. Tight going here, getting a little steep on a loose rocky path. Looking for the markers as always. Made it to the First Saddle. Yaa! The view to the north from this point was awesome,my pics will probably not do it justice. Kept making my way up, following the route, cairns were hard to find at times. Had to stop many times to try to spot the markers. Then reached what I called Second Saddle. By a bush sprouting red flowers I heard a buzzing. A hummingbird. Cool. Just a few feet away I did what I could to get his pic. One thing I noted about this area, lots of birds, the sounds of them. Looking up I could see large brown boulders had to be traversed, reminding me of the summit of Peak 2191. Wow. Okay just keep climbing. Not there yet, almost. Finally I made it to the summit. Yaa! Strolled around the summit for some time, looking for two things: the notebook register and the rock inscription that Coanbru had found. I told myself I was not leaving the summit until I found them both. But where? Back and forth I went, looking. And then there it was, a glass jar reflecting off the sunlight. The register! Yes! Small jar with a rusty lid, I opened it and added my name to the page. Now for the other one, the inscription dated 1902. Where could it be? I checked out little rock walls at lower elevation, but not knowing the size of the carving I had no clue. I kept looking, now some thirty minutes later. Finally I said, oh well, I found the register, one out of two isn't bad. I decided to set up a few shots of myself looking out over the Wilderness. I set up my little tripod, took a few pics. Then changed the location, moving the tripod. I looked down to place my camera on another boulder and there it was! The inscription! Small, perhaps a foot square. Two for two! Now it was time to return, the goal accomplished, and also to get away from a bee that just loved hanging around me! I found the descent challenging, I had to reference the red route on gps. I was off trail, moving on fairly level ground when I felt a sharp pain in my left calf. What!? I had picked up a small cholla arm, it was buried in my ankle/calf pretty good. Had never done this before, in many years of hiking, now I used a comb to extract most of the spines, probably thirty. While I dealt with this there was the distinct braying of a burro not far below. (What you guys come all the way up here? Not now, I'm busy!) I continued along passing the two saddles, not too much pain in the punctured area. Reaching the creekbed where I had heard unidentifiable noises now I recognized a burro snorting. Again I proceeded with caution. Joining the Walkin' Jim trail I now could set a fairly fast pace, mindful of checking the gps every once in a while. Not one soul on the trail today, the car sat alone. Awesome adventure.
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