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mini location map2012-04-20
31 by photographer avataroutdoor_lover
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Dome MountainPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking7.50 Miles 1,357 AEG
Hiking7.50 Miles   4 Hrs   30 Mns   3.00 mph
1,357 ft AEG   2 Hrs    Break15 LBS Pack
 no routes
1st trip
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Brian's been wanting to do this Peak for awhile, and since I'm never one to turn down bagging a Peak, I was all for it. First time I've ever "intentionally" :roll: hiked the Goldfields so I knew I would see some great new scenery judging from what I've seen of them from the Superstitions.

Met Brian at about 6:30 and followed him to the TH. He didn't have a Permit, so we started from the locked gate and walked up the Jeep Road. I knew that there was no Trail where we were going, so I was prepared for a Bushwacking adventure and I got one.... :D

I did something that I have never done before when I get ready to go hiking. I blew off taking any of the Trip information with me and hadn't really looked that hard at the Hike before I went. This was Brian's Hike, so I was ok with that. I knew he would have a Route loaded into his GPS. Brian pointed out the Mountain we were heading for, so I just followed his lead as to where to go. After we had been on the Jeep Road for awhile, Brian said it was time to get off and start the off trail portion. And away we went....The Bushwacking was pretty light by my bushwacking standards, at least going up. We followed along the edge of a hill for awhile, followed a drainage for awhile and gradually made our way up. I was getting a little skeptical of the Route Brian was trying to follow, as I was thinking that there was alot of meandering around and not going in the direction that seemed more logical. But after questioning it a few times, I decided that since I hadn't done my homework and was still new at this Bushwacking thing (at least in terms of hiking and trying to get somewhere), that I would quit bothering Brian. I just needed to assume that whatever Route we were using, the poster of the Route knew what he was doing....

About halfway up, we took a break in some fairly decent shade. As we were sitting there, I saw some movement on the slope of the Mountain to the northeast of us. It looked like a Deer, but I couldn't tell for sure so I got the binocs out. Although it was still pretty far away even with the glasses, I could see that it was a Bighorn Sheep! I could only see one, but it was very cool. It must have noticed us, because it had stopped momentarily and was looking in our direction, before it scrambled over a large rock area and disappeared. That's only the second time I've seen one in the wild, the first was an ewe and her baby in Yellowstone...Very exciting!

The higher and closer we got to the Mountain, the thicker the brush became and the more obstacles appeared. The actual base of the mountain looked better than the slope below it and since the Route had us traversing the slope towards the area that I thought we should be heading anyway, I knew we still had a ways to go. I decided to go straight up and traverse it from the base. I told Brian that I was seeing areas on the face of the mountain that actually looked climbable without gear and decided to check it out. I'm always up for a climb, especially if it creates a shortcut.... :D And we all know about shortcuts don't we??? :sweat: Brian was game, so he came up and we looked the area over. Didn't look as good as from below, but further north along the face, I found a cut and decided to check it out. After going through a Manzanita bush, I decided to climb up just a little and see if it was doable all the way up, and after a couple of "interesting" moments, decided it was. Brian was ok with following my Route, so up we went. :D It's a good thing neither of us have exposure problems, otherwise there would have been no way....And I knew that we didn't have to come down this way, although I think we could have, but it was more of a "just go for it" type climb. :) And we made it! :y: We weren't at the top of the Peak, but we were a lot closer to it than the Route would have taken us. As I'm really getting excited, Brian informs me that we are on the wrong Mountain.... :o And he points to the Peak to our northeast about 3/4 of a mile away that is still much higher than we are. And now, we have to actually go down some before we can go back up.... :sl: Apparently there are actually 2 Dome Mountains. ;) And we're not on the right one. :sweat: I asked him if he wanted to bag this "Peak" since we were so close, but after a small discussion, I went with Brian's much saner mindset. It was getting too hot already and we wanted to get to the "true" Peak and down before it was a scorcher. It turned out to be a good decision (thanks Brian), as I finished the day with only about 3 ounces of water left out of 5 liters....

So we got down to a large saddle, of which the going down part was still much more open than the Bushwacking steepness we would have faced, traversing from below. So in a screwed up kind of way, my little climb still kind of worked out. At the saddle, Brian shouts and I look up and see 5 Bighorn Sheep hightailing it up the slope to our left. Too far away for a picture and they were pretty much out of sight within seconds, but still, very neat to see. We were seeing droppings everywhere up here.

We started the Hike up to the real Peak and it went really fast and well and we were up in no time. :) AmAZing views all around and we stayed for awhile taking pictures, enjoying the view and signing the Register. The Register is just a small glass jar under the large pile of rocks with individual pieces of paper in it. I could not find a Benchmark anywhere. That seems to be my luck lately. ;)

Time to go down and we decide that we are not doing it the way we came. The logical Route went down from the Saddle and followed either a Ridge or a Drainage all the way down almost to the end of the Jeep Road. Getting down to the Drainage turned out to be a real challenge. It was very steep and full of scree. I had a pretty difficult time here as I had rolled my ankle a little, on top of the Peak, and it felt a little weak. But we made it to the Drainage and for a little while, the Drainage was pretty clear so things became easier. I would love to see this area with Water running. It would make some gorgeous Falls and Cascades. :) After a bit though, the Drainage started getting pretty thick and we were forced back onto the slope which was pretty steep and scree laden once again. After slipping and sliding for a while, we finally found an area to cross and found the ridge on the other side was much more forgiving. By the time we got to where we had to climb up to the end of the Jeep Road, I was begging for one more shade break. I knew there would be no more shade once we got on the road and still had a couple of miles to go. It was pretty warm by this time. Brian's a good sport and we sat and recharged for a bit before the last push back to the cars.

We hit the Jeep road and without any further adventure, got back to the cars. It got pretty hot and I think we were both in agreement that the long or difficult treks locally are through for the season. Unless it's short and sweet and involves lots of playing in the water or can be done at night or very early, it's just not going to happen anymore. But we both enjoyed the adventure of bagging the Peak and Brian can officially check it off his list. Thanks for asking me to go on this one Brian, and for being patient in some of my more "difficult" and stubborn moments. It was fun as always and yielded some great views, both times!!! :D
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Light

dry Bulldog Canyon Wash Dry Dry
Crossed at 33.473164 -111.530066

dry Bulldog Wash Dry Dry
Crossed and checked at coordinates 33.473164 -111.530066 where it crosses Jeep Road.

dry GF Dome 3269 East Creek Dry Dry
Completely Dry the length of the Wash.

dry GF Peak 3134 South Creek Dry Dry
Crossed on "Cactus" Jeep Road. Coordinates 33.48676 -111.533447.
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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