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mini location map2012-04-27
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Heliograph Peak LoopTucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Hiking avatar Apr 27 2012
Hiking4.40 Miles 1,030 AEG
Hiking4.40 Miles   3 Hrs   15 Mns   2.30 mph
1,030 ft AEG   1 Hour   20 Mns Break15 LBS Pack
 no routes
1st trip
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After doing Grant Hill Loop as a warmup/elevation adjusting Hike, Chad and I were off to Hike the main attraction for the day. Chad thought that I needed to bag at least one peak while I was here, and after he told me about this one, I was all for it. I have not had the opportunity to see a close up of a Fire Tower yet, so seeing one that was on the Historic Register seemed very cool.

We arrived at the Shannon Campground and hit the Trail. I was starting to adjust to the elevation somewhat, and the Trail started out fairly level, so I got more of a chance to suck in some more oxygen, before the uphill began. :sweat: And it did begin, although it wasn't terribly steep at this point, so life was good...I knew eventually it had to get steeper if we were going all the way to 10,000 feet.... :o :D

We also ran into a little snow here and there, but it wasn't too bad. The Trail had some deadfall on it, apparently the crews haven't been in to clear it away yet. A few downed trees to go over, under or around, but nothing too awful. (I've already experienced awful deadfall this Spring, this was light by comparison).

After a few sucking wind stops and Photography breaks, we got to a nice overlook area and took a real break to enjoy the views. From Chad's comments, I knew we were getting close and I was really getting excited about hitting this Peak. Finished the break, and started pushing upward again. We arrived at a burn area just before the top and although I wouldn't consider a burn area horribly scenic, it kind of had it's own tragic beauty, especially with the white boulders and rocks encountered in that area as well. And then with one more push, we were there! Walking up to the Forest Service Cabin with the Fire Tower looming overhead was a very cool sight. Let the picture taking commence in earnest.... :D

Not only was the Cabin and the Fire Tower there, but also several other communication towers, one of which Chad stated had to be brand new, as it hadn't been there when he was there before. The new one, was now the tallest structure on the Mountain. It was incredibly high.

Lots of history up there and we spent about an hour going from place to place, tower to tower, and overlook to overlook, as the views off the side of the Mountain were incredible as well. Really enjoyed the visit at the top of this Peak.

Before long it was time to start back down and we took the Service Road all the way back to the Campground. We even had time to stop at another area for some wildlife and sunset viewing, so the day wasn't even over yet! (I'll post a different Log for some of the more scenic, nonhiking stuff).

Great Hike!! Another winner Chad!!! :y: First time I've ever been at 10,000 feet, actually hiking, so it was special in that way as well. Another awesome day in the books.... :)
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Wildflowers Observation Isolated
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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