|Hiking||2.00 Miles|| 2 Hrs 29 Mns ||1.13 mph|
|963 ft AEG|| 43 Mns Break||15 LBS Pack|
||no linked trail guides|
|By driving to the end of FR2893 we had more time and less distance to cover to reach the summit. On the way up we followed the myriads of elk trails along the way. We skirted just east of the dense Manzanita then began the steep climb to the summit. Tracey mentioned that the steep, loose ground reminded her of the last 500 feet up to the Devil's Chasm ruins. That it did, but no matter, we slogged onward and upward.
At the summit we found the summit log but being in a broken plastic bottle it was in pretty bad shape, looking like paper mache. We signed the only reasonably fresh piece of paper but don't expect it will last long. I was kicking myself for not bringing one of the three container we brought on the trip for just that purpose. But they were back in the Pathfinder 7 miles away. Oh well, that's life.
From the top I took many photos of the Sierra Ancha to the west as well as along the Fort Apache Indian Reservation borderline stretching north as far as the eye could see. Farther in that direction we could see smoke from the Bull Flat fire just south of Canyon Creek Fish Hatchery on the Fort Apache Indian Reservation.
As usual, we chose a different path for the return trip and it was nice enough to provide us with some new finds along the way. First parts of the spine of a large elk that were sprawled down the slope over quite some distance. Only one leg bone and no skull.
Still near the top Tracey spotted an elk on the flat area well below us probably about the time it spotted us. Initially it provided a beautiful side profile but before I could zoom in and focus it already turned to head away. Seeing some open areas in the direction it was headed I tried a few more times but never quite guessed where it would be visible next so I never got a full-zoom shot. Later when we passed through the same area we could see where it had jumped the Fort Apache reservation fence to head eastward.
Soon we were back to the car for the rough drive back out. I posted 20 photos on HAZ, the full set of 31 photos is here: