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Carr Peak - Comfort Springs Loop
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mini location map2012-06-30
74 by photographer avatartibber
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Carr Peak - Comfort Springs LoopTucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Hiking avatar Jun 30 2012
tibber
Hiking9.30 Miles 2,278 AEG
Hiking9.30 Miles   7 Hrs   6 Mns   1.96 mph
2,278 ft AEG   2 Hrs   21 Mns Break
 
1st trip
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After a visit to the Reid Park Zoo, a warm up for my hiking weekend, I stayed at Wendy's on Friday nite. Sat morning Lil from Phx joined us at the last minute and we headed to Benson where we met up with 3 more of the crew before heading up the mountain to Ramsey Vista Campground where the last of the group joined us. Once we sorted out the camp spots, we geared up and hit the trail.

You start a gradual climb. My goal was to TRY and keep up so my camera was tucked snugly in my case. Needless to say I was :o and :) delighted when I saw the group stop relatively soon. Some were observing the view while Belinda had her camera out and was taking pics. I guess what was even more shocking is this would happen a few times along the way :DANCE: . Though I still always lagged the group, I was able to get a few pics from time to time as well. What fun!

There were two of the group that was quite speedy but once again, I was surprised that they waited for the rest of us a couple times on the trail. I thot I would mostly be hiking solo today and that turned out not to be the case. Wendy led the group most of the way until after the first saddle. Then the other hikers took off at a pretty good clip once we got around the corner headed to the junction with the Peak climb.

Along the way we would encounter some wonderful patches of flora and of course the views keep hitting you in the face :D . I have to say the Peaks up here are sure pretty. I like how close you seem to them including Miller. I actually looked forward to that last little climb to the top of Carr; it seemed like time flew by.

We had lunch on the top, threw our "wendy" and then headed down except not back to the campground as Wendy's toe was feeling well enough to do a loop. She had consulted Joel's map and found a route for us. Little did we know that Wendy's toe may have not been a big issue but poor Lilo's paws were.

The next part of the burned part of the trail (Crest) was actually kind of nice as the views were just great! Here is also where the call of the Huachuca Agave :DANCE: began in earnest. We worked our way around this big bend to the Saddle where you had a couple hiking choices: Miller Peak or to continue on the Crest to Bear Saddle. We paused a moment here to walk to a clearing and take in the expansive views to the SE.

We then took the trail that headed toward the Ida Canyon Junction. Once you crossed over the saddle, you started walking into the wooded side of the mountain. It was so green and lush while at the same time, down the side of the mountain you would see big groupings of the Huachuca Agave. It was impressive. We also encountered a few nearer the trail so we got to get up close and personal with them. They really are pretty. :)

We passed the junction with the Oversite Trail which we would be taking the next day (but ended up not due to heat) and in a little way, we reached Bear Saddle which is also the junction with the Ida Canyon and Granite and Hamburg Trails. We rested here a moment and gave Lilo a big drink of water.

We headed down and down and down the Hamburg Trail. It seemed pretty steep and by the time we were about 1/3 mile into it I was glad we weren't coming up that :yuck: . And if you think I was whining then, about 3/4 mile later I was yelling forward to Wendy "I think we're going all the way to the bottom 8-[ !" which means, we gotta come all the way back up again :sweat: . Oh, this is not lookin' good at all. It is especially not a good thing when I, of all hikers, am thinking, "I wish this trail would go UP :o " for about a mile of that part of the hike. :lol:

Of course, going into the canyon it is really pretty and we got to hear all sorts of birds. Less than 1/4 mile from the next junction, Wendy took a look at Scout and said we didn't have too far to reach the junction and quoted an elevation of 6840 (oh joy). Fortunately we only got as low as 6950ish; heh 100 feet is 100 feet! Now remember, we were at 9200 feet less than 2 1/2 hours and 3 3/4 miles ago.

The sign said 2.25 miles to go (2.5 to the campsite). What was bothering me is I couldn't remember the elevation of the campsite so would we have to go up 1000 or only 500 feet :-k ? I know 500 feet doesn't sound like a lot but it was a bit toasty out here and the trail was pretty exposed for most of the way up. We talked about the TH elevation and decided it was probably only a little more than 500 feet so off we went.

I'm sure Wendy could have barreled up that mountainside a lot faster but she would pause and wait for me from time to time. It was a long hot slog, one of those "one foot in front of the other" with an occasional glance and photo of the surrounding scenery. It wouldn't have seemed hard except for that heat and no breeze plus we were low on water as we had only planned on an up and back of Carr Peak. 1hr and 45 minutes later, we arrived at the campsite feeling pretty good about our day.

Now it was time for Gatorade and then some huckleberry ice-tea while we waited for the others to join us (they did the longer loop). Once the rest of the group arrived, it was time to break out the Huckletinis while we all chatted, rested our laurels, set up our tents and then began dinner preparation. The temp at camp was delightful both at nite and while sleeping and for the morning.

It was a great first visit to the Huachucas; those are some beautiful mountains. I can't wait to see more of these and the other Sky Islands. I was glad to not only meet the Norbys but to hike and camp with them :D ; it was so much fun. And of course, it's always a good weekend when I get to go camping and hiking with Wendy and Lilo. No video of the hike but I do have movies of some of the animals at the Tucson zoo (not that there's any coorelation between the zoo animals and hikers):
http://youtu.be/0BeJkvJ_fpY.

PS. This is only the first day of our Huachuca adventure as the next day we would do a drive around the mountains with a couple stops.
PS2. Wendy is doing a hike description of this Loop and I will be moving the log and photos when it's ready to go. I HIGHly recommend this most wonderful loop hike in the Huachucas.
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
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_____________________
For me, sometimes it's just as much about the journey as the destination.
Oh, and once in awhile, don't forget to look back at the trail you've traveled.
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