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Adams Mesa - Sycamore Canyon
4 Photosets

mini location map2012-01-21
31 by photographer avatarFLYING_FLIVER
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Adams Mesa - Sycamore CanyonPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Jan 21 2012
Hiking2.80 Miles 1,152 AEG
Hiking2.80 Miles   3 Hrs   38 Mns   1.14 mph
1,152 ft AEG   1 Hour   10 Mns Break20 LBS Pack
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Adams Mesa is just west of the intersection of Rte 87 (Beeline) and Bush highway, in what is sometimes referred to as the Sycamore Creek wash area. It appears the mesa has 4 major "peaks" making up its high points, with a benchmark on the highest peak. There are no trails to the mesa, or up to any of the high points. Bushwhacking through desert vegetation is the only way to explore the area.

My main incentive was to find & photograph ADAMS Triangulation benchmark and all its related marks. I found all four benchmarks. :D
The original surveyors in 1935, didn't note their route to the benchmark, but the 1981 surveyors did. They drove on a dirt road from just north of the intersection of Rte 87 and Bush highway all the way to Sycamore Creek wash, then went west up the wash for a couple miles, then took a dim track road back southeast. They "packed" from that point, up to the highest point of Adams Mesa. Normally, I try to take the same route noted on the "To Reach" portion of the benchmark's datasheet, but my vehicle couldn't do that. I took a different drive-route to start my "pack" (hike).

Just west of Rte 87 and Bush highway, I drove down a ridge-line dirt road, as far as my SUV could handle, and started hiking to the high point of the mesa. I had to laugh on my bushwhack to the base of Adams Mesa, because I felt like I was on a slow-motion roller-coaster. I had to bushwhack up-&-down, up-&-down, four or five times on small ridge-lines and washes in order to get to the base of the mesa. From a distance, that area looks like ripples in the earth or an accordion partially open.

Once I reached the correct area of the mesa, I hiked up to a saddle, found Adams Azimuth mark, and then made a 90 degree turn and went up to the high point, which was the location of Adams Triangulation mark and its two reference marks. I was surprised to see all the thick vegetation on the mesa. The normal desert plant life was quite abundant, which made for a careful trek up to the top. Once up there, it was like hiking in an overgrown, unkept "pointy needle" garden.
After many photos, I hiked back down using the same track I used to get up there.

Excellent "close-to-town" hike, with great views from the top, even though the day was uncharacteristically cloudy. I'll be sure to explore the rest of the Adams Mesa peaks another day.
Not All Those Who Wander Are Lost
HAZ Member
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