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Goldfield Hi Country via Gateway Cyn
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mini location map2012-01-09
38 by photographer avatarFLYING_FLIVER
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Goldfield Hi Country via Gateway CynPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Jan 09 2012
FLYING_FLIVER
Hiking8.80 Miles 1,456 AEG
Hiking8.80 Miles   5 Hrs   57 Mns   2.30 mph
1,456 ft AEG   2 Hrs   7 Mns Break18 LBS Pack
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
The first couple sections of this hike are in contrast to most of the desert hiking in this part of the state. It was a nice change of pace.

This out-and-back hike starts at the Blue Point Trailhead on Bush Hiway near the bridge that crosses the Salt River.
The very first part of the hike is uninspiring, as you go down a dirt/gravel road that seems more fitting for ATVs than hiking. Don't get discouraged. This part soon ends as you start getting near the Salt river and as you start hiking through a canopy of trees & brush that gives the impression you're not in a desert environment.

As we know, on alot of hikes, route finding is sometimes an issue, with a trail disappearing for awhile, then magically reappearing out of nowhere. This hike, in the area of the river and canopy of trees is just the opposite. There are dozens of well warn "trails" all over the place. Most of them end up in the same general location but not all. As mentioned in earlier triplogs, stay near the river or you'll be going up & down a bunch of unnecessary little ridges & washes.

Depending on what sequence the Stewart dam is in, you may have very little water moving in the Salt river or you may have a river flowing at full gusto. We had both. On the hike in, we could have walked across the river bed in places, but on the return trip, it appeared we could have done some surfing (if we could have held on to a tree limb or something).

Soon enough, you're out of the shade of the canopy but still close to the river, hiking on round river rock. Next you're in a very high walled wash, winding your way to the desert portion of the hike. Once out of the wash, you make a 90 degree turn to the south and start aiming at the opening in the Goldfield Mountains and initially, begin a very gradual ascent. Soon the grade gets much steeper.

Except for more brush and grasses, this next, steeper ascent reminds me of a "mini-Picketpost". You start working your way up through an opening in the mountain and have shear cliffs and caves on either side. This opening narrows quite a bit near the top. Once through this ascent area, you enter a plateau that is big enough to hold a few football fields. There are many possibilities, in a 300 degree arc, to continue exploring past this plateau and into more of the Goldfields. I'll do that on another hike.

I explored the plateau and its perimeter, taking photos of its varying terrain and rock formations. (No Delicate Arch photos, however, since I did that on an earlier hike). We then worked our way off the plateau using the same track. The Salt river was flowing quite nicely as we hiked back to the trailhead.
_____________________
Not All Those Who Wander Are Lost
J.R.R.TOLKIEN
HAZ Member
FLYING_FLIVER's
250 Photosets

  2012-03-16
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  2012-02-14
  2012-02-11
  2012-02-01
  2012-01-25
  2012-01-21
  2012-01-16
  2012-01-13
  2012-01-09
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