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Quartz Peak Trail - Sierra Estrella
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mini location map2013-01-21
11 by photographer avatarHippy
photographer avatar
 
Quartz Peak Trail - Sierra EstrellaPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Jan 21 2013
Hippy
Hiking5.20 Miles 2,550 AEG
Hiking5.20 Miles
2,550 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners partners
chumley
When someone invites you on an adventure and doesn't tell you where you're going you generally hope for the best. I really didn't expect to bag this peak, or to feel so secluded out in that mysterious chunk of the desert!

In all reality we spent sunday afternoon in the "middle of nowhere" just outside of south phoenix. :D

Woke up monday morning packed up "camp" (which means he threw everything in the back of his truck while I was climbing every boulder in sight) and headed down the open expanses of desert toward the roads that would take us further east in Rainbow Valley to the feet of the Sierra Estrellas...while nursing devastating hangovers.

..I will note that near our "castle rock" camping spot was a water hole of some sort with old wood fences all around it...probably "THE PLACE" for underage sexually active teenagers...I think I want to go get tested just from looking at it... :yuck: :sk:

On the drive to the TH, after a nice round of donuts in the flat expanse of nothingness, we came flying around a corner (at a safe and responsible speed of course) and were delighted to spot a dark coated bobcat!!
The kitty stared at us for a split second then bounded off in a most casual manner. Chumley and I were both too dumbfounded by the sighting to smart up and grab our cameras until it was too late. We also spotted three gorgeous (and HUGE) hawks, ferruginous hawks? I think, and a big plump roadrunner.

The trail starts off flat in a washlike area and...don't read the trailhead register by the way, you'll regret it... within the first 5 minutes you're heading up at a decently steep grade, beside my lungs and heart cursing at me I thoroughly enjoyed myself!

The rock formations are fanciful with their wavering striations and smooth to rough textures. I'm pretty sure I had a big dumb grin on my face the entire hike because of the awesome views and rocks and critters, yeah, I geeked out a bit.

Somewhere toward the end of the trail you end up scrambling over rocks that seem to be littered with glass, look again, it's tons and tons of micha that's been chipped off over time, absolutely gorgeous! I've never seen such a sparkling trail, not one entirely void of human leavings anyway.

The tip of the peak was fantastic, we could see Four Peaks far to the east, Mt Lemmon along with Picacho and Newman Peaks to the south east-ish, White Tank Park and beyond to the West...Chumley even claimed to see California at one point :roll:
We were able to make out and identify the Bradshaw Mountains to the north. The tiny mountains up in my neck of the woods turned out to be the perfect landmark to see what road we were lined up with on the peak, I think we decided on 75th ave??

We didn't see another person the entire trip up until just after we peaked and heard someone else calling out or singing? just beyond the rocks at the top. Go figure she was an outdoor loving vegan like myself. :DANCE: I'll be seeing her soon!

Had a great little 24 hour adventure and it was awesome to get to visit that little known area. Rainbow valley, Sierra Estrellas, the 7 Mile Mountain or whatever it was looks pretty fun too, I never even knew that was all there! Silly it's so close to town and so overlooked.
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