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Quartz Peak Trail - Sierra Estrella
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mini location map2013-02-09
60 by photographer avatartibber
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Quartz Peak Trail - Sierra EstrellaPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Feb 09 2013
tibber
Hiking5.66 Miles 2,627 AEG
Hiking5.66 Miles   6 Hrs   2 Mns   1.87 mph
2,627 ft AEG   3 Hrs    Break
 
Linked none no linked trail guides
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beckett
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hikngrl
Ambika made me sign up for this one ;) ; a GHOTM with arizonahikers.com :D . It's a hard one for sure but so beautiful and unique. We met at the WalMart off of Estrella Pkwy and all loaded up in Tony's car as we were down to 5 from the 8-10 hikers who had originally signed up. The dirt/sand road provided its usual challenges but Tony considered it part of the adventure.

We were on the trail around 9:10. It was nippy out and would stay that way for most of the day; especially when the sun decided it would only come out for a minute at a time every once in awhile. The hike up is challenging :sweat: but I feel I did much better than 2010. I'm still no "speedy gonazalez" but I can keep it going. This time I could concentrate more on how the trail made its way up to the Peak via the several false summits and a few different ridgelines.

It appears the trail starts on one ridgeline of little mountains and then blends over to another set of higher mountains that takes you along its ridgeline before you spend the last 1/2 mile climbing : rambo : . One of our hikers hadn't hiked in a long while so we had to wait now and again and another hiker was in the process of rebuilding since his bone marrow transplant. Each of them did quite well under the circumstances though they didn't summit. Both of them had previously summited.

Three of us trudged our way to the top as it got cloudier, windier and colder. I had told Diane about the bling toward the top which didn't show under these cloudy skies. However, the sun finally came out for a moment and she was flashed by the bling 8) of Quartz Peak. She exclaimed in glee at all the sparkly stuff around her and then the sun went behind the clouds; BIG TEASE ;) .

We were all pretty hungry once we got just below the actual summit. We were able to find a very small area that got us out of the wind to eat our lunch. The clouds were ominous and it was cold so we barely spent 10 minutes (I didn't even get to finish my sandwich). We headed up to the Summit which was so worth it as I heard Diane exude amazement at what she was seeing. This makes all the work pay off. Bling and big rocks of quartz, can't go wrong there :y: . Once again we didn't stay long as it was quite windy and cold.

We headed back down the mountain and each time the sun would come out, I would try to get a picture. The sun never stayed out for more than a minute at a time so sometimes I would have to cheat and take a picture anyway just cuz the clouds and scenery were so cool-looking. We got down the mountain in 1 hr 45 min with only one 5 minute stop. I kept thinking to myself, "they talk about this being a non-stop grind UP the mountain, well it's the same on the way down!".

Todd and Diane would wait for me from time to time on the way down :o ... YES, the way DOWN cuz I had to stop and take a pic from time to time. I didn't take any movies on the way down as we were going at too fast a pace to watch my footing and film so I had to be satisfied with a photo. They didn't have to wait and I should have told them to go ahead but it was nice that they kept an eye on me :) .

Back at the trail head a few of us had some pumpkin spice beer in my 60s cold aluminum-like glasses (they keep your drink really cold) before heading on the road in pursuit of food. I actually used my Jellybean "Kemosabe"'s navigation system for the first time to direct us there as Linda and I couldn't remember where the Mexican restaurant was that we went to in 2010. However, along the way, she spotted that restaurant Raul's and Theresa's where we enjoyed a great post-hike meal.

Thanks Todd and Diane for putting the hike together, thanks to Tony for driving and it's always good to see Linda. :D

Here is the video from our hike up and at Quartz Peak:
http://youtu.be/-oQ8V8wJHkg?hd=1
Flora
Flora
Elephant Tree
Geology
Geology
Mica Quartz
_____________________
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.
HAZ Member
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