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Mount Baldy Loop
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mini location map2001-07-14
40 by photographer avatarrwstorm
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Mount Baldy LoopAlpine, AZ
Alpine, AZ
Hiking avatar Jul 14 2001
rwstorm
Hiking15.00 Miles 2,400 AEG
Hiking15.00 Miles
2,400 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Partners none no partners
SAHC - Group
I really got started being active with Southern Arizona Hiking Club in 2001, even though I'd been a member since 1990. One of the annual events offered then was a weekend in Greer with hikes, including a loop hike to Mt. Baldy. Two organizers, Christa Malloy and Louise Irwing put this together and rented rooms at Molly B's, which served as the base camp. One of my hiking friends in the club, Ralf Deason suggested I join in on the fun. We didn't stay at Molly B's, but rather at the Circle B motel nearby. Some of the others who participated stayed in the Forest Service Campground at Greer. There was a pretty big turnout, as this was a good excuse to escape the desert heat for a few days! :) This took place in July, but due to concerns about getting caught in thunderstorms, it was moved up to June the following year. In 2001, there was some threatening weather, but nothing interfered with the hike.

We all gathered at Molly B's Friday evening to socialize and decide who was hiking what Saturday. I was with the group doing the loop hike to the peak. We did this as a car shuttle, starting at the Phelps Cabin side and doing a clockwise loop going up East Baldy Trail #95 and down West Baldy Trail #94. This included a short side trip to the legal summit. It was a perfect day to hike, with clouds providing shade but only isolated thunderstorm activity in the area.

I had only been up to Mt. Baldy one other time, nearly 33 years previous in September 1968! :o So this was sort of special. Back then two high school buddies and I drove up in a pickup truck with a camper that one of them borrowed from his dad. In those days you could drive in further than today and we camped in a meadow along the West Fork before hiking. It was an out and back on West Baldy Trail. Way back then I don't think there was any controversy about going to the official peak. I dug through my old slides of the hike and couldn't find anything definitive about which peak we were on, but I'll bet it was the one presently considered off limits. I have included a photo I took of my friends on the peak with the sign that day. Notice the elevation posted on the sign.

After the hike Saturday, we all gathered back at Molly B's for dinner and another night of partying. Sunday morning we dispersed, with some heading back to Tucson, while others including myself headed over to Springerville for a tour of Casa Malpais Archaelogical Park, guided by none other than Liz (azbackpackr)! Of course Liz had been active with SAHC while living in Tucson, so after moving to Eager, she offered the tour to her SAHC friends who came up for the weekend. Pretty 8)! One of our members recently started a thread on HAZ Forum about "what we do for a living." Liz chimed in that her second favorite job was as a tour guide for the local Indian ruins. Bet it was Casa Malpais. ;)

After the tour of the Springerville site, most went back to Tucson directly, but since I like to take the long way home and loop my drives whenever possible, I headed back by way of Glenwood, Mule Creek, and Safford. Of course I made a stop at the Catwalk; always a fun and scenic place to hang out awhile! :D
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