A brilliant orange sunrise on the drive up ( Silver Fire in New Mexico 260 miles away ) put Bruce in a good mood singing kumbaya.
Our plan was to hike to Arizona's highest spring Philomena on what we dubbed the "outer basin" of Humphreys. Next summit the beast then return on the summit "trail". The high in Flag was 96 degrees so it was no surprise the massive TH parking lot overflowed to the Kachina lot.
Onto the Aspen Loop we dropped 300 feet. Despite sub-seventy degree temps humidity was knocking. The only noticeable sweating was on our initial ascent.
The route to Philomena is arbitrary. Heading up we found a network of criss crossing trails and cairns galore. Excitement began to build when we found a pipe then started following it up. The hike went from fair to memorable stumbling upon a hot tub! Obviously it's not a hot tub for those in three dimensional zoomable mindsets.
Continued following the pipe to it's end just into the rock slide pitch. Then on up to the summit. The primo segment from the hot tub up through the slide is on video. I enjoyed this hike much more than anticipated.
Carried 4 quarts agua of which I consumed 1.75. We took maybe a dozen short breather breaks on the ascent in addition to standard snack and lunch breaks. Footing to the catch a hundred feet away from the spring is doable by most. Continuing to the summit is moderate-difficult to very-dangerous depending on your ability, experience and nerves.
Wildflowers ObservationModerate Parry's Primrose, Columbine, plenty o' aster