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Coffee Flat Trail #108
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mini location map2013-10-10
8 by photographer avatarMike_Fels
photographer avatar
 
Coffee Flat Trail #108Phoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Oct 10 2013
Mike_Fels
Hiking13.70 Miles 1,795 AEG
Hiking13.70 Miles   5 Hrs   54 Mns   2.54 mph
1,795 ft AEG      31 Mns Break
 no routes
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With the weather today I figured it was the perfect day for my first Supes hike of the season. Well it was almost perfect, ended up wearing my poncho for almost 4 hours of the hike as it rained, sprinkled and drizzled. Hit the trail just after 5:30am. The thick clouds made it not just dark, but black. I noticed that the fog from each of my breaths was blocking some of the light from my headlamp. As the area stared to lighten I found that fog or low clouds were hiding much of the terrain.

About a third of the way to Miner's Needle there was a carcass of a small mule deer right on the trail. Figured it had to have been a snack for a mountain lion, it looked to be a couple days old.

Two thirds of the way to Miner's needle there was a fairly large desert tortoise, with about a 9" shell, relaxing in the middle of the trail. He looked to be just out experiencing the rain.

Across Barkley Basin near the Coffee Flat trail I flushed out of an arroyo four Javelina, including two that were really big and fat. They all showed me how fast they could run.

When I got to the turn off for Randolph Canyon I kept heading south instead of going east. In the Coffee Flat Canyon area heard several screeeeeches and finally located the source in the top of a saguaro but couldn't get close enough for a positive identification. My guess is that it was a red-tailed hawk. There were more birds in general out today than usual.

There were several small red spotted toads all around the almost dry creeks.

On my return I headed up past Deerhorn Spring and Whitlow Corral to get back to the Coffee Flat Trail. I was very surprised to find that the desert tortoise was still in the trail over 4 hours later. His head was definitely following my movements. He didn't look injured. I gave him a strict lecture that the trail was not a good place to pass the day, but I don't think he was listening. I hope he moved on.

Even though most of the morning was spent with precipitation it was a great hike. With more wildlife than is usual. The desert south of the Coffee Flat Trail had a very nice spicy aroma, probably sage but I'm not sure I know what sage smells like.
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