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Brown's Cone Loop, AZ
mini location map2013-12-16
19 by photographer avatartibber
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Brown's Cone Loop, AZ 
Brown's Cone Loop, AZ
Hiking avatar Dec 16 2013
Hiking8.32 Miles 1,022 AEG
Hiking8.32 Miles   3 Hrs   37 Mns   2.63 mph
1,022 ft AEG      27 Mns Break
Had Monday off so decided it would be a good time to hit the McDowell Sonoran Preserve again. I PMed Laurie and Brian. Brian and his wife Jude took me up on the offer. Laurie couldn't get away. I do like to hike with others and I always enjoy hiking with Brian and Jude. We met at the Brown Ranch TH at 8:15ish. It is quite nice there... and trails are all over the place.

When you hike out here it will benefit you to take the map. We also found that when you're at an intersection :-k , both the sign and map are marked with a circle that might have: UR5. Which means you are on the Upper Ranch Section 5 of the trail. Very slick once we figured it out. And you might say, "really, it should be pretty obvious with all the signage" but there's almost too much information on the sign.

This is what I did:
    Brown's Ranch Road to
    Upper Ranch Trail to
    Brown's Mountain Summit on Brown's Mountain Trail to
    Wrangler Trail to
    Upper Ranch Trail to
    Cone Mountain Trail to
    Wrangler Trail to
    Brown's Mountain Trail to
    Brown's Ranch Road to

Sounds a bit complicated but there are so many connector trails so you gotta pay attention. Jude and Brian waited for me while I summited Brown's Mountain : rambo : . It's a fun little summit and not really a lot of ground on top. The trail down from the saddle is very nice with a couple little switchbacks before you get on Wrangler. It's interesting to see all the work that has been done to keep you off the old trails by signs and plantings and desert debris. There must have been so MANY trails out here.

We circled Cone. Here it was interesting to see where boulders started and ended as the top part of Cone was clear for the most part. And then as you round back to the eastern side there aren't any boulders until you get to the SW side where they start up again. Also, the shape of the mountain changes as you go around it. Anyway, we found it very entertaining :D . We did find some desert lavendar in partial bloom as we headed east back toward the Wrangler Trail. We also saw a giant nest of some sort below a cholla. We thot maybe the trail crew had piled up debris but then we saw rather large holes in the ground. Sure hope it's not A pack rat as it would have to be a giant RAT :o .

We decided since we had made good time to continue on the Wrangler Trail rather than head back to the TH. It added another 1/4 mile or so is all. We were on a time schedule. These trails out here are just incredible. You can walk and gawk to your heart's content :DANCE: and many times you can walk side by side and have a conversation. Cone Mountain should be fantastic in spring as it has a whole side covered in brittle bush. A few along the trail were even blooming.

Thx for keeping me company Brian and Jude. Let's do it again in the spring.

Here is the video from that hike:
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.
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