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Cholla & Little Granite Mountain Summits, AZ
mini location map2014-01-06
16 by photographer avatartrekkin_gecko
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Cholla & Little Granite Mountain Summits, AZ 
Cholla & Little Granite Mountain Summits, AZ
Hiking avatar Jan 06 2014
Hiking13.66 Miles 2,168 AEG
Hiking13.66 Miles   5 Hrs   46 Mns   2.72 mph
2,168 ft AEG      45 Mns Break
1st trip
parked at the (little) granite mountain trailhead with three goals in mind:
a decent length hike, further exploration of the mcdowell sonoran preserve north, and a summit or two
it's hard to get any elevation gain on these trails, but they are perfect for trail running and mountain biking
read up a little bit on flying_fliver's triplogs, as he has hit both peaks
hit the trail around nine a.m. and it was still a little brisk
started out on bootlegger, then took the southern leg of granite mountain loop
continued on balanced rock trail, with a visit to the balanced rock
that ran into cholla loop, and i took side trips to the amphitheater and cathedral rock
went around the north side of cholla mountain, looking for a decent way up
my track will show one failed attempt, but then found a smooth drainage to head up
little vegetation but very steep scree so i planned on taking a different way down
found the high point but no benchmark or register
should have read flying_fliver's triplog a little more closely
he recommended going off the east side, so that's what i did, although on a completely different line
came to the east leg of cholla mountain loop and went north to branding iron trail and stayed on the north side of granite mountain on the loop trail, again looking for a good route up
ascended the east side of the peak, and i can't say as i would suggest doing it that way
a lot of cholla and cat claw, but some fun boulders to scramble on
hit a saddle and still had a ways to go but finally made it to what i thought was the high point
i could see another high point to the northeast where i found a benchmark and summit register
spent a few minutes at the summit taking in the views of the surrounding mountains, although i thought cholla offered the best sights
again, didn't want to go back the way i came up, so i went south to a saddle that led to a drainage down the west side
this was a pretty good route
from there i repeated part of the loop trail, even going up to the end of bootlegger to get a couple extra miles
should have good tracks for branding iron and bootlegger
the east side of this area is very pretty
some lush spots, healthy vegetation, great terrain with the mountains and boulders, huge saguaros
saw only six mountain bikers, two hikers and a trail runner all day
long pants were a must for the off trail, in my opinion
two new peaks and a fun day :)
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