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Granite Mountain and Otero Benchmark, AZ
mini location map2014-03-23
73 by photographer avatarFLYING_FLIVER
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Granite Mountain and Otero Benchmark, AZ 
Granite Mountain and Otero Benchmark, AZ
Hiking avatar Mar 23 2014
Hiking10.61 Miles 2,649 AEG
Hiking10.61 Miles   9 Hrs   13 Mns   2.39 mph
2,649 ft AEG   4 Hrs   47 Mns Break
1st trip
Partners none no partners
This hike had a bit of everything. The hike was partly in a creek, partly on a road fit only for ATVs (and hikers), and the ‘up-the-mountain’ part of the hike entertained my psyche with three or four false summits.
(I don’t like false summits. False summits are very frustrating and just plain mean. :yuck:

The hike also included hundreds of butterflies sipping water and, for about fifty feet, I had a hike-partner that looked just like a gila monster. My short-term hike-partner finally disappeared into the desert. He wasn’t very good company anyway, and he sort of ‘waddled’ while he hiked.

The reason for the hike - Find and take photos of 4 survey disks and one etching in a boulder. I succeeded in doing all that, despite all those false summits hiking up Granite Mountain.
‘This’ Granite Mountain (there are many) is west of the Beeline, in the Tonto Natl Forest. I started at the point where Sycamore Creek crosses the Beeline. First I hiked in the creek (water was flowing), then transitioned to FS 3456, AKA Log Corral Trail. From there, I hiked off-trail and up Granite Mountain. I purposely zoomed a photo of the mountainside while hiking back on the road, and could see all the undulated terrain on my track up. False summits are the by-product.

Prior to the mountain, I searched for and found Otero Azimuth Mark, near the road. Otero Benchmark’s datasheet states its ‘distance from the benchmark’ was about 3/4 of a mile. I knew that had to be way off, due to other info on the same datasheet. It turns out the azimuth mark was 1.85 miles from Otero Benchmark, more than twice the distance estimated by the surveyors. Lucky me for finding it.

Once I was atop Granite Mountain I determined that the surveyors must have doubled as circus acrobats, as they placed the three survey disks on tall boulders that could only be reached by climbing on other boulders. They must have done quite a balancing act with their survey equipment back in 1946.
The carved etching is suspect. The datasheets (there are two) do not mention the etching of roman numerals “XXXVI”, near one of the two survey benchmarks. I can only guess at it’s meaning, as all written information about these disks relates to the year 1946 and not “36”.

Great scenery up there in all directions, although it was quite hazy in the distance.
Once done with photos etc, and once off the mountain, the hike out was a bit of a “Let’s just get this road-hike portion over with and go home”.
That changed a bit with my swarms of butterfly friends and my unexpected hike-partner, Mr (or Ms) gila monster. Both were quite entertaining, and made the hike-out more pleasant.
Not All Those Who Wander Are Lost
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