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mini location map2014-03-29
40 by photographer avatarCannondaleKid
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Dome Mountain LoopPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Mar 29 2014
Hiking6.50 Miles 2,631 AEG
Hiking6.50 Miles   6 Hrs   30 Mns   1.03 mph
2,631 ft AEG      10 Mns Break25 LBS Pack
1st trip
Partners none no partners
After our hike to Panorama Peak from the western approach two days ago I decided to try a southern approach. I planned to follow the existing trail to the saddle between Peak 3134 and Dome Mountain then continue down into the canyon and eventually turn northwest and climb a winding ridge to a point just east of Panorama Peak then cross over to it.

Well, that plan lasted until I reached the saddle, when I spotted a freshly marked trail (with white painted lines & arrows no less) heading toward Dome Mountain. So, already with ideas of looping back from Panorama Peak to check out the Western Camouflage Tanks on the other side of Dome on my return from Panorama Peak, I figured I might as well make the loop clockwise instead of my original plan.

While the route-finding was simple as can be, the climb became more of a challenge the farther up I climbed. While traversing a northern-facing slope through some steep, loose spots I would have chosen a route following a few game trails just above the marked trail instead. (I've always believed critters are smarter than humans when it comes to trails)

Once past that slope the climb became rockier and steeper in direct proportion to altitude gain, but by simply taking it one step at a time, soon enough I was at the summit of Dome Mountain. A few photos and 360-pan video and I set off to find a route to the camouflage tanks to the west and 350' below. After reaching the northwestern end of Dome Mountain ridge with no route down, I backtracked halfway back toward the summit and dropped down the southwest slope and looped around first west then north until reaching the tanks, where I took the time to eat a PB&J.

After a quick look around the tanks I followed the two pipes up to their sources, two small dam-like 'catchments' whose purpose was to catch the water and pipe it to the tanks below. But with both almost completely filled with a sandy gravel their efficiency leaves a lot to be desired.

Whatever, time to move on, so I headed east up to the saddle before dropping down the other side just far enough to traverse the slope northward toward Panorama Peak. From there it was just a matter of following the top of the ridge in a wide arc gradually turning eastward until reaching Panorama Peak for the second time this week. Not quite as much haze as the last trip, but with plenty photos last trip I took few from the summit. (However, throughout this hike I'll take over 100 photos, as well as document over two hours of the hike on my GoPro)

From the summit I will descend along the route I had originally planned as the ascent. As it turned out, I'm sure it would have been a shorter ascent than the descent due to being cliff'ed out a few times, which after looking back each time I could easily have bypassed those spots without having to backtrack. But no matter, it just made for a bit more distance is all.

Once I reached the canyon floor it was just a matter of following the widest drainage up a half-mile to the saddle then following the trail back down to the start.

Although a distinctively warmer 87 degrees (instead of 73 a few days ago) I enjoyed it and look forward to more of the same to help get fully acclimated for when the triple digit temps arrive and I'll have the trails to myself... I can't wait!
Ok, ok... Tracey isn't into the high temps like me, so when she has a day off we'll be seeking higher elevations.

With 100+ photos & hours of video it'll take a while to sort through it all. I took just enough time to cut the extraneous backtracks from the GPS track, beginning from the parking area where FR1356 makes a 90-degree turn in Bulldog Canyon.
I posted 40 of the photos here on HAZ, the full 101-photo set is here: ... php?id=693
Dome mountain summit video is here:
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