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Trilby Wash - Pond Trail, AZ
mini location map2014-04-15
14 by photographer avatarblack_toes
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Trilby Wash - Pond Trail, AZ 
Trilby Wash - Pond Trail, AZ
Hiking avatar Apr 15 2014
Hiking3.66 Miles 128 AEG
Hiking3.66 Miles   3 Hrs   21 Mns   2.20 mph
128 ft AEG   1 Hour   41 Mns Break
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
I was searching for an alternative access to Trilby Wash, a dry streambed I'm hiking in segments. 'd gone as far N as the HW 74 bridge, but was reluctant to leave my car parked at the side of the busy route while hiking. A topo showed a 4WD road coming along the N side of a small mountain chain a few miles to the north. The map didn't show the road coming closer than a mile from Trilby but I decided to give it a shot anyway.

Drove N from the 74 on Castle Hot Springs Rd for about 3 mi, past where the pavement ends, past the "Desert Hills Ranch" on the E, and quickly found the jeep road. I believe this is public land, either State Trust or BLM. The road was in good shape, mostly dirt in the beginning and could routinely be navigated by most vehicles. But having never traveled it before and fearing for my low-slung Civic coupe, I parked near Castle HS Rd and headed out on foot to the southeast through a land of thick chaparral and cow patties.

At 3/10 of a mi, I came up on a well-maintained barbwire fence. A large hump-necked bull eyed me suspiciously from the other side, about 75 yards away, in the shade of a small Palo Verde. A second road coming in from the W merged with the main one, and I followed the road along the fenceline to a barbwire gate with a removable post at 7/10 of a mi. At last a use for the leather gloves I had packed along with light-weight "rock gloves."

Just past the gate, at 9/10 mi, the road follows in and out of a shallow wash and approaches the chain of mountains on the S. Of the two highest peaks, the one on the W is the highest at 2,625' el. Or about 400-500 feet above the road. Both have interesting craggy summits but no clear signs of a trail leading up to either. If anyone hikes in here, it wasn't apparent. Plenty of shoed-horse hooves and vehicle tracks, though. At 1.36 mi the road led through a pleasant grove of mesquite and flowering palo verde. Many sparrow-sized birds in here flitted in and out of the brush.

The road comes to an end at a large cattle pond at 1.54 mi from Castle HS Rd. The water is greenish brown and a barbwire fence runs across it. A slight breeze pushed pond scum to the south end, where it formed beautiful patterns of green balls and ropes. The shore is dotted with cow manure. Nearby were two fire rings for picnicking. Perhaps there's camping too. Loud buzzing of bees nearby but decided not to investigate.

On the east, there is a dirt dam. I walked to the top of it via the pond's S end, and lo and behold, I stared down 17' onto Trilby Wash. Two or three channels, gray and covered with creosote, sand and rock but Trilby nonetheless. The waterway veers slightly S here due to the mountains. A cliff of 50-75' shoots up nearby. Looked for signs of climbing activity but saw none.

These are the last mountains that Trilby touches before slashing on a beeline south across the desert floor, on its way to a containment basin near Sun City West. I walked the wash about a quartermile S before turning around at another stout barbwire fence. It ran N and S across the wash.

The hike back to the car in late afternoon was almost idyllic with the mountains casting cooling shadows over the road and bird sounds came from every direction. Miles to the N, the volcanic cone of Red Picacho Peak loomed like a guardian over this lonesome land. Saw no one, heard no one all day.
Buckhorn cholla
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Light
The Desert Marigold was the dominant wildflower. But the Buckhorn Cholla is in full yellow bloom with some red as well. The Prickly Pear was probably a week away from its blooming peak with lots of swollen buds on all.
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