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Elden Lookout Trail #4
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mini location map2014-06-08
19 by photographer avatardesert_boonie
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Elden Lookout Trail #4Flagstaff, AZ
Flagstaff, AZ
Hiking avatar Jun 08 2014
desert_boonie
Hiking6.70 Miles 2,400 AEG
Hiking6.70 Miles   6 Hrs      1.34 mph
2,400 ft AEG   1 Hour    Break
 no routes
1st trip
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Ragnarok
Elden is a mountain I've seen a thousand times or so with each trip to Flagstaff, but for whatever reason it has never been a high on the interest list for me, mainly because of its proximity to the road. But I finally thought I would head on up and check it out, getting out of the heat for a day made it worth while and I also decided that once I was on top, I would come down the technical drainage instead of the trail.

I got Mike to come on up with me, at first I had the idea of not telling him about the descent until we would start heading down, but if I had done that he probably would have never come up with me in the first place. So up we went on the trail, running into a few people along the way, a lot of dogs on the trail as well, most of them friendly.

Once we got to the top, the views were pretty clear and surprisingly good of the city from an angle I haven't seen before. While getting swarmed with every bug outside for the day on top, I took a minute to toast my summit brew to John Scott. A person I never got the chance to meet in person, but definitely someone I had much respect for as he was an inspiration to me for his outdoor activities. I only hope I can accomplish a portion of what he was able to do.

After enjoying our time on top it was off to the descent. The drop in is steep on top with plenty of downed logs to negotiate in the middle of the drainage. It didn't take long to spot some movement down below, it was five deer or so wondering what the heck the two of us were doing. After a minute of enjoying them, they were off and so were we. It didn't take long to drop down the first 500ft and get into the best part of the day. The rocky scramble to the 100ft drop. The rock is steep and slick and offers a few good down climbs with some small stagnant pools to get around. Once we reached the dramatic drop we noticed three different bolt placements around the top. One was too far back, another had a terrible vector angle for the rope pull, and the last one seemed to be a perfect fit above the drop. There was some webbing here, but faded and stiff on one side so we replaced it to have a fresh anchor. This rappel is fantastic, down the top rock slope and then a good forty feet of free hang down to the bottom. The view of the rock in this area is amazing and just added to the day. Once I was down, Mike followed and he approved of the rappel as well.

From here we scrambled on down to the base of Elden and found the pipeline trail and hiked on back to the Jeep diverting from the trail the last third of a mile to make a direct line and save ourselves the horrible fact of hiking an extra quarter mile. :) A stop on Beaver Street for a fresh brew before we headed home made the day.
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desert_boonie's
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