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Parker - Abbey - Murphy - Rim Loop, AZ
mini location map2014-11-01
41 by photographer avatarrayhuston
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Parker - Abbey - Murphy - Rim Loop, AZ 
Parker - Abbey - Murphy - Rim Loop, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Nov 01 2014
rayhuston
Hiking18.39 Miles 4,124 AEG
Hiking18.39 Miles   9 Hrs   16 Mns   2.37 mph
4,124 ft AEG   1 Hour   30 Mns Break
 
1st trip
I had the good fortune of being invited to join The Eagle and Joe on a loop hike to Aztec Peak in the Sierra Ancha Wilderness. Bruce and I had talked about a Sierra Anchas hike a couple of weeks ago while on the Pinal 4X. A hike in this area was high on my wish list (I hadn't been out there yet), so I was all too happy to take him up on the offer.

There are good hikes and there are great hikes. This was a great hike on many levels. From the start we had clear blue skies, perfect temps and nice color all along the trail. The trails we took were in good shape and easy to follow. The elevation gain was stretched across so many miles that you don't really notice it. The steepest part was the beginning and end of the hike along the Parker Creek Trail, but it was gradual. Bruce led us on a side trip from the Abbey trail through a nice meadow in search of an old foundation. No luck on the foundation. We returned to the Abbey trail through some thick vegetation that we had to pick our way through, but even that was kind of fun.

Along with the many beautiful colors we saw, the views in some areas were astounding. Coming up the Parker Creek trail, we paused for a look at the Four Peaks towering above Roosevelt Late. Atop Aztec Peak, the views from the "Flintstone Terrace" were amazing as well. We took our lunch about two thirds of the way down the Murphy trail. Sitting among the pines enjoying a PB&J sandwich and an apple, I couldn't help looking up at the tops of the trees against the backdrop of the beautiful blue sky. It just doesn't get any better than that. Along the southern facing portion of the Rim trail, we took a break to enjoy the views above a craggy chasm with some very interesting rock formations. That was breathtaking.

I had a "walk much?!" moment shortly after turning onto the Rim trail. I was stepping over a tree laying across the trail, caught my foot on a branch and tumbled. I knew I was going down, so I just went into a barrel roll to make it look as graceful as possible. A fall is anything but graceful, but the roll softened the blow and the only injury was a little embarrassment. Joe took his camera out after the fall, hoping I might offer up a repeat performance, but I wasn't about to let that happen again! Bruce saw an elk around this same time, but it quickly disappeared, leaving only the dust it kicked up as evidence of its presence.

I've only been hiking in AZ since moving here three plus years ago, so I'm still getting to know this wonderful state and the many outdoor adventures it has to offer, but this hike moves up near the top of the list, if not the very top. Great hike, great company, and a great day. Thank you Bruce and Joe for a most enjoyable day!
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rayhuston's
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