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Lime 3789 Peak, AZ
mini location map2014-12-02
17 by photographer avatarOregon_Hiker
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Lime 3789 Peak, AZ 
Lime 3789 Peak, AZ
Hiking avatar Dec 02 2014
Hiking5.70 Miles 2,054 AEG
Hiking5.70 Miles   6 Hrs      0.95 mph
2,054 ft AEG15 LBS Pack
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
I've been thinking about attempting a hike up to this peak overlooking Horseshoe Reservoir since going on a hike back in February up Lime Creek Canyon. The HAZ My Topo map shows a survey triangulation marker and a county boundary marker on top of this peak which increased my interest. So, armed with a planning track drawn on Google Earth I was ready for a dawn assault.

Unfortunately my start time was substantially delayed by a couple of automobile related problems. First, my wife came home with a flat tire the night before so I had to run it down to the closest Discount Tire to get the flat fix which turned in to getting 4 new tires. Discount Tire was quick and I was out of there by 8:30 am. The next delay occurred on my drive up to Horseshoe Reservoir. As I approached within about a mile of the dam two young men, one carrying a rifle, flagged me down. I was a little nervous about the encounter but they were friendly and the rifle turned out to be an air rifle. Their Suburban was stuck in the sand about a mile down a side road near the Verde River. So off we went to see if I could pull them out. There were three more young men at the Suburban. They all appeared to be in their late teens or early 20's. From their conversation I suspect that all or some of them were either currently or recently in the armed services. The driver had a long heavy duty rope he said was an army rappelling rope which we used for a tow rope. I really need to get a tow strap to carry in my FJ. The Suburban was buried in the sand up to the frame on one side but the team had dug out some of the sand with their bare hands by the time I arrived. I was really doubtful that my FJ could pull them out and I didn't want to put too much into it for fear of snapping an axle or some other part of the FJ's drive train. However one good pull and the Suburban was freed from its sandy trap. After leaving the five very thankful young men I headed back to the road and quickly got lost in the maze of jeep trails. Fortunately I had my gps tracking feature on during the drive in and it got me back to the road with a minimum of lost time.

I stopped at the day use picnic area at the dam to visually check out my planned route. It looked doable but with several possible areas for getting cliffed out. Then I discovered a 4WD road leading from the top of the boat launch ramp down to the high water area and going towards Lime Creek. The reservoir was empty. I drove down this "road" which went around the point and up the bottom of Lime Creek thus taking about a mile off my planned hiking route but my start time was now delayed to noon. For anyone planning a hike up Lime Creek or to this peak, this road offers a possible driving alternative to the 4WD road into Lime Creek shown on the map which has some washed out sections.

The traverse across the desert to the ridge which would lead me to the peak was fairly easy except for some brushy drainages which had to be crossed. Cats claw, prickly pear and other sharp pointy hazards made these crossings a little unpleasant but were quite doable. Hiking up the steep ridge line was a little treacherous due to a layer of pea sized granite gravel which made it quite slippery. The rocky out crops which presented possible barriers were easy to get over or around. Only two required some climbing on all fours but had plenty of hand and foot holds with very little exposure. The survey marker and the county boundary (frustum) were easy to find and very close to the locations shown on the map. The survey marker dated 1924 had "Lime" and "3807 VA" stamped on it rather than the altitude 3789 shown on the map. The frustum was in excellent condition. The ridge line which leads NW from this peak to Sunset Mtn across a saddle appears to be a good route for anyone interested in going up to Sunset Mtn.

I decided to take a different route back by going straight east to the lake shore after descending the steep ridge from the peak. This decision was based partly on wanting to explore along the shore high water line and a desire to avoid the brushy drainage crossings. From up on the mountain, it looked like it would be an easy stroll along a grassy lake bank. Unfortunately this route turned out to be much longer with unanticipated hazards. There seemed to be no end to driftwood and cockle burr filled drainages which had to be crossed. The bank was so steep in some areas that it forced me off the grassy bank down into the cockle burrs. Fortunately I was wearing my knee high snake gaiters and elbow length leather rose pruning gloves so the cockle burrs were not as much of a problem as I had feared. This route took longer than planned and I hastened my pace not wanting to be crossing these obstacles in the dark. I barely made it back to the car before it got dark enough to require a head lamp. On the drive out of the creek bottom I got lost in the maze of jeep trails due to darkness and again was saved by my incoming gps track. Fortunately I had foreseen a late drive back so had brought extra food and enjoyed a quiet supper parked at a view point looking down on the area between Horseshoe Dam and Bartlett Reservoir. A couple of glowing camp fires could be seen in the distance, probably hunters. I nice end to the day's adventure.
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