|Little Table Mountain via Rug Road, AZ|
|Little Table Mountain via Rug Road, AZ|| |
Little Table Mountain via Rug Road, AZ
|Hiking||3.70 Miles|| 4 Hrs 11 Mns ||0.92 mph|
|1,424 ft AEG|| 10 Mns Break||15 LBS Pack|
||no linked trail guides|
|Time-wise the drive went pretty much according to plan... I met Phil at 5 am, we reached Mammoth shortly after 6:30, gassed up at the Circle-K and hit Rug Road at 6:45. Although the road was a bit worse than my trip with JJ due to rain the day before we still made good time, reaching our hike start point at the saddle within a minute of the planned 8:30 am start.
Immediately upon leaving the saddle (the highest point along Rug Road) we ascended until encountering a fence running up the slope. We crossed under it and continued the ascent at an angle toward the southwest. The going was reasonably easy while on the intermittent game trails but there were areas where we had to scan for the best route through the variety of agave, century plants, shin-daggers that were scattered about. But overall it went pretty well.
Every once in a while we would encounter the odd rock cairn and some parts there actually appeared to be a trail. As usual every time we came to a high-point there was another one a bit farther but eventually we reached the summit. The summit log did not include the names I expected (Bob Packard, Bob Martin & Mark Nichols, all of whom are known to have been here) so I believe the original summit log has been replaced.
However, groups from SAHC (Southern Arizona Hiking Club?) had been there a number of times. After adding our entries we continued to the southeastern end of the ridge before beginning the return trip.
I kept casting eyes on a hill to the east below us, thinking of heading down there but not being able to see the whole route from there back to our trailhead along with our desire to be back in Mesa before 5 pm we continued somewhat along our earlier route.
We wandered a bit from our route on the return trip, which turned out to be a good thing because we came across a couple memorials, one a blue cross, the other just a funeral program inside a broken plastic box. After a few photos we continued our return trip.
Back to the trailhead it was time to hit the road again... Rug Road. Due to more erosion since I was out just over a week ago, the Cherokee got to experience as much flex as it's ever had, the result of which was front axle flex enough that ring gear spacers popped out of place, rendering it without use of the front air-locker.
It was a good thing there weren't many spots where both lockers would have been a breeze but with wet/damp tires and/or surface it made it a challenge. Looking at the tires once back home I can see I gained a pretty good amount cuts in the tread along with a corresponding loss of rubber along the edges.
Oh well, that's what the Kevlar Goodyear Wranglers are for.
Once past Carpet Hill again it was pretty smooth sailing and we started to encounter other vehicles. Where early in the morning it was hunters, on the return trip we saw a number of ATV's and two rock-crawling buggies, one of which appeared to be broken down with the driver on his cell phone. They didn't appear to want assistance from us so we continued on. Back on Highway 77 we made good time and soon we were back in Mesa.
Thanks for tagging along Phil, it was a fun trip!
Three days of hikes in a row and no time to spend weeding through the photos so I'm posting all 37 photos of the hike on HAZ.
Don't miss the Rug Road videos!
1. 13-minute 15-second video driving up Carpet Hill
2. 7-minute 30-second Rug Road Random Recap