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The Needle via the Hassayampa, AZ
mini location map2014-12-27
25 by photographer avatarThe_Eagle
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The Needle via the Hassayampa, AZ 
The Needle via the Hassayampa, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Dec 27 2014
The_Eagle
Hiking11.21 Miles 2,365 AEG
Hiking11.21 Miles   5 Hrs   33 Mns   2.34 mph
2,365 ft AEG      45 Mns Break16 LBS Pack
 
1st trip
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johnlp
lil_tortoise_hiker
Tortoise_Hiker
Denny and I started a tradition in 2010, to do a hike as close to New Years Eve as we could, to celebrate a great year of hiking, and to look forward to the next. Since the first year, we've tried to amp it up and make it something or someplace memorable.

From 12/31/10 :next: http://hikearizona.com/photo=172020
From 12/31/11 :next: http://hikearizona.com/photo=229712
From 12/30/12 :next: http://hikearizona.com/photo=306676
From 12/28/13 :next: http://hikearizona.com/photo=383571
From 12/27/14 :next: http://hikearizona.com/photo=466928

This year the Turtle has had a wounded knee and has ventured mainly to the dark side of two wheels... so we haven't had much hiking time. I threw out a couple of suggestions for this year and the Turtle snapped back with this area. Knowing I wasn't going to make a 2 hour drive for a 5 mile hike, I looked to add something Turtle-able. (Yep they both complain).

The drive in was half the adventure on this one. The summer rains took a bit of a toll on the road. When dry any HC vehicle can make it. Could a car make it? I would not drive a car on it, as there are a few places where you could loose some parts. From Route 60, it's 13.3 miles to your turn off of Constellation Road. This unmarked road (Gold Bar Road?) has has recent dozer action to make repairs. I opted to stop .25 miles in, when the dozer action stopped, at the first turn around spot. We walked the final .75 mile of road to the TH. As it turns out, it was in good enough shape to drive to.

My first time into the Hassayampa River Canyon Wilderness.

A windy 34 at the trailhead had us bundled in all the cloths we brought. Hiking the ridge (Black Rock Mine Trail?) before dropping down towards The Needle and the Hassayampa River (Rosebud Trail?) afforded expansive views with the morning sun rising. You get a good idea of the amount of mining done in this area.

The trail down the canyon was much easier to follow than I expected. There were a few areas closer to the river that got thin, but we were lucky enough to be following recent horseshoe prints.

At the Hassayampa River, we had to hike upstream a bit to find a spot to cross. The wet sand was still frozen, which made it easier.

We hiked up a wash a bit, before we got on a trail I saw on GE taking us up to "The Needle" area. Once again pretty easy to follow for the most part. After a brief discussion as to whether we were going to climb it, we decided our schedule did not allow it. One of the other plans had us looping on trails around "The Needle", but lil' Turtle was on a short leash.

We dropped into another wash for the trip back south to the Hassayampa. This turned out to be a fun, easy and scenic wash, with only a few down climbs, 30' being to largest.

We decided to do the same on the way back up the other side, taking the wash up until it crossed the trail. A fun alternative.

Thanks to LP and Lil'D for joining us.
There's plenty, I mean plenty to explore in this area!

HAZZY NEW YEAR TO ALL

Also:
The answer to the question of the day. The Hassayampa flows into the Gila, close to Palo Verde.
The name of the river is Indian in origin and means "the river that flows upside down."
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