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Black Top Mesa and Yellow Peak, AZ
mini location map2015-02-16
25 by photographer avatarrayhuston
photographer avatar
page 1   2
 
Black Top Mesa and Yellow Peak, AZ 
Black Top Mesa and Yellow Peak, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Feb 16 2015
rayhuston
Hiking13.88 Miles 3,131 AEG
Hiking13.88 Miles   8 Hrs   29 Mns   1.79 mph
3,131 ft AEG      45 Mns Break
 
1st trip
I had unfinished business on BTM (missed the 'glyphs the first time around) and missed an opportunity to hike Yellow Peak with Bruce, Joe and Father Dave a few weeks back. I didn't have a plan for today, so I thought I would scratch these off my to do list.

Black top mesa is fun. I explored much more of it today than I did on my only previous trip. Once on top I headed towards the west edge and then headed north, following the perimeter of the mesa. Nice views all the way around. It is lush on top, green in spots, but watch for the ankle busting rocks hidden in the grass. Checked out the glyphs on the southeast end, then headed down.

Yellow Peak was next on my list. I went up on the west side where the Black Mesa trail veers left away from the creek. Very steep. I was rewarded with a patch of Mexican Poppies about half way up. Located and signed the summit register on the sound end. Meandered around up top for a bit, but didn't see anything exciting so I departed down the north slope towards the creek below. I took a right at the creek (should have gone left) and climbed out about a quarter mile later at the twisted saguaro in my photo set.

From here it was cross country following game trails and bushwhacking my way towards Garden Valley. Going right at the creek was a mistake. I ended up traversing a couple of steeper ravines that might have been easier (or avoided altogether) if I had gone left at the creek and climbed out where the creek turns south. But then I would have missed the jumping cholla that attached my left elbow. 10 minutes later, I got the last of the quills out and headed out again. I also would have missed my first Javelina encounter. Going down the second ravine, I passed what must have been a Javelina den on my right. I heard some rustling that I mistook for birds. I heard it again and then something moved quickly in front of me towards the route I was planning to take. It stopped in front of me, maybe 25 feet away. It was a large javelina :o. I saw the hackles on its back rise and fall. More rustling to my right :o :o. I froze, eyeballing the area around me for large rocks, thinking I might need one. The javelina in front of me took off, maybe a diversion to keep me away from the den. The only way forward was to follow it. I did. Luckily for me, I didn't see or hear it again. I continued down the ravine, crossed the wash and headed up the other side. Whew! That was a little too exciting!

The rest of the trip was uneventful. I reached Garden Valley and headed back on 2nd Water. Nice hike on a gorgeous day.
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Isolated
Saw nice color, poppies among them, on the way up Yellow Peak (west slope). Indian paint brush is dotting the Dutchman trail near Parker's Pass.
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