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South Mt. Unmarked Trails, AZ
mini location map2015-05-03
10 by photographer avatarDarthStiller
photographer avatar
 
South Mt. Unmarked Trails, AZ 
South Mt. Unmarked Trails, AZ
 
Hiking avatar May 03 2015
DarthStiller
Hiking10.00 Miles 2,300 AEG
Hiking10.00 Miles   5 Hrs   20 Mns   1.88 mph
2,300 ft AEG
 
1st trip
This hike had a lot of "firsts" for me. Most of the trails I hiked for the first time. I noticed a few unofficial trails on my Green Trails map of South Mt. that I wanted to try. The one in particular parallels the National Trail east of the Buena Vista TH and then heads down to the Desert Classic Trail. I then noticed on Google Maps that this trial is also mapped and labeled at the Midlife Crisis Trail :roll: . In addition to that trail, Google Maps also shows a few other trails in that area that aren't even on my Green Trails map. I recently (finally) got a smart phone and downloaded the HAZ TRKS app, so I took that with me to see how it works and compare its measurements with my Garmin Oregon 450t. I ended up using Google Maps while I was hiking to find and follow the unofficial trails, which is also a first for me.

I started from the Buena Vista Trailhead and headed east, taking the Corona Loop turn off the National Trail. I quickly realized this probably wasn't the greatest idea starting first thing in the morning since the sun was in my face for the most part. I was hoping I would be able to find the junction with the Midlife Crisis Trail, but ended up finding that very easily and missing the turn for the Corona East Trail :-k . This trail is just south of the National Trail and a maybe 100' higher, on the Guadalupe Ridge. The trail is pretty easy to follow. The only tricky spots are where is goes over some bouldery spots and no trail is visible. Cairns are almost completely absent along this trail. About an hour in, as I made my way up a bouldered spot, at the last second I noticed a curled up diamondback (EDIT: speckled) sitting under an overhang rock that I was about to step over. I jumped back quickly and went up a little further away from him. He never rattled, so that seemed good. I was glad I was able to see him in the direction I was going. Coming the other way, it could be very easy to step on that rock he was under on your way down and get bit in the back of the ankle. about a quarter mile down the trail, a couple was heading west on the trail and I warned them about it.

Just south of Hidden Valley near the Wonder Rift, another unmarked trail heads north and connects with the Hidden Valley Trail. I decided to take this trail down and back to see if it's in fact there. It is. Once I got back on the Midlife Crisis Trail, I continued east to Pima Canyon, where it descends down a southeastern ridge to the Desert Classic Trail. On the east of this trail, I notice yet another unmarked trail that headed south into a canyon towards the Desert Classic. There seem to be more and more unmarked trails in the eastern end of the park.

My original plan was to take the Desert Classic Trail to the Corona East Trail and head back up. But then I noticed an unmarked trail on Google Maps called the Young Man Trail that went back up to meet the Midlife Crisis Trail. Since I've already hiked the Corona East Trail, this seemed like a better idea. I made my way back up, then took the unnamed trail from Midlife to Hidden Valley and headed west back on the National Trail to finish up. On my way back thru Hidden Valley, I went thru Fat Man's Pass for the first time in almost 15 years. I can still fit thru, regardless of the inevitable middle age weight gain :y: :wlift: .

Once I got back to my car, I compared stats from all my devices. The Oregon GPS odometer said 9.7 miles. HAZ TRKS said 9.947 miles. Once I saved the track on my GPS and checked the saved track, my GPS said I did 8.8 miles. I downloaded my GPS track to my Delorme software, which confirmed 8.85 miles. Then I uploaded the HAZ TRKS track to the Route Manager, which confirmed 10.0 miles. :-k . Whatever, 10 miles sounds better. It felt more like 10 with the heat and the elevation gain, anyway.

Looking forward to going back and checking out some as of yet unhiked trails on the east end before the weather gets too hot.
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DarthStiller's
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