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Baker Mountain - Aztec Peak Quad
2 Photosets

2018-07-11  
2015-05-03  
mini location map2015-05-03
48 by photographer avatarCannondaleKid
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Baker Mountain - Aztec Peak QuadGlobe, AZ
Globe, AZ
Hiking avatar May 03 2015
CannondaleKid
Hiking10.00 Miles 2,119 AEG
Hiking10.00 Miles   6 Hrs   3 Mns   1.72 mph
2,119 ft AEG      15 Mns Break25 LBS Pack
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
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trixiec
While Tracey asked for all ON-trail (or forest road) hikes this weekend, what can I say?
[-X
Well, for the most part anyway it follows an old logging road... ok so it hasn't been used for maybe 70-75 years and it's so faint even those schooled in route-finding may not recognize it as such. Whatever, we're here, it's gonna get us the requested 10 miles, so let's get going.
:whistle:
On the first part of the climb up to the ridge I saw something bright and white a few hundred feet off to the side that at first glance was either a skull or part of a skeleton. No, it's not a Mylar balloon, one of which the remnants were a bit closer. not wanting to be wandering off the route too soon, I marked a way point and we'd check it out on the return trip. Ok, so keep climbing.

Once up on the ridge we encountered the remains of an elk spine. By the amount of other bones scattered around we thought it would be kind of cool if we found the skull. (be sure to remember that tidbit) We wandered a bit to the east, hoping for both the skull and a viewpoint toward Center Mountain. Negative to both...

We began by hiking to the east, then turned south for the last bit to the ridge and now we're heading west again. In our wandering we managed to lose the faint road but would find bits and pieces of it every once in a while. but no matter, as long as we continued close to the GPS track I created we'd reach our destination. During this bit of wondering where's the road? we encountered a hunter. Although it was turkey season, his permit wasn't until next Friday, so he was scouting ahead of time. Although a bow hunter, since he had no valid permit this weekend he wasn't carrying.

We had a nice chat with him, during the course of which we found out he frequents the area A LOT and knew pretty much where every set of bones were and what they were. When we mention the partial spine, he said it was an elk cow, and that he had harvested the skull earlier, which ended our mystery of the missing skull. He knew of at least three bears that he'd encountered enough times to feel like he knew them, yet they'd still run away if he made any sound. He also knew of at least mountain lion roaming the general area as well. We would encounter lots of bear scat during the hike and one of mountain lion, albeit not very recent. Ok, chat time is over, let's move on.

We continued until an intersection where we chose to take a scenic side-trip, hoping again for some scenic views of Center Mountain and also the summit ridge of Baker. Baker is a somewhat curved ridge with a peninsula to the east, at the end of which we should see more of the cliffs surrounding Baker.

We followed the faint road out, found a few spots to view Center Mountain, then over for a view of Baker. That's where I stepped on a Horned Lizard by mistake. Tracey saw it and called it to my attention afterward. Thankfully it was in a dip in the rock so was none-the-worse for wear. Then we returned from the side-trip along a wandering route, seeking out a viewpoint to the southeast. Nothing much but adding more climbing.

Ok, now it's time to hike toward our destination instead of elsewhere. Eventually the faint road dies out and we continue along the western edge of the cliffs along a thin saddle on the way to the summit. All cross-country here, but it's still pretty open, dead-fall being the source of constant small detours. It continues the same on the last easy grade to the summit. At the summit it's just an open meadow of dead-fall surrounded by pine trees, so there's no awesome views here... with a bit of wandering, they are all to be found along the way.

Overall it was a very enjoyable and peaceful hike... the wind whispering through the pines just added to the experience. In the end, Tracey was ok with none of it being ON-trail.
:y:
As I said, not really much of s scenic summit, but I shot a video anyway:
Baker Mountain summit panorama
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