|Peak 5940 via Boyer Cabin Trail, AZ|
|Peak 5940 via Boyer Cabin Trail, AZ|| |
Peak 5940 via Boyer Cabin Trail, AZ
|Hiking||11.00 Miles|| 6 Hrs 36 Mns ||1.76 mph|
|3,205 ft AEG|| 20 Mns Break||25 LBS Pack|
|We hiked from Reynolds Creek to about the halfway point on Boyer Trail last year, so now that we were on the other end of the trail we planned to see what the southern half looks like. Of course, unbeknownst to Tracey, my ulterior motive was a decidedly off-trail hike to the summit of Peak 5940. Truth be told, I had that same motive last year but being much warmer and we'd done a longer hike the day before I left it for next time and never brought it up. But now, it IS next time.
It was pretty easy the first mile following Forest Road 265 to the tank at the edge of the Salome Wilderness. not much farther along the trail it became a little bit more of a challenge to follow the trail due to most of the rock cairns being hidden by the tall grass, which simply added a bit of zig-zagging along the general route.
Once we reached last-years' turn-around point we kept going to the nice flat rocks where we had our picnic lunch last year... being time for lunch we did the same again this trip. While we were eating lunch I casually mentioned the original Boyer Trail took a steeper route through this area, aiming up higher along the eastern slope of Peak 5940 before re-connecting about a half-mile farther along the trail. Yup, I was trolling with bait, and Tracey bit it hard... Well, should we check it out? she asked. Oh yes!
Since we were already past where it originally climbed, we continued farther along the trail to the other end of the original route. From there we began by following signs of a very faint trail, which lasted all of about fifty feet and we were in the thick of things, and I mean THICK!
Although Tracey had yet to utter one word against this off-trail foray, I could sense her genuine displeasure from fifty feet away.
If it weren't for the numerous deer and elk trails we would have had little chance to continue at all, but even then they made for a lot of dead-ends and the resultant back-tracking. By now it's no longer the fantasy of locating the old trail but the summit of 5940 is the new goal.
Ok, so it always was MY goal...
About a quarter-mile from the summit I was this close to giving in to Tracey's inner fuming and bailing out, but bail out to where? By now it was mess in every direction. But two things made the choice easy...
1. The thick overgrowth appeared offer more openings a bit more often and...
2. More importantly, Tracey said, we're so close now we might as well continue.
So we continued. Once at the actual summit it was still so thick there was not only no point in shooting a panorama video, it wasn't even worth wasting any photos. That's a first for me... although I've reached some summits with thick vegetation before, I'd never thought to myself, there's nothing to see here... I mean NOTHING! Which did nothing to endear me and this off-trail excursion to Tracey.
Whatever, even though we found absolutely no further trace of the old trail we are NOT going back the same way we came so we decided to cut as straight a path as we could to the south (and toward the cliffs) as we could while seeking out the most-traveled elk trails as possible, hoping to drop back onto the Boyer Trail where we had seen some evidence of game trail crossing before our lunch stop.
Surprisingly this worked better than I expected... we only had to detour around one section of sheer rock face and eventually popped out at a spot we had noticed over an hour before before lunch as a well-traveled game trail. Perfect!
Now that all the off-trail thrashing was behind us the return trip was quite uneventful, except for one thing... back at the high-grass part of the trail while I was looking well ahead for more rock cairns I took a shortcut when Tracey said oh, look! By taking this slightly different route she found some petroglyphs. no having heard about these on any of the Boyer Trail trip logs it was a bit of a surprise, and a welcome one at that.
The great scenery along the trail helped make up for the off-trail stuff... thankfully, as much as Tracey is wont to say Never again! after that kind of occasion she still is game enough to hang in there with me... except when the fox-tails get too far out-of-hand, which they will on our next hike.
As I mentioned above, no video.