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Stone Cabin Mountain - El Capitan Quad, AZ
mini location map2015-05-17
42 by photographer avatarCannondaleKid
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Stone Cabin Mountain - El Capitan Quad, AZ 
Stone Cabin Mountain - El Capitan Quad, AZ
Hiking avatar May 17 2015
Hiking5.40 Miles 2,191 AEG
Hiking5.40 Miles   3 Hrs   39 Mns   1.48 mph
2,191 ft AEG25 LBS Pack
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
After bagging Pasadera Mountain (see triplog/photoset) I was in a bit of a quandary as to how to finish off the day with the forced change in plans. (see Peak 5562 triplog/photoset)

First I drove by where I had planned to start a 'Stone Cabin/Pioneer Mountain' double at a later date. But where I expected to begin a hike was on private property. Although nobody but a barking, junkyard-type, non-leashed dog was around, I thought better of it and continued along the road to seek an alternate start point.

About a half-mile farther along the road I came to the Forest Road 228 junction. While the road itself was very likely drivable, the first part has been blocked for a long time by fallen trees and other debris.

So not able to drive it, I hiked along the road hoping for a route up to Pioneer Mountain from which I hoped to continue on to Stone Cabin Mountain. I soon realized there was no point in attempting an ascent form this side as it was just very dense vegetation, a mix of old-growth holly and manzanita... no thank you!

Ok, time for another change in plans. I went back to the Jeep and drove back south (past the barking dog again) seeking another alternate start point. I figured since I'd have to begin from farther away at least I could seek a higher elevation to limit the climbing. Luckily I found a great spot... after driving the Jeep up an old mining road.

From the start I followed cow-paths for over half the way up Stone Cabin Mountain before aiming more directly for the summit. On the way over a rock outcrop just above a water tank 'bowl' I scared up a mule deer. It was gone in a flash so no chance at a photo. From there it was a steady ascent over the typical loose-rock hidden-in-the-grass terrain.

Awesome views again from the summit. Two jars with summit logs, the first was useless with the paper in shreds but the other included a small notebook. Maybe a half-dozen entries, but a few included a list of folks in their group. The largest was the SAHC group.

After the usual photos and video I sat down and ate lunch at the summit while scanning the terrain between here and the summit of Pioneer Mountain, next door to the north. At a glance at the topo it meant just over a 300' drop before an up-and-over-and-down a hump followed by a steep 500' climb to the summit.

By time I finished lunch as was ready to go I had changed my mind about a dozen times whether to continue to Pioneer or begin the return trip.
I decided to wind around and down the rocky north end of Stone Cabin Mountain just far enough to get a better look at the route across, making the final decision at that point. Once I had dropped about 150' the route looked worse than it did from above so I said to myself, another day and turned back.
Since I had a bit more time available, I decided to take the long way down the full length of the southern slope of Stone Cabin Mountain, checking out some old mining roads along the way. I found a few roads that were drivable so after the hike I drove a few of them until they ended or had eroded away. But the takeaway was lots of food for thought for future hikes out this way. With another 6 peaks to bag in the vicinity I'll be back soon.

One video:
Stone Cabin Mountain summit panorama
Mining Equipment
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