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AZT #17 & part of #16, AZ
mini location map2015-05-16
46 by photographer avatarThe_Dude
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AZT #17 & part of #16, AZ 
AZT #17 & part of #16, AZ
Backpack avatar May 16 2015
Backpack29.02 Miles 4,218 AEG
Backpack29.02 Miles1 Day   2 Hrs   36 Mns   
4,218 ft AEG35 LBS Pack
1st trip
Partners none no partners
This was the trip of perpetual replanning. I have been trying to get out for a backpack trip since the end of February, and things seem to just keep getting in the way. I finally was able to get things arranged for last weekend, but then the weather forced me to change venues, plus I ended up doing this as a solo trip. No worries, I went back to what I had wanted to do in February since the weather was looking to be about the same! Tipped the scales at 205 with my full pack, just about where I was before I became a regular hiker. Really puts things in perspective, also makes the 35 pound pack not seem so bad. I headed out from the Picketpost trailhead about 9:30 loaded up with 2 gallons of liquid and all of the other trappings. Nice cloudy conditions until about 1:30, very sunny and much warmer on Sunday. The trail is a bit rocky for the first few miles heading south, but then it is replaced with a nice wide, flat trail for the rest of the hike. I made my first stop a bit over 4 miles in at a small campsite so I could take the pack off and sit for a few minutes on a tree stump. After a snack, I loaded back up for the trail. Once I got to the small Oak grove about 9.5 miles in, I diverted off the trail and up the wash to try and find a good camp site. This was my first go with hammock camping, so I was hopeful to find a few decent trees in this section, judging from pictures I had seen this was going to be about the only spot where I would have any luck finding trees to support myself. It was slim pickings, but I finally found two mesquites that were fairly alive and would hold my weight. After setting up camp and having a lunch break, I continued on south with a much lighter pack. I made it to the anti-climatic fence to finish off segment #17, and continued on to 16 for another 3 miles or so. I could see a spot down the canyon that looked like a saddle with some good views, and I made that my objective for the day. I was not to be disappointed for the extra efforts, once at that spot views opened up for sure! Despite being at only about 3500', you can see just about the whole southern part of the state, or at least all the cool mountains. Took a nice break here and shot some photos, and then started the 5 mile trek back to camp. I arrived back a bit after 6 for some relaxation and dinner. Got in almost 20 miles and a good 3500' of AEG for a solid day of effort. Being a solo trip with no moon (and I was pretty wiped out from the hike), I zonked out before 9 even hit. This was my first hammock camp and all went well, except for the draft on the under side. I will have to retool my setup a bit to make that work, but otherwise I slept great! I actually didn't get out of the hammock in the morning until about 7:30 or so, solid night's sleep out in the desert. I was down to about a liter for the hike out, but figured that should be OK since I had plenty of reserves at the truck. I packed up and was back on the trail a bit after 9, I plowed through all the way to the trailhead without taking a break. i had hit the point in the trip where I only wanted to take off my pack if it was for good, and that is just what happened. I did not see any other hikers on this trip, but I did pass 14 mountain bikers over the two days. Stopped to chat with a few, everyone was friendly which is a nice change! Only two bummers for the trip, I forgot to pack some tea for morning caffeine (first time, hopefully the last), and I hated turning around on the 16 to head home. The views down the canyons are incredible! All the more reason to come back when it cools down and hit both passages together. Great trip, hard to believe I could do this one in May without getting cooked!
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Light
Wildflowers were definitely coming to the end of bloom, but there were still some good spots. Palo Verdes were in really nice bloom in Alamo Canyon.
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