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Madera Canyon Exploration, AZ
mini location map2015-06-04
5 by photographer avatarrwstorm
photographer avatar
Madera Canyon Exploration, AZ 
Madera Canyon Exploration, AZ
Hiking avatar Jun 04 2015
1st trip
Partners none no partners
This turned out to be rather interesting. I arrived at the trailhead parking lot a little before 0800 with the intention of doing a slow solo hike up Wrightson via the Old Baldy. I knew this would be a bit of a challenge with my lack of hiking activity lately, but what the heck. As I was gearing up a truck pulled in near mine and four gents piled out for their hike. I heard them mention Sierra Vista and Rogers Rock, and suddenly I wondered if these might be the fellows who were out hiking the Four Springs Trail to McCleary Peak Saturday, and had posted a question on the forum about the Pipeline turnoff. By this time all but one had walked down to the trailhead, so I asked the one fellow still back at the truck if one of the hikers was a SScheumann. He said, "Yes, that's Steve and he is here." Turns out these four are guides with the Huachuca Hiking Club and were here to gps the various routes and social trails around the Pipeline, Fern Canyon, Old Madera Mine, and Super Trail, as well as finally get to Rogers Rock. After introductions, I told them I would be happy to forego my Wrightson hike and hang out with them. They agreed and we were on our way. :)

When we arrived at the Pipeline turnoff, they changed plans a bit. We decided to finish the hike on the Pipeline, so I took them up the Super Trail to the turnoff to Fern Canyon/Rogers Rock. Then we headed down to the campsite by the stream at the Rogers Rock turnoff and headed up to the rock. They had not been there before and were quite impressed by it. (The reason for gpsing the routes was for future hikes the club planned in the area. They knew Rogers Rock is a popular lunch destination for hikers). While we were there, a group from Green Valley Hiking Club showed up, coming down from the Four Springs Trail above. So we had a pretty good crowd on Rogers Rock for awhile! Next I showed them the route from Rogers Rock up to the junction with the Four Springs Trail, that is more obvious compared to a year ago.

We backtracked to Rogers Rock and down to the stream crossing, then went up the faint route to the Old Madera Mine. They had been there the previous Saturday, and had bushwhacked from the mine over to the Super Trail. I mentioned that there was another well defined turnoff from the Super Trail a bit further up from the regular turnoff that I checked out a couple years ago, that eventually lead me to the Old Madera Mine. The problem with it is it fades out a short ways in, so you end up bushwhacking anyway. They were curious about that and I thought I could remember how to find it, but you know how that goes. :lol:

When we got to the mine tailing they pointed out where they went to get back to the Super Trail (basically a contour around a hill to the right). This time we headed up the hillside to the left of the tailings, but it was very steep and finally after we got up pretty high we decided to contour around to the right to reach the Super Trail. This part got quite tedious and when we finally reached a ridgeline we could see things better. We were well above the Super Trail and just made a steep descent along that ridge, and ended up coming out right by that other turnoff I had been talking about. We had all had about enough of bushwhacking by that point! :sweat: The ridge we walked down showed signs of being trimmed and followed an old barbed wire. We did see a few old backpacks, so perhaps it was used for smuggling in the past. Looking at the topo map you can see that if you follow that ridge uphill you will eventually intersect the Old Baldy Trail around the second switchback on the way to Bellows Spring. (Not recommended however, unless you like that sort of thing :lol: )

While taking a break near the upper turnoff by the Super Trail, 3 gals saw us sitting there and asked if that was the way. We told them no, the real trail went the other way. They had gone up the Old Baldy to Josephine Saddle are were looping back on the ST. We struck up a conversation and told them were were headed back down by way of Fern Canyon and the Pipeline. They weren't familiar with that, so we invited them to finish the hike with us and see something new. Serendipitous :D
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Rogers Rock - Santa Ritas
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Isolated
No more mister gneiss guy.
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