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Blue Jay Ridge Loop
14 Photosets

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mini location map2015-07-11
23 by photographer avatarchumley
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Blue Jay Ridge LoopTucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Hiking avatar Jul 11 2015
chumley
Hiking7.02 Miles 2,320 AEG
Hiking7.02 Miles   3 Hrs   41 Mns   2.37 mph
2,320 ft AEG      43 Mns Break
 
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BobP
BrunoP
sbkelley
Scott had this peak in his sights. I think it's pretty high up on Arizona's prominence list. I had been up on West Peak earlier this summer and was very interested in a return trip. Somehow we roped Bob in on it too. Instead of making it a long day trip, we decided to head out on Friday afternoon and spend a night camping ahead of the loop and peak.

The weather was magical ... and at times, downright cold. Stuff I love in mid-July! :y:

We spotted the biggest turkey I've ever seen, followed shortly thereafter by a very healthy black bear. Both nice sightings! Friday's sunset was spectacular, and we enjoyed the views from the West Peak Lookout tower. Saturday we hiked down the road to the 314 trail and followed it the 2 miles out to the end of the ridge. This part of the trail was very recently maintained and in pristine condition.

From there, the trail climbs very steeply and relentlessly switchbacks through some overgrown oak, but the trail cut is easy to find and follow. The trail drops down to the end of the road, which circles the peak about 500 feet below the summit. You can follow the road back to your car, or if you want to bag the peak as we did, it's a steep off-trail scramble. Pick your route and claw your way to the summit.

It took us several minutes to find the register, but it was well represented with many of the usual names. As we were enjoying a break on the peak, it became apparent that a storm was quickly developing and heading our way. We cut our break a few minutes short and huge drops of rain began to pelt us on our way back down to the road. The shower passed quickly and we were back at camp a few minutes later.

This is a beautiful area to visit, and I'll be back for sure.
Fauna
Fauna
Black Bear
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chumley's
850 Photosets

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