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Saddle Mtn Wilderness Hike, AZ
mini location map2015-07-27
19 by photographer avatarOregon_Hiker
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page 1   2
 
Saddle Mtn Wilderness Hike, AZ 
Saddle Mtn Wilderness Hike, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Jul 27 2015
Oregon_Hiker
Hiking4.80 Miles 1,573 AEG
Hiking4.80 Miles   5 Hrs   50 Mns   0.82 mph
1,573 ft AEG12 LBS Pack
 
1st trip
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Set up camp near the Trail #57 trail head at the end of FR610 at an elevation of 8830 ft on day 8 of my camping trip to the North Rim. The wind was howling so I chose a camp site out of the wind back in the brush. It was still morning so I decided to go for a hike down Trail #57 part way to the Nankoweap Saddle to check it out for a possible hike to Saddle Mtn the next day. The trail drops down 400 ft to a saddle shortly after leaving the trail head and then climbs up to 8880 ft before dropping down to a small plateau at 8400 ft. Lots of up and down going both ways and at an altitude that was leaving me a little breathless. I left Trail #57 on the plateau and went out to its northeast edge where I could get a good look at the route the trail takes down to the saddle and look for a possible route to the top of Saddle Mtn. That's when I decided that a hike to the top of Saddle Mtn involved way more AEG than I wanted to tackle.

There was still plenty of time left in the day so I decided to head west across the small plateau and see if I could find a route up to the top of a small butte. The small plateau is covered with widely spaced pine trees and mostly ankle high manzanita with clear openings in every direction making it easy for off trail exploration. Reaching the top of the small butte turned out to be easy. The route dropped down to a saddle on the west end of the plateau and then ascended up a narrow ridgeback to the top of the butte. It was a very worth while destination. The views down in to the Nankoweap Basin were magnificent. Then it was back to camp to relax with a beer and book before cooking dinner.
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