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McDowell & Drinkwater Peaks, AZ
mini location map2015-10-10
7 by photographer avatarThe_Dude
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McDowell & Drinkwater Peaks, AZ 
McDowell & Drinkwater Peaks, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Oct 10 2015
The_Dude
Hiking9.15 Miles 2,612 AEG
Hiking9.15 Miles   4 Hrs   6 Mns   2.64 mph
2,612 ft AEG      38 Mns Break12 LBS Pack
 no routes
1st trip
Oh, this one has been on the to do list for quite a while. My wife had something going with the kids this morning, so this gave me a chance for the rare Saturday hike. I got over to the 104th street trailhead about 7:20 to start off for the day. I usually like using the smaller lot so I can avoid the Gateway crowd as much as possible...Uneventful trip to Bell Pass, made it there in 1:09 without any breaks, I am pretty happy with that. Here is where the trip started getting interesting. I basically followed Trekkin' Gecko's track up the east side of McDowell. The scramble was better than I anticipated, there are lots of things to poke you, but the footing is pretty stable all considered. The genus Cylindropuntia (Chollas) is well represented out here for sure...Topped out on McDowell and started the traverse to Drinkwater. I stayed on the ridgeline and had no problem making my way across, if you have done Camelback from the Cholla side this is no big deal. I took a break on Drinkwater to enjoy the views, and then started my way back around. Instead of summiting McDowell again I thought I would skirt around the west and south face, pretty sure this did not speed the process and might have taken longer in retrospect. Found my line to head back down to the Pass again and then hightailed it to the truck. Brought 3 liters and ran dry right as I got on the Levee trail fro the return, plenty of water back at the truck. I have now officially climbed all 5 of the bigger peaks in the MSP, woo hoo. Great hike!

P.S., Has anyone ever seen the purported bicycle patrol threatening to ticked off-trail hikers in the MSP? I have hiked out there at least a dozen times (both on and off trail) and have never seen these guys. Has anyone else???
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