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W. side of S. Maricopa Mtns., AZ
mini location map2015-11-15
10 by photographer avatarAlston_Neal
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W. side of S. Maricopa Mtns., AZ 
W. side of S. Maricopa Mtns., AZ
 
Hiking avatar Nov 15 2015
Alston_Neal
Hiking5.00 Miles 190 AEG
Hiking5.00 Miles
190 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
The Sunday before Deb and I finally got back to our favorite desert. We hiked into the Sonoran Wilderness north from the Maricopa road. We stayed on the east side of the N. Maricopa Mtns. This week I want to go south from Maricopa Rd. by the Shawmut Loop and head along the W. side of the S. Maricopa Mtns. eventually going west across the valley to another mountain and then loop back. In our many travels of the desert north of Maricopa Rd. we had seen some signs of illegal activity. Usually just those 1 gallon black handled bottles with ropes on them. So I expected to see some stuff on the south side and considering I-8 is 7 miles away, probably not much. Boy howdy was I wrong. Our plan was to go along the base of the mountain crossing the drainages. As soon as we got to the mountain I noticed a nice trail, probably a game trail. Wrong, right away I noticed a backpack in the rocks and then the carpet booties, plus numerous water bottles. With the morning rain and overcast skies something else stood out that may not be as obvious if the sun was out and the earth was dry. Footprints and all heelless tennis shoes. Nope no ubiquitous Merell tread patterns out here. It soon became obvious that one third of our hiking party was becoming uncomfortable here. She kept scanning the mountain tops and then said...you know if we move away from the mountain out in the valley there would be less cholla for Tus to step in. Our valley trek was soon met by a wall of rain at which point we headed back.
The desert here is different from across the road. I'm used to heavy use areas north of the valley with lots of shot up targets and shell casings. Here there is trash, but it's all stashed and ATV tracks all over, more than likely La Migra. I'm pretty sure we won't head back to this area...maybe the east side.
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