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Dome Panorama Loop - Goldfields, AZ
mini location map2016-02-28
63 by photographer avatartibber
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Dome Panorama Loop - Goldfields, AZ 
Dome Panorama Loop - Goldfields, AZ
Hiking8.17 Miles 2,396 AEG
Hiking8.17 Miles   8 Hrs   8 Mns   1.45 mph
2,396 ft AEG   2 Hrs   29 Mns Break
1st trip
Partners partners
Whew, that off-trail bushwhacking stuff can get pretty hard. I got invited to join Mark and Kelly for this little loop. Well it turned out to be little and mighty at the same time.

We met at the Bulldog Canyon Gate where Mark took us in the mile and 1/2 to our starting point. We enjoyed a nice warm-up on the road to where we headed off trail following cairns and little white lines for the journey up to Dome Mountain. We admired the scenery as the morning light made it look even more beautiful. Along the way Mark pointed out this chute way up there that we would be taking to attain the Summit :o . I was already worried about the elevation gain on this one but fortunately it comes in bits, some rather large bits mind you, but doable bits.

It was good to have the little white lines as a trail doesn't exist for the most part and it seems to zig and zag from time to time, but not necessarily where you would expect. Some sections were steep, some were steep and slippery but not bad; though I'm glad I had my poles out from the get-go. The views along the way really are quite something especially the higher you get when all of a sudden Weavers Needle is peeking above the horizon.

You definitely go up at quite an angle and the last chute area is no exception. Mark and Kelly took their time so that was helpful; especially since I was continually trying to catch up after trying to take pictures or trying to take movies on the go. I actually haven't even looked at the movies as I've been tied up doing other things. I'm really trying to get on top of all the genealogy information I have and pictures. I figure since I have acquired all of that info and I'm the only one that knows the people, I need to get it up on our Romain Homestead site for the ages; otherwise, it will all die with me and what good is that?!

Oh, back to the hike. I was quite surprised after looking out to the west from a little viewpoint that all of a sudden I could see Kelly. Was she at the top already? She had to convince me and a couple more steps and there I was on top too, the tallest peak in the Goldfields. Wow, not bad :DANCE: . We hung out here for a bit as Mark pointed out some other landmarks and our route. We would head zigzagging down the west side of the mountain and then head slightly north to the Camo Tanks. I couldn't understand what HAZel was saying until I could finally see them in the distance. That's quite the set up. We checked it out and then headed east to a saddle. This was a nice part of the hike as it was mostly on bedrock.

Next we try to stay high as we head over to Panorama Peak. And then we stay on a bit of a ridgeline... all the time I'm worrying if we have to drop way down before attempting the second highest peak in the Goldfields. But we keep staying high and climb a little false peak that I thot was higher than it was before a little saddle and then up the north side with some scrambling at the end where two people could barely stand on the summit. And now, how do we get down from here. Well Mark had us swing a little to the right and we came down a side slope to the north and east. I could actually see the route they had taken as there seemed to be quite a bit of grass on this steep slope that fortunately had enough bush cover that you didn't have to worry much about sliding too far.

Once at level ground we checked out the area around the various rock outcroppings before Mark took us east again and then atop the rock outcropping for our lunch stop. Now just too bad the rest of the hike wasn't like this first part as it wasn't too bad. But from here on out, it wasn't a whole lot of fun but we did enjoy the scenery. It was also starting to get a little warmer as we made our way down toward another drainage and around, contouring above it for a couple times as we went up and down a few times to get over to the main wash we would be taking to hook up with the Dome Mountain route.
Well I decided to step on a rock Kelly had used to come down this one steep area but the rock gave out... and yes Mark, I heard the comment about the difference in weight thing ;) and fell sideways and ended up on my belly with my face in a grassy area. Well that was awkward. Kelly asked if she could help me get up as I contemplated how I was going to maneuver my body into an upright position. The grass was nice though so I was thinking maybe a little nap would be better :lol: . I got back up and then we continued on. I would slip two more times but both times I would land on my butt which makes it a lot easier to get up.

We passed by a couple areas with some rock outcroppings and alcoves. Mark pointed out where the critter caves were that he had been at earlier in the week. We finally made it to the wash and started hiking up it. We took a 10 minute break before finishing off the last 3/4 mile of the wash; I needed a little more fuel. We were finally getting closer to the area where we joined back up with the Dome Mountain route. I was quite happy about that as I was running out of steam. I know, I know, I had only gone not quite 7 miles but when you're out of hiking shape and it's mostly bushwhack; that just ain't easy :sweat: . This area where we join back up with Dome Mountain was pretty in the morning and it was pretty now.

From here to the road is quite spectacular :D and now we would see it at its best with the sun showing off the lichen on the mountain sides. I know I have my sunglasses on but it's like I needed an extra set as it was that bright as was the chuparosa blooms. I was glad to finally see the road but even it is a little steep and rocky in parts. And now to the beer, root beer for Kelly and Mark and a pumpkin beer for me. A good day out in the Goldfields. Thx Mark for touring us around, it was FAB. And thx to both of you for tolerating my whining and constant need to catch up again :budrose: ! Still recovering from significant bruising and swelling and scratches in my elbow area of my arm (fortunately not my Devil's Chasm elbow) as well as miscellaneous bruises acquired throughout this hike; badges of courage or clumsiness, not sure which :lol: .

I think the videos turned out pretty nice, finally ready to go 3-10-2016 except #7 is still stabilizing. Oh, the videos include the pictures I took:
Part 1 - Road walk and start of Dome route ... kxe8
Part 2 - route to Dome Mountain continues, Summit ... nbWU
Part 3 - Dome Summit down to tanks to saddle to ridgeline ... qXnI
Part 4 - to Panorama Peak summit ... aufQ
Part 5 - down from Panorama Peak ... Vr58
Part 6 - above the drainages toward the saddle ... QFfY
Part 7 - from the saddle to the TH ... HZ1I
 Flora [ checklist ]
[ checklist ]  Chuparosa
For me, sometimes it's just as much about the journey as the destination.
Oh, and once in awhile, don't forget to look back at the trail you've traveled.
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