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Arch Canyon - Organ Pipe NM
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mini location map2016-04-02
25 by photographer avatartibber
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Arch Canyon - Organ Pipe NMSouthwest, AZ
Southwest, AZ
Hiking avatar Apr 02 2016
tibber
Hiking3.24 Miles 1,390 AEG
Hiking3.24 Miles   3 Hrs   43 Mns   1.47 mph
1,390 ft AEG   1 Hour   31 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
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BiFrost
rwstorm
slowandsteady
trekkin_gecko
uphill_junkie
First hike of our multi-hike and camping weekend. We all met up at the VC, paid for our passes and then set up at the Twin Peaks campground. They now have some ramadas.

I thot the Arch hike would be a great place for lunch based on the pics I saw from John and Denny's recent hike up there. So we drove over in two vehicles. It's at the north end of the Ajo Loop drive. It's a beautiful drive in and of itself. I knew the first part of the hike was easy but the next 1/2 mile was going to be a :pk: kicker. It was all that and more. Thankfully it was scenic on the way up and lots of cool geology. It was really rather surprising how quickly the topography and geology changed in this short hike straight up.

We grudgingly made our bodies go up and up with a moment or two to take a picture and in my case, make a movie. Once at the saddle or ridge area, it was even cooler, both in scenery views and temperature. Kathy took the lead and about 10 minutes later she says, "I see it". We continued to follow the cairns ignoring the ones that led further south and up the hill. We crossed down and up a ravine and got cliffed out to the west. However, I saw a little bit of a trail leading back toward the ravine. Kathy meanwhile found a "baby" arch so I had her sit in front of it for a pic before we decided to check out the possible route to the Arch.

Well this way didn't look the best either so we crossed back thru the ravine and started toward the other cairns we saw. At that time we saw Karl, Amy and Kelly coming back down from where they were. So they took the route we did and decided to go right down into the ravine from there. Kathy went back to the top of the ravine and as we came down it we spotted the cairns in the ravine and some above on the east side. It was a bit of a scramble to get down the ravine and then head toward the arch... a bit like Devil's Chasm except it's shorter and there's still stuff to hang onto.

We finally arrived at the Arch :DANCE: . I was sure hungry by then. We didn't spend much time as the wind picked up big time. It's a really cool sitting under the Arch and hoping a chunk of it wouldn't decide to come down. It is so massive you can't get the whole thing in a picture. But the views are quite sweet! As the wind blew us on our way, we headed back up the ravine which was a little easier as you really didn't need to worry about slipping.

The other 3 took off so quickly we really didn't see them again until the bottom. But that's okay with the 3 of us as we needed to be a bit more gingerly about getting straight down from here. There are about 3 areas that are a little tricky but other than that, not bad. Unfortunately, my trekking poles didn't do much good for Randy as they need to be tightened and would collapse too easy. We did encounter 3 people coming up and 2 others passed us going down.

We had paused at the 1/2 way tier and looked up to see some more holes in rock above us. I zoomed in and took some photos and discovered the people we saw were in that area :o ; not sure where that was in relationship to the route that's for sure. But imagine my surprise to see those people that I couldn't see at the time I took the photo. This last part is not as difficult as the top half so we made pretty good time on it. When we arrived at the trail, someone had put back up the sign about the ruggedness of the trail.
Now "the hiking for beer" part of our trek.

That "up" part was certainly a little steeper than I thot it would be when you go up a little over 700 feet in a 1/2 mile or so :sweat: . A great adventure to start our weekend at the Monument.
Part 1 - https://youtu.be/Hl ... _YVY
Part 2 - https://youtu.be/4Q ... E2Ls
Part 3 - into the Arch and back to the TH https://youtu.be/Zn ... 8DIE
_____________________
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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