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Bajada - Alta Loop, AZ
mini location map2016-04-23
9 by photographer avatarastrobrewer
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Bajada - Alta Loop, AZ 
Bajada - Alta Loop, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Apr 23 2016
astrobrewer
Hiking10.44 Miles 2,127 AEG
Hiking10.44 Miles   5 Hrs   11 Mns   2.40 mph
2,127 ft AEG      50 Mns Break
 
1st trip
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I've been wanting to hike the Alta trail for some time. I started from the Y intersection of Summit and San Juan roads and decided to do the Bajada Trail first. Bajada isn't all that interesting so I figured I would get it out of the way quickly while I was still fresh and then do Alta which would take me back to the car. I think that was a good call, but I will probably try it the other way too just to see.

Bajada was boring except for when the PO'd rattler decided to let me know that I was in his area. Otherwise pretty uneventful. This was my first time on the extreme Western end of National Trail as well. I made good time to the San Juan Trail head and stopped and had a snack before starting the climb on Alta.

The Western end of Alta Trail is fairly steep and it seemed like I was climbing forever. About 2/3 of the way up another rattler became annoyed with me, and after that I imagined I saw rattlesnakes behind every rock and under every bush for the rest of the day. Finally I made it to the top of the ridge line and took the side trail to the top of Maricopa Peak. It wasn't much of a trail, but it looked worse than it was. There were several places that looked like there was no way past, but when I got closer it turned out not to be too bad. The last bit getting up to the top of the peak was steep and tricky, but very doable. I was glad that I took that side trip and felt a real sense of accomplishment standing at the high point of the Ma Ha Tuak range looking down on the world.

Alta drops down a ways on the North side of the mountain and then pops up on the ridge again before the descent. It seemed to me that the East end of Alta isn't as steep as the West end, so it might be easier going around the other way (like most of the other trip logs). I'll give that a shot some time.
Named place
Named place
Ma Ha Tuak Range Maricopa Peak
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