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Goat Hill via Ranger Trail
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mini location map2016-06-13
9 by photographer avatarAZHiker456
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Goat Hill via Ranger TrailPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Jun 13 2016
AZHiker456
Hiking7.58 Miles 1,642 AEG
Hiking7.58 Miles   3 Hrs   17 Mns   2.72 mph
1,642 ft AEG      30 Mns Break
 no routes
1st trip
Partners none no partners
I didn’t leave work until after 6 PM. Needless to say, my options were rather limited in terms of finding a nearby hike that I’d never done before, [and preferably a summit hike], where I could finish or at the very least reach the peak before pitch darkness. South Mountain’s Goat Hill fit the bill, and there were a few route variations on HAZ which came in quite handy. Initially my plan was to do a nice loop version, like the one The_Dude posted here [ gps route ] , which reaches the ridgeline via the Ranger Trail, exits via Kiwanis, and incorporates a few other trails in between…

…however, after getting up onto the ridgeline, the terrain to the West appealed to me a lot more, [sort of like when you walk into a hotel room with 2 queen beds and for one reason or another you suddenly have a preference for one bed over the other]. Besides, I’d done the Kiwanis Trail twice before AND I wanted to log at least 8 miles for the day…

…thus, after bagging Goat Hill, [which had much better than expected views for being right in the city], I headed West along the National Trail. Route Scout topo showed a couple of trail options for exiting the ridgeline to the North, and I decided to go for the one located a short distance after BM/UN 2231.

I reached BM/UN 2231 to enjoy about 30-60 seconds worth of views before pitch darkness, then got my headlamp out and continued West. Perhaps it was due to the dark, [or perhaps CalTopo is due for a much needed update], but there were more than a few trails/junctions that flat out didn’t seem to exist…

…let’s just say: I departed the ridgeline from where CalTopo showed the exit trail to be and closely monitored the topo to ensure that I would stay on track in the pitch darkness… yet the epic, badpumpkin descent left me wondering if CalTopo is in serious need of an update for that particular trail or if my trail-finding skills in pitch darkness need some serious fine-tuning, [or perhaps a little bit of both].

At any rate, I made it down and connected with the paved road, which I took for another 3 miles or so back to my vehicle. I’m not normally a fan of road finishes when I’m hiking, [especially paved ones]; but given that it was pitch dark and I wanted to log more miles, it sure beat ending the hike early and then having to finish business on the treadmill.
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153 Photosets

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