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mini location map2016-11-15
22 by photographer avatarCannondaleKid
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Dome MountainPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Nov 15 2016
Hiking6.50 Miles 1,183 AEG
Hiking6.50 Miles   4 Hrs      1.66 mph
1,183 ft AEG      5 Mns Break20 LBS Pack
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Upon arriving at Wolverine Gate there was no place to park... there were cars and trucks with ATV trailers as far back as the closest house. Thankfully, since I would be hiking 'off-road' I didn't expect I see much of them. (More about them later)

While on my drive into Bulldog I passed a group of maybe 20 snow-bird hikers. When I asked one of them how far they were hiking the answer was a vague question "Bulldog Loop?" "To the right?" I asked, "no, to the left". Didn't give me much confidence in the answer but they pointed to their leader who supposedly knew.

By time I had parked and was ready to head out, the hiking group passed by, so for the first hundred yards I was right behind them. When they got to the first intersection, it seemed nobody knew which way to go. So I approached the leader and told him if they were doing a clockwise loop they need to turn left. Which is when he showed me his map, which was a mimeographed copy of a map that looked more like chicken-scratching than a map. So when I looked at it I had to try to orient myself to figure out where the blue highlighted line was directing them. Yup, they need to go left. So I left them to their hike and proceeded onward and upward.
(Looking back, I noticed they didn't go left but continued to follow in my tracks for maybe 1/8 mile before finally turning left and that's the last I saw of them)

I took the route directly north to the saddle east of Dome Mountain, west up to the summit, west then south down and across to the saddle between Dome Mountain & Peak 3269, west from the saddle down to FR10 in Bulldog Canyon, then south and east back to the start.

The descent to the west from the saddle was particularly nasty so it was VERY slow going. Thankfully I had done a recon of the lower part last year so I was able to stay away from the worst terrain.

When I returned to Wolverine Gate there was a guy sitting in a Jeep waiting to get out. I thought he may have gotten in while the gate was open but didn't have the code. He had the code but said the lock was broken. Sure enough, the lock that was fine this morning had been pried apart... it sure didn't fall off on its own!
Upon closer inspection, I twisted the loop part of the lock enough to open the gate so we could get out. After closing the gate (unlocked, of course) I made a call to John at the Mesa FS office to let them know the lock was broken.

While doing so the ATV's had returned to the roost... so once I completed the call, I was unable to leave because of an ATV traffic jam. Most of them had to drive out as far as the house to turn around while others had their trailers facing out. Which of course meant a traffic director was needed but alas there was none. Eventually I was able to snake through and drive out.

Oh well, the snow-birds will soon be gone in another, what? Only 6 months?
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Dome Mountain
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