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Skull Mesa from Spur Cross TH
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mini location map2016-12-31
12 by photographer avatarLindaAnn
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Skull Mesa from Spur Cross THPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Dec 31 2016
LindaAnn
Hiking11.57 Miles 2,832 AEG
Hiking11.57 Miles   7 Hrs   11 Mns   1.91 mph
2,832 ft AEG   1 Hour   7 Mns Break
 
1st trip
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The_Whit
Whitney & I wanted to finish out the year with something new, so we decided to head to Skull Mesa. The entire drive up, the weather was a bit of a concern, but I said I was not wasting my morning and would be hiking no matter what. We got to a foggy, drizzly trailhead at 8:00, put on the rain gear, and got started. The trail was definitely muddy, but otherwise not too bad.

I had downloaded Bifrost's route from a few weeks ago, and we followed that up. Made a right turn at the trail Mariposa , then followed an old? trail up. It was very easy to follow, and soon enough, we connected with Cottonwood trail and headed east on that. The fog was getting thicker by this point, and visibility was under 100', but it had stopped raining.

At the junction with Skull Mesa trail, we took a break, and chatted with three backpackers who were headed back down. They offered us some coffee, which I turned down since I don't drink coffee--ever. At one point in the conversation, they asked us what we do for jobs; I started to say "Trophy Wife", thought better of it (I didn't want Whitney to hit me or choke on her sandwich), drew a blank as to what (if anything) I actually do, and just mumbled something about having kids.

After we said our goodbyes, Whitney & I started uphill. Honestly, I was expecting the climb to be much tougher than it actually was. We were certainly climbing uphill, but with the wet rocks, our pace was slow enough to where it didn't feel like we were working hard at all. Maybe it helped that, at this point, the fog had visibility to less than 50' and we couldn't see what we were actually doing. At one point, I looked at the gps, saw that were were more than 75% of the way up, and couldn't believe it. On a warm day, this would certainly be a draining climb, but on a cool overcast day, it was a piece of cake.

We were soon at the top, and headed over to the viewpoint (nonexistent today) and sat down on the rocks for another snack. We took some pictures of the clouds/fog, then headed back down. Easy hike back down, then we followed Cottonwood back to Spur Cross. With the fog lifting a little, although it did rain again, the scenery was gorgeous--vibrant green vegetation, colorful rocks, all set against the grey skies. As usual, I took way too many pics, but it was worth it given the rarity of a foggy day around Phoenix. Nice day, and a great final hike of 2016!
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LindaAnn's
459 Photosets

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