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Bronco Butte and Horse Mesa, AZ
mini location map2017-01-14
14 by photographer avatarjoebartels
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Bronco Butte and Horse Mesa, AZ 
Bronco Butte and Horse Mesa, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Jan 14 2017
joebartels
Hiking14.84 Miles 4,711 AEG
Hiking14.84 Miles   10 Hrs   10 Mns   1.61 mph
4,711 ft AEG      56 Mns Break14 LBS Pack
 
1st trip
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Bruce threw this together. I've pondered it for 14 years as it is within my favorite area, the Salt River Corridor.

Bruce did remarkable on the 2k ascent to Bronco, only ten minutes more than jj. Gloomy as expected. Mid fifties nor rain was the leading irritant. The wind. In the words of the great Qbert... @!#?@!

Heading past the MCSO radio repeaters we did a quick count of 180+ new solar panels recently dropped by helicopter. Keep your hands off the merchandise, the acronym is Maricopa County Sheriff's Office.

We crossed paths with a bow hunter that started 2 hours before us. Bruce got his full attention mentioning a white tail he spooked so good near Bronco we could hear him snort. I would have been surprised to see anyone up here on a nice day yet alone today.

Traveling across the mesa was draggy as anticipated. Taking photos was a trade off for freezing hands. If it wasn't rocks hidden in grass you could count on camouflaged hedgehog or prickly pair. Then I had this thought we'd see Skeleton Cave. Equipped with a goal I had a little more umpf. We got to the end of the mesa and I scoped out and found it across the river. Twice! The second time I was 100% sure! Further research revealed Skeleton Cave was 2.2 miles away, out of view around a corner...lol

The hike back had more roller coaster than anticipated. Then Bruce wasn't keen on his planned bypass to cut off 1.5+ miles on the return as it looked steep. On the brightside the sun made an appearance. Holy smokes the rain stopped. You know what, the wind stopped!!! We took a stab at his bypass and lucked out big time finding a ramp in the area of concern.

Chatted with the hunter again just before descending. This guy wasn't going home until he covered a full day.

With a mile to go the crap weather returned. Glad we did the hike and glad it was over. It might be loopable. We saw a fair option but it would have cost hours if it didn't pan out. This hike is most notable for views of the Painted Cliffs, we barely got to see 'em. A puffy cloud day would be outstanding.
Fauna
Fauna
Tick
Meteorology
Meteorology
Forecast
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Isolated
a half dozen occurrences of insignificant yellows

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Upper Horse Mesa Creek Pools to trickle Pools to trickle
Trickle flow. Evening was closing in on this ravine as we crossed it. Mosquito sized bugs swarmed above the crossing, which seemed really odd for January. They didn't bite but we were covered up pretty good, the crossing was quick and I don't think they wanted to leave that habitat.
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- joe
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