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mini location map2017-01-13
4 by photographer avatarkingsnake
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Quien Sabe PeakPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Jan 13 2017
Hiking12.61 Miles 2,685 AEG
Hiking12.61 Miles   6 Hrs   19 Mns   2.00 mph
2,685 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
At 8:30 a.m., it was a breezy 46° at the Cave Creek Trailhead in Seven Springs. I got a later start because the hike was closer to home, and I wanted to start after sunrise. It rained for 10 minutes at the start, but it remained cloudy and breezy all day.

I wanted to check out Quien Sabe mine, but since I knew it would be an arduous day, I skipped it.

After about 4.5 miles, where Trail #250 crosses a small wash, I began off trailing up the Quien Sabe ridge. Generally speaking, the left (northeast) side of the ridge is steeper than the right (southwest) slope, so I tended right.

From the wash to the summit cairn, I negotiated tons of prickly pear cactus, agave, century plant, other grab & stabs, ball bearing and ankle breaker rocks. Many of the rocks are pitted, as if ejected molten, with air bubbles that popped as the rock hardened. I wonder where the volcano is?

In addition to the previously mentioned flora, the plateau is dotted with juniper. There is plenty of deer sign, and even several sets of people tracks. (Easy to spot as there is enough soil on the plateau to retain water for quite some time after the last rain.)

There is large cluster of boulders at the summit of Quien Sabe Peak, which is about 4900 ft. (There is no X on the topo, indicating an accurate survey.) But just beyond the summit, across a small saddle, at what appears to be a very similar elevation, is a summit cairn at which the which the elevation is supposedly 4884 ft.

Try as I might, without totally disassembling the cairn, I was unable to detect a summit log. (Unless you count “D. Peterson 11-94” scratched on a boulder.) Bummer, I was hoping to spot climbing legend Bob Packard in there. Luckily, I come equipped for such occasions, with a fresh flip notepad, pen and two quart baggies (for weather proofing).

The views from the summit are fantastic. Despite still being 100% overcast, I could I identify Skull Mesa (easy enough since it is “next door”), Elephant Mountain, the city of Cave Creek, Cave Creek Rd., Black Mountain, Cottonwood Creek, Four Peaks and even Cartwright Ranch (only two miles away, as the crow flies, but five hiking miles).

After signing the summit log, I sat down for a lunch of gorp, salt & vinegar chips — my fav! — and turkey breast sandwich, of which I ate about 2/3s. The wind was picking up, and it was getting cold enough to make my hands stiff, so at 1:30 P.M., I started back. (Despite wearing a jacket, the boogers flowed freely throughout the day.)

Whereas it took me 3h 15m hiking time to summit, it took me only 3h 00m total time to get back to the trailhead, including one break where I was so tired I simply fisted the trashed remains of my sandwich into my face, caveman fashion. (Then licked the crumbs from the container.)

I got back to the trailhead at 5:00 p.m., which was good timing as not only was my always patient wife starting to worry, but we had a perfect view of a great sunset heading downhill, back into Carefree.

Hike Video: [ youtube video ]
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation None
Saw one flower all day. One.
_____________________ : Everyone's enjoyment of the outdoors is different and should be equally honored.
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