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Apache Peak Loop, AZ
mini location map2017-01-22
17 by photographer avatarrcorfman
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Apache Peak Loop, AZ 
Apache Peak Loop, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Jan 22 2017
rcorfman
Hiking7.17 Miles 2,274 AEG
Hiking7.17 Miles   4 Hrs   24 Mns   1.77 mph
2,274 ft AEG      21 Mns Break10 LBS Pack
 
1st trip
Partners none no partners
The day's plan was to hike a loop starting at 24th St. and Calvary, hiking trails I'm familiar with to get me up Apache Peak, then over the south side to the Maricopa Trail and up peak 2875 to the SW, then back to the start.

From parking, I headed east through the gate and shortly got on a trail. I don't know if it's named, though I've heard it called the chocolate trail. Anyhow, the trail heads mostly east and a bit south and ends at the well of off Roger Creek. I've heard it called Odell Well, but again, I have no idea if that's correct or not. There's a large cement tank with surrounding trough that is no longer functional. Since I was last here, the ranch has installed metal tanks and troughs for the livestock. It was muddy and I almost slipped on my pumpkin but saved myself and only suffered a muddy hand.

From the well, I cut cross country to the trail that goes south between Momma and Poppa Apache. There were fresh deer and coyote tracks along the trail soft and wet from the rain. The trail was easier to follow than I expected and brush was not a problem. Shortly I reached the junction for the peak trail. It gets steep and is a bit of a scramble. I had some concern about rocks breaking loose due to the wet and soft dirt after all the rain we've been getting so I paid closer attention to how I moved up the trail.

Once on top, I surveyed the surroundings, deciding how I might finish my loop once I left the Maricopa Trail. I also noticed the US flag is gone. The staff is still there but the flag has flown the coop. I stopped to find a geocache hidden early last December and then headed off the peak. I lost the trail for a bit on the way down. I thought I was north of it so I headed south for a bit but that just took me away from the trail; I needed to head back north. Finally I was back on track and made it to the CCRT (Cave Creek Recreational Trail) which I followed SE for a ways before it dropped down to the Maricopa Trail.

After a ways, I left the MT to climb peak 2875 for a geocache. Interestingly, shortly after leaving the MT, I came across another trail. It had some cairns but I don't think it is used much if at all anymore. I followed it for a bit before following a wash up. Eventually I left the wash to follow a ridge and when I did, I saw the head and rack of what was a very nice buck. He took off a second after I spotted him. I was hoping to spy him again when I got on the ridge but no such luck. From there I found another trail that I followed up the ridge. It connected with an old road (maybe it was the road?) that I followed to an abandoned mine. After the mine, I cut up the slope to reach the peak and ran into some more trails.

Once on top, I found a memorial for a boy named Sage Gustafson. I seem to run across memorials frequently and they are always sad for me. I also found another geocache, aptly named Sage, then continued north along the ridge to another geocache. Once I found that, I dropped off the hill back down to the Maricopa Trail. I followed the MT to a dirt road, where I turned right (the MT has actually been rerouted to a trailhead along New River Rd).

I was hoping to follow the roads across and back to Cavalry Rd, but there was a large sign saying the area was private Greer Ranch land, so I hung a right up an old road and cut across a hill and into a wash. I worked my way up the wash and across Apache Peak's slope until I was able to take 24th St. back to my truck.
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