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Bronco Butte - Carefree
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17 by photographer avatarrayhuston
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Bronco Butte - CarefreePhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Jan 28 2017
rayhuston
Hiking13.04 Miles 2,702 AEG
Hiking13.04 Miles   6 Hrs   48 Mns   2.02 mph
2,702 ft AEG      20 Mns Break
 
1st trip
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The_Eagle
Bruce wanted to bag another Bronco Butte and invited me to join him. We started the hike a few minutes before 7am with only a hint of the sunrise to come and the hope that moving fast might warm our shivering bodies. It was cold!

The hike in was was wonderful. We walked the China Wall for a ways, checking out the prospects and the remnants of the plane crash mentioned in previous posts. After gaining the saddle west of Bronco Butte, Bruce wanted to go up to the top of the hill to our right to check out the views. We found another old prospect while we were up there.

We did not follow the China Wall trail to its end. We were on a schedule so we headed up to the Butte. Bruce signed the summit register for us. We took in some wonderful views under sunny skies before starting the really fun part of the hike, some creek hiking that Bruce drew up as an alternate return.

From the summit, we headed down the mountain in a NE direction rather than returning the way we came. This would get us to the creek much faster. It was steep, but we found some nice game/cattle trails that took us to the creek without any blood letting. With the recent rain, the creeks were flowing nicely. The creek portion was fun; easy hiking and the sound of running water made it all the more enjoyable.

Half way down the creek, an old, crumbling, grown over road that crisscrossed the creek became part of the hike. We used the road when the creek wasn't passable. The creek and the road ended on private property. We took a left (west) and looked for a route out of the canyon. The best option looked to be up and over a steep hill. That started a Six Flags roller coaster ride of steep up then down then up again. Soon enough we were back on the Bronco Trail and a return to easy hiking.

This was a very enjoyable hike. I liked the alternate route back along the creek in the Rackensack Gulch area. It wouldn't have been as fun without the water, but Bruce picked the perfect day to do it. Thanks again for the hike, Bruce, and for driving us out there. I had a great time!
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