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South Maricopa Mountains - NW Ridgeline
3 Photosets

2017-03-04  
2017-03-04  
2017-03-04  
mini location map2017-03-04
12 by photographer avatarjoebartels
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South Maricopa Mountains - NW RidgelinePhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Mar 04 2017
joebartels
Hiking7.93 Miles 2,138 AEG
Hiking7.93 Miles   5 Hrs   23 Mns   1.65 mph
2,138 ft AEG      35 Mns Break14 LBS Pack
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
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BiFrost
The_Eagle
The desert base around these mountains is easy off trail. The area is noted for wildflowers. South Mountain and similar nearby ranges are hitting so it seemed prime.

We hit the loop counter clockwise to stair step peaks 2264, 2302, 2654 upwards. The nearest western spur ridge to gain access had me feeling like I was off trail at South Mountain. That soon phased out and it was a cross between Piestewa and Camelback rock. Nothing tough, nothing quick on the ridge. While I've never hike the Estrella Ridgeline I'd imagine it's a low dose to similar based on triplogs.

2264 was just okay. Lichen and such picked up. 2302 was getting a little interesting. Saddle drops between each kept it real. I enjoyed the entire hike but it was like hiking in my backyard. 2654 was more of a winner. The rock and terrain is just like being off trail on Camelback.

We headed down 2654 off the north and down into the NW ravine. I really enjoyed this part as it was like Camelback with non city views and felt more adventurous. Unfortunately the further we descended it became obvious this is a major route for border crossers. Lots of shirts, blankets, carpet slippers, water jugs and such scattered about.

Near the base that transitioned into some wonderful splotches of poppies along the twisty ravines. The largest ocotillo I've seen added to the adventure. It stood two stories high with huge four inch wide branches.

Water
Good luck finding any water unless it's raining. The terrain drains quick.

Trains
A dozen trains or more passed during our short five hour foray. Bruce said one was waiting to pass when we arrived. Up on the ridge we could see and hear one below then another in the faint distance approaching. If this is standard you would never wait long to see a train. The trains are much shorter than what I see along Grand Ave, the cars are narrow in comparison too.

Inspiration
[ Shawmut Trainspotting Loop ] by @Randal_Schulhauser
[ gps route ] by @tom_h

What we learned from each other
Squeegee jinx! Pinch, poke, you owe me a coke.
Flora
Flora
Ocotillo Saguaro
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Substantial
Substantial at the northern base of 2654. Majority of the hike was just spring green.
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Hike Arizona it ROCKS!
HAZ Member
joebartels'
965 Photosets

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