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Goldfields Figure 8 Loop and Arroyo, AZ
mini location map2017-03-05
51 by photographer avatartibber
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Goldfields Figure 8 Loop and Arroyo, AZ 
Goldfields Figure 8 Loop and Arroyo, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Mar 05 2017
tibber
Hiking15.43 Miles 1,972 AEG
Hiking15.43 Miles   9 Hrs   9 Mns   1.95 mph
1,972 ft AEG   1 Hour   15 Mns Break
 
1st trip
We've had this on our TO DO list ever since we saw it posted and boy was it a winner. I think the previous hikers trip reports were holding out on us as to how beautiful this "keep on giving" figure 8/loop was as we were pleased with each corner we turned, each hill we crested, each valley we went thru and then to top it off, there were wildflowers, water in the arroyo, cool-shaped clouds, great temperatures and a really awesome arch. Other than the humidity, it couldn't have been a better day. Plus, after a little extra route finding, I was able to visit the bedrock bench that I was last at in 2010. So thanks Kelly for a great day in the Goldfields and thanks for dinner after.

Oh ya, the hike. Starting out on the road you eventually hang a left and head west altho we went a little further and Kelly took a look at RS to discover we SHOULD have taken that first turn. It was very green out already as we headed west for a bit before coming to another section to head west again as I wanted to do the Figure 8/Loop that way so we could hit the Arroyo on the way back if I felt up to it. You eventually come to a little canyon like area that you hike through so that was a pleasant surprise. You go up and down a little and have great views to the north. Eventually you end up doing a little road walk before heading north toward a gold faced mountain.

It was a little climb up to here where you get right below the rock face before heading up above it to the huge bedrock area that Kelly and I were anxious to see. It was so cool and the views :y: . The clouds were pretty awesome too and then as we topped the bedrock area we even got some wildflower action as we made our way down the back end. After crossing the wash which you could take toward Top Hat we continued north on familiar ground to the intersection with the top part of the loop. I didn't think there was anything of interest and thot we would have to bushwhack after crossing the wash but we decided as long as it looked like a good trail we would see where "the boys" went. Needless to say, sure glad we decided to proceed.

We had lunch on top of some folded bedrock with views in all directions. It was still overcast so everything seemed extra colorful. In fact, I'm having to tone down the colors in my pictures as the camera seemed to photograph in such a saturated way. After lunch we walked thru one of those interesting areas where the ground is somewhat void of vegetation and there are little rocks and some lava-looking boulders scattered about. Luckily the trail went the whole way as I don't think we crossed over the deepest part of the wash. Kelly went and took a picture of her cracked boulder and we checked out the tunnel we think is so cool before continuing our way around this little mountain. We saw a cave above and I zoomed in and we also saw a little arch.

As we were hiking ahead of us to the left we could see a great stand of saguaros on the hillside. Little did we know we would get to hike right next to them. That's the second time when we saw something cool from a distance and then found ourselves hiking next to it (the huge bedrock face of the mountain earlier and now this). Once again we would cross over a wash and alongside another mountain. It seemed like we would go up about two mountains and then down into these little valleys. It was a constant blitz of really cool stuff to see :y: . In fact, when I talked to two horseback riders, they made the same comment. I do wonder if the horses wear different shoes to hold onto that bedrock, especially when they're going down it? Just before meeting up with them we saw the middle line of the 8 but opted to continue on our loop since we still wanted to go see the Arroyo.

The horses went one way and we went the other way. I think their way was the short cut but once again, glad we went the day we did as we got to see the Window Arch. Kelly had walked right by. I think I had it marked on RS who was barking at me. So we had a little fun in that. We saw the inch worm earlier. After making a bit of a turn to the east and around we reached a wash and intersection where I thot there was a trail over to the Crystal Arroyo so we proceeded over there. It did have water in it but not as much as I had hoped. We took a short break here; it was really nice. The next goal was to find the long bedrock bench I had been on back in 2010 with Kat, Bruce, Ambika and johnr1. We just had such a wonderful time there so I wanted to re-live that moment for a moment.

At the end of the Crystal Arroyo trail I felt we should go off trail to the bench but just wasn't sure; after all, it's been seven years. We ended up on the Golden Eye Trail as we went south and then east getting further away from the Waypoint I had marked. We backtracked UP hill and came to the area where we cross over to the bench with a slight detour to check out a possible route to Helmet Rock. I said to Kelly, "today?!" and she said "yes if it looked like we could make it easily from here". We went north to an edge and easy was definitely not to be. So we headed back toward the bench. We sat for awhile but since it got chilly we left and headed back to the Arroyo.

We got to the intersection we had been at earlier and then continued southish on part of the trail we had been on before when we were out here. It was a fairly quick couple of miles when we were "hiking for beer". The sun started to come out by this point but it never got warm. I never took off my outer shirt the entire way and though the time doesn't show it, Kelly kept up a pretty good pace; mostly so I wouldn't dally with my camera too long :lol: and as you all know, that's a tall task.

I think this ended up being my longest hike since August 2014 when I did some AZT that was around 15 miles. So that's two weekends in a row of long hikes this year... then again, the elevation and trail conditions made that very doable. I'm still working on the many, many photos I took and it's been fun editing them as it was a beautiful hike. The videos could be awhile as usual. I can't wait to see them myself.

Part 1 from the road [ youtube video ]
Part 2 to the Keyhole [ youtube video ]
Part 3 to the Wash [ youtube video ]
Part 4 to top of Loop [ youtube video ]
Part 5 east side of loop [ youtube video ]
Part 6 east side continued to middle of the 8 [ youtube video ]
Part 7 to junction with Rough n Ready, side trip toward Arroyo [ youtube video ]
Part 8 Crystal Quartz Arroyo, search for Bench and back to TH [ youtube video ]
Culture
Culture
Aircraft
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Light
scattered poppies and scorpion weed.
_____________________
For me, sometimes it's just as much about the journey as the destination.
Oh, and once in awhile, don't forget to look back at the trail you've traveled.
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