|Bald Mountain Benchmark, AZ|
|Bald Mountain Benchmark, AZ|| |
Bald Mountain Benchmark, AZ
|Hiking||4.37 Miles|| 5 Hrs 49 Mns ||2.03 mph|
|1,481 ft AEG|| 3 Hrs 40 Mns Break|
|This was one of my favorite benchmark hikes, mostly because so many artifacts are still up there, and intact. Some items have been on Bald Hill for 71 years, and a couple items date back more than 100 years.
Bald Hill is about 10 miles southwest of Camp Verde.
Bald Mtn Triangulation Station is on Bald Hill, and was set in place by the USGS in 1902 - That’s 115 years ago, and the original 115 year old disk still looks brand new.
44 years later (1946), surveyors set more disks, two reference mark disks and an azimuth disk.
These 1946 surveyors are also the ones who put up a still standing, 6 foot ‘instrument stand’ over the benchmark and supported the floor boards with a triangular wall of rock about 2 feet high.
Even the rock cairn the 1946 guys mention is intact. I also found remnants of a ‘spent’ flare or two, possibly used for the Height of Light. The Height of Light was probably on top of the instrument stand, in order to be high enough to be seen over the many juniper trees on Bald Hill.
Bald Hill artifacts seem to be in a time warp.
I made the hike into a loop. The hike up to the BM was straight forward. I just moved across the high side of one mountain, then went straight up Bald Hill. After I was done on Bald Hill, I hiked in an arc to climb up, what surveyors said locals called ‘Little Baldy’. That’s where the azimuth mark was set. The arc approach avoided descending into a deep valley prior to going up Little Baldy.
From the azimuth mark, I continued my loop and ran into thick vegetation that looked very much like cats claw. Whatever it was, it had no ‘claws’. Maps call this cats claw look-alike area, ‘Brushy Basin’. I weaved my way through the thinner areas with only a few backtracks.
This turned out to be a fun hike, and sadly, my last Arizona hike for awhile. I’m heading back to the midwest for the summer. I have to launch a couple boats and do a bit of water skiing.
So, all you HAZers - Hike safe, and have a great summer.
See you in the triplog and photoset comment section.
|Not All Those Who Wander Are Lost|