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Walkin' Jim Loop Trail
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mini location map2017-04-09
15 by photographer avatarDarthStiller
photographer avatar
 
Walkin' Jim Loop TrailPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Apr 09 2017
DarthStiller
Hiking11.80 Miles 2,216 AEG
Hiking11.80 Miles   7 Hrs   10 Mns   1.71 mph
2,216 ft AEG      16 Mns Break
 
1st trip
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mt98dew
I met Brian at the trailhead off Castle Hot Springs Road and we got started at about 7am. Brian has hiked this loop and done a few peaks several times, so it was nice to have someone familiar with the area since it was my first hike here. He pointed out Peak 3465 off in the distance. I knew then it was going to take some effort to get there, but it wasn’t too bad.

Within a few hundred feet of the trailhead, there was a wild burro along the trail that didn’t seem to be too happy to see us. He made a bunch of “hee haw” noises and sprinted uphill, away from the trail. He kept us in eyeshot, however, as we moved along.

We did the loop counter-clockwise, which means you hike the shorter half of the loop on your way to the peak. The trail is faint in several spots, but still pretty easy to follow. A lot of growth from the winter rains makes it even fainter in spots, but not too bad. The wildflowers are out, but they’re starting to shrivel. A lot of the grasses are already turning brown in some areas.

The area out there is really nice. Some geography seems similar to the Superstitions with the limestone cliffs. There are also some grassy meadows once the trail leaves the wash, where we saw some more burros in the distance. We noted the junction for the Little Jim Trail and made our way up to the Big Jim Trail, where we began the ascent to Peak 3465.

Big Jim Trail isn’t too steep, but there’s a lot of loose rock, which takes some time. Also, there brittlebush was rampant throughout the section up to the saddle. At this point my allergies started to kick in, adding another challenge.

It’s kind of hard to tell where the Big Jim trail ends and the “cairned route” begins. The Big Jim Trail is faint enough, and the route seems pretty much like an actual trail, with the exception of the crossing of the bouldered lava flow just below the peak. The false summit above the saddle and before the lava flow has me aggravated briefly, but we were able to move pretty quickly towards the peak, so it wasn’t so bad.

At the top, we enjoyed the 360 views briefly, and checked out the “register” in a glass jar. Looks like the rains have washed away the ink on quite a few pages. Noted some entries from some HAZ members. We didn’t bother to log an entry considering the condition of the notepad.

The descent to the level portion of the trail wasn’t too bad. Having Pima Canyon in Tucson as a recent frame of reference made this seem very easy. The hike back on the longer half of the Walkin’ Jim Trail became a bit of a slog at the end. I ran out of water with about 3 miles left, thankfully the temperature was pretty cool.
Brian noticed a gila monster sitting in a tree right next to the trail and pointed it out to me. After not seeing one in the wild for almost 18 years of hiking, I’ve seen two of them two weeks in a row. Of course, each time I had to have someone point them out to me or else I would have never seen them.

Brian mentioned that the trail tends to meander a bit as you approach the trailhead. I looked at the track on my phone and noticed that towards the end, it went around a hill, doing almost a full circular circumference, picking up on the other side. It seemed to me that if we just went over the saddle, we could pick up the trail just on the other side and save some time. We did this and it worked. The bushwhack wasn’t too bad, a little steep in spots with some loose rock, but not much worse than the trail in spots since it was already faint. Brian got ahead of me and then tried to find me once he located the trail and got sidetracked. Once I got down to the wash, I kept checking the track until I found the trail and headed back. Brian was a few minutes behind me after he noticed I was already on the trail. I think we saved almost a half mile doing this. I can hike that later on some day when I go back to hike the Little Jim loop.
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Substantial
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DarthStiller's
511 Photosets

  2017-06-25
  2017-06-11
  2017-05-28
  2017-05-21
  2017-05-07
  2017-04-30
  2017-04-23
  2017-04-16
  2017-04-09
  2017-04-02
  2017-03-19
  2017-03-05
  2017-02-19
  2017-02-12
  2017-01-22
  2017-01-15
  2016-12-26
  2016-12-23
  2016-12-04
  2016-11-27
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