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Secret Mountain Trail #109
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mini location map2017-04-18
10 by photographer avatarMountainMatt
photographer avatar
 
Secret Mountain Trail #109Sedona, AZ
Sedona, AZ
Backpack avatar Apr 18 2017
MountainMatt
Backpack9.58 Miles 1,412 AEG
Backpack9.58 Miles   18 Hrs   34 Mns   2.39 mph
1,412 ft AEG   14 Hrs   33 Mns Break55 LBS Pack
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
I've had this one on my mind for a little over a year now and time now and even though I was thoroughly prepared for this trip sometimes you can't plan for the unexpected.

While driving on FR 538 on my way to the remote TH I noticed my temperature gauge going up and could not believe it, Ol Betsy was overheating! ](*,)
Even though a brand new radiator was just installed a month ago something was obviously wrong, coolant levels were low and boiling over but oddly no visible leaking anywhere.
Waited an hour and poured in a gallon of water and still had no drips
even after starting the engine, my only assumption is something was done wrong on my last repair or I've had a slow leak going for weeks (but with my OCD I would have definitely noticed that) either way it will be solved cost free tomorrow!
Anyway enough vehicle hoopla and to the hike!

Upon finally reaching the official SM TH it was already 4pm!
Not exactly the ideal time you want to start a backpacking trip when the whole purpose of the trip was for sunset photos...
It was 4.5 miles to the vista I've been day dreaming off so ground had to be covered at a very swift pace and due to my eagerness and determination it's the lightest a 55 lbs pack has ever felt, the rare occasion of walking on a trail certainly helped as well.

The views that the mountain were offering gradually became stunning at nearly every turn and dare I say the further you head east on this mountain the better the views get not to mention less travel from people.
Soon Hart Well Vista is passed to the right and as well as the stand alone iconic looking Lost Mountain that has striking similarities with the Tianzi Mountains in China.

Made it to my destination at 6:40pm and with minutes of light to spare I bushwhacked through some very dense manzanita to an exposed cliff ledge and setup to shoot under the 30-40 mph winds as I did my best to take a few compositions all while preventing my camera gear, dog and myself from blowing off the edge.
[ youtube video ]

Setup camp in the dark in a some rare prime real estate and proceeded to have a feast of freeze dried pepper beef and fire roasted jalapeños red pepper bratwursts!
My friend and I made a small fire which I was rather paranoid of at first due to the ridiculous amount of dead-fall out there so I cleared out a 10 square foot area from all debris and kept a careful eye on it until completely extinguished.
Not to exaggerate the entire ground is littered with a thick carpet of dead dry debris and the trees are in such close proximity that this area needs some serious tending to from the Forest Service ASAP!

The weather was beautiful that night and the top of the tent was not needed but I unfortunately did not wake up in time for sunrise photos, my alarm went off but my mind and body needed its rest after the way the past couple of days went.
It warmed up quick and the rest of the hike out was a relaxing up and down scenic stroll back to the TH.

My SUV started right up and drove the 169 miles back to my house in the valley with no issues at all.
Although the objective of the trip was not necessarily accomplished seeing this place with my own two eyes and having those memories is all that really matters in the long run!
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Isolated
A few Honeysuckle blooms appearing on the trail just above Secret Cabin.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water 4 out of 5 Concrete Tank 76-100% full 76-100% full

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water 4 out of 5 Fry Lake 76-100% full 76-100% full

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water 4 out of 5 Joe Tank 76-100% full 76-100% full

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water 4 out of 5 Johnson Tank 76-100% full 76-100% full

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water 4 out of 5 Masonry Tank 76-100% full 76-100% full
L
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