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2017-09-25  
Hugh Norris Dobe and Bajada Wash Loop, AZ
mini location map2017-09-25
16 by photographer avatarmarkthurman53
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Hugh Norris Dobe and Bajada Wash Loop, AZ 
Hugh Norris Dobe and Bajada Wash Loop, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Sep 25 2017
markthurman53
Hiking8.80 Miles 1,528 AEG
Hiking8.80 Miles   3 Hrs   31 Mns   2.78 mph
1,528 ft AEG      21 Mns Break10 LBS Pack
 
1st trip
Started this hike from the Sus Picnic Ground in Saguaro National Park West. The sun was just touching the peaks of the Quinlin Mountains to the west and I almost forgot what 50 degree weather felt like. Today's hike will be the Hugh Norris trail to Sendero Esperanza then down the Dobe Wash Trail and return on the Bajada Wash Trail. I chose to do this in the counter clockwise direction so I do all the climbing on the Hugh Norris trail before the sun hits it and from the junction with the Sendero Esperanza Trail to the finish will be all down hill. Much of the return trip is in sand and I prefer walking downhill in sand.

Hugh Norris Trail
Someone put a lot of work in this trail especially on the uphill sections with all the rock steps and well maintained trail. The last .5 miles to the saddle with the Sendero Esperanza trail is not as well maintained but still in better shape than a lot of the other trails in the park. Since this is a ridge trail, views can be expected, mainly to the west and north. As with many of the trails in the park morning is the best time with the best views. I imagine the evening is also good but I prefer the morning colors. Saw a couple of deer on the way up the Hugh Norris Trail and one of them even stopped to let me get a picture. You can always tell when you are in a park, the deer stop and pose, and the rattlesnakes usually don't rattle.

Sendero Esperanza Trail
Only did a short .7 miles of this 3.2 mile trail. From the saddle where it crosses the Hugh Norris Trail to the Dobe Wash Trail it is all downhill. The trail drops just shy of 500 feet in 1 mile on a trail that is not as well maintained as the Hugh Norris but not in bad shape. Most of the climbing to the saddle is in the last .6 miles via a system of switch backs that makes the going a little easier. Of coarse I was going downhill and not up but it didn't seem to bad on my knees and feet so I'm assuming the trek up won't be too bad either. Some sections have lots of loose rock so you have to watch it going down.

Dobe Wash Trail
If it weren't for the sign indicating the Dobe Wash Trail you probably wouldn't know it was there. The trail heads down the eastern most branch of Dobe Wash along what looks like might have been a road. The trail is very faint here and just when you wonder if you are still on the trail there is a sign indicating you are on track. Dobe wash is a system of streams coming down an alluvial and all these streams converge as it passes through some hills, after the hills the wash spreads out along another alluvial so the signs are very helpful in making sure you are in the right stream. Just before you enter the constriction there is a stream which is the western most stream of Dobe Wash that converges with the trail, This is where I took a side trip up this stream to a wind mill. I saw the wind mill as I was coming down the Sendero Esperanza Trail and thought I would check it out. The wind mill and cement tank are about .5 miles up this wash. The wind mill was in good condition but not operating and there were a lot of old food cans laying all around. It appears this was once inhabited or was used as a camp site. Back to the Dobe Wash Trail. Once past the constriction the trail leaves the wash (signed) and travels across the desert for about .5 miles before entering another finger of Dobe Wash. The trail follows this wash the rest of the way to Hohokum Road and the end of the trail.

Bajada Wash Trail
From Hohokum Road just east of Apache Peak the Bajada Wash Trail heads up to a saddle on the South side of Apache Peak, maybe 30 feet up. From this saddle the trail drops into Bajada Wash were it will remain until Sus Picnic Ground. Not a real exciting trail, the highlights are the crossing of the Valley View Overlook Trail, Some large rocks in the trail near the end and the Spur Trail that goes up to the Hugh Norris Trail. Might be more interesting after a summer monsoon when the wash is running.
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