for free!
show related photosets
Miners Needle Loop
86 Photosets

1,  2,  3,  4,  5  
mini location map2017-12-02
16 by photographer avatartibber
photographer avatar
page 1   2
Miners Needle LoopPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Dec 02 2017
Hiking9.62 Miles 1,734 AEG
Hiking9.62 Miles   5 Hrs   45 Mns   1.92 mph
1,734 ft AEG      45 Mns Break
Partners partners
Kathy said when do we get to hike and it just so happens, Saturday worked great for both of us and I got to pick. I'm still working on my knee and would have liked to take her up the Ely Anderson to Bluff but that will have to wait. I came up with Miners Needle Loop altho I wasn't sure as that might be too much. I kept going back and forth but decided to go for it.

The road in is not too bad. We got the last spot in the upper lot. It was humid as we went up Cardio Hill which is really not that bad, it's the rest of that hill up the Bluff Springs Trail that gets a little tedious with the continuous up. It was nice to have the cloud cover as it created great light from time to time as well as a different aura for this hike that I've done quite a few times but always enjoy.

There's been some trail work done and some rocks put down to provide guidance or blockage at various points on the up part of Bluff Springs Trail. A little later we could see the large group ahead of us on Lower Barks Saddle. As usual, the view from there was spectacular toward Weavers Needle; especially when the light would just shine on the Needle. We made our way down to Barks Canyon and I showed Kathy the entry route if one was to do Lower Barks. We found the Peralta Rock and after Kathy added water, she got the obligatory picture of it.

From there it was on to Upper Barks which I also enjoy as you make your way to what I call Upper Barks Saddle. Great views and the green was intense with the filtered light and against the golden grasses. We took a quick snack and photo break at the Saddle before continuing on our way. I pointed other areas of interest as we continued down the canyon to where we got to the campsite below Ely Anderson Trail which we checked out momentarily along with the camp at the intersection with the Dutchman. This is the first time I've see that pipe that comes out of the ground here.

The sun came out in earnest now altho once in awhile we got brief moments of filtration. I remember from reading my trip report from the last time I did this route this way when it had lots of water and recalled that going up to Miners Saddle seems effortless as the grade is quite pleasant. Today was no exception and we had a tad of shade. We encountered the large group here. I had planned a break but decided to go for the boulder towers below Miners which ended up being a much better choice. We hit it at just the right time as we were in the shade as we sat in the center of the boulder tower. We had a buzzy guest join us too; it seemed to have a hankerin' for my almonds.

We ended staying there longer than we thot but it was just so nice. Just before reaching the Miner's Canyon waterfall area we encountered two ladies that asked about the nearest shade and we suggested the boulder towers. They seemed dismayed at how high they were but we told them the trail is almost right next to them and it is not as high as it seems. It was getting pretty warm on this part of the hike.

We finally got to the bottom at Barkley Basin and despite the sun coming out, it wasn't too bad altho my legs were getting a little annoyed with me again but only for a short time. Same thing for my knee as it seemed to flare up coming down from the needle but the pain was only momentary. We encountered a couple not too far from the Coffee Flat and Dutchman intersection. We kept up a pretty decent pace and we finally reached the area where the Lower Barks hike merges to the Dutchman.

A little later we noticed the cholla differentials again that we had noticed on the way up. You'll have to see the picture I posted though it's not the best but some of the cholla were missing their fur. It was the strangest thing. We had noticed it up on the Bluff Springs Trail. Below Bluff Springs Mtn the cholla all seem to have their fur but now here again on the Dutchman we have the mixed cholla issue. I just don't recall seeing this before. Or maybe I just forgot that sometimes cholla does this.

I dreaded the long little hill coming up but we kept a SLOWANDSTEADY pace again and got up to where I knew it was pretty much all downhill from here to the TH. I was surprised to see still a lot of cars in the lot around 2:20. Don't be shocked but I only took 40 photos :o . But probably because I took so many last Sunday, ha!

I cracked up my AZ Wilderness Brewery Pecan Pie Ale. At first it seemed pretty ALEy but after the third sip, YUM... that's the beer I remember and love. Kathy felt the same way. Glad it was a big can :) so that I could share some with her. Thx Kathy for keeping me company; just don't like doing these hikes alone anymore. Enjoyed the great conversation and nice to catch up.
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.
HAZ Member
972 Photosets

1 ... 16,  17,  18,  19,  20,  21,  22 ... 49  

end of page marker