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Aylor Arch - Black Top and Black Mesa, AZ
mini location map2017-12-16
21 by photographer avatarrayhuston
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Aylor Arch - Black Top and Black Mesa, AZ 
Aylor Arch - Black Top and Black Mesa, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Dec 16 2017
rayhuston
Hiking15.65 Miles 3,498 AEG
Hiking15.65 Miles   9 Hrs   2 Mns   1.97 mph
3,498 ft AEG   1 Hour   6 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Any one of the longer hikes would have been good, but why do one when you can do three or four while you're in the area. Classic Bruce.

I haven't been to BTM or Aylor's Arch for some time. The trails for both were easier to follow than I remember. The top of Palomino Mtn is a beautiful area. My first trip up there must have been in the spring because I remember a lot of green grass near the top, almost like a park setting. The cliff on the east side overlooking the Dutchman trail makes your stomach drop.

Black Top Mesa has some of the best views in the area. Overcast skies dampened the views just a bit, but still awesome. We hit the main attractions. I hadn't seen the rock with "The End" etched in it, I think from the movie crew that filmed "Lust for Gold." I mentioned that as we approached the south end. Right on queue, Bruce popped up, "You mean that one?" How could I have missed it? We didn't stay long; brisk winds sent us back down the trail a bit where we found a spot out of the wind. Time for lunch.

Lost Black Top Mesa trail was new. It was a decent trail for something that I didn't know existed. It terminates at the Dutchman trail, which we used to loop back to the Bull Pass trail.

We finished the hike on the Black Mesa and Second Water trails with an off trail down a canyon connecting Black Mesa and Second Water trails. The shortcut probably took longer than if we had stayed on trails, but it had a couple of cool spots worth seeing.

This was a great hike with a nice breeze and cool temps under mostly cloudy skies. The sun finally appeared as we were finishing up on Second water. We didn't see a single person on the trails today. There were a few people in sleeping bags when we arrived and two guys getting ready to start a hike when we finished. Holiday shopping must be going very well this year.

Back to back outings with Bruce and Joe is making this a great holiday season for me. Thanks again for a fun day! I suppose I need to get out and do some shopping too.
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