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Bluff Spring Mountain Summit
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mini location map2018-02-11
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Bluff Spring Mountain SummitPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Feb 11 2018
Hiking9.89 Miles 2,641 AEG
Hiking9.89 Miles   7 Hrs   14 Mns   1.73 mph
2,641 ft AEG   1 Hour   30 Mns Break
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Kelly and I were initially going to do a Sedona trek but since the temps looked a little cooler than we would prefer, we went to a Plan B. I texted Kathy, now that she passed her Series III, to see if she was up for a hike on a Sunday (now that there isn't any football) and she was game. When I took Kathy on the Miners Needle Loop in December and we passed by the Ely Anderson TH, I had mentioned to her about the Bluff Spring Mountain hike once I was in better shape. So with all of that, we three girls decided to do this hike since Kelly was fine with hiking the mountain again as well.

We got started around 9ish I think. It was a bit windy, and a chilly wind at that, as we started up Cardiac Hill. That one always is a doozie especially since you still have to go up for another 3/4 mile or so before you finally top out. At Lower Bark's Saddle we enjoyed our first view of Weaver's Needle and I reminisced about when johnr1 and I had done this hike in 2011 and I filmed the sun slowly lighting up the Needle.

We hiked our way over to the Ely Anderson TH meeting up with around 9 hikers including 2 that were sitting up a ways as we made our way to Upper Barks saddle. After a fuel break, it was time to go UP the trail. We lost the original trail for a bit but then joined up with the cairned path for our up and up with a couple easier sections in-between before more up and up. Finally I saw the stone wall and pointed it out to Kathy. It's nice to have goals to shoot for when you're going up and up. That view when you first peek over the rock outcropping is astonishing as Weavers Needle about hits you in the face :y: . Just WOW! so we stood there for a moment or two and took pictures.

And now to finish off the somewhat trail of the Ely Anderson. From there we veer slightly left and then stay slightly to the low side as you try to pick your way across the wide open prairie of Bluff Spring Mountain that's dotted with rocks and cactus and brush. I did spot a few cairns on my upper route which we also found for the way back as there are basically no trails through here. Kelly and Kathy decided to stay to the far left for their 175 foot in .2 mile climb up Bluff but that looked way too intimidating for me so I swung a little more to the center for my ascent. I spotted a few cairns on the ascent too. I was finally getting closer to the rocks of the summit when I saw the tip of Kathy's hat which meant it wasn't too much further.

Whoo hoo, I'm back here again; such a worthy summit with two of my favorite hiking companions. They both are so supportive of my eventually get 'er done pace. After a few quick pictures it was time for lunch. I also brot a couple pictures of johnr1 as the picture I took up here is the one they used on the Memorial program so I thot it fitting to add it to the summit box. johnr1 and I had the most beautiful hike to this summit in November 2011.

We found it hard to leave as the weather and the views couldn't have been more perfect. Canyon Lake was the deep blue of an ocean and we could see all the noticeable landmarks from our vista... such a wonderful feeling. But alas, we had to get down from this summit and go back across the grassy, rocky tundra of Bluff Spring Mountain. We managed to find the route I came across on and then from there a real nice flat and even, though slightly grassy, route almost all the way to the end/beginning of the Ely Anderson Trail.

This time I made sure the girls saw the stone fence as they kind of missed it on the way up even though they both crossed through it :lol: . And now it was time for the down and more down. It was a little warmer now. Glad it was sticky rock for most of this. Took a couple pics, Kelly stopped to talk to another hiker who had begun his ascent and then just before the bottom I landed on my tush. Once on level ground, I was a little tired so it took me a bit longer as the girls proceeded ahead. We took a break on Upper Barks saddle and then had shade for the hill climb up to Lower Barks saddle. It is a nice grade though as is the next hill that looks like it is steeper than it is. By now I'm in "hiking for beer" mode anyway so it's all good :) .

We hung at the TH for a bit watching all the activity; about as good as hangin' at the airport. A nice day, a great hike and even better, time with Kelly and Kathy.

Part 1 to top of Ely-Anderson TH from Peralta TH - [ youtube video ]
Part 2 to the Summit from Ely-Anderson Trail - [ youtube video ]
Part 3 Summit back to Peralta TH [ youtube video ]
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.
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