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Gila River Canyons - AZT #16
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mini location map2018-02-20
17 by photographer avatartibber
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Gila River Canyons - AZT #16Globe, AZ
Globe, AZ
Hiking avatar Feb 20 2018
tibber
Hiking5.47 Miles 736 AEG
Hiking5.47 Miles   3 Hrs   11 Mns   2.04 mph
736 ft AEG      30 Mns Break
 
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desertgirl
Paintninaz
Sredfield
Day 4 Backpack of Passages 17 and 16 southbound. This is the last miles of Passage 16 to the Bridge. Well after 14 hours in our tent when most of us first wanted to get going at 2AM and then 4:30AM, we finally rolled out, had a quick breakfast and were on the trail by 8. It was an overcast morning, looked like it could rain but fortunately it didn't. Yesterday I kept the rain cover on my pack just to hold off the rain and it worked, today I didn't care.

Once again we would be hiking through several washes, up and down and around and through and over but never too far from the River. We made pretty decent time as the first couple miles were mostly downhill. Off in the distance we could see the The A Diamond Ranch (a working cattle ranch nestled on 22,000 acres of saguaro-studded mountains) that was used as a home base for some AZT work projects I think. According to Shawn, the rancher is very cooperative with the Arizona Trail. Per a website I read, the main ranch house can be your home for the best vacation ever; and from what I saw online, 5 star ratings from several different sites.

I knew we would have some elevation though to finish off this trail. Soon we arrived at the pièce de résistance for this part of the hike, the view of the Bridge. I've seen so many pictures of it that it was great to finally witness it in person. Our light wasn't the best for photos but we all squeezed out several pictures before finishing our hike to the new gate. It looked like something or someone had a disagreement with the wire fence and steel posts along side of the gate that is above a bit of a ravine. Once through the gates, we walked over to the tracks to get pictures.

Back on the trail, the climb would begin. I thot I saw where we would saddle out at but it was a false summit. There were a couple on this uphill climb. However, the trail was nice and the grade was pretty decent as you switch-backed up and around and up and around and finally to a summit. Once past that we took a break to soak in the scenery and rest our laurels. We had a tad more uphill after that and then it was downhill most of the way.

Once we headed NE the mine came into view and we would have sights of that off and on as we headed in the opposite direction of our destination ](*,) . We will always remember that being the case with the Picketpost southbound passage as well. But now instead of being Picketposted we have to say Gilaed as this is the earlier passage. It's only about a mile the wrong way but at this stage it felt like ten :lol: . We finally made it to ground level again after travelling on great trail. In fact, the trail condition for this whole passage, even the first 9 miles, is pretty darn good if you ask me.

But as you know, even though it's still morning, I am hiking for beer so nothing much matters. You have quite a bit of a road walk, pass an outhouse, hike by some houses with the dogs that were apparently inside, across a big wash and then up a hill onto some pavement where we watched a crane turn around some sort of machinery. We went to the bridge entrance on the north side and waited for Guru to arrive which he did within about 5 minutes. He brot chips and beverages for everyone :) .

Video production hasn't begun as I have to get up way early tomorrow to go on a hike at South Mountain.
_____________________
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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