Dial back to 2009. I had a deep desire to walk on Secret Mountain. Father Dave, Denny, Snowlar System Kokopelli and I failed to access via [ Boynton's Backyard ] . 2 months later, Christmas came 7 days early. Without prayer or chip kokopelli we made it happen in kryptonite snow. You can drive up the mountain. That drive is 7 hrs RT from the skillet. 3 hrs more hiking / less driving is more appealing for myself.
Loy Canyon Trail #5
Several miles of nice forest hunkered in a red rock canyon is mighty enjoyable in nice weather. Semi sandy tread for a mile, lack of a running creek and bumpy road access keeps the wild idiots or whatever the current term is out.
A meaty ascent then dynamite views seal the deal.
Secret Mountain Trail #109
First time on the trail past the cabin. Pines were better than anticipated. My second fav to North Rim GC with canyon views. Here you get red rock canyon views plus the San Francisco Peaks. The trail is great then swallowed by manzanita 0.3 miles before 6607... wild buffer. The most forgiving manzanita I recall but let's keep that on the down low.
Content with turning around the eagle forged on. Grateful. A view I never expected opened up.
This is a 3.2 out of 5 for 4 out of 5. A solid 5 for this mixed up kokopelli that enjoys Piestewa Peak.