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Dutchman's Middle Trail Loop, AZ
mini location map2018-11-23
19 by photographer avatarPeraltaPhil
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Dutchman's Middle Trail Loop, AZ 
Dutchman's Middle Trail Loop, AZ
Hiking avatar Nov 23 2018
Hiking6.25 Miles 1,500 AEG
Hiking6.25 Miles   5 Hrs   40 Mns   1.17 mph
1,500 ft AEG      20 Mns Break15 LBS Pack
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A favorite hike of mine is the Middle Trail, which begins by paralleling the Dutchman's Wash north, from Barkley Basin to Bluff Springs Canyon. I know, the Miner's Needle Loop accomplishes the same objective. But this hike is shorter in distance, less travelled, with more exploring opportunities, and offers varying return options.

When I first began hiking this route I spent much time meandering through the wash. Over time, I found parts of the "old" trail. Now it is possible for one to stay out of the wash and to hike "a" trail north all the way to the short, slick ravine in Middle Canyon.

The next section of the hike has been line of sight across Middle Canyon to the base of two hills separated by a nasty drainage. The ascension to the saddle had been a major drawback with calamitous cats claw, not so "brittle" brush and bruising boulders.

Unexpectedly (to me), someone(s) had cleared away much of the nastiness, thereby, removing a major impediment, making the hike up to the saddle less stressful, less blood-letting, and less time-consuming.

The last part of the hike north from the Hill 3559 saddle to the connection with the Bluff Springs Trail is a reward for making it through all of the aforementioned. :y: Line of site, and/or an on-again off-again trail, will connect with a winding ravine and to the east/west portion of the Bluff Springs Trail.

The description above is the north/south route. My hike was in the opposite direction. I stayed in the ravine too long and spent some time exploring the top of Hill 3559. I'll have to pay more attention when doing the clock-wise loop. After descending from the hill to the saddle I was surprised at the openness to the descent into Middle Canyon.
Desert Cotton

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