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Quartz Ridge Owl's Nest Loop, AZ
mini location map2018-12-16
25 by photographer avatarCannondaleKid
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Quartz Ridge Owl's Nest Loop, AZ 
Quartz Ridge Owl's Nest Loop, AZ
Hiking avatar Dec 16 2018
Hiking5.00 Miles 1,020 AEG
Hiking5.00 Miles   2 Hrs   45 Mns   1.88 mph
1,020 ft AEG      5 Mns Break20 LBS Pack
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
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Yesterday we noticed a trail traversing the northern slope of Quartz Ridge and found out on TrailForks that part of it was named "Owl's Nest Trail" and so we thought we'd check it out.

But rather than a long hike from Cloudview followed by a climb to the ridge we decided to drive in via Peralta Road and approach it from the south side.

Lots of (slow) traffic on Peralta Road, lots of campers/RV's/ATV trailers at various pull-offs as well. But no matter, we found a spot a short distance off Peralta Road which we were pretty sure wouldn't have much traffic, if any.

We headed up the old mining road, encountering a side-by-side parked at the very end. By the attached gun cases it was obvious it was owned by a hunter. About 30 minutes later we encountered two bow-hunters who were hunting Javelina. Within a minute of meeting the first bow-hunter a group of four Javelina broke cover some distance below and across the narrow canyon.

Shortly after passing the second hunter we ascended to the top of the ridge, turned back east and over the next 30 minutes we had a bird-eye view over the progress of their hunt... which didn't appear to be progressing well at all.
(At the very end of our hike within a hundred yards of where we were parked, they drove by in their SxS and by the look on their faces they were not successful)
Anyway... we continued east along the ridge on a very old horse trail until it dropped down to another horse trail, this one in current use. Even though we saw a bike tire track on it, the terrain was rough enough it appeared the biker was walking the bike as much as riding it.
From there we followed various horse trails as they appeared and disappeared, as well as some off-trail to create a contiguous loop. About 30 minutes/.75 miles from the end of our hike we encountered a Canadian from Alberta carrying wood back to their camp. He told us about finding a body wrapped in a blanket last night and they called the Pinal County Sheriff's Department.
The deputies who responded, checked it out and upon opening the smelly blanket they found a very young calf. Supposedly they would send someone out to remove it, but who knows when.
It was baffling to us as well as the Canadian why it was wrapped up and left there. Could it be a ritual sacrifice by devil worshipers?
BTW, just kidding... we seriously doubt it was anything so nefarious.

The rest of the hike was inconsequential. Oh wait... we encountered a couple with a 7? year-old boy who was carrying a reasonably large rock... which the mother quickly told us, "he really liked that rock". We both had a feeling he would tire of carrying it long before they returned to their truck, about a half-mile the opposite direction they were walking.
BTW, we saw many rocks we felt were more appealing, but then again, being over a half-century older than the boy, how are we to know what caught his eye?
Cow Javelina
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