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More Maricopas', AZ
mini location map2018-12-23
31 by photographer avatarRedRoxx44
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More Maricopas', AZ 
More Maricopas', AZ
Hiking avatar Dec 23 2018
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
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Weekend plans did not pan out due to a Sat special delivery that did not show up. Anyway, had a small peak of prominent boulders in mind. You can see the profile from I-8 heading east from Gila Bend, looks a little like an abbreviated Cardinal topknot. Most Maricopa peaks are rocky, but rounded. Not this one.
Too early, too dark, missed the turn off. Backtrack, find the right road and drive back. Vehicle barrier at the wilderness boundary and a couple of vehicles parked tucked in near rocks. I kept a close lookout when I started hiking, and checked my backtrail a bit, after all this is the southern maricopas.

No one driving this old road, I left it after a short while, taking a wash, my destination I estimated about 4.5 miles from the car park. Nice orienting here because everything is so open. Large healthy saquaros' and lots of them.
The fun began as I chose my route. Boulder hopping and scrambling all the way. Some cholla and palo verde, and other scratchy stuff to dodge. Amazing, glorious brittlebush blooms, dominant, some globe mallow, I spotted the pale kind, and on the way back a few poppies. The ridgeline I chose was ok, then got challenging as I traversed a rocky cliff portion on the way and ended up with some climbing with high penalty points if a screw up. Got past that then to the base. It had looked somewhat vertical from a distance and it was a bit, but with nice grippy granitic boulders. The top was amazing. Views were good but I did not get on top of the house size boulders, would require real climbing.
Down required pushing through some big thorns. Each traverse put me above or below some cholla, fortunately I did not slip in the gravelly loose terrain. On the return I chose partly a different route, which had me weaving in and out the huge saguaro forest. One giant had recently fallen across a shallow wash and I used it as a bridge.

I spotted an area of a "mini Thing", what is with these vines!? When I got back to the Toyota ( back from shop with repaired electronics and linkage and did great with everything today except when I banged the trailer hitch going through a very steep and frame twisting wash out) the vehicles were still there and nothing of note near my vehicle.

Drove out a road that is on the map but no one is driving, a real adventure and to get on I-8 from a barely wired up gate, had to be on my "A" game to pull out with low visibility.

The flowers, weather, and a tough destination made a great hike for the end of 2018!
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