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The Mighty Mescals, AZ
mini location map2019-02-16
31 by photographer avatarRedRoxx44
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The Mighty Mescals, AZ 
The Mighty Mescals, AZ
Backpack avatar Feb 16 2019
Backpack20.00 Miles
Backpack20.00 Miles
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
A recon/return to the area to see if it would be worth avoiding the drive on the reservation to get to the Needles' Eye Wilderness area. The road in was doable with 4wd but I did need low range and a locker or two. I decided hiking was faster than driving, parked and put the backpack on. Up the road, of course after 100 yards improved but later on went to holy hell in a handbasket and I was satisfied I made the right choice. Up, up and up to the top of the range ridge. A couple of wildlife water tanks put in by AzGF. Down the other side the old road split off into quad routes or undriven. I took a quad route down then saw that none of these old roads seemed to go where I wanted. I had left my maps in the Jeep, but I have a somewhat photographic memory if I really study something so I could remember part of it.
Decided to take a sidecanyon down to the main. Old decrepit road destroyed in the canyon bottom, that became a built cow trail. Water running quite well. The trail became hard to follow, I picked it up again in a small delta area where two streams joined. On down the canyon formed a rocky slit, started seriously dropping, and a few waterfalls. I had to climb around that, pick up yet another cow trail and take that on down to the main road in the main canyon.
This road crosses the Res and they don't usually give a permit for this area, but the area I was in was a mix of state trust, BLM, and a private inholding.
I walked down the road, 10+ years ago we parked before the ranch house. A locked gate prevented that now but the structure of the gate was such I think it could let cows through. Anyway continued on, no one home and I avoided the ranch house and kept on an old Jeep trail to a spring, then beyond. I camped on an overlook of the Gila, probably in the Needles Eye Wilderness but not right at the named narrows.
My Big Agnes Air core mattress chose this trip to fail, probably have a cactus spine hole or holes in it. So a hard ground night but I think it still provided a small bit of insulation.
I didn't have time to do any more stuff, and since I had left my maps couldn't make a possible loop out of it. This area I think I would drive up the road more then plan on 3-4 days at least for real exploration.
I did take another decrepit road out partly then since it was going away from the pass I needed left it and off trailed it over to the quad route. The tracks in were old, and a large rock had slid into the road since anyone had been on this.

The views and the area are quite beautiful, and some wicked sharp solutioned limestone, running water, not the norm for here for sure. Some really big saguaros', some flowers, and some exploration. A worthy return at some point for sure.
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