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Ironwood Ridgeline 3108 Loop - Goldfield Mtns
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mini location map2019-04-20
10 by photographer avatarDarthStiller
photographer avatar
 
Ironwood Ridgeline 3108 Loop - Goldfield MtnsPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Apr 20 2019
DarthStiller
Hiking5.60 Miles 1,631 AEG
Hiking5.60 Miles   4 Hrs   58 Mns   1.13 mph
1,631 ft AEG
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
The weekend plans were such that a Sunday hike wasn't feasible. then I realized that since my kids are teenagers now, I can once again hike on a Saturday if I want to. I still had some things to get done around the house, so something close to home was in order. This one looked like it fit the bill.

Right off the bat I saw a javelina cross the trail up ahead. I tried to get a decent shot of him but he kept moving. Just as well since they can do some damage if they want.

I saw the turnoff up the hill from the lower trail that's on the official route, but since the lower trail kept heading east, I decided to take that as far as it went. It went not quite another half mile before it abruptly ends. A few hundred feet before that, I trail heads up the mountain. there is also another lower trail that heads down towards the homes below. Maybe a reason to go back and check that out another day with the family, or not.

The trail up the mountain was faint, but definitely still a trail. I stopped following it once I saw a cairn that required my first vertical climb for the day, which I wasn't in the mood for yet. I was already level with the saddle, which is where the track for this hike goes, so I decided to just cut over to that. There was a spot of bare rock that seemed pretty stable. It was really steep, however, and had a lot of loose rock on it, making the footing a little dicey. Once I got to the saddle, I saw the trail from the cairned turnoff.

the description for this hike mentions at this point that it's more of a cairned route on the way up. I don't know if there's any debate on these things, but what I saw at this point was definitely still a trail. I would say it was a faint trail, but as long as there's actual erosion into the ground, to me that's a trail. when it's just a cairn, and some signs of recent activity like matted grass, broken branches or a half a footprint, then I would think of that as a route. That part came later once I reached the ridgeline. but I digress.

the ridgeline portion of the hike was the slowest going. Not too bad in terms of vegetation, but a lot of bouldering, and elevation gains and losses to and from the various peaks. At times it was just easier to walk along the side off the boulders. the second to last peak, which has the point on it, was the hardest to get down from. I just followed the ridge and quickly find myself in a very exposed area. I got down from the exposure at my first chance, but I did have to throw my sticks to my intended destination and use both hands to cling to a rock face as I pulled myself around it. And there was quite a lot of loose rocks and footings all around, making that section rather dicey to get out of. The views up in this area to the northeast are really phenomenal. You can see down into Bulldog Canyon, the rest of the Goldfield ridgeline, and 4Peaks, Superstitions and Mazzies in the background.

Once I got to the last peak, I headed down to the saddle and the Fish Rock Loop. there was once again a trail from the last peak down to the saddle, but it was steep and with very loose footing. Hard on the knees after trudging along the ridgeline. I had originally intended to climb the other ridge over to the Pass Mountain Loop trail, but it was already 4 hours since I started, and I wanted to finish up. Saw a few hikers on my down the trail. Shorter hike, but it still took a lot of effort to make it through.
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