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Peak 3004 Loop - Goldfield Mtns
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mini location map2019-05-18
11 by photographer avatarDarthStiller
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Peak 3004 Loop - Goldfield MtnsPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar May 18 2019
DarthStiller
Hiking4.90 Miles 1,341 AEG
Hiking4.90 Miles   4 Hrs   23 Mns   1.12 mph
1,341 ft AEG
 
Partners none no partners
I had planned to do this hike the week before, but my knee flared up a couple days before from jogging, so I had to give it a rest for a weekend. Once the knee felt better, I was back at it this weekend to do this hike.

This is just basically the Fish Rock loop, only hiking up to the ridgeline from the eastern saddle and hiking back on the Pass Mountain Loop Trail. From the eastern saddle, there is a faint trail that goes all the way to the first peak on the ridgeline. After that, it's pretty much a bushwhack. Nothing too bad, but it was slow going. The worst spot was just below Peak 3004, there are several larger boulders that are very loose. One was loose enough that I could have tilted it enough to make it start to slide and maybe roll. I decided to get away from that section as quickly as I could. On the way up to Peak 3004 there were 2 vultures that sat tight until I got a little too close, then took off. Got some nice pics of them.

From Peak 3004 to the Pass Mountain Loop, I had DixieFlyer's track from his hike last month. The one smaller peak before the trail, he took the north side of the peak. That looked way too steep and dicey for me, so I took the south side of the peak. Just before I got to the Pass Mountain Trail, I noticed another spur trail that was below me. At first I thought it was the Fish Rock Loop, but then I saw that trail further down. I was about to double back a little to head down a more direct route to the spur trail, but then I could hear a rattle. I moved a bit more and heard the rattle again, but couldn't see the snake. I decided to start heading back to the same direction and heard no more rattling. Better to take the more indirect way down to the trail.

Once on the spur trail, I saw where it ends at a shallow cave with some honeycombs at the top. The trail got very faint and continued a little further. It then began a very steep ascent with some very loose rock. I decided against exploring that any further. I got through a mile of off trail hiking with a gimpy knee, better not to push my luck any further.

I was planning to hike the majority of the Pass Mountain Loop around Pass Mountain counter-clockwise, but that off trail section took me a good 2.5 hours to do, so I decided to just head back to the car and call it a day. I hiked a few more spurs near the Meridian TH that I noticed before, then finished up.
Fauna
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Turkey Vulture
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