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Mescal Mountain Loop, AZ
mini location map2019-06-23
24 by photographer avatartibber
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Mescal Mountain Loop, AZ 
Mescal Mountain Loop, AZ
Hiking avatar Jun 23 2019
Hiking5.29 Miles 792 AEG
Hiking5.29 Miles   2 Hrs   50 Mns   2.12 mph
792 ft AEG      20 Mns Break
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We had to drop off some more art for the Romain Room at Sedona Consignment (off of Coffee Pot Dr and 89A) so we thot we would make a weekend of it. Please feel free to drop by and take a look. We stayed at the Green Tree and apparently there was a jeep caravan staying there as well.
The next morning we headed out to the trailhead. I had my window down and could hear this buzzing. I said, "that can't be cicadas" can it? as it sounded like an electric fence on steroids. But that's exactly what it was. I was surprised when we got to the Trailhead that there weren't more cars. We decided to do the loop counterwise as I had done it clockwise a couple years ago with Kelly.... should have gone the other way.

Anyway, we started down and then up as we made our way to the trail junction with Deadman Pass and then headed south and around on the Mescal Trail up to the side of Mescal Mountain. We already encountered our first bike rider of many today. On our way up we stopped to look back at the fabulous view. As we hiked we would discover we almost needed ear plugs as the cicadas were so loud. We thot they would eventually stop buzzing but it more or less continued the entire way :o .

Once up on the ledge it is such great hiking and such great views. It was slightly shady here as we made our way around to the south side. My niece is a bit of a picture-taker so we stopped a few times for her to be come one with the landscape. Once again we would encounter some more bike riders as we made our way around the corner. But before we did, we noticed a trail that went up the side thinking it might be a climbers route or something. Later we would see some hikers hiking above us but they certainly weren't climbers so maybe there is a higher trail.

It's real pretty along this south side and interesting where the trees seem to be more plentiful above us. You have distant views to Courthouse Butte and the like too. The trail splits for the bikers so Mia took the biker-rated difficult (high trail) and I took the biker-rated extreme (lower trail). We eventually determined that the difference in the rating must be due to the Extreme being on the edge and having more challenging entry/exit points. My older cousin (by 9 months), Wendy Romain Walsh, rode this and had mentioned to me as well that for her it was a bit frightening.

We made our way around the mountain and over to the Long Canyon Trailhead. Along the way we encountered a few more hikers and bike riders and lizards and beautifully budding and blooming agave. The cicadas were flying around as well and occasionally they would hit us; not sure why. A couple hit my hat so it became more of a helmet it seemed. The temps were starting to warm as we made our way up Long Canyon Trail which looks like a wide open road for a bit. Here we saw some different flora though not much blooming.

We stopped just after the junction with Deadman Pass to eat our apples. While there a couple helicopters flew above and we saw a bike instructor with two students trying to pedal up the hill by here. We would run into them off and on for the rest of the hike. As we came up the Deadman Pass, Mia says, "yep, we sure should have gone the other way" ](*,) . We ran into a family that didn't have any idea where they were hiking really and had very little water. We told them the trail does loop but it's about 4 1/2 miles. They decided to turn around. We waited for them a bit at the Mescal Trail Jct to let them know they could reach the side of the mountain from here in less than 1/2 mile. I guess they originally thot they were doing a hike up to the spire but this wasn't even the TH for that I don't think.

My niece is having hip issues so this was a good test to see what they could handle. And for me, any hike right now is a good hike. Here are a couple videos, you will hear the cicadas throughout:
Video 1 to the south side [ youtube video ]
Video 2 finishing off the hike [ youtube video ]
For me, sometimes it's just as much about the journey as the destination.
Oh, and once in awhile, don't forget to look back at the trail you've traveled.
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