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mini location map2019-08-30
15 by photographer avatarkingsnake
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Potato Patch LoopNorthwest, AZ
Northwest, AZ
Hiking avatar Aug 30 2019
Hiking5.41 Miles 1,084 AEG
Hiking5.41 Miles   2 Hrs   28 Mns   2.19 mph
1,084 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
I’ve had my eye on the Hualapai Mountains for several years, but never quite got around to hiking there due to their distance. Besides Potato Patch Loop, I also planned to summit Hualapai Peak, which would make for a relatively short hike (8.0 miles), but with some good elevation gain (2,500 ft.). I hoped my lack of recent decent hikes would not be a factor.

I started hiking at 9:30 a.m., just behind some chatty girls (“We’re from the Mojave Desert!”). A few minutes after filming the intro to my hike video, I caught up to them already taking a sit down break. I never saw them again. Flatlanders. Not that I am Reinhold Messner. 🏔

On one of the early switchbacks, I got rattled by a snake. A rattle so brief, I wasn’t sure it was a rattle. I didn’t even jump. It was an Arizona Black Rattlesnake (crotalus cerberus). I wonder if the brief rattle was random, or if the species has a shorter rattle, as the western diamondbacks and speckled rattlesnakes I’ve encountered tend to quite lengthy rattles. 🤔

Some fluffy yellow flower clusters were the most common of the sparse floral pickings, with most of the patches found in the open, grassy, area around the Pine Lake Overlook. I took a short break on the bench, as I was already feeling the elevation.

Just past the overlook is Storm Shelter 1. Not sure why storm shelters are needed in the Hualapai Mountains, of all places. I’ve never seen them anywhere else. Indeed, the only other trailside shelters I’ve seen are for camping along the Appalachian Trail or Wisconsin’s Ice Age Trail. Definitely not for storms. ⛈

I was already noticing that every time I looked up, then back down to the trail, I was briefly experiencing visual anomalies. Not from looking at the sun (I wasn’t). Not nearly as bad as the heat exhaustion I experienced hiking from Table Mesa Rd. to Little Pan Loop back in 2011! [ photoset ] I figured best not to push too much, and decided to skip Hualapai Peak, or any of the other nearby summits.

At Camp Levi Levi -- not a misprint -- I checked three well hand pumps, and each gushed water, two of them without a single pump, just by lifting the handle! 💦

The 1.5 miles downhill from Storm Shelter 4 -- what happened to 2 and 3? 🤔 -- went much quicker than it's opposite earlier in the day. Less than an hour, in fact. And that despite stopping several times to wander off trail to enjoy some nice views. (If Kingman could be considered attractive.)

Even though I didn't summit any of the peaks, that means I now have three other hikes I can do in the area ... once I get back in hiking shape.

Hike Video: [ youtube video ]
Named place
Named place
Aspen Peak - Hualapai Pine Lake
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Isolated
_____________________ : Everyone's enjoyment of the outdoors is different and should be equally honored.
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