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Mt Baldy Super Loop, AZ
mini location map2019-09-21
7 by photographer avatarLindaAnn
photographer avatar
Mt Baldy Super Loop, AZ 
Mt Baldy Super Loop, AZ
Hiking avatar Sep 21 2019
Hiking29.74 Miles 3,445 AEG
Hiking29.74 Miles   13 Hrs   19 Mns   2.46 mph
3,445 ft AEG   1 Hour   13 Mns Break
1st trip
Route Scout Route Recorded  on Route Scout Popup | MapDEX
Denny had his sights set on doing a Baldy Marathon & 5K. We left the Valley around midnight, and got to the Greer area at 0400. We cached water at the East & West Baldy trailheads along hwy 273 so that we wouldn’t have to carry water for the whole distance nor have to spend time filtering, then parked at the West Fork trailhead at the north end of Greer. Not much of a trailhead, but there’s room for about four vehicles to park east of the sign.

Got started around 0450 and walked the main road south through Greer to the East Fork trailhead. We immediately crossed the Little Colorado and started climbing up to Amberion Flat. The trail is more defined through this part and easy to follow. After a couple of miles, the trail fades significantly in places and becomes a search of fiberglass signs, cairns, and deciding which trampled path in the grass is a real trail. Using a gps track helped take a lot of the guesswork out of the way for a few miles. After a while, the trail became more defined again and turned into a series of passing through as many gates as possible before reaching the road. We saw a coyote running towards two elk, which was kind of fun to watch.

Short walk north on Hwy 273 to the East Baldy trailhead. We picked up our cached drinks and headed up the trail. And up. Reasonably easy incline, but with so many miles already behind us, it was a little more challenging than usual. I think there was only one downed tree crossing the trail, which was nice. The elevation was not Denny’s friend today, so at the East/West saddle, we opted to skip the side trip so the summit and headed down West Baldy after a short break.

The top of West Baldy has seen some recent erosion from runoff, but overall in good shape, with only three or four downed trees to deal with. The lower part of this trail is always my favorite with the trail on the grassy windswept hillside and the river running down below. Once at the West Baldy trailhead, we picked up our remaining cache, which it turned out we didn’t need, and took a short break before beginning the West Fork trail.

Finding the start of West Fork was a little challenging. It turns out you walk under the highway on the north side of the trailhead. There’s a gate immediately on the east side of the highway where the trail begins. West Fork is reasonably easy to follow, with cairns and signs helping in a few places. After listening to bugling elk all day, we were treated to almost endless elk sightings along most of this trail. Eventually, the trail descended into Greer, and the sight of the vehicle parked right next to the trailhead was most welcome.

Great hike, absolutely perfect weather, and great company. We got back to the Valley just after 2230. Driving to Greer and back in one day is usually a full day in itself, and throwing a 30 mile hike into the middle of that definitely makes for a big day.
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