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2019-10-16  
The McFaddens & Elephant Rock Arch, AZ
mini location map2019-10-16
18 by photographer avatarDixieFlyer
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The McFaddens & Elephant Rock Arch, AZ 
The McFaddens & Elephant Rock Arch, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Oct 16 2019
DixieFlyer
Hiking9.30 Miles 2,685 AEG
Hiking9.30 Miles   6 Hrs   7 Mns   2.12 mph
2,685 ft AEG   1 Hour   44 Mns Break
 
1st trip
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SecretMtnLover
I managed to convince Tracie, my favorite and intrepid hiking partner, to join me on a trip to the Sierra Anchas. The plan was to do 2 hikes: Hike #1 was to go to the McFadden Peak Summit via FR 561, and then when we got back to the TH we'd go up to Elephant Rock Arch; Hike #2 was to go to the summit of McFadden Horse Mountain.

Hike #1 went off without a hitch. The hike up to McFadden Peak on the forest road was basically a mini Mount Ord hike. There were some nice views at the summit and along the way up, but the hike wasn't terribly exciting. I really enjoyed being up on Elephant Rock Arch, although the hike there was slow going -- it was entirely off-trail, and there was quite a bit of vegetation to go around or through. I would definitely recommend a GPS track for the hike up to the arch -- there are several good tracks in the triplogs on this site.

The hike up to the arch took a bit longer and was more tiring than I expected, so we did not go all the way to the summit of McFadden Horse Mountain. Instead, we took the McFadden Horse Trail up to the junction with the Cienega Springs Trail and then turned around and went back to the TH. The TH was a small pullout on Highway 288 just across from mile marker 288. I plan to go back to the area before long and bag McFadden Horse Mountain and Aztec Peak.

Mileage and elevation gain above is the sum of the 2 hikes: The hike to McFadden Peak and Elephant Rock Arch was 7.3 miles with 2,025' of elevation gain; the hike up and down the portion of McFadden Horse Road was 2.0 miles with 660' of elevation gain.
Flora
Flora
Indian Paintbrush
foliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observation
Autumn Foliage Observation None
There was virtually no fall foliage to be seen -- there was a bit of sumac and a random leaf here and there. I imagine that it will be a week or 2 before much fall foliage is seen.
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