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mini location map2019-10-23
8 by photographer avatarLJW
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Quien Sabe PeakPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Oct 23 2019
Hiking25.02 Miles 5,005 AEG
Hiking25.02 Miles   9 Hrs   39 Mns   2.98 mph
5,005 ft AEG   1 Hour   15 Mns Break
Route Scout Route Recorded  on Route Scout Popup | MapDEX
Seems most people add Quien Sabe from the CC4/Skunk Tank loop. That seems like the more enjoyable option compared to adding it to the Skull Mesa/Cottonwood Loop. I had thought it would only add a little mileage and elevation, but that was wrong. This one turned into an ordeal.

Decided that fall colors could wait, and that I would rather hike in the last of summer's residual heat down around Phoenix. Started around 6:15am. Was in the dark or shade until the Skull Mesa turn off. Trail to the top is good, but once on top the trail is harder to follow the closer to Quien Sabe it goes. Plenty of cairns but still easy to get off route. The eastern side of Skull Mesa was alive with wildflowers. The route down on the east side is lost the lower it goes. Pretty well eroded the whole time it's there.

Headed to the pass between Skunk Ridge and Quien Sabe because it looked like the least steep approach. Took off up hill and it was very easy going. Wildflowers were pretty extreme. Stained my boots a bright yellow. Impressive views on the peak, especially of the Mazatzals to the east.

Once off of the Quien Sabe Trail and back onto Skull Mesa, after a while the trail more or less disappeared. Much of the stretch between the Quien Sabe junction and Cottonwood is overgrown, very faint, or gone. Ended up spending a lot of time walking cross country in search of the route. Would not be comfortable doing this part without GPS. Once on the descent to Cottonwood the trail is pretty solid.

The more I do of the Cottonwood Trail the more I like it. Really enjoyable stretches in the creek with a lot of shade in the hottest part of the day. Ran out of water at Cottonwood Spring around the Skull Mesa junction. Last six miles were pretty arduous. Saw a baby rattlesnake in the last thirty yards of the Cottonwood Trail. Only people I saw all day were in the last mile.
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Substantial
Heavy on Skull Mesa, pretty extreme on Quien Sabe Peak

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Cottonwood Spring Dripping Dripping
Small pools

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Dirt Trough Creek Pools to trickle Pools to trickle
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