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Wrightson-Florida Peak loop, AZ
mini location map2019-11-17
7 by photographer avatarLindaAnn
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Wrightson-Florida Peak loop, AZ 
Wrightson-Florida Peak loop, AZ
Hiking avatar Nov 17 2019
Hiking15.00 Miles 4,700 AEG
Hiking15.00 Miles   8 Hrs   18 Mns   2.08 mph
4,700 ft AEG   1 Hour   5 Mns Break
1st trip
Route Scout Route Recorded  on Route Scout Popup | MapDEX
Matt suggested an alternate route to Wrightson, and it was mostly new territory for me, so I was interested. The road in was not too bad, lots of washboard, but generally in good shape. We got started on the Link Trail by around 0745 and quickly started gaining elevation. After about a half mile of Link, we got onto Gardner Canyon Trail and continued the climb. The trail is mostly in decent shape, and easy to follow, but overgrown in some places. Not much shade, but we were early enough in the morning to where it wasn't hot yet.

Once at Super Trail, we headed north and took a short break before heading up to Baldy Saddle. From there, we headed up to Wrightson. We saw 6 hikers between the saddle and summit--the only people we saw all day. Windy at the summit, so we only stayed for a few minutes. High clouds were moving in from the south, offering some welcome shade.

Once back down at the saddle, we continued north on the Crest Trail. Side to Mt Ian, or something near Mt Ian, as I am not sure we made it to the true summit. There seemed to be 3 high points, and we went to the 2 southern ones, but I have a feeling the high point to the north may have been the real summit. Close enough in this case. Continuing north on Crest, it was nice walking through the pines for short stretches.

At Florida Saddle, we headed east on Sawmill towards Florida Peak. The trail is very overgrown and brushy. As we neared the peak, we left the trail and headed up the west side of the peak. Fairly easy off trail hiking, mostly a matter of avoiding manzanita. Views from the summit were limited, but there were rocks to sit on for a snack break. Lots of ladybugs up there. On the way back down, we spotted a bear below us, but my attempt at a picture was a blurry mess. It sauntered off into the trees, not to be seen again.

Once back down at the saddle, we headed down Cave Canyon Trail, which is a gem of a trail. Narrow, but easy to follow, and pleasant scenery the entire way. The creek had water in the lower sections. Parts of this trail reminded me of Miller Canyon in the Huachucas. If I lived in this area, I'd probably spend a lot of time on this trail. Good way to finish out the hike.

Great loop on some lesser used trails. Good to hike with Matt again, and good conversation. Perfect weather for the entire day. It's about a 3 hour drive from Ahwatukee, but well worth it for this loop. Stats are averaged between my Route Scout, my Garmin, and Matt's watch.
foliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observation
Autumn Foliage Observation None
A couple of weeks past prime, but Cave Canyon trail was probably very colorful a few weeks ago.
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