|Hiking||4.60 Miles|| 6 Hrs 14 Mns ||1.73 mph|
|1,468 ft AEG|| 3 Hrs 34 Mns Break|
||no linked trail guides|
|CAUTION - You need a permit to hike in this area, as it is adjacent to BMGR-East (Barry M Goldwater Range East).|
Years ago, this area was part of the range, and many maps still depict it as such, but it was relinquished from the BMGR, and it's now part of the Sonoran Desert National Monument.
This actual area is called "Area A" of the SDNM.
Blue Plateau is south of I-8, between Gila Bend and Casa Grande, in the Sand Tank Mountains.
From I-8, it's 12 miles of dirt road, and it requires high clearance and 4WD. It took me an hour to get to my 'guzzler' trailhead.
From the guzzler, you cannot see the plateau. You first hike up a steep valley grade, to a boulder filled ridgeline, then traverse a saddle to get to Blue Plateau. The hike 'up' the valley wall was steep, but I had very good footing. Scree was everywhere, but the ground was still damp from recent rains, and the scree was stable. (Not so on the return - The ground dried out by afternoon, and the scree was waiting for me.)
Surveyors went up Blue Plateau in 1949, and set some disks in boulders. I easily located all three USGS disks.
I then wandered around the plateau for awhile, and stumbled upon a small solar panel that was wired to a battery, and two small antennas. Some kind of a communications set-up. (Possibly used by the military).
All in all, a fun hike, with some 'uphill' huffing and puffing on the way to a ridgeline, and some 'scree-skiing' at the end.
|Not All Those Who Wander Are Lost|