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Boulder Mountain, AZ
mini location map2019-12-09
15 by photographer avatarLJW
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Boulder Mountain, AZ 
Boulder Mountain, AZ
Hiking avatar Dec 09 2019
Hiking13.09 Miles 4,118 AEG
Hiking13.09 Miles   6 Hrs   23 Mns   2.43 mph
4,118 ft AEG   1 Hour    Break
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Route Scout Route Recorded  on Route Scout Popup | MapDEX
Third attempt at Boulder Mountain in 10 days. This time I came armed with advice and a route sent to me by @CannondaleKid. With his help, I switched ridges and was able to excise ~5 miles off the route. I still think that the drainage I used last time is a good route up from the Ballantine side, but it makes little sense to use it on a trip up FR1704. The long and the short of it is this time I made it.

Parked at the Sycamore Creek pull out near Round Valley once again and headed up the road. Water in every creek and drainage on the way up, and a lot of water running down the road. At least one good sized waterfall not too far down from 1704. Spent about 4.5 miles on 1704/Pipeline before heading off trail. Not sure if I made it to the Pipeline trail, hard to tell where the road ends and it begins.

The off trail work was hardest in the boulder field that has to be negotiated .25mi after leaving the trail. Once to the main ascent the miles come pretty easy. The game trails were wider, longer, and more numerous on this side of the mountain.

Made it to Holbrook Ridge and the clouds were starting to blow into Pine Creek Basin and toward the mountain. The ridge skinnies up, and there is some scrambling. This is made trickier by the dense plant life. Was soaking wet by the time I made it there because of all the bushes holding rain from the day/night before, and this made the scrambling more difficult as I didn't have much grip on the smooth granite.

Took me 3.25 hours to summit: 1.5 on the road and 1.75 plodding up slope. The views of the clouds sweetened the last failure, as I wouldn't have been there to see them had I made it. They started to darken, so I headed down after about a half hour.

Walked down the ridge through clouds that were pushing their way up onto Boulder. By the time I was two miles from my car dark rain clouds had swallowed the mountain. Pretty good timing. That, and there was a rainbow close by on the last of the walk down as the rain started. Pretty neat.

Didn't see anyone on the hike and no animals besides cows. I think this might be the least difficult route up Boulder Mountain. Not necessarily the best, but if the end goal is getting up there, I think this route is a winner.
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