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Top Hat Horse with No Name Loop, AZ
mini location map2020-03-04
24 by photographer avatarmarkthurman53
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Top Hat Horse with No Name Loop, AZ 
Top Hat Horse with No Name Loop, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Mar 04 2020
markthurman53
Hiking13.40 Miles 2,324 AEG
Hiking13.40 Miles   7 Hrs   4 Mns   2.51 mph
2,324 ft AEG   1 Hour   44 Mns Break15 LBS Pack
 
1st trip
Took advantage of the sort of cool weather to do another couple days in the Goldfield Mountains. The first day I did a loop that included a portion of the Pack Saddle Trail (by Mistake), A portion of Rock House Trail, Top Hat, Horse With No Name and Cottonwood Wash. I think this is one of the more scenic hikes I have done in the Goldfields, much more than I expected. All the hiking was on trails with the exception of a part of the Top Hat. Drove in to within .4 miles of Cottonwood Wash along FR1356. I parked on top of a hill where it might require 4 WD to go further. I didn't feel like putting it in 4WD so I walked the rest of the way, after all this is suppose to be hiking not a test of my ability or the jeeps to maneuver steep rocky grades. The view from on top of the hill was good and also was a good place to eat breakfast and finish my coffee that I bought in Tucson.

I walked FR 1356 to the Cottonwood Wash crossing and checked my GPS as to which cross road to take. I headed out for about 15 minutes and checked my GPS because something didn't seam right, I took the Pack Saddle Trail (FR 3512) instead of the Rock House Trail. Back Tracked to the Rock House Trail (FR1356) and headed west. I guess I didn't have enough Coffee. Followed the Rock House Trail to Orohai Wash and then headed north to go to Top Hat Peak. There was water in pools along the the rocky sections of Orohai Wash and the dirt tank west of Top Hat. The hike up to what I believe is Palo Verde Arch was fairly easy and follows along a trail. I took the ridge from the arch to Top Hat but it appears there is a faint trail heading up to the peak from just below the arch on the west side (marked by a cairn). The faint trail is probably a more direct route because along the ridge you end up climbing a couple small peaks and heading back down a bit in between peaks, wasn't a big problem though. Great views from Top Hat.

From Top Hat I headed back down to Cottonwood Wash following a GPS route I down loaded. Didn't appear to be any trail but was easy enough. Once in Cottonwood Wash I headed down stream past Cottonwood Spring that had a trickle of water flowing. On my return trip past the spring I filled my canteen with water coming from a pipe. Wasn't very cool but it was wet. Gave my immune system something to work on, don't want it to forget what it's there for. I followed Cottonwood wash down to the the Horse With No Name Trail and went counterclockwise on the trail.

The Horse With No Name Trail in spite of the ridiculous name I thought was a fascinating trail. If I had to pick one trail that sums up the Goldfields I think it would be this one. Fairly easy trail through the Beige colored rocks and cliffs with the yellow tint from lichen and also sections through the dark volcanic rock that overlies the lighter Rhyolite. There are also magnificent stands of saguaros. This trail appears to have no destination at all, just goes in a couple of miles and then it's like the person who made the trail said far enough and returns along a wash to Cottonwood Wash. Maybe this trail should be called "a Trail with no destination". What ever you call it, it is scenic and well marked. No issues following this trail.

I took Cottonwood Wash back to where FR 3512 exits the wash (Pack Saddle Trail) and headed to FR 1356. Once at FR 1356 I decided to head down Cottonwood Wash to where the Pack Saddle Trail enters so I could Log the actual Cottonwood Wash route. It was still daylight and I wasn't anxious to get back to the jeep. I would like to write a guide for the Cottonwood Wash route and eventually the Pack Saddle Trail.

Great hike and not real strenuous. Weather is getting a bit warm but the slight breeze at times made it bearable. The flowers are in bloom (the usual ones) but I wouldn't say they were over abundant. Don't rush out here to see a magnificent display of flowers, at least not yet spring isn't even here yet.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Cottonwood Spring Quart per minute Quart per minute
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