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Apache Peak - Elephant Mtn - Maricopa Tr Loop, AZ
mini location map2020-03-28
17 by photographer avatarjoebartels
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Apache Peak - Elephant Mtn - Maricopa Tr Loop, AZ 
Apache Peak - Elephant Mtn - Maricopa Tr Loop, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Mar 28 2020
joebartels
Hiking16.13 Miles 3,243 AEG
Hiking16.13 Miles   10 Hrs   19 Mns   2.00 mph
3,243 ft AEG   2 Hrs   15 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Route Scout GPS Route Recorded on Route Scout View
Bruce put this together in a flash. Having lightly pondered Apache Peak for many years I was in on that alone. Didn't know much about Elephant other than it didn't hold my interest. First I've been through New River. Unexpected agriculture parcels. Overall nicer than I figured. Still unsure I just looked at the boundary. Basically, I-17 to SR 51 & Carefree Hwy to Table Mesa Rd. Upper thirties to start late March seemed low as we'll be flirting with ninety degrees soon.

Apache was steeper than expected. Having learned on the hike in we had a large chunk of off-trail ahead I waited below the summit when it got uncomfortable. Most won't have an issue. Distant views are better than average.

Heading over to Elephant through more off-trail than anticipated I started having doubts. Without much reviewing I had visions of Sonoran Preserves bulldozed trails. 5 miles further North, boy I looked this hike over well... lol

This was more reminiscent of tackling Horse Mesa across to Bronco Butte. A big boy workout. Heading up wasn't encouraging either. We both failed miserably at throwing in the towel. Perfect weather, wildflowers galore and desire to get in a good full-day hike lured enough to where it would be ridiculous to turn around vs making it happen.

Lunch on Elephant Mountain 3,926 was darn nice. Cardinals Stadium to Weaver's Needle and beyond. Descending East after lunch made two things crystal clear. Cool terrain, for once I found Spur Cross vicinity intriguing. On the flip side, there will be no return since my balance requires safer footing.

8 easy miles back to square one on easy trail was mind-numbing at first. Turned out fine. Still not itching to go back. Definitely a great nearby full-day hike!

Posted from RS iOS, Android SUCKS unless you are away from cell towers or stay in airplane mode beginning to end.
Culture
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Named place
Apache Peak
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Substantial
owl clover was intense in areas, short and tiny in between, seriously 40% of the hike was through owl clover

NOTABLE FLORA
fiddleneck - some huge, waded through 4 ft blades of painless grass for a short segment, poppies above 3,200 ft heading up Elephant, primrose, chia, buckwheat, desert globemallow, desert marigold, narrow-leaved popcorn flower, desert chicory, saguaros galore, indian paintbrush, desert lavender, larkspur, phlox, stinknet* galore
* changed from globe chamomile since HAZ uses the USDA listings as much as possible
_____________________
- joe
HAZ Member
joebartels'
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