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Horsing Around in the Sierra Ancha, AZ
mini location map2020-04-06
19 by photographer avatarDixieFlyer
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Horsing Around in the Sierra Ancha, AZ 
Horsing Around in the Sierra Ancha, AZ
Hiking avatar Apr 06 2020
Hiking12.00 Miles 2,785 AEG
Hiking12.00 Miles
2,785 ft AEG
1st trip
I was wanting to another hike that was compatible with social distancing, so I headed out to the Sierra Ancha, deep in the heart of @grasshopper and @Oregon_Hiker country! While there I bagged a couple of summits that I had not done before: McFadden Horse Mountain and Aztec Peak.

I first drove to the McFadden Trailhead, which is at mm 288 on Highway 288. Highway 288 is mostly paved but is part dirt road. The dirt portion is in great shape right now, and is actually better than some of the paved portions.

It is a steep climb up to McFadden Horse Mountain, but it is very nice once on top. I made my way over to the high point, and then returned the way that I came. I saw no other hikers on the trail.

I then drove to FR 487, and since the gate at the Falls CG was open, I drove to the Peterson TH and parked. Most any vehicle can drive to the Falls CG, and actually you could get to Workman Falls. However, there are a couple of sections beyond the Falls where you would need a high clearance 4WD vehicle to safely proceed. Once you get past the couple of rough spots, the road is in great shape and you could drive all the way up to the top of Aztec Peak if you wanted to.

My original intention was to do the Abbey Way's 151/FR 487 Loop, so I took FR 487 all the way to the summit of Aztec Peak. FR 487 has a smooth dirt surface, and it is very easy to hike on. Once at the summit, I walked a little way on Abbey's Way Trail #151, and I could see that the trail was going to be a bit rocky. I had also read triplogs that said the trail was very overgrown and that you'd be pushing through some thick, thorny vegetation in many places; thus, I decided that it would be best just to take 487 back to my vehicle, so that is what I did.

There are some nice views atop Aztec Peak, and I am glad that I finally went up there. I saw no other hikers on the hike, but on the way back about a mile from the summit I met a couple of trucks going up 487, and a few minutes later I met 6 RAZR's on their way to the summit. They all must have decided to hang around on the summit for a while, because they never passed me on my way back to the TH.

Mileage and elevation gain for the 2 hikes is below.
McFadden Horse Mountain: 5.5 miles with an AEG of 1,834'
Aztec Peak: 6.5 miles with an AEG of 951'

The stats above are the sum of these 2.
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation None
There were no wildflowers to be seen on this hike. However, on the drive in on Highway 288, there were LOTS of wildflowers to be seen on the lower part of the road, especially globemallow, lupine, and desert marigold.
I'd rather die of exhaustion than die of starvation.
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