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Peak 2303 Loop, AZ
mini location map2020-04-23
10 by photographer avatarCannondaleKid
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Peak 2303 Loop, AZ 
Peak 2303 Loop, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Apr 23 2020
CannondaleKid
Hiking4.50 Miles 1,020 AEG
Hiking4.50 Miles   2 Hrs   29 Mns   1.81 mph
1,020 ft AEG15 LBS Pack
 no routes
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
No plan today other than to hit 1K+ AEG.
As I started hiking up the wash from Bush Highway I had absolutely no route in mind so I simply stuck to the wash... for a mile, mile-and-a-half, two miles... wow, although it got tighter, steeper and thornier, and it just kept going-and-going-and-going. I was beginning to feel like the Energizer bunny.

All the while I was expecting SOME kind of wildlife encounter... rattler, deer, javelina, all of which I saw evidence of. Along the wash I saw three places where rattlers had warmed up and left the wash as well as some other kind of snake just crossing the wash, but I didn't catch them in-the-act.

Eventually I reached a wall of rock at the upper end of the wash, some 600 feet higher than the altitude at Bush Highway... yup, I stuck to the same wash all the way. Although the climb was now much steeper it still felt easier than the two-mile slog up the soft-sand wash. But it was definitely getting warmer in the full sun so it was a good thing I was wearing my neck gaiter... just give it a few spritz of water every so often and in the breeze along the ridge I actually got a few chills.

Ok, now that I'm on the ridge and have reached my 1K+ AEG goal (barely) I saw no need to continue to the summit of 2303. However, by NOT continuing to the summit where I would have had at least three reasonable descent routes, how the heck am I going to get back down? The western slope is a lot steeper, more boulders, but it did have one saving grace... plenty of javelina trails.

Ha! Some saving grace... only WHEN the trails WEREN'T going under/through thick/thorny brush. The challenge was finding the appropriate detours, which in some cases meant climbing to avoid them. Eventually I reached a wash which I knew would bring me all the way back to the Maricopa Trail.

No rattlers today, just a patch-nosed snake which also appeared not to see me up-sun... and like the rattler yesterday again, once I was down-sun it reacted, in this case, it quickly shot off.

In the end it was a great workout as well as a warm-weather acclimatization hike.
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806 Photosets

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