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2020-05-13  
Guindani Cottonwood Saddle, AZ
mini location map2020-05-13
21 by photographer avatarmarkthurman53
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Guindani Cottonwood Saddle, AZ 
Guindani Cottonwood Saddle, AZ
 
Hiking avatar May 13 2020
markthurman53
Hiking8.79 Miles 1,975 AEG
Hiking8.79 Miles   4 Hrs   13 Mns   2.49 mph
1,975 ft AEG      41 Mns Break15 LBS Pack
 
1st trip
Partners none no partners
I took another short hike close to home but this time in the Whetstone Mountains. I have not been in these mountains in over 30 years, before Karchner Cavern Park even existed. The Guindani Trail starts in the park and exits almost immediately to National Forest. This trail is a 4.3 mile loop that I did clockwise with a side trip up to Cottonwood saddle. Karchner Cavern State Park was empty with only a couple of die hard campers and one other hiker. It turned out to be a great day to do this hike. My original plan was to take a dirt road north of the park that leads to the Ricketts mine and head south to the Guindani Trail to avoid the park mess. The dirt road was blocked off by a gate so I had to change my plan. This is state trust land so I’m not sure what the story is.

The Guindani Trail is in good shape and appears to get a lot of use. In the clock wise direction the climb up to the ridge is done first and then drops down into Guindani Canyon where it intersects the Cottonwood Saddle Trail. There was water intermittently along this canyon. I made the assumption that the Guindani Canyon is north of the hill that the Guindani Trail goes around and that Middle canyon is to the south.

The Cottonwood saddle Trail, 2.2 miles, is also in good condition with only a few sections on the upper end where it gets vague. There are plenty of rock cairns so loosing the trail except momentarily is not an issue. Near the saddle is a spring box and there was a trickle of water there. Views from the saddle are not terrific with the exception of one good view of Rincon Peak to the north, but you have to locate yourself just right between two tree/shrubs.

Surprisingly good weather on this hike with temps in the low 80’s and a good breeze especially on the high spots. I only brought a quart of water with me since this was a short hike. Probably would be wise to take a bit more this time of year. I ended up with a bit left when I finished and I sampled some of the water in the stream also. Always have to give my immune system a workout too.
Fauna
Fauna
California Sister
Culture
Culture
Windmill
Named place
Named place
The Cape

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Guindani Canyon Pools to trickle Pools to trickle
Upper canyon near the Cottonwood Saddle Trail. also along stream intermittently on the Cottonwood Saddle Trail
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