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Park and Pond Loop, AZ
mini location map2020-05-14
10 by photographer avatarLJW
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Park and Pond Loop, AZ 
Park and Pond Loop, AZ
Hiking avatar May 14 2020
Hiking19.81 Miles 4,135 AEG
Hiking19.81 Miles   7 Hrs   32 Mns   3.03 mph
4,135 ft AEG   1 Hour    Break
1st trip
Route Scout GPS Route Recorded on Route Scout View
Temps in the valley dipped for a day or two, so I wanted to try and summit North Peak. Generally head away from the Mazatzals come summer time, and didn't want to wait. Ended up passing on the summit and stuck with a loop that is enough on its own on a warm day.

The Northern Mazatzals are new to me, though I wouldn't have waited had I known that Doll Baby Ranch Road is paved almost the entire way to City Creek TH. There was some water in the road before the pavement, but it's passible in a sedan. Dirt gets rougher closer to City Creek TH.

Started around 6 with the Divide Trail first. It's a more gradual ascent compared to North Peak Trail. Perfect shape up to the Red Hills junction, after that still good but rocky and faint in parts. Minor deadfall. As with most trails, views get better higher up.

Ended up at The Park. Not what I had envisioned, but a nice place to spend a night. Not what it was pre-Willow, I figure. Northern Mazzies were pretty well scorched. Pete's Pond and the drainage to it still hold the end of Spring's water.

North Peak Trail from the Divide is difficult to follow for the first few hundred yards. Needs to be re-cut and cleared. Once descending it's pretty straightforward, though it's rocky, steep, and slippery. Maybe the best views of the day.

The off trail to the summit is a solid bushwhack. Didn't have the appetite for it. If I had seen the ridge from the East before, I would have gone for it. Once through the initial manzanita growth, it looks like it thins out. Regardless, it's over a 1000ft climb in about a mile.

Pole Hollow Canyon is pretty neat. Old two track takes you down and from there you walk in the rocky drainage no wider than a pair of outstretched arms. Deadfall and rock hopping briefly test patience. Widens out after the spring and is much more enjoyable. Young forest is growing in and is uplifting to see after traipsing the burnt crest of the Mazatzal Divide. Seems like Pole Hollow is mostly used to drive cattle from the ranches by City Creek th to southern pastures.

Ended around 1pm. I had parked on private land, stuck to the main road to keep it above board. Temps ranged from 40s to 80s. Didn't see anyone on the trip.
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Substantial
Heavy on divide, solid in Pole Hollow, light on North Peak
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