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McDowell Mountain Death March, AZ
mini location map2020-09-02
5 by photographer avatarjillyonanadventure
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McDowell Mountain Death March, AZ 
McDowell Mountain Death March, AZ
Hiking avatar Sep 02 2020
Hiking8.17 Miles 1,246 AEG
Hiking8.17 Miles   3 Hrs   34 Mns   2.36 mph
1,246 ft AEG      6 Mns Break
1st trip
Route Scout Route Recorded  on Route Scout Popup | MapDEX
We arrived at the Sunrise peak trailhead around 6pm and the main parking lot was full. Most normal people would just head over to the backup parking lot right down the road, but I wasn’t thrilled with the prospect of sharing the peak with all of those people. James had done it from 136th Street prior and had said it would be longer and more difficult, but that there would be no people there. So off we went to that trailhead where the adventure began. The hike starts off in a crazy sandy wash that goes on for a while. So. Much. Sand. :sweat: If the sand isn’t bad enough, next up you’re just full on bouldering and scrambling in a canyon. Umm, I didn’t realize I would be doing a 3 points of contact type thing in the Mcdowells. It seemed super unnecessary that this is how they created the trail :? After the bouldering section, you’re suddenly on a steep uphill section with jagged rocks all over the “trail” - so fun. :roll: All the uphill in 100 degrees was not pleasant and I was getting tired and moving slow. James is an alien hiking beast who seemed unfazed by the heat/climb while I was dying and I may have told him I was going to murder him if he was videoing me while I was struggling... oops! :sorry: The sunset was uneventful, but we’d been excited to get a view of the full moon so that was motivating. The climb brings you to the backside of sunrise peak and we didn’t even summit since we had so long left to go. We did take a quick break and enjoy the full moon plus the city lights, and it was very pretty. With about 1.5 miles left on the sunrise peak trail, we encountered a baby rattlesnake who was NOT happy we were out there hiking. James almost stepped on it, so we’d already pissed it off, then it didn’t want to move much off the trail for us. I was definitely not comfortable passing it since the trail was narrow, steep and slippery (gravel type rocks) in that section. :scared: We ended up bushwhacking off trail climbing over boulders to avoid it. Yikes! I was using my headlamp and could see so many scorpions on the trail. I know they are there, but I really prefer not seeing them so much. :pout: So we continue hiking down the peak in the dark for a while, but oh no the hike is not done yet. Since we hadn’t set up a shuttle vehicle, we had a couple of miles left of road walking until we reached the car. Although I was happy to be on flat ground, the extra miles were still pretty tiring. We finally reached the car around 9:45pm and it was still 97 degrees at the time. I don’t do well in the heat, so I was really glad that I’d thrown a frozen Gatorade in my backpack, since it was definitely needed. If you are crazy enough to want to try out this route, do yourself a favor a set up a shuttle vehicle to avoid the road walking at the end. But if you enjoy torturing yourself and avoiding crowds, go ahead and give this route a try. Maybe wait till it cools down a bit though ](*,)
Restless between adventures...
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