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San Francisco Peaks Loop, AZ
mini location map2020-10-02
18 by photographer avatarLJW
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San Francisco Peaks Loop, AZ 
San Francisco Peaks Loop, AZ
Hiking avatar Oct 02 2020
Hiking21.01 Miles 5,313 AEG
Hiking21.01 Miles   8 Hrs   56 Mns   2.57 mph
5,313 ft AEG      45 Mns Break
Route Scout Route Recorded  on Route Scout Popup | MapDEX
I did a hike similar in concept earlier in the year: up Humphreys, down Inner Basin, Waterline to something to get me back around. Last time I used Kachina to the south, and it made me curious about a shorter northern loop. This time I went north on Waterline, up the ridge at Abineau, and down White Horse Canyon. North-side peaks, earliest color, and even with a late fall there was plenty to be found on that side of the mountain.

Humphreys a little before sunrise. Half dozen groups going up. Aspen Loop week+ away. On Weatherford views down into Inner Basin looked promising. Gold on the slopes and to the west. Best color to be found on the trip to Snowslide Spring from the pumps. Not bad in Inner Basin higher up, but still several days or more away. Not close in the lower forest. Dozen or more groups out and about.

Waterline couple more hikers, some bikers. Autumnest stretch from mile east of Bear Jaw to Abineau. Got to the upper end of Abineau and had a look at my next hour. 800ft up to the ridge and over into White Horse.

Headed up at first through a clearing on the slope. Direct sunlight led me into the forest to the north. Steep boulder fields needed climbing. Pretty clear and good trails through the forest. Up to the ridge, careful not to cross above the 11,400ft contour. Route down starts in open bristlecone forest with good views north up the plateau. Ends up in an aspen and conifer mix. Lattice of deadfall on the ground and in the drainage for the last ~mile. Not terrible, but slow going.

Eventually reached a long meadow that leads down to the Arizona Trail. Took that to the Snowbowl connector. Saw as many people in that last mile as I had all day.
foliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observation
Autumn Foliage Observation Substantial
Cumulatively substantial. Bear Jaw Canyon and surrounding is near peak, as is White Horse Canyon. Abineau good higher up, green lower down. Same for Inner Basin. AZT week or more away.
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