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Peak 1871 Lime Kiln Loop, AZ
mini location map2020-10-24
21 by photographer avatarCannondaleKid
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Peak 1871 Lime Kiln Loop, AZ 
Peak 1871 Lime Kiln Loop, AZ
Hiking avatar Oct 24 2020
Hiking5.10 Miles 856 AEG
Hiking5.10 Miles   3 Hrs   15 Mns   1.59 mph
856 ft AEG      2 Mns Break18 LBS Pack
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Linked none no linked trail guides
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While it is possible to do this hike from the Blue Point Recreation Site, it's always more fun to throw in a few river crossings. So now that the Salt River flow is at seasonal low levels this was the perfect time for a river-crossing hike.

We started from the gate on Bush Highway just .7 mile north of Usery Pass Road and headed north parallel with Bush until turning west to the spot where I crossed the river on a few previous trips. Arriving at the planned crossing, although 95% of the width was dry, the flow through that last 5% was a bit faster than Tracey cared for so we decided to look for another spot. With thick brush at the river's edge we had to detour away from the river before checking out the next spot. It took a second detour before we found a spot Tracey was willing to try. Only about 70% was dry, but the remaining 30% was very low and the bottom was mostly smaller rocks, rather than the larger weed-covered ones which were very slippery.

We swapped our hiking boots for water-crossing footgear, made the crossing without incident and swapped back to hiking boots. From there we followed various horse trails (the most prominent were equestrian trails, not wild horse trails) past where the sheep crossing bridge used to be, then continued up the trail until making a 90° left turn and headed up to the summit of Peak 1871.
Note: Peak 1871 is incorrectly labeled as 1971 on every map I've seen.

The quick ascent to the summit went much easier than expected, likely due to the number of game trails we made use of. Once at the summit, due to poor recollection I got mixed up between two different hikes I did 3-4 years ago and headed west before going down the ridge. It turned out "the ridge" was the wrong one, which I only realized once we were a few hundred feet down and looked over to the "correct" ridge. Not too big a deal, as we only came back up a little before following the contour across the drainage.

Once back "on track" it was simply a matter of descending more-or-less the center of the ridge. At about 1/3 the way down we came upon a very recent equestrian trail which made an easier descent, much better than my ascent route almost 4 years ago.

Once at the bottom, with myriads of horse trails to choose from we just took our best guess at which would bring us past the lime kiln, and luck was with us as the one we chose brought us within 50 feet of it. A few quick photos, a 2-minute break and we were headed back to the Salt for the return crossing.

To cross back we chose the corner at the Fox Tail Administrative Site as it has been a favorite of mine for MANY crossings. Swapping boots for water-gear and back was just as much a pain as the first crossing, but once the swap was complete we had but a short jaunt back to the car.

Only when we were on the drive home did I remember that after my last previous crossing 9 months ago I had bought lightweight overshoes for that specific purpose, and realize I had them in the car the whole time. Oh well, I guess I'll have to do another hike across-the-Salt to try them out.

It seems that seven straight days of 8 to 11-mile hikes and 14k+ AEG we both felt some after-effects, Tracey's probably just being tired out from hiking instead of sitting at work.

As for me it's a bit more disconcerting. Hip issues continue along with nerve pain down in the left leg, with the burning sensation becoming more frequent... and this after only a five mile hike. So far mountain biking on my regular easy route has been issue-free so that may be my go-to exercise for a bit.
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