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2020-11-11  
Hedgpeth 3-Summits, AZ
mini location map2020-11-11
30 by photographer avatartibber
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Hedgpeth 3-Summits, AZ 
Hedgpeth 3-Summits, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Nov 11 2020
tibber
Hiking8.53 Miles 1,601 AEG
Hiking8.53 Miles   3 Hrs   38 Mns   2.52 mph
1,601 ft AEG      15 Mns Break
 
1st trip
I'm practicing for my hike with Linda this Friday so this seemed a good choice for what she has planned. I wanted to do Thunderbird Park and I found the 3-Summits route Jake and Barrett had taken in the past and that seemed to fit my ticket. I was going to do it in the morning but by golly, it was too cold so I waited until after lunch. Sadly, this is my biggest AEG this year :stop:

I started up the hill and realized the route I needed to be on was to the north of the hill so I went over that way and followed the trail over, up and around a little hill and down to another parking lot and then up the hill. However, I knew this was my last hill so I headed back down and realized I hadn't downloaded the route as I was just following all the optional trails that have been recorded here on RS. So I had to wait almost ten minutes⌚ for the route to load and then was able to hike a bit down the road and hand an east heading toward the big mountain in front of me. You can see the trail as it contours on the side but first you have to figure out how to get to it from the next parking lot you encounter.

So now to tackle this route which was indeed, as rocky as I had heard. I read that others said how rough it was and they were glad they wore boots... next time I'll listen. These trails had rough spots off and on the entire route. It was going to be interesting to see how this trail got me all the way to the top of this rather large mountain so it was fun to see how I would get up there. The temp was pleasant enough but there were moments that I thot maybe I should have gone in the morning but I was fine and enjoyed the whole time out there.

Cholla Loop It really is amazing what a nice route they have put together for you to get up from the west to the north side of the mountain :) using interesting switchbacks. And then you get up on the volcanic rock laden top and see you have a little more to go... and not only that, you have to go down and then back up again to get to what I assume is the true summit of Thunderbird Park mountain. The views are pretty great up here too. I could see over to where I had hiked last Friday to the Deem Hills. I would call them the little sisters to these mountains here at Thunderbird Conservation Park.

It seems like it takes quite a bit of time to get back down and just when you think you are down to the bottom there is a tad more bottom to get to. Also, the city creeps in here as does the city sounds like a blower; I do hate those things as there sound carries so far. Finally I make it around to the east side and can see my next summit in front of me. Oh, by the way, the stinkweed is something else out here. It was very tall, very thick, very healthy. However, even in this dormant state, it adds a pretty muted gold color to the landscape.

As I was looking over to this next summit I was hoping the trek would take me up the east side as that looked easier than coming up from the west, and thankfully it did. Arrowhead Point Trail seems to be quite a popular hike as the people traffic was quite significant. The lava rocks are all around as you continue up to a level ridgeline before you hit the flagged summit. I think this is the summit my brother and I did back in January 2004. I can only find 3 pictures and I can't believe that's all we took :o so I'll have to see if I can find anymore.

I spoke with a hiker who had re-located from Sierra Vista and I told him about hikearizona.com. We also discussed all the great hiking down around Sierra Vista. I snapped a few more pictures and then headed west over to the other side of the ridge and then it takes you down the mountainside via a very long switchback. Then you get to cross that rather cool bridge and head west to the other TH. Here the traffic is so loud and I find this incredibly annoying. Fortunately once I got up onto the Sunrise Trail, that sound would be less loud.

On this side I got to hike in some shade and encountered a few silent hikers and when I complained out lout to a couple more hikers coming at me, the one fellow says, I'm friendly and I'll say "hi". Once you hit the intersection to go up the mountain, I felt like I was on a hiking freeway with all sizes, shapes, colors, and ages of people and it wouldn't stop. Wow. Well I guess at this point, it provided me some entertainment as I was definitely feeling worn down. I have never hiked this far without a break before and other than my back being a little sore I felt pretty good.

After snapping a few pictures I head down and around the other side of the top. The mass of people didn't let up until I got up the hill past the Thunderbird Reservoir. I grabbed Tonto Jr. and drove into the interior near a ramada-area so that I could enjoy my beer with a nice view of the ridge. I could still see lines of people on the ridge and heading up Sunrise.

Watch 7.9 miles (mileage was off by 1/2 mile this time) 2.1 avg MPH, (1363 lowest elev, 1939 highest) avg bpm 137, high 167 (1.38 in Zone 5, 1.16 in Zone 4, 41 min in Zone 3) burned 1565 calories. 64.3 degrees at 4:32PM (huckleberry beer time :), 20% humidity
_____________________
For me, sometimes it's just as much about the journey as the destination.
Oh, and once in awhile, don't forget to look back at the trail you've traveled.
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