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2020-11-14  
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2012-02-19  
Sterling Pass to Vultee Arch, AZ
mini location map2020-11-14
14 by photographer avatarmikemcg
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Sterling Pass to Vultee Arch, AZ 
Sterling Pass to Vultee Arch, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Nov 14 2020
mikemcg
Hiking5.82 Miles 2,531 AEG
Hiking5.82 Miles   6 Hrs   2 Mns   1.61 mph
2,531 ft AEG   2 Hrs   25 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Partners none no partners
Route Scout Route Recorded  on Route Scout Popup | MapDEX
The forecasted high temp was 60°, but it was already 70° when we started around 11am and got warmer from there.

Sterling Pass trail is absolutely beautiful. Over half the leaves were on the ground, but there were still a lot of orange and red in the trees, which looked amazing superimposed on the colors of the canyon walls. There was also a small amount of snow along the trail, despite the temperature.

The trail begins climbing immediately at the trailhead, and overall it's a moderate uphill to the top of the pass, then downhill over many, many, many switchbacks, then a slight uphill to the arch, which is really fun to see in person. This is an amazing natural wonder. There are many overlooks along the Sterling Pass trail that are fun to climb up to see the different perspectives of the canyons. There's also a flat rock area along the side of the arch trail which is a great place to stop and eat. We climbed around on top of and under the arch. I wouldn't go onto the arch if it's wet, but it's easier than it looks when the rock is dry.

Heading back the same way provided more amazing views as we climbed back up and over the top of the pass, again via the many switchbacks. Definitely will visit again. Certainly in the fall.
foliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observation
Autumn Foliage Observation Substantial
Fall colors were past their peak, a lot of leaves were on the ground, but substantial fall colors remained on the trees throughout Sterling Pass trail. No fall colors on the trail to Vultee arch, mostly manzanita and pine.
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