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Elephant Saddle Loop, AZ
mini location map2020-11-22
24 by photographer avatartibber
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Elephant Saddle Loop, AZ 
Elephant Saddle Loop, AZ
Hiking avatar Nov 22 2020
Hiking7.82 Miles 1,435 AEG
Hiking7.82 Miles   3 Hrs   43 Mns   2.24 mph
1,435 ft AEG      14 Mns Break
Route Scout GPS Route Recorded on Route Scout View
Wanted to do a city type hike outside of the city so I chose this Loop which I've not done CC since 2015. It's a tad harder this way because of the elevation but at least you don't have to slip slide down that part on the north side where you drop down to the creek after coming down the mountain.

I gave them my usual $5 to get in and was on my way. I brot my poles to get me up the slippery part of Elephant Mtn Trail. I had forgotten to check the humidity; if I had I wouldn't have chosen this hike that's for sure. I would have chosen something easier. There was a trio ahead of me and I had told them about the Fortress. I would hook up with them for a bit coming down the south side from the saddle. I would encounter 7 people on the Elephant Mountain Trail. I took another pic of where I want to place a bench in memory of my brother and will try to plead my case one more time to Spur Cross Ranch Conservation people.

I got up Tortuga Hill relatively easy and then onto the Elephant Mountain Trail to the area dropping down into the creek. The Boy Scout steps are in so-so shape but they still help; otherwise, there would be a lot more slipping and sliding. Some of the steps have held up really well. Up the creek bed I went, still enduring the high humidity and no breeze as I started up the steep hill out of the creek bed. I got up that better than I thot I would and headed west. I could see the feeder box cover as the sun bounced off of it.
I was glad for the occasional filtered sky even though it was responsible for the humidity. I knew it had to be humid so I looked it up and at 8:51 it was 45%, at 9:51 it was 38% and at 11:51 it was 31%. The temp was nice but I was dripping all the way up to just before the saddle; was starting to wish I brot some shampoo :lol: .

As I got just a little past the trail to the spring I looked over and said to myself, "Is that water over there?" I zoomed and I believe it is; see the photos. The phone camera actually did a fairly decent zoom for a change. It's always interesting to see how well you remember a trail if you haven't hiked it in awhile. As I made my way to the saddle a breeze greeted me and I finally quit sweating so much. I also saw that the people that I told about the fortress climbed up there even though the sign says area closed. I mentioned that to them as they passed by me. I ended up talking to one of the ladies (a Scottsdale native and former horse owner) of the trio all the way down to the junction with Spur Cross trail.

I put my poles away and had some plantain chips before starting back down the trail. It seems to me this trail has been rocked as I recall it being nice and smooth the last time I was on it in 2017. I made pretty decent progress but had to stop and take more pictures than I thot I would because the clouds were putting on quite a show for me; well not just for me, but you know what I mean.

As I got closer to the creek I could see some of the trees were just starting to be kissed by autumn. One area was very pretty and the picture I had envisioned actually turned out like I had hoped. And of course, once I got above the creek on the east side, the voices started permeating the peaceful hike I had so far. No matter, I only had a mile to go. I came around the corner when I got down to the Jewel of the Creek trail and one mother was trying to remove a thorn from her child, it wasn't going well but soon I heard that yelp which told me she was finally successful :D .

Once back to the lot, I backed Tonto Jr into a parking spot so that I could have a nice view while I drank my beer and changed into my other shoes. Tonto Jr and I are getting ready to part ways as it's time for a new ride.

WATCH: 7.38 miles (shows 7.66 when I upload route) in 3:43:47 at 1.9 avg speed, lowest elev 2203 - highest 3137, 129 avg bpm - 156 max bpm (54 min in Zone 5, 1:13 in Zone 4, 1:25 in Zone 3), 1366 calories burned, 60.9 degrees (that doesn't seem right) nor does the 49% humidity at 12:11. Altho, it was super humid in the first 1:30. The temp was 76 and humidity 31% at 11:51 AM.
Mon. while driving home I was thinking maybe the reason the watch was off is because there isn't internet access at the Spur Cross TH so that 60.9 degrees and 49% humidity was the last time the watch had internet connection which would have been on my drive to the TH...
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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