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Pass Mountain Loop Trail #282
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mini location map2020-11-24
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Pass Mountain Loop Trail #282Phoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Nov 24 2020
Hiking7.98 Miles 1,068 AEG
Hiking7.98 Miles   3 Hrs   30 Mns   2.39 mph
1,068 ft AEG      10 Mns Break
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Route Scout Route Recorded  on Route Scout Popup | MapDEX
After my morning at BTA, based on Ray's triplog yesterday, I figured this hike would fill up my day on the east side just right. I know this route is enjoyed by many HAZers so I thot I should check it out too. The last time I was at Usery Park was in 2007 with my brother Wayne and his daughter Mia. We did the Wind Cave Trail and had such a great time. We even went on top. [ photoset ]

As I was sending a text to Mia and Rick to let them know I was on the trail, I blew by the quick turn to the south that you take right out of the lot. I realized my mistake fairly quickly and got back down to the trail. It's typical desert landscape but soon you look to the east and there are the Western Supes. Before long you start heading east, in and out of gullies, as you hike toward the view ahead of you.

For some reason, I thot you went up along side the mountain which is somewhat true but not until later. All of a sudden I heard coyotes; seemed like there were two sets. They yapped for quite a bit. I was filming and caught some of their yaps. I continued on my hike and encountered a few bike riders and there was one hiker ahead of me; otherwise it was just me and the coyotes. The skies were fairly clear today so I was zooming as I had brot my regular camera too. You get a little close to the city for a short while until the trail finally turns north.

You hike near a bit of a gully off and on. When you get up higher you can see it stretches the length of the mountainside. It was very picturesque out here and I would think it's much more so when it's not so dry. Right now it feels like if you even lightly touch a plant the whole desert will crumble. Nonetheless I found plenty to shoot. Speaking of shoot, my camera phone has the function where you can say "shoot" and I said that one time and out jumped a bunny. I got a big kick out of that. :lol:

A few hikers passed me by in both directions over the next 1/2 mile or so. I was still very curious as to how I was going to get back to the other side. I stopped and talked to a couple from San Diego and they pointed out the route I would take; well that looked like fun to me. I was pleasantly surprised as to how nice the trail was as you headed back east until you hit the switchbacks that were pretty rocky. The view down to the basin/valley covered with saguaros reminded me a bit of a smaller version of Barkley Basin. This would be the case on the other side too. Before you know it, you're walking across a thin bedrock ledge and at the saddle. The people from San Diego called it Hog Saddle.

My phone was low in power so I switched to my regular camera which was fine as I was in zoom-mode anyway shooting to the east at the Four Peaks and the Goldfields, to the North at the Mazzies, to the NW at the McDowells and Bulldog Ridge to the SE. The only thing is movie mode with the camera requires me to add stabilization which is an extra step for when I compile the end product but oh well. I still don't get good zooms with the phone but when I watch how-to videos, they seem to get good zooms; not sure what to make of that.

Anyway, the downhill was in the shade and on pretty nice trail. It was actually almost chilly. I was in the shade for over a mile I think. Once again I encountered a few hikers and dogs. The views were superb. I finally rounded the corner into the sunshine and continued going up and down thru various gullies. The trail was still very nice and the view of Pass Mountain.

And then I saw it, the moon was resting on the top of the mountain :o . Boy was I glad I had my regular camera so I could zoom into that. I got a few photos though not as sharp as I would have liked but nonetheless, a nice bonus for the hike. I would also end up zooming to "Downtown" with Petula Clark's melody on my mind. Love that song from the 60s. I had four 45s, and that was one of them.

Toward the end of the hike you walk thru a saguaro forest before arriving back at the TH. There was a large group of people going up just a bit on the Wind Cave Trail but I think they were just doing a group shot. I sat in Tonto Jr and had a snack and drank my beer with a great view of the mountain. Yep, it was another good day in retirement. It was 6pm by the time I got home; weird to drive home in the dark but I was thinking, "I'm glad I don't have to go to work tomorrow".

I have 30 minutes of movies/pics that I put together in 3 separate movies:
[ youtube video ] (had to redo this one as somehow the coyote clip didn't get in but it is now)
[ youtube video ]
[ youtube video ]

WATCH: 7.47 miles in 3:29:42 at 2.1 avg MPH (127 avg bpm, 156 bpm high: 31 in Zone 5, 1:27 in Zone 4, 1:25 in Zone 3) burned 1339 calories, 66.1 degrees at 4:35PM and 21% 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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