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Dutchman's Middle Trail, AZ
mini location map2020-12-07
18 by photographer avatarPeraltaPhil
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Dutchman's Middle Trail, AZ 
Dutchman's Middle Trail, AZ
Hiking6.00 Miles
Hiking6.00 Miles   4 Hrs   30 Mns   1.50 mph
      30 Mns Break20 LBS Pack
 no routes
Linked   none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
I had not hiked to the Dutchman's Middle Canyon area since June 2020. I wanted to check out the status of a Juniper Tree; a landmark I look for as I hike up to the ravine. There had been fire burn on the Dutchman's past the Lower Barks Wash, but none up to the juniper tree.

The Middle Trail Loop was my goal. The hike began at 9:00 A.M. The hike up to the tree was delayed by some rock and plant clearing along the way. As I rounded the last hill along the wash, I was happy to see that the tree was still there. Although it is slowly losing some of its vitality.

I try staying out of the wash by finding a trail to hike. I duck under the juniper tree limb and make my way to the ridge above. A trail heads north. Hiking up and down the undulating terrain I see a familiar saguaro on the east side across the wash.
The trail contours a hill to the northwest. It is here that I am hit with the reality of the recent fire. It was a disheartening site. The fire damage would be present all the way to the ravine. It was surreal hiking through terrain that once was full of brittle bush, but now was rocks, charred bushes, and singed saguaros. The pointed cairn was still there; with no bushes to obscure its view. Hiking was easier until just before the ravine. I try to avoid the wash, so dodging some of the burnt trees was a chore.

Dutchman's Middle Canyon suffered fire burn north, to the base of the ascent to the saddle near Hill 3559. I reached the ravine at noon, did the math and decided not to finish the loop. The saddle ascent is the most difficult part of the hike for me. I usually have to fight through so much thick desert growth. Time was a factor. After a sort rest I turned back and would tackle Hill 3559 another day.

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