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Salt Trail 100 Bush Lite East, AZ
mini location map2020-12-27
6 by photographer avatarCannondaleKid
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Salt Trail 100 Bush Lite East, AZ 
Salt Trail 100 Bush Lite East, AZ
Mtn Biking12.40 Miles 611 AEG
Mtn Biking12.40 Miles   1 Hour   48 Mns   6.89 mph
611 ft AEG3 LBS Pack
 no routes
1st trip
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With temps in the 65-70° range it was absolutely perfect weather!

Since much of the new Bush Lite East Trail was semi-complete by the previous Saturday I knew the folks from HTA (Hawes Trail Alliance) would be out working on it again this Saturday (yesterday). If things went well they just might have completed the whole trail so I figured I'd add a quick out-and-back ride in addition to my usual route.

The Mid-Mountain parking lot along Bush Highway had over a half-dozen vehicles and well over a dozen people were mingling about, probably readying for a hike. Although they were outside, neither social distancing nor masks were in evidence. But no matter, I just rode by.

As I approached the horse staging lot on Coon Bluff Road it was as full as I'd ever seen. I attempted to count them all as I rode through but I lost count at 21 horse trailers. (I think there were a couple more behind others.) Thankfully all the equestrians were already out on various trails so I didn't have to leave a wide berth around any of them.

While riding in an open area heading toward Usery Pass Road it seemed like I had to avoid 10 times as many horse-apples as the previous ride. Pretty weird... until I figured out why. The Salt River Management Group has regularly dropped off hay for the feral horses for most of the year. Each time it has always been dropped in one area, but for some reason in the last week they dropped it off in much larger area. Which of course that means there are horse-apples over much larger area. Oh well, I'll just adjust my route a bit farther from Trail 100.

As usual I stopped at three separate viewpoints overlooking the Salt River and was surprised by how the amount of algae has exploded... a few weeks ago there was none.

Moving on to Bush Lite East... I crossed Bush Highway at the Scorpion Trail and right away I could see the pink flags marking the trail. Although this part had been pretty well done last week, I could tell a bit more housekeeping had been done and there was not a hazard to be found. Wow, this is a NICE trail! The only complaint I had was that most of the hard ground areas had small undulations which play havoc for my herniated disk. I can deal with the whoop-de-doo's and the larger rocks easy enough by staying off the seat, but I don't care to do the whole ride standing up.

When I reached the west end of Bush Lite East there were markers for EAST Bush Lite but no has begun construction yet. However, the short connector over to Stinger West IS complete. In the future, it will continue in a larger clockwise arc, crossing Stinger a second time and reconnecting with Bush Lite West and will be named Bush Lite Loop.

I turned around at Stinger and began the ride in the other direction. I hadn't gone a few hundred yards before meeting another biker, who was in fact one of the HTA workers. He told me they just completed the trail less than an hour earlier and he was riding it the first time. Ha! I had already ridden it and was heading back the other way, so not only was I the first to ride the full Bush Lite East trail but first to ride in both directions.

Although the trail rises steadily from east to west, I actually liked it slightly more than west to east. I hope to get back out again tomorrow and film it in both directions with my GoPro.

The [ gps route ] I posted includes the Bush Lite East Trail and a separate track for the short connector to Stinger West. I suppose if/when I get around to creating a Guide maybe it will be the official route.
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