|Skyline RP - eastern half, AZ|
|Skyline RP - eastern half, AZ|| |
Skyline RP - eastern half, AZ
|Hiking||8.73 Miles|| 5 Hrs 37 Mns ||2.04 mph|
|2,309 ft AEG|| 1 Hour 20 Mns Break|
AEG day for me, but you all know that when you hike with Linda . She was kind enough to put together some route options and I invited Daytripper as he had not been in the area either. He had the longest drive so we wanted the hike to be worth that drive time and I do believe it was.
Linda had us do a warm-up hill first, Watson Overlook, before the very windy and slightly chilly hike on the Quartz Mine Trail toward Javelina which, of course, was the highest mountain in the Park. It was very typical desert around us though the level of flora was minimal. We did have great distant views and the sky was mostly clear.
On the way we passed four hikers as we made our way to the Tortuga Trail where we could start the climb up to the Javelina Summit. Fortunately it has some nice little switchbacks so I could catch my breath. Linda and Tom led the way but would stop occasionally to make sure I was still coming. The climb was not bad with occasional flat parts and of course the views changed as I switchbacked my way up. I wasn't fooled by the false-looking summits either. That last little scramble to the real summit was short; is a worthy summit indeed. The jets were out flying today off and on as well so that was fun to watch. The summit wasn't windy at all like the rest of the hike had been so far.
And now we had to go all the way down and seemingly 1/2 way back to where we started only to climb again. But I knew this would be the highlight of our hike so it was motivation to keep my legs moving up the Skyline Crest Trail to catch up with Linda and Tom; all the while stopping to get a photo or two. And we finally arrive at the Ridge only to have to go UP again to check out the Crest Trail. Here we took a snack break. It was interesting that the wind wasn't blowing on the summits.
The Skyline Crest Trail really is quite something with its display of rockery, the views and chubby cholla. I noticed that most of the traffic was coming toward us so that must be the more popular way to go. We continued NW and then SW on the Skyline Crest that truly is very ridge-like. We met up with the Lost Creek Trail and took it downward until we joined up with the Mountainwash Trail. Here I finally took off my down vest for this next part of the ascent which is on an old road. We reached another junction and Linda gave us the option of another 700ft or back to the TH. Tom went for the next 700, I remained here but meandered up the little ridge to wait for them rather than going back to the TH.
I enjoyed my little break and took several pics of them coming and going. I pulled out my umbrella as I had left my hat at Tonto 3. Soon I heard, saw and than photographed two hawks. I checked my email and saw that I got the Granite Park Chalet reservation I put in for on Monday; it's first come first served. I emailed my friend in Calgary to let her know as well as send her a picture of where Linda and Tom were hiking up the Valley Vista Trail. There were other hikers coming and going around this area as well.
Tom and Linda made good time and I hiked down from my perch to meet them back at the junction where we headed down the Turnbuckle Trail, cool name I think. This trail was pretty rocky in spots and we did meet a few hikers along the way until we finally hit the level again. You cross quite the bridge to get to the parking lot. I poured my AZ Wilderness Peanut Brittle beer into three glasses and we cheered the great day we had before heading home.
I took quite a few pictures as it appears the others were more into hiking. I called them the thoroughbreds and I was the old nag coming along behind . I should also mention that from the various high points you could see all the way to the Sierra Estrellas and the Seven Mile Range and Table Top Mountain. You could see Woolsley, Saddle Mountain and the Eagle Tails and also Big Horn Peak. And of course, to the north and east you could see all the usual suspects. Skyline is a nice regional park out there and I'll be back as the drive isn't too bad for me, under an hour; altho it seems longer.
And when I got home, my friend in Calgary sent me the email that we got our reservation at Sperry Chalet which was also on a first come, first serve basis. To increase our chances we put in for workshops, Granite includes the workshop to the Ahern Drift along the Highline Trail and the Sperry includes a workshop to Sperry Glacier. Now we just have to fill in the hole between the two Chalet stays which means going thru the backcountry permit lottery March 15th. But I digress.
WATCH: 8.2 miles in 5:38, 118 avg bpm, 160 max (I was surprised I didn't spend more time at max: 47 Zone 5, 1 hr Zone 4, 1:35 in Zone 3 (aerobic) and 1:26 in Zone 2 (weight control) burning 1820 calories. Temp at start 44.9 and 29% humidity finishing at 2:13PM
|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.