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San Tan loop, AZ
mini location map2021-02-11
8 by photographer avatartibber
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San Tan loop, AZ 
San Tan loop, AZ
Hiking avatar Feb 11 2021
Hiking9.56 Miles 1,229 AEG
Hiking9.56 Miles   4 Hrs   9 Mns   2.61 mph
1,229 ft AEG      29 Mns Break
1st trip
Route Scout Route Recorded  on Route Scout Popup | MapDEX
Had planned to do this on Tue but my doctor had advised to postpone it in case I had an adverse reaction to the vaccine which I did in the form of a very sore arm for two days. But the advantage was that Linda would be able to join us.

We met at the TH at 9 and started up the Littleleaf Trail to the Goldmine Trail. It's a nice little climb and I'm trying to do some more elevation now that my wrist is starting to heal. Before heading down the NW side we bagged the peak because it's really the thing to do when Linda is along :lol: .

The trail down was a tad steep and slippery so it required careful footing. We visited the gravesite which was interesting. Soon we would finally swing to the west and south again on the Dynamite Trail hiking the contours of the various mountainsides. During that part of the hike Linda spotted quite a few mine tailings and explained those to Deborah and how she can learn to spot them. We eventually came out of the mountain clusters to the San Tan Valley and the San Tan Trail. We found a bench to take a snack break a little after 1/2 way.

We hiked south thru more of the desert and washes enjoying the desert flora. There is this one section between the mountains and near a wash that I particularly like as the desert is rather plush here altho not so much today. Linda spotted some Desert Trumpet (good eye) that she pointed out for Deborah to see. Deborah does like our desert flora and is trying to learn about it.

We eventually headed east and then north on the Hedgehog Trail topping out at the last viewpoint before joining back up with the San Tan Trail heading onto the desert floor and back to the TH. We encountered many other hikers, with and without dogs, and bikeriders throughout but everyone was pretty cordial I'd say.

I've really enjoyed both my hikes in this park and it is well-maintained. However, they could stand to do some work on that back side (NW) of Goldmine. I was pretty tired by the time we finished that last mile.

I always like having good company on these longer hikes and enjoyed visiting with Linda and Deborah. And even though I've known Deborah from the mid 70s, I still learn things. She really has quite the athletic family (runners). And she has one of the best trail dogs, Duke. I'll be hooking up with her again when she moves her RV to Lost Dutchman for a couple days.
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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