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Bulldog-Pass Mountain Ridgeline-Wind Cave Loop, AZ
mini location map2021-04-17
8 by photographer avatarddgrunning
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Bulldog-Pass Mountain Ridgeline-Wind Cave Loop, AZ 
Bulldog-Pass Mountain Ridgeline-Wind Cave Loop, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Apr 17 2021
ddgrunning
Hiking8.80 Miles 2,211 AEG
Hiking8.80 Miles   3 Hrs   24 Mns   2.74 mph
2,211 ft AEG      11 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Route Scout Route Recorded  on Route Scout Popup | MapDEX
Started out on the Bulldog Saddle Trail at 6:30 a.m. Meridian TH was not as busy as expected. Temps were also quite nice. Only saw a handful of people on the way up to the saddle. On the backside, dropping around the based of Peak 3004, I had complete solitude until rising back up to the Pass Mountain saddle, where traffic was more busy.

From the Pass Mountain saddle, I decided to shake things up with a little off-trail ascent up to the peak of Pass Mountain via the spur that juts out west from the Ridgeline towards the saddle. I had wanted to check out this spur several years ago when I did the ridgeline with my kids, but it wasn't in the cards that time.

The climb up from Pass Mountain saddle was not nearly as bush-whacky as I thought it might be. And the views on the way up were rewarding, with ever-expanding vistas, including views of Weaver's Needle in the distance.

I did not have a firm itinerary, but by the time I reached the Pass Mountain Peak (which includes a register and a full-size pair of binoculars), I opted to just follow the Ridgeline south and descend via the Wind Cave trail.

The Ridgeline trail/route is much more defined than when I hiked it with my kids. I was grateful, as it made for much more efficient travel, with less guesswork as to which route I should take.

Upon reaching the southern terminus of Pass Mountain, my descent to the Wind Cave trail was a bit different from what I've taken in the past, but it all leads to the same place.

Once on the Wind Cave trail, the crowds predictably appeared. I trail ran down to the Wind Cave trail and then kept up the pace on the southern side of the Pass Mountain Loop back to my car, as I had overspent my time, and there was a long honey-do list to tackle back at home ....

A great variation on a local favorite to get the weekend off on the right foot.
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