|Horsing Around in the Sierra Ancha, AZ|
|Horsing Around in the Sierra Ancha, AZ|| |
Horsing Around in the Sierra Ancha, AZ
|2,897 ft AEG|
|I decided to go horsing around in the Sierra Ancha Wilderness yesterday, and what better place to horse around than McFadden Horse Mountain!|
I first did an out-and-back hike by taking the McFadden Horse Mountain Trail all the way to its end at a scenic overlook. Along the way I went off trail for a short distance to the McFadden Horse Mountain Highpoint.
There had been some trail maintenance done since I was out there a year ago -- there is no more deadfall on the trail from the TH to the McFadden Horse Trail-Cienega Spring Trail Junction. There were 3-4 downed trees on the trail as I headed up the mountain, but the fallen trees were small ones that were very easy to step over. The trail is easy to follow and there are lots of large cairns along the trail.
Once on the top of the mountain, the trail is very delightful to hike on as there are hardly any rocks and you are walking on soft pine needles for the most part. Views at the summit are obstructed so there is not much to see. I do not believe that there is a benchmark disk at the summit.
The best part of the hike is from the summit to the overlook. There is some nice geology and great views at the overlook. I thought about trying to go from the overlook to Elephant Rock Arch, but decided against it as I wasn't sure how far I would have to descend to make my way over to the arch. I may go to the Arch from the other direction on a future hike, and explore getting from the arch to the overlook.
The descent down the mountain was nice because there were nice views of the Mazzies in front of you all the way down.
I enjoyed this hike and I will have to do it again.
On the way back to Phoenix we turned on FR 487 and hiked up to Aztec Peak. I started to drive all the way to the top, but decided to park a half mile or so before getting to the summit, and at least make a little bit of a hike out of it. It was a nice day and we enjoyed the views at the summit.
Mileage and elevation gain for the 2 hikes is below.
McFadden Horse Mountain: 8.7 miles; AEG of 2,602 feet
Aztec Peak: 1.5 miles; AEG of 295 feet
Stats above are the sum of the two
|May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view. -- Edward Abbey|