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Fremont - Doyle - Schultz Loop, AZ
mini location map2021-05-19
15 by photographer avatarLJW
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Fremont - Doyle - Schultz Loop, AZ 
Fremont - Doyle - Schultz Loop, AZ
Hiking avatar May 19 2021
Hiking16.04 Miles 4,987 AEG
Hiking16.04 Miles   10 Hrs   11 Mns   2.23 mph
4,987 ft AEG   3 Hrs    Break
Route Scout Route Recorded  on Route Scout Popup | MapDEX
A friend and I grew impatient and decided not to wait until June to head back to the SF Peaks. Figured there'd be too much snow to want to loop around from the west, so we started at Schultz Tank and stuck to the south side of the mountain. Started around 6am and went clockwise.

Nobody at the TH at 6, didn't cross any hikers all day. Started on Weatherford and took that to the last switchback before it crosses around Fremont to Doyle Saddle. About a dozen trees down on Weathford to that point. Left the trail and crossed into the meadow on the SE ridge. Went up that way knowing there'd be no snow. Tend to head down that ridge instead of up because it's so steep, but it's mostly grassy, open terrain with good footing. Enormous bristlecones/conifers and southern views distract. Made it up in about 3.5 hours and hung out at the summit for 2. The skyline shed its haze and pillowy clouds rolled in.

Descended west knowing our path would cross a decent amount of snow. Hoping for just the right amount, pretty much got it. So damn fun. The ridge was clear on top and to the south, but to the north there were 3-8ft drifts. Descending to Fremont Saddle no choice but to slide. Fell more times than I can remember but the weather was perfect for playing in the snow. Weatherford still deep snow most of the way from Doyle Saddle to, well I'd guess Humphreys Saddle. There's still a good amount of snow higher up where the trail crosses Snowslide Canyon. Weatherford to Doyle Saddle was more tiresome than the ridge as the snow was pretty soft, and we couldn't help but kick through 2-3ft every ten steps or so.

Straight up Doyle, no snow, and followed a better course this time. Had a break at the summit and watched the clouds and their shadows roll over the mountain. Could see two people descending Humphreys. I would think that it's currently not too bad with spikes if you start early. East side of Doyle has a good amount of snow still, though it wasn't so bad as Weatherford. Once the snow was gone deadfall took its place. So many downed trees to navigate around on the Schultz ridgeline. Got back down to a few cars at the trailhead. Hung out at Schultz Tank afterward, and it seemed like everyone at the trailhead was headed to Elden.
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