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West Peak, AZ
mini location map2021-09-05
14 by photographer avatarShatteredArm
photographer avatar
 
West Peak, AZ 
West Peak, AZ
 
Run/Jog avatar Sep 05 2021
ShatteredArm
Run/Jog14.94 Miles 3,909 AEG
Run/Jog14.94 Miles   5 Hrs   23 Mns   2.91 mph
3,909 ft AEG      15 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Partners none no partners
The goal of the weekend was mainly to get out and car camp, but I wanted to do something kinda long on Sunday. This seemed to be the most obvious choice in the Pinalenos.

I camped in an aspen grove just to the SE of Clark Peak TH, and started the "run" from my campsite. Once on Clark Peak Trail, I noticed that it was noticeably more overgrown with green foliage than it was a few short months ago. Regardless, the trail was pretty easy to follow all the way to the flat, burned area covered with ferns. There was actually water flowing here, which I believe is the headwaters of North Taylor Canyon.

The next stretch the routefinding was more difficult. For a quarter mile or so there are cairns to follow, but I missed where the trail disappeared into a thicket and had to pull out my phone, onto which I had fortunately downloaded an offline map. Once about halfway down to Taylor Pass, the trail became more obvious.

At Taylor Pass, there was an unreadable trail sign and not much sign of a trail heading down the north side. I think I could see where the trail went down the south side. I think it's a fair bet Taylor Trail would be quite the adventure. The trail west of Taylor Pass was actually pretty easy to follow the whole way up to the road, if overgrown in a few places.

I had originally designed to do the Blue Jay Ridge loop, but a West Peak summit was already going to be ~15 miles, I was kinda dreading the way back, and I wasn't really sure what kind of condition Blue Jay would be in. Plus it looked like an area that would be worthy of visiting on its own.

The return actually took me less time, most likely because I didn't have any issues finding the route in the reverse direction. I did see a bear perched on an impossibly small branch about a mile east of the pass, really the only time I've been able to sit and stare at a bear in the wild without it running away.
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