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mini location map2021-12-11
23 by photographer avatarBubbaJuice
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Pusch PeakTucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Hiking4.55 Miles 2,756 AEG
Hiking4.55 Miles   4 Hrs   2 Mns   1.18 mph
2,756 ft AEG      10 Mns Break5 LBS Pack
1st trip
Linked   none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Back on December 31, 2020 I hiked Pusch Peak for the first time. It was super cool. I took a picture of the benchmark and forgot about it. Over the summer, I looked more into benchmarks. I found out how they were everywhere and how unique the PUSCH benchmark was. I learned that it had reference marks, which I had no idea about initially. I studied Google Maps photospheres to get a feel of the layout of the summit and I analyzed pictures of the benchmarks from the geocaching page for the benchmark, knowing the exact location of each benchmark in relation to the layout of the peak. After this effort, I had to hike the peak, but I would have to wait until cooler weather, and therefore winter. As the days passed, Pusch Peak sat there towering with it's impressive orange and white granite cliffs.

I decided to get back onto trails a couple of weeks ago. I decided that I would hike Wasson Peak and then 2 weeks later, Pusch Peak. As the day neared, I checked the weather forecast, Saturday had a high of 67, following a rainy Friday, perfect conditions for hiking.

Today was the day. I got water, oranges, my bag, hiking poles, and tissues. I got to the trailhead at 8:37. It was 40 degrees outside. My hands were freezing, holding onto hiking poles. I quickly traversed the forest service maintained Linda Vista Loop part of the trail. All of the dirt of the trail was moist. Most of the rock faces on the trail were sandy, making them treacherous to go down. Making it to the start of the trail, I saw the welcoming sign for what lay ahead, "Not a forest service system trail beyond this point". The trail quickly steepened and I took in the views of the surrounding area. I saw two rock climbers, at the base of the Pusch Flatiron, getting ready to climb the cliff. My hands had got to a reasonable temperature now. Looking down into the canyon, I saw pools of water and even heard a tiny trickle. I continued up, stopping every once and a while to look behind me at the views. Someone on the way down said that there was a group of 15 heading up the peak in front of me. (It was actually ~25) I thought to myself, "Oh great." I continued on, going uphill towards the peak. I found a spot where there was a footprint of a bighorn sheep on the trail and on a rock outcrop next to it a pile of bighorn sheep scat. Moving on, I noticed the trail steepened a bit more and became rockier and a tiny bit more technical. I made it to maybe 100 feet or so in elevation below the summit that I remembered the trail being flatter up here. It was just as steep as the rest of the trail. Once I was getting close to the top, I saw my first glimpse of the other side of the mountain, containing The Cleaver and Bighorn Mountain. It was pretty cool. I continued on for the last little bit and too the summit. There were upwards of 20 people up there, with only 1 or 2 in the large hiking club group. I thought to myself, "This sucks." I quickly found reference mark 2. I went back to the summit to try and find reference mark 1. I went over to the location if it. It should have been right where I was. I checked past photos of it and I still couldn't find it. I decided it was where a little discolored dip in the rock is. I took another picture of the triangulation station and then went to the south summit. I ate 3 oranges there. I then took a group photo for the hiking club and started heading back down. I immediately noticed that going down was quite a bit harder than going up. Rocks became slip traps and moving along was slow. On one particular, small rock section I placed my foot down on the rock, slipped and I slid down the little section. I slid down on the the left side of a bush and my right arm had scraped up against a dried up stick with thorns all along it. The cuts were minor and I cleaned up my arm with some water. Immediately after standing up I noticed my knees were shaky. I continued on, down even more sandy rocks. This part sucked and I feel like my hiking poles were just a nascence at this point, rather than helping like they did on the way up. I put them in my pack and continued down. From this point on I was periodically accompanied by music being blasted by either the church or the school and being echoed off of the cliffs. I saw one of the two climbers repel down the final portion of the cliff. I finished up the hike, thanking the dirt surface of the Linda Vista Loop trail.

This was tiring I had fun. :) :)
 Flora [ checklist ]
[ checklist ]  Saguaro
 Geology [ checklist ]
[ checklist ]  Granite
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation None
No wildflowers were observed.
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