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Dome Mtn - 3 Lesser Peaks - Elliptical Arch, AZ
mini location map2022-04-09
25 by photographer avatarJohn10s
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Dome Mtn - 3 Lesser Peaks - Elliptical Arch, AZ 
Dome Mtn - 3 Lesser Peaks - Elliptical Arch, AZ
 
Hiking10.21 Miles 2,475 AEG
Hiking10.21 Miles   8 Hrs   29 Mns   1.90 mph
2,475 ft AEG   3 Hrs   6 Mns Break
1st trip
We only had time for something shorter today, so we decided to return to the Goldfields and finish off a hike that we didn't quite complete in early January, on another day when we were short on time. That day, we hiked to Dome Mountain and two of the Three Lesser Peaks before we needed to turn back. The plan today was to change it up and hike the full loop counter-clockwise, following a 2019 route by @mr_squishy, and also look for Elliptical Arch, which we didn't find in January.

The parking lot at Bulldog Canyon Gate was empty when we arrived just after sunrise, and it was in the mid-60s when we got on the trail and headed toward Blue Ridge. The first few miles were a combination of trails, roads, and some easy off-trail hiking in washes before we reconnected with trails/roads again. West of Top Hat, we followed part of the Twin Arches route before branching off for the climb up to the saddle between the two eastern Lesser Peaks.

We hiked the peaks east-to-west and started with Peak 3047, the one we didn't have time to reach in January. It's an easy hike to the top, and there was a wooden (SOTA?) post at the summit. Next up was Peak 3089, and the eastern side of the peak was covered with beautiful orange flowers, which looked great among the other yellow wildflowers and the many cacti and ocotillo blooms.

At the summit, I was curious to see if anyone had signed the register I placed in January. They hadn't...I guess that peak doesn't get much traffic, or the jar was a little too hidden. Regardless, I was also the second person to sign my register :). From there, we followed the ridge over to Peak 3134, and that register had quite a few names added since we were last there...that one is obviously the most popular of the three. I considered going over to the other low peak NE of 3134, the unofficial fourth Lesser Peak (Least Peak?), but it didn't look like there was much to see over there.

We had some time to spare when we came down to the saddle northwest of 3134, so I made a quick out-and-back up to Dome Mountain and signed the register. The 1982 Girl's Tennis statue/trophy that was up there in January was still there, but both arms were broken off and sitting nearby. The summit register was full and the cover had separated from the pages...things have deteriorated up there in the past few months.

I returned to the saddle, and we headed into the beautiful area with the yellow rock west of Peak 3134. I'd done a little more research on the location of Elliptical Arch, and it paid off--we left the trail and found it pretty quickly. All the pictures I'd seen were taken from a distance, and I was pleasantly surprised to find that it was easy to get over there and see it up close...unlike so much of the Goldfields, it wasn't the typical crumbly, loose rock leading up to the arch.

[ youtube video ]

We didn't see any hikers all day, just some ATV in traffic in the last mile on the way back to the trailhead, and the parking lot was still empty when we finished. Not much mileage today, but it was nice to come back and complete the full loop and find Elliptical Arch on a much warmer day.
 Geology
 Geology [ checklist ]
[ checklist ]  Natural Arch
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