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2022-11-14  
Purple Hayes, AZ
mini location map2022-11-14
20 by photographer avatarDixieFlyer
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Purple Hayes, AZ 
Purple Hayes, AZ
 
Hiking7.91 Miles 2,168 AEG
Hiking7.91 Miles   5 Hrs   18 Mns   1.78 mph
2,168 ft AEG      51 Mns Break
 
1st trip
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Purple Hayes all in my brain
Lately things, they don't seem the same
Acting funny, but I don't know why
'Scuse me while I kiss the sky


With apologies to Jimi H, this hike was to the highpoint of the Hayes Mountains, which are in the western part of the San Carlos Apache Reservation. The unnamed highpoint has an elevation of 5,332 feet and prominence of 772 feet.

The Hayes Mountains are named for W.C. Hayes and his son Zee, who ran cattle in this part of the San Carlos Reservation in the 1890's until they were forced off due to cattle leases being rescinded for all except Indian cattle. (this is from Arizona's Names (X Marks the Place), by Byrd Howell Granger)

I stopped by San Carlos Recreation and Wildlife, picked up a permit for the day, and drove toward the Hayes Mountains and parked at a wide place in the road. I could have driven further, but as is my custom I parked at a spot where I figured I could get in a decent hike.

I walked a couple of miles on the road, and then went off-trail towards the summit. The summit was not in view, and I had to make my way over a couple of ridges until I got to a saddle down below the peak. Along the way I saw 5 white-tailed deer, and I watched them for a few minutes. Bushwhacking wasn't too bad, although there was some catsclaw to contend with -- fortunately I could weave around most, but not all, of it.

The last 200 feet of vertical up to the summit was really, really steep -- but I made my way up there nonetheless. Views were nice at the summit and it was a near-perfect day so I hung out there for a bit. Plus I wasn't in any real hurry to make the steep descent; although as it turned out the descent was not that bad, and was much better than the ascent of the peak.

On the way back, I could look down and see the road to the west of the route that I came up, so I decided to just head down to the road. This route had much less off-trail than the way that I came up, and there was no catsclaw to deal with. If I was to do the hike again, I would use my off-trail descent route on this hike for both the ascent and descent.

This turned out to be another nice hike on the San Carlos Apache Reservation. Seeing 5 deer and no people on a hike is about par for the course for a San Carlos hike!
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_____________________
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view. -- Edward Abbey
 
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DixieFlyer's
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