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Bulldog Canyon - Blue Ridge Loop, AZ
mini location map2023-01-08
18 by photographer avatartibber
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Bulldog Canyon - Blue Ridge Loop, AZ 
Bulldog Canyon - Blue Ridge Loop, AZ
Hiking6.77 Miles 928 AEG
Hiking6.77 Miles   3 Hrs   33 Mns   2.04 mph
928 ft AEG      14 Mns Break
Route Scout Route Recorded  on Route Scout | Pop | Map | Popup | MapDEX
Cousin Jaelyn cut her South America trip short and ended up at her mom's house in San Tan Valley and texted me for a hike. I called Deborah who was also in town and I picked this hike that I took Jaelyn's sister on Dec 2021 [ photoset ] . Weather was perfect. The road walk was VERY noisy until making the turn on FR 10 to the north. From then on we only saw horseback riders.

As we came down the hill, to the NW I could see what looked like a stone wall. I had never noticed it before. It looks natural and there is a pullout below it. Even though I hiked us past the wash turn, misreading RS, we didn't get close enough to investigate. We headed back to the wash, took the obligatory picture by the tall chollas and continued to our first destination: Cyclops. Jaelyn took the lead and nailed the cairned route on the way up. We took our pictures and enjoyed the always beautiful view :) . We got to see a red-tailed hawk in flight as well. Jaelyn removed her first cholla from her shoe.

We headed back down and Jaelyn kept heading east while we went down the way we came up. We headed toward the bedrock area of the wash looking for reflections in the water but the horses had been through so the water was a little mucky in most of the little pools. It's still a little hard to follow the trail from time to time so sometimes, we probably hiked more through the wash. However, the sand was somewhat hardened in many areas so it wasn't bad. I do like staying above the wash for the views. And since this was Jaelyn's first time in this area (she's only done Picacho with me on this very same day 12 years ago [ photoset ] ), I wanted her to have a good visual.

I tried to point out the various peaks and we reviewed some of the flora. She's a bit of a gardener so likes to know about the desert; doesn't quite compare to Kona, but our desert was showing off with all its puffy chollas and various other plants including Jojobas and Foothill Palo Verdes not to mention the Saguaros that she couldn't get enough of; especially their interior when it was exposed. Deborah also likes the desert flora.

Keeping an eye out for the cairns is still a bit tricky. As we meandered along I noticed the horses went off to the south from the wash. After checking HAZel, I knew this wasn't the right way but we decided to be adventurous and follow where it would lead us as long as it kept going the way I needed it to. The horse people have been out trimming so we tossed the clippings off the trail which was quite narrow in this particular section. Well this is definitely NOT a main trail so eventually I needed to veer east, but first we had to get up on a hill so I could get a good visual.

We walked on the top and enjoyed our views. I found a good route down and we took that and with a little jig and jag via FR 1356 I got us on a rough road that would take us up another tall and long hill. Now I just had to hope we could hook up with Blue Ridge ridge area. Believe it or not, the road turned into a single track and was even heading in the right direction. So the only question remaining was whether or not we would have to go down to go up. I pointed out the views to Top Hat, the Four Peaks, Weavers and the Flatiron as we continued on our way. And wha la, we were able to merge to the next ridgeline that would take us on the Blue Ridge.

We got over to the main area where you can look toward the alcove below. The lichen was glowing per normal and is a sight to see if you're not used to seeing such masses of it. Walking around this volcanic tuff is pretty at every turn. It's a little different than volcanic tuff that Jaelyn has in Kona but at least she could somewhat feel at home :lol: ; especially since Kihlauea is at it again. Now it was time to negotiate that slippery section coming down from the Blue Ridge. It's still slick but fortunately, short. I am still amazed that horses traverse that.

We finished off the hike by getting to see some deer grazing on the side of the hill so that was nice. It's a little tricky getting back to the TH once you're near the wash and though I apparently missed the trail, we made it to the road with no problem. I think some of these trails in here are hard to see because of the rain we've had.

We finished our day at Los Gringos where Jaelyn and I enjoyed a Grande Waborita with our food. (FYI, the poblano chicken enchiladas and poblano rice are so good).

WATCH: 1:24-4:57PM, 6.46 miles, 2102-2513 feet. 134 avg bpm, 166 max. 31% Zone 5 max, 54% Zone 4 anaerobic, 15% Zone 3 aerobic burning 1450 calories. Temp 63.8 sunny and 36% humidity.
For me, sometimes it's just as much about the journey as the destination.
Oh, and once in awhile, don't forget to look back at the trail you've traveled.
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