The Best Hikes of 100 Classic Hikes in AZ - 2015 Scott Warre

17,851 Triplog Reviews in the 100 Classic Hikes in AZ - 2015 Scott Warre
Most recent of 6,883 deeper Triplog Reviews
0 mi • 0 ft aeg
Margies Cove/Gillespie Dam
 I figured with all the water being released into the Salt River system, this would be a good time to see how things looked at historic Gillespie Dam along the Gila. It was. :) Since I was in the area, I drove over to Margies Cove West trailhead, since I had never been. There are a few sites at the small campground by the trailhead, but all I can say is that is quite the drive just to use a remote toilet. :lol: Nice isolation out there, but nothing that excited me. After Margies Cove, it was on to the main attraction. Pretty impressive show of water I must say! It was amazing to see the long ribbon of water reflecting the late afternoon sun all the way down highway 85 to its turn to the west at Gila Bend. :D

Plenty of flowers and the brittlebush is pouring it on now.
14.35 mi • 2,232 ft aeg
Whiskey West - Red Tanks Loop
 Water and wildflowers. What more can you ask for in a desert environment?!

I will dispense with the water reports; none needed. Multiple creek crossings once you reach LaBarge canyon. You'll probably get wet if you head out there soon.

Wildflowers are substantial along #104 from the creek in Bark's Canyon to Miner's Needle.

It's a great time to be hiking in the Supes right now.

Substantial along Dutchman #104 between Bark's canyon and Miner's Needle.
11.19 mi • 2,414 ft aeg
And a slice of Pie
 I started from the 40th street TH on a CCW loop I drew up and made my way over to the Circumference Trail. A MTB'er said to me, good to see you again. I said huh? He said I saw you here yesterday. I said, not me. He said, then you have a doppelganger. Look out world, there are two of us.

The climb on the Circumference Trail is in much better shape, than when I last did it 8 years ago. They've even put in numerous steps to keep the washouts to a minimum.

On the climb to the peak, you pass the normal mish-mosh of first-timers, snowbirds, speedsters, boom-boxers, yoga pants in check, yoga pants stuffed to the max, etc. etc. On the way down, the Route Scout birds went off announcing the mileage. A mother and 10ish YO daughter were on their way up. The mother remarked to her struggling daughter, "See the birds are singing to you". "I don't care about the stupid birds". No Teva Joe's were spotted.

I continued across on the Mohave and Mohave Connector Trail, with views into the small cookie cutter homes. Now on the home stretch I headed back to the lot on the Quartz Ridge Trail and YV Yates

Not as high of concentration as other places in the area, but plenty of Scorpionweed, poppies, Dichelostemma capitatum, fiddleneck, Lupine, brittle bush, Rock Daisy, Creosote.
11.4 mi • 3,748 ft aeg
 Weaver's Summit has been on my to-do list for years, but I've kept putting it off until I could go with someone more experienced. But this weekend, I just decided to go with my own experience ....

I did invite a friend to come along, though he has less experience than I do.

On to the adventure ...

We arrived at Peralta TH around 7 am. Still a fair number of spots in the main parking lot at that time, but I was a little surprised how busy it was that early--not just at the TH but all along Peralta Road.

That said, on the trail itself, there wasn't much traffic at that time. We made it to Fremont Saddle and took a few photos before dropping into East Boulder Canyon. I hadn't hiked through here since the fire. Lots of regeneration, but it's going to be awhile for the larger stuff.

We turned off the trail at a cairned spot, even though it was a bit sooner than my downloaded RS route. It worked out fine, and as we began to scramble up to the base of the Needle, we gradually veered toward and then joined the HAZ route. On the return, we took the HAZ route all the way back to the trail, which I would recommend (though curiously, there is no cairn where the HAZ route connects to Peralta trail).

There is a nice, large saguaro on the side of the climb that provides a good landmark for the approximate route. I'll include in the photos.

The scramble is steep, but not a bushwhack, and it went by faster than I thought it would--particularly with all of our climbing gear and rope.

Arriving at the base of the notch/saddle between the north and south Needle summits, we encountered a group of three that just finished descending after spending the night on top, and another group of 3 gearing up for the climb.

As per the description, there are 4 pitches. The first two are a continuous climb up the initial chute. At the top of pitch 1 are bolted anchors and chain, which have replaced what used to be a pipe in the rock. The group in front of us roped up for pitch one. We just scrambled up this section, and I didn't view it as particularly technical.

As it turned out, pitch 2 was the only one we roped up for. I lead climbed it, placing 3 anchors along the way. At my experience level, it was plenty technical :scared: . I was happy to arrive at the chockstone, which I navigated underneath. Next time, I'll try the right or left side, both of which are more technical.

I top-roped belayed my partner's climb from the bolted anchor with rings above the chockstone. As he was coming up, a group of two more arrived at the base of the climb.

The third pitch is right next to the chockstone, and involves a short, 15-foot (ish) climb that navigates around a slightly protruding rock face on the left. Because the protrusion forces you right--towards the exposure--it can be slightly unnerving without protection, but with one or two moves, it's not a problem. We free climbed it. Just above pitch 3 was an anchor (webbing and a ring), which we used to short rappel on the way back down.

From the top of pitch 3 to the bottom of pitch 4 is a semi-lengthy--and fun!--scramble. Some exposure, but not crazy.

The bottom of pitch 4 is just beyond the slick rock face over which we would rappel on the way down.

As noted, pitch 4 has significant exposure, but is easily climb-able, due to the plentiful jugs--great foothold and handholds. As long as you don't let the head games get to you, it's basically like climbing a ladder. We free climbed this one as well.

At the top of pitch four, the bolted/chained anchor for the rappel is just off to the right, and there is a final, relatively gentle scramble to the summit.

The group of 3 in front of us were starting their rappel down, as we popped out of the climb up pitch 4. We wished them well, and went on to enjoy the summit in solitude.

The two campsites at the summit are small but well protected, and other than the pain of carrying up more gear, I'd love to watch the sunset/sunrise from this vantage point.

After taking in the vistas and grabbing lunch, we began the descent after 20-30 minutes on top.

The first rappel was great--straightforward and sheer, without obstacles. At the base of the rappel, I was able to look down to the chockstone at the top of pitch two and saw that the group of two who trailed us were STILL on pitch 2. I hoped they were ok.

We scrambled down to pitch 3, to find that the group of two were still making their way up pitch 2, and the group of three in front of us were also waiting to be able to descend. So, it was a bit of a traffic jam, with all three climbing groups of the day converging on one spot.

We hung out above pitch three until the ascending group got up pitch 2 and 3. Then, we coordinated with the group in front of us for the rappel. They fixed their anchor and used the full length of their rope to rappel all the way to the base of the climb; then we used their rope as a pull and rappelled down our rope. It was nice not to have to set up an additional rappel.

From the base of the climb, we scrambled back down the approach slope and were happy to be back on an actual trail. On the return, there was very little traffic, and we enjoyed beautiful--and very clear--skies and afternoon sunlight. Great for photos.

The last part of the trail (as is often the case) seemed longer than I remembered, but plentiful water in the creekbed and nice views made the return trip great.

Glad to check this one off my bucket list, finally. And glad to have gained some additional climbing experience in the process.
17.2 mi • 2,110 ft aeg
Cavalry - Boulder lollipop
 Decided to head back out into the Supes to take advantage of decent weather and lots of water. Started out on Dutchman. All the creeks are flowing. Headed up and over Bull Pass, which I've only been over once; had to get the feet wet at the Needle Canyon crossing. Would like to take Needle down to Boulder sometime...

North on Cavalry through Marsh Valley; saw some horse campers and lots of backpackers heading in. Took a break at Boulder; saw a couple of runners which provided some motivation to pick up the pace a little.

Rest of the way was a little uneventful, although we did see a gila monster on Dutchman.
31.26 mi • 5,620 ft aeg
 RouteScout started acting stupid once I reached Charlebois, so I suspect the recorded AEG for this hike isn't correct. At one point, it announced I hiked a nine and then three minute mile. Whatever. Starting at First Water TH, I made it to Tortilla Pass in eight hours and Angel Basin in nine. The Hoolie Bacon and JF sections are uninspiring, burnt nothingness. The rugged, beautiful, enchanting highlights are definitely the La Barge Box and Rogers Canyon. Most dangerous part of this trip was the motorcycle ride home, but lane-splitting the Ren Fest traffic was a bonus.

Edit: Joe was kind enough to point out that this hike was about 6491' AEG total. Thanks for doing that, you won't get that type of service from AllFails or OnX. I'll keep it posted as 5620' AEG, so that Joe can catch up with his bum knee!?! : wink :
10.3 mi • 3,334 ft aeg
 First county high point of the year. Gate is a little hard to notice on the south side of the 60. Easy drive to the trailhead. High-clearance recommended, but road isn't that rough.

Started around 8 and was in the shade for 2/3 of the way up. Starts pretty easy in a rocky wash, but the last three miles probably gain ~2500 feet. trail was easy to follow. There's some cool old mining stuff scattered throughout the hike. Very desolate. Only saw one other hiker. Views on the top are sweet. Dog loved it.
5.1 mi • 1,197 ft aeg
 Midday hike. Counterclockwise. I went up Bulldog, down the back, back up to Pass Mountain Saddle, then back down to Meridian and my car. Although the trail does have some smooth stretches, I would count this loop as rocky . The brush is cut back where need be and shorts are fine. The bulldog trail had a variety of flowers but few. The Pass Mountain trail had less of a variety but way more. I believe Poppies led with Lupine a distant second. 3/4 overcast was nice. Enjoyable outing!
3.2 mi • 586 ft aeg
 Lunchtime hike. I hiked up Treasure Loop, across Prospector, and back on Siphon draw. Weather was great. Trail is a little rocky in spots. There were just a few purple flowers on lower half of Treasure Loop and just a few Poppies on top half of Treasure and top half of Prospector. Out of the million Brittlebush out there I only say about 4 with flowers. Jojoba looking pretty healthy. Very green out there but no big flower show yet.
5.86 mi • 708 ft aeg
 The First Water Trailhead parking lot was full at 10am, with several vehicles driving in circles waiting for spots, but the nearby Hackberry Springs lot was almost empty. We parked at the Hackberry Springs lot and ended up walking along a well-traveled wash, until it intersected with the Hackberry Springs Trail, which we followed to the Second Water Trail, then looped back to the start. The creeks had mild-moderate flow. There were six creek crossings total, all of which were easily traversed on rocks. The northern part of the loop was pretty marshy, and one of us sunk pretty deep into the mud at one point. There were some nice views, including Garden Valley, the Ridgeline, and Weaver's Needle. There were a few patches of wildflowers. There were a lot of people out; we encountered at least 10 other groups. There wasn't much overall elevation gain. It started out chilly, but got warm (>70°) pretty quickly when the sun emerged from the clouds. We finished in time to make it to the White Sox - Dodgers Spring Training game. Overall it was nice, not particularly memorable.

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