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The Best Hikes of 100 Hikes in AZ - 2007 Scott Warren

16,761 Triplog Reviews in the 100 Hikes in AZ - 2007 Scott Warren
Most recent of 6,623 deeper Triplog Reviews
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.
3.76 mi • 1,112 ft aeg
 With left foot and right knee ligament issues, I set out to stiff leg the loop to verify if Weebles can still wobble, without falling down.

Stumbling upon Sonoran_Quitter, he agreed to tag along at a wobble pace. Everything I taught him about flora went in one ear and out the other. So I pointed out the difference between invasive and native Tickle Foot(bora ticklaceae).

T'was my first visit to the Ocotillo lot. Wow! The restrooms still flaunt Biltmore luster vs the pitstops in the Mesquite lot. Forgot to check if there is a filtered water station tapped from the sewer like Mesquite.

The avian linguist tried throwing out yawners like curved bill thrasher, Cactus Wren, Say's Phoebe. So I explained the wave of brilliant Lazuli Bunting. Recent abundant moisture is evident in the native flora along #304. Cholla galore is budding.

Since he's typically in the canyon of echoes he got excited spotting a spiral petroglyph he declared a sign of water. I explained the graffiti was a sign of the lack of patrol.

Fountain grass is in the microenvironment pocket on the north. The Resurrection Plant is in its prime but still too cold in the pocket for any significant blooms.

One isolated African daisy at the Northwest saddle. A little bit of creosote on the west side is blooming. Lots of old buffel grass on the north and west. The purple spray paint fertilizer of yesteryear made it spread. Widespread brittlebush shoots on the west siiide. Oughta bust a bloom viewable from the 51 soon. Hendrix is on break. The haze over the valley was a dense white without yellow or any gradient.

A tiny patch of poppies on the circumference about a tenth below the saddle. A small area of Cheatgrass is the first I recall. Trail work on the switchback ascent is complete. They put a LOT of work into it and it shows. It is now a ramp with well-rocked ravines to control erosion. The tread is currently National Park quality!

Chatted with just under ten thousand volunteers on the backstretch cuz the Sonoran_Quitter is famous. He naturally bolted when we got to Trail #300 cuz he can't hack the lack of attention.
10.1 mi • 2,204 ft aeg
Flowers Ice Cream and Scat
 Bruce and I went down to see the Poppies and throw in a hike or two. The hike wore me out but the Lupine and Poppies put on a great show!! The trail was in the normal shape but I think I’ll bring the gloves next time. My hands were slipping a little coming down the chute. After the Picacho loop we grabbed a JJ dessert and headed over to Turd hill.
I did the Turd loop while Bruce hit the summit.
Great weather, hike, flowers, views, dessert and company! Thanks Bruce!! Like HAZ, you rock!!

10.37 mi • 2,349 ft aeg
Flowers Ice Cream and Scat
 Denny through up this as a suggestion. Hoping to score on a flower explosion, I was in.

A 9am start and we started up Hunter. There was sign of many poppies, but it was still too cold for them to be open. Up, up, up, passing a bit of snow on the way to the saddle.

We negotiated the cable sections with little trouble and hit the top with about 10 already up there. After a snack break, we headed back down to the Sunset Vista trail and were lucky to miss any backup on the cable sections.

Once down to the flatter sections the flower show started. Some of the most impressive Coulter Lupine sections I've ever seen. Rock Daisies, Pincushion, Fiddleneck, Scorpionweed, Desert Chicory, Desert Bluebell and Poppies forever.

We made it to the Sunset TH and then continued around back to our starting point.

Being in the area there were 2 more must do's. First, a cherry dipped cone at the DQ. Next, time to cross the Turd off my list. This is an easy 2 mile RT hike, with a better than anticipated summit of the mighty Turd.

I think I set a personal high PPM of 13 on this hike, being in full tibber-mode
4.9 mi • 1,440 ft aeg
 I was watching the weather forecasts carefully and I knew it would snow in the Supersitions at some point on Wednesday evening/Thursday moring. I was planning on either Boulder Canyon or Peralta Trail. I finally opted for Peralta because it's a higher elevation. I am so happy I did. I have never seen this much snow in this part of the Superstitions. It was a winter wonderland all the way up.

Driving on the 60 before sunrise, I could already see the snow level was really low. As I turned on to Peralta Road, the surround desert was covered in snow. The closer I drove to the trailhead, the snow started sticking on the road. That was a first for me. When I arrived at the trailhead, there was 2-3 inches of snow on the ground.

Starting up, the trail was a slushy, water mess. The heavy wet snow weighted down the vegetation along the trail, literally blocking parts of the trail. I came ready to get soaked and the trail did it's best to oblige.

When I made it to the start of Peralta Canyon, it was lightly snowing and continued all the way to the Lone Pine viewpoint. I met a young fellow and his cool Husky dog on the way up. That dog was a happy pup for sure. I had to wait about 30 minutes for the clouds to part, but finally Weavers Needle made an appearance.

After exploring the Lone Pine area and taking a ton of pictures, I started back down. I ran across a few folks going up and met another fellow who was talking about doing the Needle Loop. I didn't tell them to not try, but I didn't sugar coat it either. That would have been a wet hike for sure. He started back down to the trailhead (wise decision).

The further down I hiked, the more people I saw. Everyone had a smile on their face hiking up. The snow was already melting fast. The white blanket that covered the trail and hillside was slowing giving way to a brown slushy icee. The trail was a little river in most places. I counted 4-5 waterfalls that I never knew existed. So magical.

This one will be one I remember for a long time. I have done this trail so many times, many of the trips blur into each other. Not this one. A once in a lifetime experience for me.
6.17 mi • 2,061 ft aeg
Turd Picacho
 This was a hike to two peaks that I have never bagged before:
1) Turd Hill
2) Picacho Peak

Turd Hill
They say that if you are feeling down in the dumps and want to wipe the blues away, a hike to Turd Hill will be just what the doctor ordered, and I certainly can't disagree!

I hiked up to Turd Hill first. I crossed a railroad track, crossed underneath a fence, and then walked through open country on the desert floor to the peak. It was a bit of a scramble to get up to the summit, but it was fun. There were 3 black vultures sitting on the summit, and they didn't seem to want to leave, but they eventually did.

I saw some reports from 8 years ago where people complained about bees at the summit, but I did not encounter any today. Of course I was there early on a breezy morning with temperatures in the low to mid 40's, so if any bees were around they likely would not have been active anyway.

Picacho Peak
After hiking Turd, I drove across I-10 to the state park and hiked up the Hunter Trail to Picacho Peak. I enjoyed the portion of the hike from the saddle up to the summit better than the lower part, at least on the way up.

This one was easier than I thought that it would be, although a couple of places were a bit sketchy, even with the cables.

I enjoyed doing this combo, and I might do it again sometime.

Stats for the 2 hikes are below. Stats above are the sum of the two
Turd: 2.73 miles with 174 feet of AEG
Picacho: 3.44 miles with 1,887 feet of AEG

There were LOTS of nice poppies in the area around the trailhead, but there wasn't much else.
9.19 mi • 2,400 ft aeg
 I thought it might be fun to pinstripe a brand new truck today. The road in is in fairly good condition, most of the rocks are gone, but has some sandy spots. Some vegetation encroaching on the sides.

Scott and I were pleasantly surprised that the 31 degree temp at the start didn’t feel cold at all. Headed uphill. Saw a helicopter land at the helipad up top, then take off again. Some vegetation to dodge along the trail, mostly palo verde, but overall the trail is in decent shape. Rocky as usual just before you top out on the west side.

At the top, there were some Border Patrol agents (dropped off from the helicopter) fixing a repeater they had set up last week. They seemed eager to chat, so we talked for a few minutes before continuing over to the summit. Quick stop at the summit, then retraced our steps back across the top. Watched the helicopter land again, and said our goodbyes to the agents as they were getting ready to leave.

The descent seemed rockier than the ascent, but was uneventful. Crossed paths with one couple about a mile or so from the trailhead. Warming up by the finish, but the breeze felt good. Nice to hike with Scott again, and always good to visit Table Top.

Flowers just starting.
19.45 mi • 3,263 ft aeg
 Originally planned on doing this from Milk Ranch Creek to save a couple miles, but with the overnight rain, decided that road would be a little risky. So we headed out to Peralta for a 9:30am start, with the trailhead more vacant than I've seen it in about 10 years.

All the creeks were flowing across the flat part of Dutchman, and things got a little more exciting when sleet started falling, and there was 1-2 inches of snow at Miners Summit. Snow below 3k in the Superstitions is really a sight to behold...

First time on Whiskey Springs trail. catclaw wasn't as bad as I expected. La Barge was flowing nice and strong, and I enjoyed the Upper Box stretch. First time through there in nine years.

Red Tanks beyond the last crossing of La Barge was all new to me, and this offered the hardest route finding, the most catclaw, and the most snow. It was thoroughly enjoyable, and the view from Red Tanks Divide was unforgettable.

We took a long-ish break at Dripping Springs, and also poked around Reed's Water for a few minutes. The rest of the way back I was in "let's get this over with" mode. Chocolate covered coffee beans are money as it turns out.

Really fun day, I think that leaves about 15 miles of official trail within the Superstition Wilderness that I haven't seen yet.
11.46 mi • 1,995 ft aeg
 Hadn't ever ventured up to this area. My assessement:

--Cave Creek trail: would be great in the spring/summer when there are leaves on the trees, and in the fall, when colors are popping. 2-3 nice swimming holes along the way, for warmer weather.

--Skunk Creek trail: the initial climb is a good workout with decent views, but from Skunk tank on, it's basically a somewhat drab road walk.

I off-trailed up to the Quien Sabe mine. Entrance imploded; not a lot to see.

The highlight of the hike for me was the impressive crested saguaro off the side of the trail on Cave Creek.
11.7 mi • 1,536 ft aeg
 A morning stroll to explore a ridge along Boulder Creek. There were many cars a the trailhead at 7:15am but I only saw a few hikers on the way out. The trails were good and the cloud cover kept it cool. The creeks were flowing but it was fairly easy to rock hop at the crossings. I hiked up to Peak 2577 and looked around. Not much out there. On the hike out I saw many more hikers. I was finished before the cloud cover moved off.

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