Surprised to see a couple cars and a police car by the trail head. Did not meet either on the route. Good hot weather hike if you have the ability to hike 2 hours in it going through some light hilly to flatter terrain. Not too buggy but no noticeable wildflowers.
Nice early morning hike/jog It was humid, but overcast, so it wasn't too bad. Went in on the Butterfield and back on the Coldwater. One other vehicle at the TH, but never saw the hiker. Wildlife minimal... lizards and chipmaunks.
Felt pretty warm on the first section of RV. Probably because the hills were blocking the breeze. On Gadsden, I knew to stay in the wash until I hit the designated exit to the west, but a poorly placed trail marker led me out and up to the east side of the wash. I figured the trail had been changed or something since my last visit. Luckily there's a path leading in right where the exit is and I was back on track with no delays.
100 degrees outside. So did the Butterfield/ Dysart/ Rainbow Valley loop. Butterfield flat in the beginning then to some hills. Once on Dysart, slight elevation loss(not that you gained much on Butterfield) goes through some washes, passed Coldwater and TA before ending at the Rainbow Valley trail. Took a right. Two climbs back to the trailhead. First one is very short, rocky and steep. In the heat actually felt it. The next one is less steep and more gradual.
Rainbow Valley - Toothaker - Pedersen - Gadsden - Butterfield - Coldwater -- AKA an outer loop
Tried this back in June and came up a tad short. Of course, preparation paid off this time around.
All of the obvious climbing was done at the beginning so a lot of the hike was kind of a stroll. Planted some future ankle pain on the last downhill section of Rainbow Valley just like last time, as I recall. Walked by a 30-40' saguaro that had fallen right onto the trail. I found this to be one of the day's highlights.
I'm not in any hurry to get back on the Pedersen Trail. It has some nice views of the Estrella range and some of the mountains to the west, but the majority of it is sandy and boring. The ankle pain really started to set in here. I remembered a perfect "rock chair" in one of the washes, but I forgot how many washes there were. The anticipation was murder. Decided to pull out the camera which seemed to take my mind off of the lousy things. Finally made it to the trail junction and sat down for a snack and a dose of Tylenol. Felt a hundred times better after 15 minutes and began the last 5 miles.
Gadsden was a nice surprise. I'm guessing about half of it was in a wash with tall walls on either side. It was a good place for tons of redundant pictures, and following the horse crap and footprints ensured a subtle way staying on course.
Returned to an empty parking lot, once again. 79 degrees has never felt so hot.
WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.