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339 triplogs
Jan 19 2016
black_toes
avatar

 Guides 4
 Routes 51
 Photos 1,545
 Triplogs 348

82 male
 Joined Sep 24 2004
 Phoenix, AZ
Skunk Creek TrailPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Jan 19 2016
black_toes
Hiking3.58 Miles 308 AEG
Hiking3.58 Miles   2 Hrs   44 Mns   2.44 mph
308 ft AEG   1 Hour   16 Mns Break
 no routes
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
A rugged afternoon in the urban woods of Skunk Creek Linear Park. Flat path, concrete walkways, ramadas, toilets, benches, lights, interpretative signs, plenty of company. Mr. Urban Hiker, I am. For the present. Ankle sprain still nags. This hike is a perfect example of my trail ethos: Never meet a hike you don't like (well, outside the Desert Classic), and never meet a timetable you can't destroy. The original intent was to hike Skunk all the way to its conclusion, 51 Av to Rio Vista Park, and back. No sweat. Be back long before sunset. But there again, I stopped to take photos (blooms and a skateboard park) and have a sandwich. And then there was the 30-minute chat with an elderly Englishman while his beautiful 8-year-old Bearded Collie patiently listened in. Adding to the foreign flavor, a young Romanian man came by with his dog and excitedly talked soccer with the Englishman. English, I've long known, isn't the international language. It's soccer. And of course I didn't come close to arriving at Rio Vista Park. I turned around at busy Union Hills Dr near 63 Ave. The creek itself was dry, most of the drainage in the area being sealed off with small over-flow dams, creating attractive ponds for the villagers. Next trip on Skunk, I'll start at Rio Vista Park and travel back to Union Hills.
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Light
Brittle Bush, Fairy Duster, Chuparosa and Globe Mallow.
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4 archives
Jan 18 2016
black_toes
avatar

 Guides 4
 Routes 51
 Photos 1,545
 Triplogs 348

82 male
 Joined Sep 24 2004
 Phoenix, AZ
Mercury Mine LoopPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Jan 18 2016
black_toes
Hiking2.14 Miles 503 AEG
Hiking2.14 Miles   1 Hour   39 Mns   2.01 mph
503 ft AEG      35 Mns Break
 no routes
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Although the Dreamy Draw Rec Area parking lot neared capcity and hordes milled about, it was another world on the W side of the pedestrian tunnel under 51 HW, like a time machine had thrown us back to, say, last Wednesday. We encountered maybe a dozen hikers on the trail, 3 bikers and a jogger. And for the first mile, we passed only a young woman on horseback with her dog leading the way. As we rose to the trail juncture on the NW corner, great views opened up, none better than snow-capped Four Peaks off on the horizon. The McDowells, the Brown's Ranch peaks, Pinnacle, Tom's Thumb all visible and snowless in the distance and Shadow and Lookout much closer. Also from the juncture, we saw the so-called backside of popular Peak 2429. Jason Cleghorn's Mercury Mine route of last year shows a path to get there from where we stood. Coming around to the S side of the trail, the highrises of downtown and midtown Phoenix pop into view. Haze made it next to impossible to see South Mtn and the downtown skyline. Counted three old mine shafts, now sealed, and several other suspects. My time was slow, barely 2 mph. It was the hariest hike I've done since last month's ankle sprain, and I used a lot of caution in descending several steep spots of slick and loose rock. You don't notice them with healthy legs. Nice hike otherwise on a beautiful day, first time in weeks doing a trail in shirt sleeves and shorts. The desert spring approacheth!
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2 archives
Jan 16 2016
black_toes
avatar

 Guides 4
 Routes 51
 Photos 1,545
 Triplogs 348

82 male
 Joined Sep 24 2004
 Phoenix, AZ
#8 L V Yates Ramble, AZ 
#8 L V Yates Ramble, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Jan 16 2016
black_toes
Hiking2.84 Miles 309 AEG
Hiking2.84 Miles   1 Hour   46 Mns   2.33 mph
309 ft AEG      33 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Although I'm using the Yates Tr as reference, I don't know that I was ever on it. But near enough. Again, in a time constraint (I just HAD to be back home 15 mi away from the 40th St TH to watch the Cardinals-Packers playoff game), I had a couple of hours. When I arrived at the parking lot, I was not too surprised to find it completely full. So I had to park a 1/4 mi away on 40th and walk back. I always thought #8 Yates started on the E side of the lot, but there on the W side is a #8 sign too. Confusing. Anyway, I left from the W and headed S, not knowing or caring where it took me. I just knew I was going S into the big valley. I hit the #100 tr but stayed on it only a short time before cutting off S toward what I call "the little peak," which pops up just W of the big ridgeline on the E. The official Yates Tr, runs on the opposite side of this peak. Up the slope from the big ravine I spied a large boulder that had toppled down. I decided to have "lunch" there and soon discovered I was sitting amid a packrat colony. The middens were under the large boulder and a smaller one, both lined on the outside with the protection of Teddy Bear Cholla balls. The packrat is primarily nocturnal, so I didn't see a single animal. The nearest Teddy Bear was 10 yards away. I would've liked to see how those skin-piercing balls were moved. After lunch, walking away with a cholla ball attached to the sole of my shoe, I headed back on another unID'd trail that contours around the little peak's N side. The trail eventually headed E and upslope. I figured it would soon meet up with the #8. Eventually, watching the clock, I took a more direct route off-trail to the N and made it back to the parking lot with time to spare. Because of the packrat nests if nothing else, it was an intereting little hike.
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Jan 14 2016
black_toes
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 Guides 4
 Routes 51
 Photos 1,545
 Triplogs 348

82 male
 Joined Sep 24 2004
 Phoenix, AZ
Lookout Mountain Connector #25Phoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Jan 14 2016
black_toes
Hiking3.09 Miles 467 AEG
Hiking3.09 Miles   1 Hour   34 Mns   2.41 mph
467 ft AEG      17 Mns Break
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
I can think of only one good reason to do this very-urban trail going north from the Pointe Tapatio Cliffs resort. That reason, at least for me, was that I had never done it before. The threat of darkness cut it short. Started out on the #100 from North Mountain Park, using the pedestrain tunnel under 7th St to get to the start of the trail at .68 of a mile. The trail follows along the the Lookout Mtn Golf Club's manicured 18-hole course. Used a second tunnel, under Thunderbird Rd, to reach a paved golf-cart path at the edge of a upscale subdivision with numerous desert cottontails hopping along the border. Turned back at hole No. 15's tee, not even a mile from the start of #25. The golfers aren't world-class, so it can be perilous. Twice a middle-aged woman with a bad slice sent a ball toward me. "Did I hit you?" she asked the last time, driving up on her cart. I pointed out a spot in the shrubbery where her ball lay, and went about my business. Saw only one other thru-hiker. A small flock of Canada geese rested in the fairway by a lake. Thankfully, there is a small stretch of slightly hilly desert between the tee at No. 16 and the start of #25. The map at NM Park showed two trails leading to Lookout Mtn, 25 and 25-A. Not sure which one I was on.
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Jan 12 2016
black_toes
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 Guides 4
 Routes 51
 Photos 1,545
 Triplogs 348

82 male
 Joined Sep 24 2004
 Phoenix, AZ
Inner Basin North Mtn Park, AZ 
Inner Basin North Mtn Park, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Jan 12 2016
black_toes
Hiking2.63 Miles 238 AEG
Hiking2.63 Miles   1 Hour   25 Mns   2.47 mph
238 ft AEG      21 Mns Break
 no routes
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Did the Inner Basin loop which I've done so often, trying this time to test my ankle sprain of three weeks ago on rocky, uneven trails. The ankle barked at me a few times but nothing serious. Little changes since the last time, the park still cloaked in winter drab. The big ravines were muddy from recent rains, and soil along the trail was damp. Hope this is a harbinger for a great wildflower season next month. As usual, plenty of hikers out (14), but in this park you never know what you're going to get in the way of bikers and joggers. Today, it was joggers by a landslide, 10 to 3. The cagey quail gabbled loudly as I returned to the VC at 1745 but none appeared, sadly.
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1 archive
Jan 01 2016
black_toes
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 Guides 4
 Routes 51
 Photos 1,545
 Triplogs 348

82 male
 Joined Sep 24 2004
 Phoenix, AZ
Arizona Canal - Central to Northern, AZ 
Arizona Canal - Central to Northern, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Jan 01 2016
black_toes
Hiking2.12 Miles
Hiking2.12 Miles
 no routes
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Wanted to check out my feathered friends on 2016's first day. Wasn't disappointed particularly between Central and 7th St. Counted 48 ducks, 27 of them ring-necked. The rest were mallards. Also about 30 blackbirds on the north bank, including several grackles. And, weep, weep, a lonely love bird in a tree. And of course the usual congregation of doves, mostly the mourning kind and a mockingbird. Couldn't ask for a better afternoon. Sunny, temps in 60s. Saw only a few pedestrains but many bikers.
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2 archives
Dec 18 2015
black_toes
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 Guides 4
 Routes 51
 Photos 1,545
 Triplogs 348

82 male
 Joined Sep 24 2004
 Phoenix, AZ
Arrowhead Point Trail - ThunderbirdPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Dec 18 2015
black_toes
Hiking6.20 Miles 1,288 AEG
Hiking6.20 Miles   4 Hrs   6 Mns   2.11 mph
1,288 ft AEG   1 Hour   10 Mns Break
 
Partners none no partners
A messy figure-8 covering the hilltops on the Arrowhead and Cholla trails. It was a first for me, though I've hiked in these hills many a time. In addition to the American flag on Arrowhead Pk, someone erected another on slightly smaller Cholla Pk in the last year. It is a sorry specimen, faded and the lead edge badly frayed. A few good winds and it will be in tatters. It was late when I got to the summit of Cholla. Near the flag, two small palos were decorated with Christmas ornaments as was one atop Arrowhead. Stayed too late on Cholla. It was 5:28 when I started down, already six minutes past sunset. The smart thing would've been to retreat down the shorter east side. But I was so determined to complete the "8" that I took the long west-side route and stumbled along the rocky trail in darkness. For some reason I hadn't pack my head lamp. Eventually I picked up a little light on the trail from nearby houses and then later the First Qtr moon appeared from around the hill, and I could see my shadow. I was wrong in thinking the speeding cars along the connector road between Pinnacle Peak and 59th Ave would help. Their lights blasted right into my face, and I had to pull my cap down low to find the trail. Crossed the pedestrian bridge and headed east toward the Pinnacle Pk parking lot to finish off the "8." Only 25 yards from safetly in the flatlands, I stepped down off a boulder onto a small angled outcropping and twisted my ankle, a mild sprain. Figured I deserved it for not carrying a light. Otherwise it was a nice hike at the end of a beautiful afternoon. Glad I packed a jacket, though.
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1 archive
Dec 13 2015
black_toes
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 Guides 4
 Routes 51
 Photos 1,545
 Triplogs 348

82 male
 Joined Sep 24 2004
 Phoenix, AZ
Inner Basin Detour North Mtn Park, AZ 
Inner Basin Detour North Mtn Park, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Dec 13 2015
black_toes
Hiking2.09 Miles 216 AEG
Hiking2.09 Miles      57 Mns   2.73 mph
216 ft AEG      11 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
To add more distance (0.9 mi) to a short hike on a cool but beautiful afternoon, I turned off the #100 at the big SW dam and moseyed over to the little S dam. Out on the low trail, back on the high one. Glad I did. I saw movement about 100 yards away in the middle of the circular #60 trail. Brownish-gray, left hind quarter of what had to be a coyote. It was the first one I'd seen on the south side of North Mtn. Also on the detour I came across a jackrabbit and the largest covey of quail I've seen in years, 19 in all. It never fails to startle me when some rise suddenly from the bush with a thundering flutter. The #60 Nature Trail was surely that today.
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2 archives
Oct 28 2015
black_toes
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 Guides 4
 Routes 51
 Photos 1,545
 Triplogs 348

82 male
 Joined Sep 24 2004
 Phoenix, AZ
Union Peak Trail - Sonoran PreservePhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Oct 28 2015
black_toes
Hiking8.60 Miles 1,137 AEG
Hiking8.60 Miles   5 Hrs   28 Mns   2.28 mph
1,137 ft AEG   1 Hour   42 Mns Break
 
In the beginning, I didn't plan to hike up Union Peak. The intent was to head east down to Cave Creek Dam off the Cactus Wren Tr, then turn north to a spot along Apache Wash below another dam. But being the rule-abiding hiker I usually am, I turned around at a No Trespassing sign as I came into what I'll call the Cave Creek Valley. The sign was about a half mile from the dam. It would have been ideal if the Sonoran Preserve folks had placed a caution sign at the turn-off or at least in the saddle. Apache Wash would have to wait for a better route.

Plan B was to reach the summit of Union Peak, a nice consolation prize. Had lunch in a semi-shaded gully at the jct of the Cactus Wren and Great Horned Owl Tr (GO). I welcomed the gentle breeze. I trudged up the fairly steep GO for a half-mile to the Union Peak Tr (UP) turn-off. It was at that point, I met Widowmaker coming down with his dog Rowdy. I had never run into him before but should've recognized Rowdy who is always featured in his triplog photos. We talked a few minutes about cameras and moved on.

On the summit, I saw no one. It was disappointing not to find the summit log that was up there on previous hikes. The large fire pit seemed like it had been used recently but everything else was as remembered.

Aggravation set in on my way back to the Desert View TH. I'd gotten down the GO trail quite a ways when I discovered my pedometer was missing from my belt. I remembered the place where I'd slipped on loose gravel and fell on my butt. Perhaps it was there, I thought. Disgusted I retraced my steps up a now-excruciating trail .37 miles. I found the spot going up but no pedometer. Dejected I turned around. I wasn't going back up to the summit to look for it. Passing the spot again where I slipped, there it was, the pedometer off-trail but clearly visible. And still in good working order. Even though the search added 3/4 of a mile to the hike, it was worth it.

Got back at the TH in darkness, about 50 minutes after a beautiful sunset. My failed Apace Wash excursion and retracing my steps for the pedometer should explain the added mileage and AEG above. Hiking in the southeast part of the park is a lonely under-taking. Saw only Widowmaker and two bikers once I left the Valle Verde Tr, constituting most of the afternoon.
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1 archive
Oct 25 2015
black_toes
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 Guides 4
 Routes 51
 Photos 1,545
 Triplogs 348

82 male
 Joined Sep 24 2004
 Phoenix, AZ
Ruth Hamilton Loop, AZ 
Ruth Hamilton Loop, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Oct 25 2015
black_toes
Hiking2.64 Miles 664 AEG
Hiking2.64 Miles   1 Hour   28 Mns   2.06 mph
664 ft AEG      11 Mns Break
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
I didn't want to hike today, but MJ did and that settled that. But where? At 1700 with only 44 minutes before sunset the possibilities weren't bright. I thought of the Ruth Hamilton Tr immediately. It is a short but steep trail up to the saddle, enough anyway to catch the attention of heart and lungs. And we did get up there to the Davis bench. Well, of course, letting well enough alone isn't one of my fortes, and so off we hied down the N part of the Quartz Ridge Tr, one of my favorites, to do a loop. There was no way then to get back to the parking lot on Squaw Peak Dr before darkness. Like eveyone else I suppose I never get lost but sometimes I don't know precisely where I am. This happened doing a shortcut coming up from the N valley in pitch blackedness. Gibbous moons I rediscovered don't help much in a clouded sky. But we somehow made the short-cut to the western loop of the Nature Tr following after being able to find the short-cut I wanted. I followed the "vector" theory. Go this way long enough and you're bound to run into Trail X and then know exactly where you be. That's providing you have a good sense of direction. Got down to the car about 1830 using the built-in flashlight from MJ's cellphone, scoring a mile or more than I thought when we started out.
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3 archives
Oct 24 2015
black_toes
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 Guides 4
 Routes 51
 Photos 1,545
 Triplogs 348

82 male
 Joined Sep 24 2004
 Phoenix, AZ
Sunrise Trail - ThunderbirdPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Oct 24 2015
black_toes
Hiking2.50 Miles 568 AEG
Hiking2.50 Miles   1 Hour   49 Mns   2.11 mph
568 ft AEG      38 Mns Break
 
Partners none no partners
Sunrise Tr leads to the highest summit on the SW side of Thunderbird Park. Nothing beautiful about it, but the switchback section provides a good if short workout. Although it is the fifth highest point in the park, it has the big plus of far less traffic than its busy sisters to the north (Cholla Tr) and east (Arrowhead Tr). Great views too, in all directions at 1,682' el. I was on top about 15 minutes and only three hikers appeared -- and didn't stay long. From there, I pulled out my field glasses and confirmed that, yes, there is now another American flag fluttering away on the summit of the Cholla Tr. A disgusting development. That makes two flags now, the much older one rising from a large rockpile on Arrowhead Pk. I don't think hikers should be allowed to deface or make political statements on public property and that's exactly what has happened here. Make no mistake, flying the American flag except on official holidays is usually a display of right-wing, Tea Party politics. Fat chance, in Glendale, the flags will be removed anytime soon. In many years of hiking Arizona trails, I can not recall seeing even one huge American flag, much less two, on any summit. I came down from the summit and headed W on the Ridgeline Tr which I could not find on the HAZ site. It is a short path slipping over two gentle hills to the west and then down on the S over rocky switchbacks to the Coach Whip. Got back to a still-congested parking lot about sunset. Most park users must go on the Cholla or Arrowhead trails for only a modest number showed up on the Sunrise.
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6 archives
Oct 23 2015
black_toes
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 Guides 4
 Routes 51
 Photos 1,545
 Triplogs 348

82 male
 Joined Sep 24 2004
 Phoenix, AZ
Mercury Mine LoopPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Oct 23 2015
black_toes
Hiking2.33 Miles 765 AEG
Hiking2.33 Miles   2 Hrs   16 Mns   2.00 mph
765 ft AEG   1 Hour   6 Mns Break
 no routes
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Yes, it's a dinky trail, in the heart of the city, with little wildlife and only a few good vistas. But it proved enjoyable if nothing else for the fact I had never done it before. A trail decision here, a possible mountain route there, some little things to keep me interested. After plying over the rocky Mormon Tr yesterday, this was akin to walking on cloud. The up-and-down trail was mostly dirt and small rocks along with my favorite footing, solid rock. I liken the MM Loop to Scarlett Canyon, another urban trail farther north. While the MM is a prettier trail, it is noisier with the HW 51 traffic on the E side. And infested with bike riders. Nice guys but they come upon you out of nowhere. Of the 24 folks I ran into, 17 were atop two-wheelers. Scarlett is trashy, but much quieter with more wildlife and has the added advantage of an accessible summit, Pk 2050, I believe. The centerpiece of the MM Loop, Pk 1922, has no clear trail to the summit and in fact appears daunting from the trail with its steepness, rocks and brush. Did find a potential "S" route on the south and an up-and-around on the west. I could visualize myself up there someday. But maybe it was just the effects of the reputed mercury vapors that linger there in Dreamy Draw.
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1 archive
Oct 22 2015
black_toes
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 Guides 4
 Routes 51
 Photos 1,545
 Triplogs 348

82 male
 Joined Sep 24 2004
 Phoenix, AZ
Mormon Trail - South MountainPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Oct 22 2015
black_toes
Hiking2.44 Miles 818 AEG
Hiking2.44 Miles   2 Hrs   4 Mns   1.95 mph
818 ft AEG      49 Mns Break
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Purely for cardio and somewhat for legs. This extremely rocky trail can bust the best of knees and ankles. I knew this coming in, took my chances and hiked up to the high saddle, the one just above the National Tr, 1.2 miles on the button. It was mid-afternoon, and I found a flat rock to eat a Subway lunch and watch stuff. Numerous bikers up there, and joggers too. It was a while before a hoofer arrived at the Mormon Loop Tr sign. Also a half-moon above a saguaro, a mildly-curious Harris squirrel, a side-splotched lizard and, the hightlight, a very red house finch sunning on a limb of palo verde, a delight in red and green. Walked up to the first hill above the saddle and took in a 180 view of downtown and the urban mountains, White Tanks and beyond. Couldn't locate my headlamp, so I started down earlier than I wanted. No sense asking for a beating in darkness. Didn't think the half-moon would help much. Ran into 14 hikers coming up, several of them far, far out of shape. Somehow that made me feel better.
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2 archives
Oct 21 2015
black_toes
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 Guides 4
 Routes 51
 Photos 1,545
 Triplogs 348

82 male
 Joined Sep 24 2004
 Phoenix, AZ
North Mountain - PhoenixPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Oct 21 2015
black_toes
Hiking3.87 Miles 866 AEG
Hiking3.87 Miles   1 Hour   43 Mns   2.55 mph
866 ft AEG      12 Mns Break
 
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Walked up on a nice afternoon from the 7th Ave VC, intending to stay awhile on the summit. On reaching the top, I turned NW to find an ominous bank of clouds with heavy rain coming my way. Fiigured it was out about West Happy Valley Rd. Had no rain gear, not even a jacket, so I headed back down on the pavement pronto. Counted 31 hikers coming up. Eventually a cool N breeze whipped in but not a drop of rain. Dozens of bikers on the trail and in the parking lot. Racers, I was told, in training. Never saw such a large display before.
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Oct 19 2015
black_toes
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 Guides 4
 Routes 51
 Photos 1,545
 Triplogs 348

82 male
 Joined Sep 24 2004
 Phoenix, AZ
Massacre FallsPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Oct 19 2015
black_toes
Hiking5.67 Miles 1,411 AEG
Hiking5.67 Miles   3 Hrs   43 Mns   2.05 mph
1,411 ft AEG      57 Mns Break
 no routes
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
The previous day's rain led to hopes the waterfalls would be flowing. But doubts emerged as soon as MJ, her brother Fred and I pulled into the Crosscut parking lot about 1100. There were no other cars, which I thought a bad sign. No cars, no waterfalls. And about halfway up, traversing the ravines, the soil was damp but no pools or tanks caught the eye. It became obvious as we plowed through the jojoba field near the top of the trail and had decent views of the falls area that disappointment lay ahead. No flows today. Only the long lines of dark water-stained rock. Maybe some drips but we did not get that close. Still, all was not lost.

At a trail juncture, still amid the jojoba, we fortunately turned left and walked up onto a large rock knob that Joe Bartels dubbed Massacre Ramp. Just ahead, a sheer cliff drops off into an awesome abyss with a depth I thought that must reach 150-200 feet. And what a view from up there facing the falls! The higher Superstitions with their odd shapes and Weaver's Needle poking up over them and Four Peaks in the distance. Camelback far to the west. A full 360 at about 3,200' el, under puffs of white clouds and blue sky, the land below patterned in shadows and sunlight. Where we stood was about 1,100 feet above the Crosscut parking lot. The Ramp is long and wide, and we ate sandwiches while exploring and shooting photos and video. "How much better than this can Massacre Falls be?" I wondered. Even with water flowing.

The return hike was warm, up to 86 degrees, no shade and the mid-afternoon sun drilled into the skin. Had we turned right, rather than left at the jojoba junction, the trail likely would have taken us down into the lush abyss. But even then, with no waterfall, the hike would have been on the dreary side, just another long, very rocky trail through bland desert in autumn. The Ramp made all the difference.

P.S. (added later, after "likes" by Trekkin Geco and Outdoor Lover, not wanting them to be tagged with an opinion that wasn't there when they responded): The bottom line is this. Massacre Falls come and go, but rocky knobs wil always be there for you. Waterfalls, unless named Victoria or Niagara, are vastly over-rated.
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3 archives
Oct 17 2015
black_toes
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 Guides 4
 Routes 51
 Photos 1,545
 Triplogs 348

82 male
 Joined Sep 24 2004
 Phoenix, AZ
Tom's Thumb Trail - MSPPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Oct 17 2015
black_toes
Hiking4.67 Miles 1,676 AEG
Hiking4.67 Miles   3 Hrs   7 Mns   1.87 mph
1,676 ft AEG      37 Mns Break
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Had not been up to the Thumb in maybe 10 years. Hiked up with MJ and her Colorado brother, Fred, who is a strong hiker. I remembered the steep 3/4-mile grind not long after the TH but had forgotten the pain. Was ecstatic in finally reaching the contour and fairly level ground for a bit. Rained early on. We donned jackets but the rain stopped, wouldn't you know it? a minute later. Off came the jackets for the rest of the afternoon. Showers and lightning in the distance but we escaped with only a few drops. Trails in good shape. The boulders looked reddish today where back several years in bright winter sunlight they appeared gray. At least that was my memory. Nice hike with good company.
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Oct 15 2015
black_toes
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 Guides 4
 Routes 51
 Photos 1,545
 Triplogs 348

82 male
 Joined Sep 24 2004
 Phoenix, AZ
Quartz Ridge Trail #8APhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Oct 15 2015
black_toes
Hiking2.57 Miles 695 AEG
Hiking2.57 Miles   1 Hour   48 Mns   2.06 mph
695 ft AEG      33 Mns Break
 
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Started at 32nd St lot and ambled up to the Kolbe bench in the saddle. From there I went east up the hill from the bench for the first time and got to the highest point. Surprised to find the sealed off-shaft of what I assume was an old gold mine just below the top, in a small field of white quartz. Moderate number of hikers and runners on the trail on a warm late afternoon.
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Oct 12 2015
black_toes
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 Guides 4
 Routes 51
 Photos 1,545
 Triplogs 348

82 male
 Joined Sep 24 2004
 Phoenix, AZ
North Mountain Park - Inner Basin, AZ 
North Mountain Park - Inner Basin, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Oct 12 2015
black_toes
Hiking2.56 Miles 205 AEG
Hiking2.56 Miles   1 Hour   12 Mns   2.79 mph
205 ft AEG      17 Mns Break
 
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Nice to be stepping along Arizona trails again. I see my last hike in the state was in late July and the last in Maricopa County was at the end of June. I did some unrecorded hikes in Montana and walking the D-Day beaches in Normandy. But not many. It's disgusting how I let a wrecked shoulder send everything south. But now, seven months after the injury on Daisy Mountain, I have about 95% flexibility in the shoulder and virtually no pain. I write this for anyone who in the future might sustain a similar injury and for whatever reason decides to avoid the good doctor. The rehabilitation was steady but incremental and I rolled through many emotional ups and downs. It's amazing how much you use a shoulder to hike. I remember slipping last spring on loose rock, twisting my shoulder to keep balance, and reinjuring it. Since I was kept out of the gym for months, that was depressing too. As I said, it's nice to be on "dangerous" trails again, those that rise and fall anyway, though this one in my home park is fairly flat. Last year, I hiked like crazy in the autumn. Here's hoping I'll be able to come close to that during the remainder of the year.
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Jul 27 2015
black_toes
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 Guides 4
 Routes 51
 Photos 1,545
 Triplogs 348

82 male
 Joined Sep 24 2004
 Phoenix, AZ
Veit Springs Trail aka Lamar Haines LoopFlagstaff, AZ
Flagstaff, AZ
Hiking avatar Jul 27 2015
black_toes
Hiking1.77 Miles 304 AEG
Hiking1.77 Miles   1 Hour   12 Mns   2.36 mph
304 ft AEG      27 Mns Break
 no routes
1st trip
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By accident we ended up on this this trail mentioned recently in the Arizona Republic. We had headed up the Snow Bowl road looking for a short hike in pines and aspen with little elevation gain. MJ had a strained calf, and I wasn't up to par myself, perhaps feeling the blahs of strolling around on much higher ground than usual, now on this trail at 8,600' el. The hike proved near-perfect for our requirements. It wasn't until we parked and walked inside the TH gate that we learned the name of the trail.

Having read many of the 33 triplogs on this site a day later, I conclude most hikers choose to do this trail in the fall when the aspen leaves have dug into their magical paint boxes. And certainly there are plenty of aspen along the wide path. But we found here in mid-summer the colors just as beautiful with many different varieties of wildflowers. Reds, yellow, purples, pick your color, they're all here. The small turn-in parking lot was nearly full when we arrived. Saw a dozen or more hikers along the loop. Most were families with small children and some with dogs. In fact about half way along the trail, a hound came up from behind us, sniffed our feet and took off on the run ahead. Likely separated from its owner. Hope it was not abandoned.

Enjoyed the hike and the exercise on an overnight in Flag, trading in the triple-digit temps in Phoenix for those in the low 80s and, along this trail, the 70s. Well worth the extravagance.
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2 archives
Jul 26 2015
black_toes
avatar

 Guides 4
 Routes 51
 Photos 1,545
 Triplogs 348

82 male
 Joined Sep 24 2004
 Phoenix, AZ
Thorpe Park Walk, AZ 
Thorpe Park Walk, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Jul 26 2015
black_toes
Hiking1.50 Miles
Hiking1.50 Miles
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
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This park on the west side of Flagstaff was loaded with at least a dozen varieties of wildflowers as we walked along the dirt road by the tennis courts and up into a fairly heavy pine forest. The road turns left and rises to a lookout point above town, so we were told by some passing locals. But we turned around before getting there. On our way out a small flying object skittered across the road in front of us. Just a frisbee. The lower parts of the park are devoted to a disc golf course. Beautiful day among the ponderosas and nice to escape the Phoenix heat. The high in Flag, 86, was 21 degrees south of Phoenix's.
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average hiking speed 2.25 mph
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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.

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