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519 triplogs

Nov 21 2020
DarthStiller
avatar

 Guides 25
 Routes 325
 Photos 6,933
 Triplogs 519

51 male
 Joined Jul 05 2006
 Mesa, AZ
Wild Horse Trail - AKA Lead TrailPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Nov 21 2020
DarthStiller
Hiking9.66 Miles 1,158 AEG
Hiking9.66 Miles   4 Hrs   8 Mns   2.34 mph
1,158 ft AEG
 
Linked linked
Partners none no partners
I had a longer drive last weekend, so I wanted to stay closer to home this time and save some time later in the day for chores and errands around the house. It has been a while since I hiked the Hawes Pass area, and it's pretty much the closest thing to my house. There was an unmapped trail I spotted a year and a half ago that crossed the Stinger Trail, so I decided to try to hike that.

I made it out to that trail at the 5 mile mark. Longer than I thought it would take. The trail I took out there (Wild Horse or Horse Tale, or both), had some heavy biker traffic. It seemed to come and go in waves. All the bikers were very nice and polite (seems to be an improvement in terms of that in recent years) but it can be a little annoying stepping off the trail every 5 minutes or so.

the unmapped section of the trail I found is a good half mile long at least, maybe closer to a mile. It started off kind of faint, but after it reached the Bush Highway, a different segment seemed like there enough work done on it that it might be planned trail. I noticed the junctions have new markers that have the QC scan codes and maps of the trails in that immediate vicinity.

Took a section of the MT on the north side of the Bush Highway once I got to the trail that crosses the highway there. It looked like it followed the shore, but that dead ended pretty quickly. Got back to a full lot at the Granite Reef rec area.
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Nov 14 2020
DarthStiller
avatar

 Guides 25
 Routes 325
 Photos 6,933
 Triplogs 519

51 male
 Joined Jul 05 2006
 Mesa, AZ
Black Canyon City TH to Soap Creek Rd - BCTPrescott, AZ
Prescott, AZ
Hiking avatar Nov 14 2020
DarthStiller
Hiking14.00 Miles 1,778 AEG
Hiking14.00 Miles   6 Hrs   7 Mns   2.29 mph
1,778 ft AEG
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Did another segment heading northbound on the BCT. The best part of this trail is about 2 miles north of the trailhead, up on a ridgeline. As you descend, there are varying views of the canyon below formed by the Agua Fria. The Agua Fria makes a huge horseshoe bend. there's also a kind of a mesa or shelf just above the river after you get down off the ridgeline.

Crossing the river was a little tricky. There's no obvious low spot and no rocks placed to keep your feet above the water. It was only ankle deep, but during wetter weather, this could be a problem trying to cross this. I grabbed a branch and did a bit of a tightrope walk along it, using my hiking poles to balance me. My feet still got a little wet, but i think those boots are finally done anyway. On the way back I threw one large river rock by the shore to try to get a little more footing.

I went a little further past Soap Creek Road. the track says 6 miles, but the odometer said 6.5. To get to my turnaround point from the north will probably be close to 15 miles RT when I get to that. I left a cairn there again to mark it when I come back. Just north of the road is a little mini canyon carved out by some stream. There were some cattle feeding there when I crossed.

Just south of Soap Creek Road the trail parallels the road before it crosses. I missed this and just took the road going northbound. On the way back the trail is easy to spot from it's actual crossing point, so I took that section on the way back. The official track seems to follow the road here and not this short section of trail.

Saw the first biker 10 miles in, and then the first hiker about 11 miles in. the last 2 miles I saw a few more hikers. Seems like people take short sections of the BCT from there as that trailhead is also for the High Desert Park.

Nice enjoying the cooler weather for a hike like this, didn't need as much water.
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Nov 07 2020
DarthStiller
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 Guides 25
 Routes 325
 Photos 6,933
 Triplogs 519

51 male
 Joined Jul 05 2006
 Mesa, AZ
Thompson Peak from Dixie Mine THPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Nov 07 2020
DarthStiller
Hiking10.17 Miles 2,296 AEG
Hiking10.17 Miles   4 Hrs   43 Mns   2.18 mph
2,296 ft AEG      3 Mns Break
 
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
I hadn't hiked up to this peak in about 11 years, so it seemed like a good time to go back and measure how old I've got since then. It's just following the road on the way up, but it's still a pretty tough hike. Once you get past the dirt road and reach the concrete sections, that's when it gets the most difficult. I wanted to try to push through those sections without stopping at all, but I had to relent a few times and catch my breath. Then on the way back down, it doesn't get any easier due to how steep it is.

On the way down, I saw a faint trail that headed over towards the Fountain Hills Preserve/Adero Canyon area. I hiked a small spur of it, which can be seen on my track. Looks it might head up towards one of the peaks there.

Along the Dixie Mine Trail, I took some detours to the unmapped trails in that area. On the way back, I took a longer route that parallels the Thompson Peak Road for a bit before it splits to the south and heads back to the trailhead at Eagles Nest. I saw another hiker at that junction and he told me that trail continues to parallel the road for another mile or so, so more to explore at some point.

Pretty cloudy at the start, and very cool until the sun was out for a bit. As I got closer to the peak the winds began to pick up more, and I thought I may have made a mistake not taking an extra shirt for warmth, but it warmed up soon enough.

Felt it in my legs the next 2 days, nice to get a hike in that's also a good workout.
Named place
Named place
Thompson Peak
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Oct 31 2020
DarthStiller
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 Guides 25
 Routes 325
 Photos 6,933
 Triplogs 519

51 male
 Joined Jul 05 2006
 Mesa, AZ
Black Canyon City TH to Little Pan Loop - BCTPrescott, AZ
Prescott, AZ
Hiking avatar Oct 31 2020
DarthStiller
Hiking14.26 Miles 1,850 AEG
Hiking14.26 Miles   5 Hrs   52 Mns   2.43 mph
1,850 ft AEG
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
The weather finally got cool enough to head back up to this trail and knock out some segments of it. I started at the Black Canyon City TH by Rock Springs and headed south towards the Little Pan Loop to where I left off 3 months ago. I marked it with my GPS and also put a cairn there. The cairn was still there today.

Early it was pretty cool and windy for the first couple hours. Even as the sun came up, the trail got higher and the wind picked up there. Crossing the Agua Fria River I got off the trail for a bit but found it again easily. The first couple miles of the BCT here is near or part of another trail system that loops around and back to the trailhead there. Might be something to check out with the family one weekend.

I thought it would be only 6.5 miles to where I left off, but it turned out to be just over 7, no biggie. The hike wasn't too difficult, but the last couple miles on the way back my feet were a little sore. Coming back downhill towards the Agua Fria was the most rocky part of the trail. Other than that, it was mostly pretty smooth.

Up until the last 2 miles back, I only saw bikers and 2 trail runners. Once I crossed the Agua Fria again, the number of dayhikers doing the loop increased considerably. Made pretty decent time getting done in just under 6 hours.
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Oct 24 2020
DarthStiller
avatar

 Guides 25
 Routes 325
 Photos 6,933
 Triplogs 519

51 male
 Joined Jul 05 2006
 Mesa, AZ
Mesquite Canyon - Waddell - Ford Canyon LoopPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Oct 24 2020
DarthStiller
Hiking11.08 Miles 1,844 AEG
Hiking11.08 Miles   4 Hrs   39 Mns   2.38 mph
1,844 ft AEG
 
1st trip
With the weather finally cooling off, I headed out to the White Tanks to finish the last section of trails I hadn't recorded wth a GPS. Got an early 6:30am start at the trailhead and headed up Ford Canyon first.

I was feeling pretty good, more energy and hiked faster than usual lately. I was expecting the bouldering uphill to be a bit of a slog, but it was actually a breeze. Passed several hikers and one biker who were sitting taking breaks. Once the trail got past the bouldering and into the wash, I passed a couple who weren't sure if they were on the trail or not. I told them to follow me and they did. I even managed to keep my speed up enough that they never passed later on.

The clouds were out until my last few miles down Mesquite Canyon. The lower I got on Mesquite, the more hiking and biking traffic there was. I was able to pass almost all the hikers also heading downhill. Just below the junction of Mesquite and Willow Canyon Trails, I spotted a family of deer, both parents and a fawn. Never usually seem them like that it seems. They were in the wash below the trail looking for food and water and not having much luck.

Finished up after 11am and had lunch that I packed at a picnic table with a shade structure.
Fauna
Fauna
Mule Deer
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Oct 17 2020
DarthStiller
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 Guides 25
 Routes 325
 Photos 6,933
 Triplogs 519

51 male
 Joined Jul 05 2006
 Mesa, AZ
Willow Springs Canyon East TrailPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Oct 17 2020
DarthStiller
Hiking8.18 Miles 1,132 AEG
Hiking8.18 Miles   4 Hrs   31 Mns   1.81 mph
1,132 ft AEG
 
1st trip
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I never seem to be able to stick to a planned route in the Goldfields, and I never really care that much while I'm doing it. I started out heading out on the Willow Springs Canyon East Trail. I wanted to go further out to the north, but started heading south in the wash sooner than I was supposed to. Once I figured that out, I decided to just keep going and then circled around later on the Willow Springs Upper Trail to another trail that headed directly north thru a slot canyon before I bushwhacked to the road again and headed back to the trailhead.

While in the wash at one point, I saw 3 javelina, one was laying down in the sand. That one and one other took off right away into the brush. The 3rd one sat there for a little, allowing me to get a couple pics. Once I started walking again, that one took off down the wash. I was surprised at how fast they can move, and relieved that it was running away from me.

The weather was very cool and breezy early on, but got pretty warm as soon as the sun hit. Saw one 4 wheeler on my back on the road, and the only hikers on the WS Upper when I circled around again. Got lower mileage as the rocky trails in this area always slow me down.
Fauna
Fauna
Javelina
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Oct 10 2020
DarthStiller
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 Guides 25
 Routes 325
 Photos 6,933
 Triplogs 519

51 male
 Joined Jul 05 2006
 Mesa, AZ
Prospector Trail - MSPPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Oct 10 2020
DarthStiller
Hiking10.88 Miles 1,532 AEG
Hiking10.88 Miles   4 Hrs   44 Mns   2.30 mph
1,532 ft AEG
 
1st trip
Partners none no partners
Did the Dixie Mine Lasso Loop from the Eagles Nest TH in Fountain Hills. The Prospector Trail is one I haven't hiked in about 11 years and I forgot how really nice the views are as you ascend looking at the mountain and canyon below it. On the way back I walked up to the Dixie Mine, which I hadn't been up to in a very long time as well. Looks like they wisely added some more protection over the open shaft rather than just the cyclone fencing.

Coming back down off the Dixie Mine, I saw an unmapped trail south of Thompson Peak Road that's east of the Dixie Mine Trail. I started to follow it and it kept going east. Later on I saw on the USGS mapping that this is listed as a jeep trail that is mapped as joining the Dixie Mine Trail again just north of Eagles Nest. I did see a trail in that spot, so looks like I might have found an unmapped trail, although I get the impression that the powers that be may not approve. Along this trail, I passed what looked like rock walls of an Indian ruin. I looked for sherds, but only found some rusty cans and other equipment, so it might have only been an old mining camp.

There was another trail on the USGS mapping that connected this trail to the Dixie Mine Trail. I just started to bushwhack it as I got close, and then actually found it just before I got to the Dixie Mine Trail.

Saw some hikers and bikers, but not too many. Not the typical early morning traffic I'm used to seeing at all the urban trailheads in the hot weather.
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Oct 03 2020
DarthStiller
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 Guides 25
 Routes 325
 Photos 6,933
 Triplogs 519

51 male
 Joined Jul 05 2006
 Mesa, AZ
Dynamite Trail - San Tan MRPPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Oct 03 2020
DarthStiller
Hiking10.88 Miles 1,419 AEG
Hiking10.88 Miles   4 Hrs   23 Mns   2.48 mph
1,419 ft AEG
 
Did a counter-clockwise loop starting from the Phillips Rd Trailhead. Started north on the Goldmine, over the saddle and back on the Dynamite and Santan Trails, then took the Hedgehog, Stargazer and Moonlight Trails back to the parking lot. at the saddle on the Goldmine Trail, I went to the top of the peak there, which I had never done before. The other side of the Goldmine is pretty steep and loose in spots. From the saddle it looked like they might be building a new trail that heads north from the Goldmine Trail and goes around the mountain. or maybe it was just an old mining road.

At the Goldmine TH, I walked all the way to the road because when I did the MT here last April, the lot was closed so my GPS tracks didn't overlap. The Dynamite Trail has the best views in this park, I think. and it's a much gentler grade as it climbs up and around the mountain.

Almost chilly early on, then started to feel a little hot by the time I finished. Also a lot of people early on, which cleared out quite a bit towards the end.
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Sep 26 2020
DarthStiller
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 Guides 25
 Routes 325
 Photos 6,933
 Triplogs 519

51 male
 Joined Jul 05 2006
 Mesa, AZ
Lookout Mountain Connector #25Phoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Sep 26 2020
DarthStiller
Hiking10.71 Miles 1,635 AEG
Hiking10.71 Miles   4 Hrs   18 Mns   2.49 mph
1,635 ft AEG
 
1st trip
Partners none no partners
I decided to start from North Mountain Park because the lots there have alot of parking spaces. I still almost had trouble parking. There were still a few spaces left, but it was filling up fast.

My plan was to hike up to Lookout Mountain, hike those trails, and head back. Once I got to Lookout Mt., however, I had already done over 5 miles. That was more of a time commitment that I was willing to make this morning to do those trails up there. So I hiked the 25 up and back.

the north and south ends of the 25 are normal trails, the in between park is mostly following golf cart paths. Saw a couple other walkers along the path, but it does clear out once you get there. I saw 2 coyotes along the 25 on my up to Lookout, but they were too far away and too on the move to get any kind of a photo.

On the way back I took the 25A, but it faded away and I wasn't sure which way to go, so I doubled back and got on the 25 again. At the south end of the 25 I started to take one of the unmapped trails to the west around the hill. I ended up summiting the hill and headed down it again onto the 100.

On the way back I took a shortcut on the 101 directly back to the parking lot. Seemed like a little steeper of a climb, but I didn't mind it. Finished up just as it was starting to get a little toasty.
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Sep 19 2020
DarthStiller
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 Guides 25
 Routes 325
 Photos 6,933
 Triplogs 519

51 male
 Joined Jul 05 2006
 Mesa, AZ
Perl Charles Trail #1APhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Sep 19 2020
DarthStiller
Hiking9.26 Miles 1,678 AEG
Hiking9.26 Miles   4 Hrs   32 Mns   2.10 mph
1,678 ft AEG      7 Mns Break
 
1st trip
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Started from Dreamy Draw and headed towards the 1A trail southbound along the 51. There's construction there now for some kind of pipeline, so I got as far as I could, then headed north again and east, gaining elevation over the hills there. I started to follow some side trails in the big maze there, keeping in mind I wanted to eventually get over the saddle north and loop back to Dreamy Draw. I followed some official parts of 1A there, and some unofficial trails.

Once I got over the saddle, I decided to head up to Peak 2032, the trail on the south side of it is pretty steep, and my legs were feeling stronger than I expected. After that, I headed north a little more along 100, then looped back to Dreamy Draw and took 100 northbound on the west side of the 51. I took the unofficial shortcut section of 100 on the way out, and the official section over the saddle on the way back. went out just enough to get over 9 miles and get back in time to grab lunch.

Weather wasn't too hot, very breezy at the start. The more hike this area, the more trails I seem to find.
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Sep 12 2020
DarthStiller
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 Guides 25
 Routes 325
 Photos 6,933
 Triplogs 519

51 male
 Joined Jul 05 2006
 Mesa, AZ
Vista Trail - UseryPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Sep 12 2020
DarthStiller
Hiking11.15 Miles 800 AEG
Hiking11.15 Miles   4 Hrs   18 Mns   2.61 mph
800 ft AEG      2 Mns Break
 
1st trip
I didn't feel like driving far, so I hiked close to home at Usery Park. There was a section of an unmapped trail I saw off of the Ruidoso Trail last March, so I planned out a circuit to hit that and a few other trails. Started from Area 10 and took Blevins over to the Merkle and Vista Trails, which I haven't hiked in about 15 years. A couple was having professional photographs of them with the pregnant mom in a white dress. The first born was not happy to be out in the desert at 6am. Along the Vista Trail, I could hear the kid screaming while the dad tried to keep him calm.

Headed east then south along the Meridian and County Line Trails, hit the unmapped trail, then back westward along the Channel Trail. I think I found one more unmapped trail while hiking along the Channel Trail. Not sure if I've hiked the Channel Trail in its entirety before, always seemed to get sidetracked.

Hazy most of the morning from the wildfires. Seemed a little brighter, but the haze was still there. Made for not many good pics other than the sun right at the horizon.
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Sep 05 2020
DarthStiller
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 Guides 25
 Routes 325
 Photos 6,933
 Triplogs 519

51 male
 Joined Jul 05 2006
 Mesa, AZ
Bursera CanyonPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Sep 05 2020
DarthStiller
Hiking8.99 Miles 1,351 AEG
Hiking8.99 Miles   4 Hrs   5 Mns   2.22 mph
1,351 ft AEG      2 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Partners none no partners
Checked out some new trails in the Pyramid area of South Mountain. I started from the Pyramid Trailhead up the Bursera Trail. I saw the lower trail heading west towards Bursera Canyon, but I wanted to get the ascent out of the way before the heat got too crazy. the climb wasn't too bad, I got halfway up before the sun even hit the horizon. Along the Bursera I saw a hawk circling above and managed to get a halfway decent picture of it. Only wildlife I saw.

Descended into Bursera Canyon from the ridgeline all way to Chandler Blvd, then headed back and took the lower trail back towards the trailhead. Saw another trail spur that heads out to Chandler Blvd again, then headed east and did the lower half of the Cholla Flats loop. I had never done that southern half of the loop before, and didn't even know it was there until today. I explored a few more trail spurs that mostly faded away and dead ended. Finished in just over 4 hours and before it was too hot (or else I'm used to it by now). Definitely seemed less humid than the last 2 to 3 weekends. A little busy early in the morning, but then it cleared out as the temperature rose.
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Aug 30 2020
DarthStiller
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 Guides 25
 Routes 325
 Photos 6,933
 Triplogs 519

51 male
 Joined Jul 05 2006
 Mesa, AZ
Blevins TrailPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Aug 30 2020
DarthStiller
Hiking4.52 Miles 205 AEG
Hiking4.52 Miles   1 Hour   47 Mns   2.58 mph
205 ft AEG      2 Mns Break
 
Partners none no partners
Radmila wanted to get everyone out for a hike since they're starting to go stir crazy from sitting at home all the time. The weather forecast was cooler than it's been, so it seemed like a nice opportunity to get a short early morning hike in. I always prefer to do a hike rather than go jogging on Sunday mornings, so I was up for it.

We started from the main trailhead staging area and headed southeast on the Blevins Trail. We continued eastbound for a bit on the Meridian Trail, then south on the Spillway, west on the Levee, north and west on the Blevins, and then north on the Noso Trail back to the car to complete the loop. No clouds like I had yesterday to keep things cooler than they really were, but there were some breezes here and there to make it bearable. Only did 4.5 miles, but that was all they could take in this weather without getting miserable, so no need to push it.
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Aug 29 2020
DarthStiller
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 Guides 25
 Routes 325
 Photos 6,933
 Triplogs 519

51 male
 Joined Jul 05 2006
 Mesa, AZ
Hackamore Trail - MSPNPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Aug 29 2020
DarthStiller
Hiking10.77 Miles 639 AEG
Hiking10.77 Miles   4 Hrs   20 Mns   2.49 mph
639 ft AEG
 
1st trip
Started from the Pima-Dynamite TH to hike a few sections of trails I noticed I hadn't got yet in this area. Headed down the Powerline Road, then left on the Hawknest, and another left onto the Rock Tank Trail. that first mile or so there were a whole lot of bikers who seemed to have all left the trailhead at the same time. After that first half hour, didn't see many people at all.

After a section of the Rock Tank, I headed northeast in the Rawhide Wash, then headed south again on the Hawknest and Scorpion Trails. Then I headed north again on the Powerline Road and did a couple more sections of the Scorpion Trail again, which I hadn't hiked before. I took the Scorpion Trail south to the West Express, then north to the Tarantula and Hackamore, hitting another section of that which I hadn't hiked before. I took the Hackamore to the Powerline Road again and then took that back to the car.

The clouds covered the sun on and off, making the temperature cooler than it's been in a while. It was still humid, but having temperatures under 100 for the whole hike was very nice. some breezes came through once in a while also, making it pretty pleasant.

got back to the trailhead with much less people there than when I arrived in the morning. Early on I saw some smoke to the north behind DEsert Mountain, maybe somewhere around 7 Springs, or south of that. By the end of my hike, the amount of smoke had grown considerably.
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Aug 22 2020
DarthStiller
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 Guides 25
 Routes 325
 Photos 6,933
 Triplogs 519

51 male
 Joined Jul 05 2006
 Mesa, AZ
West Wing MountainPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Aug 22 2020
DarthStiller
Hiking7.01 Miles 1,378 AEG
Hiking7.01 Miles   4 Hrs   1 Min   1.81 mph
1,378 ft AEG      9 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
My original plan was to hike the trails on Westwing Mountain, and then hike over to Sunrise and do a section of a trail that I missed last time. Once I got to the east end of the loop, I saw a trail that continued eastward. I decided to follow that trail and several other that branched off, and looped around. They were all mostly flat, and that seemed like a better idea. It seems like they have more trails planned for this area but haven't made them official yet.

Once I got to the 5 mile mark, I hiked most of those trails and was back at the east end of the Westwing loop, having to hike up the steep section. I was also drenched in sweat thanks to some serious humidity that was kicking. I hiked to the main peak on Westwing, and then took the easiest way back to the parking lot. Only got 7 miles, but it was rough hiking in the humidity with the elevation gain. It also seemed like even the flat trails were really rocky, making it slow going.

Saw a coyote early on at the easternmost point of my hike, but he was gone too fast for me to get a picture. Cloud cover made it not too hot early, but then they cleared and it got hotter, but not as bad as it's been recently. At the northernmost point of the one unofficial trail, I saw a trail continuing north, seemed like it was paralleling New River. I hiked a few feet of it to make a spur on my track and kept closer to Westwing. I might check it out later on another visit.
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Aug 15 2020
DarthStiller
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 Guides 25
 Routes 325
 Photos 6,933
 Triplogs 519

51 male
 Joined Jul 05 2006
 Mesa, AZ
Bulldog Cyn to Salt RiverPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Aug 15 2020
DarthStiller
Hiking7.97 Miles 1,116 AEG
Hiking7.97 Miles   3 Hrs   58 Mns   2.05 mph
1,116 ft AEG      5 Mns Break
 
Linked linked
Partners none no partners
With the even higher than normal temperatures forecasted for today, I wanted to do a hike that was closer to home and get a jump on the earlier part of the day. I also wanted something that didn't have too much elevation gain. I decided on the southern end of the Bulldog Canyon Road, although that ended up having more elevation gain than I had intended. It still wasn't too bad.

I hiked to where I left off several years ago when I hiked the north half (and then some) of the road. On my way back, I noticed that the road was intersected by the track for Idaho Road to The Mask. I hiked to the north end of the wash, but decided not to hike up to The Mask. There was absolutely no sign of any trail, and the steep and sketchy looking terrain didn't look very inviting as the heat started to bear down. On my way back, I noticed a cairn on the side of the wash that marked a single track. I started to follow that for a bit and then saw a brown vinyl marker. I figured this would likely take me back to the road, which it did. It also went back into the wash a few times before it went up over a saddle to the road.

I had intended to try to hike the route back to the Idaho TH and hike the Wolverine Pass Trail over back towards where I parked. However, once back on the road, I was beyond where that intersection was, and was up a bit higher. I decided to take the road back the TH and call it a day. Looks like quite few other trails and ATV roads to explore out here.
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Aug 08 2020
DarthStiller
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 Guides 25
 Routes 325
 Photos 6,933
 Triplogs 519

51 male
 Joined Jul 05 2006
 Mesa, AZ
Gray Fox Trail - White TanksPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Aug 08 2020
DarthStiller
Hiking11.43 Miles 845 AEG
Hiking11.43 Miles   4 Hrs   25 Mns   2.61 mph
845 ft AEG      2 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Went out to the White Tanks to hike a few sections of trails I haven't done yet. Kept it to the flat trails with the heat being a factor these days. The weather was actually much better than last Saturday, much less humid. It was actually pretty cool early on with some light cloud cover, but later the heat started to kick in. Went through a lot of water, well over 150 oz.

I started from the end of Goat Camp Trail, then took the Bajada and Mule Deer Trails northbound to the Grey Fox Trail and headed back. Saw some bikers and trail runners early on, but by the time I was done at 11am, most everyone was already gone for the day. The burn area there from a few months ago already looks better. Still no vegetation obviously, but less black and charred.
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Aug 01 2020
DarthStiller
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 Guides 25
 Routes 325
 Photos 6,933
 Triplogs 519

51 male
 Joined Jul 05 2006
 Mesa, AZ
South Mountain 620 Trail LoopPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Aug 01 2020
DarthStiller
Hiking7.69 Miles 860 AEG
Hiking7.69 Miles   3 Hrs   28 Mns   2.22 mph
860 ft AEG
 
1st trip
Went to the west end of South Mountain Park to hike a few trail sections that I've missed over the years. The one segment I did doesn't seem to be an official trail. I hiked the spur from the Bursera Trail that heads westward and ends quickly at a subdivision that looks like is just finished getting built.

After I got back over the saddle towards San Juan Road, I noticed a trail spur that headed down to what looked like a defunct mining road of some sort. I followed that and took it all the way over to the 202. From there I headed northwest along the 202 until I hit the Maricopa Trail as it exits South Mt. Park. The last time I hiked this segment of the MT, the 202 was under construction and my friend Ted and I had to avoid the workers. things look a litte more normal now.

Headed back to the National Trail and then back to the car. Did a shorter hike this time with the heat and humidity. I was drenched within the first mile and felt drained by the time I was done.
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Jul 25 2020
DarthStiller
avatar

 Guides 25
 Routes 325
 Photos 6,933
 Triplogs 519

51 male
 Joined Jul 05 2006
 Mesa, AZ
Little Pan Loop from Table Mesa Road TH - BCTPrescott, AZ
Prescott, AZ
Hiking avatar Jul 25 2020
DarthStiller
Hiking13.22 Miles 1,605 AEG
Hiking13.22 Miles   5 Hrs   56 Mns   2.29 mph
1,605 ft AEG      10 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
I decided to do the Little Pan Loop plus a little extra on the north side to make it easier to get from the north end from Rock Springs on a later date. This meant that the hike would be over 13 miles, but the forecast was under 100 degrees, so I decided to go for it. I still got an earlier than usual start to gain an extra hour on the sun and hike in a little cooler weather.

I did the loop portion clockwise. Starting at the Agua Fria crossing, there were cattle pretty much everywhere. Quite a few bulls in addition to the cows. Fortunately they would take off once they saw me. The crossing of the Agua Fria isn't marked very well. There is a green trail marker at the mouth of a slot canyon. Do not take this canyon. the trail is south of that, to your left. At this point the trail starts a steady climb for the next 4 miles.

Once I started the climb, the sun came out and started to heat things up more than I expected. At the top of the loop, I kept going north. After another mile and a half, the trail crosses a dirt road. Up until that road, the trail keeps up with the steady climb. Not steep, but it adds up after a few miles with the sun beating down. I hiked a little further past the road and turned around. The views of Williams Mesa from this northern vantage point are pretty nice.

On the way back, I took the road to the top of the Little Pan Loop, saving myself a half mile and quite a lot of time. Once I got to the road on the way back, I was at the top of the loop in under a half hour. Saw a few ATV drivers and two jeeps. The one guy in the 2nd ATV asked me if I needed any water. I told him I was ok.

Cottonwood Gulch on the way back was kind of nice. More vegetation than anywhere else and some standing water in the Agua Fria. It was really sandy, though, which made it a little slow going. After that, the trail climbed up to a saddle before it descended to the bottom of the loop, which was a bit of a slog after the 11th mile. The clouds covered the sun for most of the way back, making the temperature much more bearable than normal this time of year for a longer hike like this. There were even a few breezes here and there.

Saw the 3 palm trees in the wash near the trailhead on the way back. Missed them on the way in, probably due to the dimmer lighting. Monsoon clouds were visible to the north, but weren't anywhere near close enough to create the 30% chance of rain after 11am in the weather forecast. :)
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Jul 18 2020
DarthStiller
avatar

 Guides 25
 Routes 325
 Photos 6,933
 Triplogs 519

51 male
 Joined Jul 05 2006
 Mesa, AZ
Table Mesa Rd to Boy Scout Loop - BCTPrescott, AZ
Prescott, AZ
Hiking avatar Jul 18 2020
DarthStiller
Hiking10.79 Miles 1,153 AEG
Hiking10.79 Miles   4 Hrs   45 Mns   2.27 mph
1,153 ft AEG
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Did another segment of the BCT working my way up north. Looks like a recent fire just hit up here south of Table Mesa Road. Must have been while I was out of town. I completely missed the fire retardant drop, which cuts across the trail, on my way in. I think this must have been due to the orange morning light. My first pic in this photoset shows this area, and even in that pic I can't see it. Looks like they dropped it just south of where all the burn area is.

About 2 miles in I spotted a buck with felt antlers. It was moving way too fast for me to get any picture. It ran up to a ridge and probably went over the other side. The trail gained elevation up above the ridge soon after. i looked down to see if I might get lucky to spot it again, but no luck.

Soon after, there was a young diamondback on the trail. It saw me very quickly and rattled a little bit as it moved off the trail into a bush. I cautiously moved past that point and onward.

I made it to where I left off last month. I marked it with a cairn, which I found, but I also had it marked on my GPS, redundancy always helps. Doing this extra bit last month saved a mile and half hiking today, which was a good thing by the time the heat set in.

The views on the way back seemed to be nicer due to the lighting. There were two major saddles and shallow valleys to walk through. The saddles gave the best views and a nice breeze to go with it. I enjoy the views looking up at the grasslands above Black Canyon from these saddles.

The weather was breezy and not too hot until the last mile or two. I never felt really bad, but it suddenly seemed to hit me when I got to the car. I drank 2 Gatorades very quickly and couldn't get into the AC fast enough. The ride home I suddenly seemed to have a thirst that wouldn't go away after drinking a good 50-60 ounces of liquid.

Saw one other hiker who started just after I did and turned around about a mile or so before I did. At the start of the hike the shooters off of Table Mesa Road were making a lot of noise. On my way back, it was much quieter, the heat chased them away by late morning.
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average hiking speed 2.3 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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