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577 triplogs
Jun 19 2021
DarthStiller
avatar

 Guides 26
 Routes 379
 Photos 7,654
 Triplogs 577

52 male
 Joined Jul 05 2006
 Mesa, AZ
Goldfield Horse and Bike Trails, AZ 
Goldfield Horse and Bike Trails, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Jun 19 2021
DarthStiller
Hiking10.06 Miles 909 AEG
Hiking10.06 Miles   4 Hrs   19 Mns   2.33 mph
909 ft AEG
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
I saved these trails for this kind of weather. From the ATV trailhead at the end of Hackamore Road, east of the Blue Ridge, go east and there's a whole maze of horse/biker trails. I found some mapping on another website, but it's not useful in terms of trying to get tracks or plan out the hike. the maze doesn't go far from the trailhead, but there's so many trails that I easily did 10 miles and still didn't get close do doing them all. Most of the singletracks have numbers of 310 to 313, some aren't marked at all.

At the southeast end of this hike, I found the Black Queen Mine, which has a road that leads up to its entrance. There's alot of standing water there, though, so it doesn't look too amenable to exploration. and there's also signs noting that it's private property under video surveillance.

North of that I got off the singletracks for a bit and hiked a dirt road that dead ended on the side of a hill near the Golden Hillside Mines. After that I got back on the singletracks and took them north until I got onto FR3512 and headed south to trailhead, hitting more singletracks along the way.

Saw a dead rattlesnake that someone hung up on a saguaro, one like black snake that slithered off the trail as soon as I got close to it, and 4 deer that I kicked up as I came over ridge and surprised them. They hopped rather than ran away.

finished up before 11am while the heat was still bearable. Had lots of breezes all morning, so it was never too bad at all. Very happy and surprised I got a full 10 miles of this hike.
_____________________
Jun 12 2021
DarthStiller
avatar

 Guides 26
 Routes 379
 Photos 7,654
 Triplogs 577

52 male
 Joined Jul 05 2006
 Mesa, AZ
Antelope Crk Rd to Old Sycamore Rd, BCTPrescott, AZ
Prescott, AZ
Hiking avatar Jun 12 2021
DarthStiller
Hiking10.23 Miles 975 AEG
Hiking10.23 Miles   3 Hrs   49 Mns   2.72 mph
975 ft AEG      3 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Finally had a weekend where the traffic restrictions weren't going to cause any major backups for me on the way home, so I headed up north for another section of the BCT. Started from the Big Bug TH and headed south to where I left off last time from a month ago. Scenery was the same as the rest of what I done north of Big Bug, rolling hills, pinyon pines, and distant views of the surrounding mountains. Most of this was singletrack, there was one section of dirt road that it followed for about a half mile. Saw some deer uphill from me running through the brush. Got one picture of 2 sets of ears, but it was in focus.

Finished up fairly quickly, this section was very level with only very gradual grades. Felt a little warm, but nothing like back in Phoenix now. Traffic on I-17 is getting busier with the warmer weather and things mostly back to normal now. Only have the Copper Mountain loop to finish now, might have to wait until the fall since that one looks to be a solid 14 miles.
Named place
Named place
Brady Butte
_____________________
Jun 05 2021
DarthStiller
avatar

 Guides 26
 Routes 379
 Photos 7,654
 Triplogs 577

52 male
 Joined Jul 05 2006
 Mesa, AZ
LOST - Pinal City Panther SegmentGlobe, AZ
Globe, AZ
Hiking avatar Jun 05 2021
DarthStiller
Hiking10.35 Miles 975 AEG
Hiking10.35 Miles   4 Hrs   30 Mns   2.30 mph
975 ft AEG
 
1st trip
Partners none no partners
Headed back out to the LOST trail system by Superior since I-17 still has lane restrictions on the weekend. I got out there to find that the Telegraph Fire had started and wasn't too far away. I decided to go ahead with my planned hike despite how close it was. where I parked there was another vehicle, so they weren't evacuating everyone from this area yet.

I hiked the Apache Tears road down to Arnett Canyon, then hiked that out to its end by Perlite Road. I had a track that I downloaded that headed further south, but it turned out to be mostly a bushwhack and I was already getting kind of close to the action. the haze from the fire was getting more prominent. I headed back up to where I parked and hiked east on the Pinal Panther City LOST segment about a mile and a half and headed back. On the way back the helicopter action was beginning to pick up as they were loading up water to take over to fight the fire. Got some glimpses of the smoke and the fire from a safe distance, the telephoto lens came in handy once again. Right at the end I saw a rock with a bunch of pottery sherds on it and I saw a few more laying near it. Very surprising to see that in such and open and semi developed area.
Culture
Culture
Aircraft
Named place
Named place
Finger Rock - Arnett Canyon
Meteorology
Meteorology
Fire - Wildfire
_____________________
May 29 2021
DarthStiller
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 Guides 26
 Routes 379
 Photos 7,654
 Triplogs 577

52 male
 Joined Jul 05 2006
 Mesa, AZ
LOST - Arnett Canyon SegmentGlobe, AZ
Globe, AZ
Hiking avatar May 29 2021
DarthStiller
Hiking10.43 Miles 1,076 AEG
Hiking10.43 Miles   4 Hrs   17 Mns   2.50 mph
1,076 ft AEG      7 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Partners partners
adilling
Route Scout Route Recorded  on Route Scout Popup | MapDEX
I haven't hiked any of the LOST trails yet, so this seemed like a good opportunity to do that. Andy hiked part of this before so he was interested.

We started from the Picketpost TH and hiked east into the canyon. The temperature was very cool and breezy with the shade and riparian environment. There are a lot of very nice views of Picketpost and the rock formations inside the canyon along the creek. After a mile or two, the vegetation and cottonwoods was pretty dominant.

We got to the junction with Telegraph Canyon and decided to walk down that. We got sidetracked on some fainter trails that head up over to Perlite Road, but then got back down into Telegraph Canyon. I had planned to hike in maybe 5 miles or so and then turn around. Once we got to the end of Telegraph Canyon to the road, it made more sense to just complete the loop around Picketpost since we had already hiked about halfway. The connecting trail from the road over to the AZT is very well marked and easy to follow.

Once we got to the TH again, we had only hiked about 9 miles, so we took the bypass route mini loop into Arnett Canyon again and added another mile and a bit more. It was a little warm when we finished, but not really hot. Still breezy here and there the whole time. Looking forward to hiking more of the LOST trails in this area over to Superior.
_____________________
May 22 2021
DarthStiller
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 Guides 26
 Routes 379
 Photos 7,654
 Triplogs 577

52 male
 Joined Jul 05 2006
 Mesa, AZ
Upper Ranch Trail - MSPNPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar May 22 2021
DarthStiller
Hiking11.84 Miles 600 AEG
Hiking11.84 Miles   4 Hrs   29 Mns   2.68 mph
600 ft AEG      4 Mns Break
 
1st trip
My original plans fell through to hike another section of the BCT with the I-17 lane restrictions all weekend, so I decided to head up the MSPN preserve and hike the sections of the powerline roads that I had never done yet. got started about 6:15am from Pima-Dynamite, but it felt later with the sun already above the horizon and the lot pretty full.

Just as I was starting along the Powerline Road #1, Brian was running the other way finishing up his morning run. We stopped and chatted for a few minutes and then I was on my way. I took PL Road #1, Latigo, PL Road #2, Upper Ranch, Brown's Ranch Road, Malapais, PL Road #1 again, West Express, Rawhide Wash, and PLRoad #1 straight back to the trailhead.

Biggest sight to see was the nest on Malapais Trail. I think I've seen that there last year or 2 years before. Got a good view of the mama hawk feeding her babies breakfast. the trail goes right below the saguaro they've nested in. I didn't linger too close or too long, wondering how stressful that might be for them to have the traffic below close by.

While walking in the Rawhide Wash, I thought I saw a biker zipping by the other way along the Powerline Road #1, but then I realized it was too far away to see. I turned to look and saw that it was deer running full speed. No chance at all for a picture.

Got back right around 11am and called it a day. temperature was perfect all morning, didn't even drink half my Camelbak bladder.
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May 15 2021
DarthStiller
avatar

 Guides 26
 Routes 379
 Photos 7,654
 Triplogs 577

52 male
 Joined Jul 05 2006
 Mesa, AZ
Hidden Treasure Mine - Antelope Hill, BCTPrescott, AZ
Prescott, AZ
Hiking avatar May 15 2021
DarthStiller
Hiking13.17 Miles 1,480 AEG
Hiking13.17 Miles   4 Hrs   43 Mns   2.82 mph
1,480 ft AEG      3 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Partners none no partners
Finally had a chance to head back up north and finish another section of the BCT that I skipped when I did the last sections with Bruce, Joe, and Wally. I parked along Antelope Creek Road about a quarter mile from where the BCT crosses it. As soon as I pulled into my spot, I saw a small herd of deer in the hills below. They were a little skittish, but took their time enough that I was able to get some nice pictures.

After that, I headed over to the trail and first headed south to where I left off months ago up above Government Spring. It was just under 4 miles in. It was a little bit of a climb getting back up to the road, but not bad. The wind picked up quite a bit heading up through some narrow canyons, it made it even a bit chilly at times. This section of the trail had a lot of switchbacks and even more sharp bends and turns. Very crooked track as it heads down into this area.

Once I got back to the road, I headed northbound on the trail for about 2.5 miles. The first 2 miles from the road is just another dirt road. an RV was parked along it a half mile in. The road/trail climbs to a high point, then descends to where the singletrack picks up and ascends again. an old corral and windmill are at the beginning of the singletrack. Turned around after 2.5 miles in and finished up with just over 13 miles for the day. didn't see any other hikers, bikers, horseriders, etc. Lots of traffic on Antelope Creek Road. Temps were very mild and cool. the winds picked up at times, making things cooler. Perfect weather before the heat hits in another month.
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May 08 2021
DarthStiller
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 Guides 26
 Routes 379
 Photos 7,654
 Triplogs 577

52 male
 Joined Jul 05 2006
 Mesa, AZ
Horse with No Name TrailPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar May 08 2021
DarthStiller
Hiking11.27 Miles 1,341 AEG
Hiking11.27 Miles   5 Hrs   7 Mns   2.20 mph
1,341 ft AEG
 
My daughter was taking the SATs today and I had to pick her up at noon. The only good option was to hit the Goldfields since I drive right by the high school on the way there and back.

the weather was very cool for most of this hike. It got a little warm at the end, but not really hot. didn't even finish my bladder in the Camelbak. Saw no other hikers, bikers, or horse riders. There were a few dirt bikers who were buzzing the circuit of roads and that was about it.

I headed up FR1356 and took the Rock House Trail to the Hope is Lost Trail, then Horse With No Name to Cottonwood Wash. From there I hiked some of the single track unnamed biker/horse trails and then headed back to the Bulldog Canyon TH west of Blue Ridge, from where I started. didn't see any wildlife or anything else crazy. The scenery out in this area is really amazing, I never get tired of it. The Horse with No Name Trail probably has some of the best views this area has to offer. The hard tuft rock is easy to walk on and looks cool.

finished up in time to pick up my daughter after her SATs and headed back home for an afternoon of continue errands to run.
_____________________
May 01 2021
DarthStiller
avatar

 Guides 26
 Routes 379
 Photos 7,654
 Triplogs 577

52 male
 Joined Jul 05 2006
 Mesa, AZ
Margies Cove TrailPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar May 01 2021
DarthStiller
Hiking13.60 Miles 913 AEG
Hiking13.60 Miles   5 Hrs   32 Mns   2.68 mph
913 ft AEG      27 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Partners partners
adilling
I wanted to hike the Brittlebush Trail because I read the description in the Charles Liu 60 Hikes book. But the southern trailhead has been indefinitely closed for well over a decade now it seems due to smuggling activity, or something like that. The only option was to go to Margies Cove and hike in from there. I wasn't about to do a 20+ mile hike, especially with the weather warming up. I decided to head in to the junction with the Brittlebush Trail and hike a small portion of that. I hadn't hike with Andy in over a year, so I asked him if he was interested. Since he's still dealing with repairs on his vehicle from his previous week's misadventure, he was in.

There is one small segment of singletrack that heads south from the trailhead. then it follows a dirt road that eventually fades into a wash, which then fades into a slot canyon. The further up we got, the sandier the wash got, which I didn't appreciate a whole lot. The scenery is the typical Sonoran desert. A lot of the mountains nearby were similar to Piestewa Peak.

At the junction we got onto the Brittlebush Trail and headed south on that for a little over a mile. That was another nice section of singletrack. I looked at the maps and it looks like maybe at some point it may also turn into was since it goes between a narrow pass of 2 mountains. This north section of Brittlebush looks very similar to the southern part of the San Tan park.

On our way back we did a little short cut from Brittlebush into the wash and saved close to a half mile. The clouds kept the sun from getting too hot, but by the end it was still a little toasty. I finished nearly 300 oz of water by the time we finished, so it was a sneaky kind of heat. Andy was spent, but made it home without significant incident. Nice to hike with friends again as life gets back to normal.
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Apr 18 2021
DarthStiller
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 Guides 26
 Routes 379
 Photos 7,654
 Triplogs 577

52 male
 Joined Jul 05 2006
 Mesa, AZ
Tomahawk Mine TrailPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Apr 18 2021
DarthStiller
Hiking4.59 Miles 569 AEG
Hiking4.59 Miles   2 Hrs      2.30 mph
569 ft AEG
 
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
A cool weather forecast in late April means I had to make my push to get the family out on the trails before the heat imposes the family hiking moratorium over the summer. The Tomahawk Trail (road) that I had done last time gave some nice views and was easy to get to. My daughter was getting her 2nd vaccination shot today at 2pm, so we had to pick something shorter and close by.

We hiked on the main road from the trailhead a mile and a quarter in, where there is a junction with a single track. That section lasts just over a half mile, then hits another mining road. We took that road almost down to the Goldfield mining town tourist trap, then doubled back and took another road over the hill back to the trailhead. On the mining road, at the high point we saw some concrete structures, not sure what their purpose was exactly. Found a horseshoe along the lower section of the road by the Hidden Hillside mines.

On the way back I found another short section of a faint horse trail that went to the road that took us up and over the hill to the trailhead. It was very steep in a few sections, but nothing bad. the views up at the top were really nice. Even hiking the mining roads in this area makes for great scenery.

Saw 2 hikers on their way back in along the main road when we started. Later on we saw a side by side crawling along the rough mining roads. Weather was great. Breezy, cool and sunny. Finished in 2 hours and called it a day.
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Apr 17 2021
DarthStiller
avatar

 Guides 26
 Routes 379
 Photos 7,654
 Triplogs 577

52 male
 Joined Jul 05 2006
 Mesa, AZ
Orme Road to General Crook / SR169 - BCTPrescott, AZ
Prescott, AZ
Hiking avatar Apr 17 2021
DarthStiller
Hiking13.40 Miles 1,426 AEG
Hiking13.40 Miles   5 Hrs   8 Mns   2.84 mph
1,426 ft AEG      25 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners partners
joebartels
The_Eagle
wallyfrack
With the cool weather forecast for this weekend, Bruce asked if I was interested in the next section of the BCT, the north end terminus. I was planning to continue where I left off from a section south of that, but this fit the bill.

We met Bruce at the north end off of SR169. the turnoff from the road is hard to spot until you're right on top of it, and there is no turning lane. No sign of any official looking trailhead there, or even any BCT markers. Not sure exactly where we saw the last, northernmost marker, it might have been near our lunch spot.

As Joe mentioned, this entire section is various dirt roads. The views are nothing spectacular, but they are pleasant and peaceful. And we didn't see anyone else during the entire hike. The newly built trail from the previous southern section ends at Orme Road. I would imagine at some point these roads which are designated as the official BCT will eventually be replaced by singletrack. I just hope they take it easy with the switchbacks on this section. Walking a quarter mile to gain 30' of elevation seems a bit excessive. :-s

I started out able to keep up with this crew, but as usual, they outpace me after a mile or so. I passed them at Ash Creek when they took a snack break, only to have them pass me again just past my 7 mile mark. We saw a total of 3 pronghorn. the first 2 Wally and Bruce spotted first. By the time Joe and I saw them, they were cruising at an easy 40 mph across the plain. I had no chance at a photo. the 3rd one was on top of a hill and didn't seem as bothered by us, so I got a halfway decent shot of that one.

Had lunch at Sheep Spring after we found the only tree that had a minimum of cow patties under it. We had a nice view of a dead cow in the distance. Bruce and Wally took a closer look at that after lunch. Bruce easily adds one to two extra miles to every hike he does with his side excursions.

Finished up with the actual hike before noon. Surprising considering how far away and how long it was. I had one of my faster overall hiking speeds on this one but I still couldn't keep up with these guys.

Bruce and Joe kept insisting they were done with all of the BCT, and seemed a tad annoyed at my corrections that the loop around Copper Mountain is listed as part of the official trail. Even on HAZ. I have to finish up a section below SR69, but I'll leave that segment for last if they decide to change their minds. :SB:
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Apr 10 2021
DarthStiller
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 Guides 26
 Routes 379
 Photos 7,654
 Triplogs 577

52 male
 Joined Jul 05 2006
 Mesa, AZ
West Pinto Trail #212 - SuperstitionsGlobe, AZ
Globe, AZ
Hiking avatar Apr 10 2021
DarthStiller
Hiking11.13 Miles 1,671 AEG
Hiking11.13 Miles   5 Hrs   55 Mns   2.04 mph
1,671 ft AEG      27 Mns Break
 
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Wally and I went back to finish off the east half of the trail to our leave off point from 3 weeks ago. The last time I hiked this part of the trail was back in 2003 or 2004. My only memory for the most part was hiking along the stream bed for most or all of it. It turns out I wasn't on the actual trail, which is high above the stream for most of the time, only making one or two crossings. Glad I finally got back to check this out again and hike what looks like a trail in the Supes I haven't done yet.

Past Oak Flat is the area I haven't done in over a decade. When it started to ascend, it was clear that some work had been done on the trail recently. The trail ascends and then dips again, making a final crossing of the creek before it climbs. After the stream crossing, the trail hasn't had any work. But it's still very hikeable with really nice views. At the high point of the first ascent, we saw 2 whitetail deer. I was able to get a couple of recognizable pics of them, but nothing great. At the turnaround point, we checked out the ruin there a little bit more to see what was there. Just saw some more sherds mostly. Along the trail there is another ruin east of Oak Flat, a whole lot of sherds were right on the trail there.

About a mile and a half from the trailhead we saw a German shepherd down near the stream, but no hikers with it. I threw it one of my turkey sausages, which it took and then followed us for a bit before losing interest. It looked like it was limping a bit and seemed to lose interest at the rocky part of the trail. Wally talked to someone camping at the trailhead who said it was his dog, but it was a rescue and he thought going after it might make it run more. :-k

Overall, this trail was much nicer than I remember it from a decade and a half ago. I didn't expect it to be too hard, but it was even easier than my lower expectations. The burn in this area actually seem to have benefitted it some from a hiking perspective because my memories from before were of it being rather overgrown and difficult to get through. There was still some vegetation (also some of it's obviously burnt), but the more opened up views are rather nice.
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Apr 03 2021
DarthStiller
avatar

 Guides 26
 Routes 379
 Photos 7,654
 Triplogs 577

52 male
 Joined Jul 05 2006
 Mesa, AZ
Black Mesa - Cave CreekPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Apr 03 2021
DarthStiller
Hiking11.07 Miles 3,282 AEG
Hiking11.07 Miles   7 Hrs   22 Mns   1.53 mph
3,282 ft AEG      8 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
This hike is a beast, but I was up for it. I had planned to do this a few weeks earlier, but the recent triplogs made me put it off. This weekend was the one I planned for later. The heat in the forecast had me questioning my decision, but I decided to pack some extra water. I figured between the early start and the higher elevation, the heat wouldn't be an issue. It wasn't, although I did drink a full 180 oz of water during this.

I did this hike the last time in the fall of 2005, actually in September. I remember being so spent when I got to the top that I never hiked across the top of the mesa at all. I think the trail is fainter along the west side on the final push to the top, but I'm not really sure.

Once you get past the turnoff for going over the saddle of Elephant Mountain, that's where the hike starts to get real. You're so much closer to the top, but when you look at it, it still seems a ways away, and it is. And this is where the loose lava rock starts to take over, which makes things worse.

After the junction with the trail that takes you to Rondo Spring, the trails dips a bit before the big climb. There used to be a rock or a sign (or both) at this junction. I didn't see it this time. There is a kind of a gate through the barbed wire fence there. i missed the junction on my way up, but saw it on my way back. There are few level spots west of Black Mesa that give you a chance to catch your breath a bit. Then the final push comes. Just before the last final push, I spotted 3 whitetail deer (who spotted me first) that were taking off up the side of Black Mesa and to the south. It was amazing to see how much elevation they could gain so quickly leaping over the loose rock and thorny vegetation. The cliche of "run like a deer" never seemed more appropriate.

the final push to the top was very steep and the trail is very hard to follow. It seems like there's a second trail that has formed a braid from people perhapsh unknowingly cutting switchbacks. This part of the hike required that you look ahead to see where the trail goes (or switches back), look at the ground at the same time to make sure you don't loose your footing, and also constantly check your GPS (or RouteScout) to see if you're still on track. Numerous steps here involved hitting a loose rock that rolled under my foot.

At the top this time I hiked to the south, originally with the intent of making the loop around the top of the mesa and returning on the faint trail. At the south end of the mesa there are the best views to the east of Skull Mesa and the valley between the 2 mesas. Once I got to the south end of the mesa, I spotted the ridge there down towards the trail. That seemed like a very doable route. the trail up was so steep that I don't think this route was any worse. I think I saved some time for sure this way even though it was slow going at times. the descent at the very top was slow since it was rocky. After that, it got less rocky and less steep, although at times the amount of loose lava rock seemed to increase enough that constant attention had to paid in order to not wipe out.

finally got on the actual trail, which wasn't a whole lot easier to hike downhill than the bushwhack, then back to the park trails, which took less time. Saw a few hikers the closer I got to the parking lot, but not a whole lot. Warm temps seem to be keeping people away. Stark contrast from a year earlier when every park was pack since all the gyms were closed. Felt the heat more at the bottom, which I expected, better than on the way up.

My plantar faciitis did not bother me nearly as much on this hike as it did the last 3. Switched out the orthotics in my hiking boots this time which seems to have made a world of difference. Nice to finish up such a big hike with a minimum of pain during and after, especially in middle age. :D
Flora
Flora
Claret Cup Cactus
_____________________
Mar 28 2021
DarthStiller
avatar

 Guides 26
 Routes 379
 Photos 7,654
 Triplogs 577

52 male
 Joined Jul 05 2006
 Mesa, AZ
Tomahawk Mine TrailPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Mar 28 2021
DarthStiller
Hiking6.63 Miles 607 AEG
Hiking6.63 Miles   3 Hrs   8 Mns   2.12 mph
607 ft AEG
 
Linked linked
Partners none no partners
After yesterday's hike my foot was bothering me most of the rest of the day with the plantar faciitis acting up. I would normally jog on the canal by my house on a Sunday after sleeping in, but I knew jogging would only make it worse. I decided to only sleep in a little (5am by my old man biorhythms these days) and head out to the Goldfields again. I tried to recruit the family again for this one, but they weren't having anything to do with early wake up times.

I had never hiked from the Tomahawk Mine TH, so I decided to do that for a change. It's basically the other end of FR1356 that starts over near Blue Ridge. I hiked that in to the corner of a loop we did over a month ago and then turned to the east. A dirt road continues on, but soon fades and devolves into a pretty gnarly wash. Great for hiking thru, and apparently it's also used by various motor vehicles. When I started on it, 4 dirt bikers zoomed up past me.

I got to the 3.5 mile mark and had to decide whether I wanted to turn back and go the way I came in, or try to figure out a loop option. Thankfully RS now has the option of the preloaded tracks of official descriptions on HAZ. It turned out I was as the north end of the Frankie Goes to Hollywood Trail. I had actually hiked part of this and part of the wash I was now in over a year ago. I thought some of it looked familiar. Frankie was very narrow and rocky, and there were a lot of ups and downs in and out of the wash, but that was preferable to me rather than an out and back hike. I got back on Tomahawk Mine just over a mile before the trailhead and took that back the rest of the way. Nice quick morning hike in the Goldfields. Nice to have that as a nearby option with so many unexplored areas and almost no people the entire time.
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1 archive
Mar 27 2021
DarthStiller
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 Guides 26
 Routes 379
 Photos 7,654
 Triplogs 577

52 male
 Joined Jul 05 2006
 Mesa, AZ
Big Bug TH to Russian Well - BCTPrescott, AZ
Prescott, AZ
Hiking avatar Mar 27 2021
DarthStiller
Hiking15.49 Miles 1,723 AEG
Hiking15.49 Miles   6 Hrs   5 Mns   2.74 mph
1,723 ft AEG      26 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners partners
joebartels
The_Eagle
wallyfrack
A few months ago I noticed that Joe and Bruce were also doing sections of the BCT. I offered my services to set up a shuttle when they felt in the mood and Bruce picked this weekend. Got a start sometime after 7am after the dropoff and drive back down to Highway 69. I always get discombobulated on shuttle hikes and forgot my sweatshirt. I did somehow remember to bring the extra one I normally wear under the main one. That helped to keep me comfortable in the 38 degree windy weather for the first few miles.

Lots of grassland with mild grades at first, which soon turned into more rolling hills with pinon pines and scrub brush. I was surprised to see as much catclaw as we did. None of seemed as sticky as what we saw last week in the Supes. I think fire only sharpens catclaw.

South of Russian Well we passed several cattle and calves, I spotted 2 bulls at one point. We had lunch at an old cabin ruin at the well which has a "No Camping" sign on it. North of Russian Well, there is a new section of trail that has been recently built that takes you off the dirt road. It's nice, but it adds a good 2 miles or more during this segment. My plantar faciitis has been acting up again lately, and those extra miles didn't help. The trail ascends a good bit at this point, which probably gave the best views of the day. Looking down into the rolling hills and valleys was nice, and there a few good distant views of the surrounding mountains.

Finished up about 1:30ish, completed the shuttle and headed back home to fight the traffic through central Phoenix. Nice to do a shuttle hike again for the social aspect of it. and the shuttle part wasn't bad at all in terms of extra drive time.
Named place
Named place
Stoddard Mine
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Mar 21 2021
DarthStiller
avatar

 Guides 26
 Routes 379
 Photos 7,654
 Triplogs 577

52 male
 Joined Jul 05 2006
 Mesa, AZ
Goldfield Horse Trails, AZ 
Goldfield Horse Trails, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Mar 21 2021
DarthStiller
Hiking4.61 Miles 321 AEG
Hiking4.61 Miles   2 Hrs   2 Mns   2.29 mph
321 ft AEG      1 Min Break
 
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
I was able to round up the family for another Sunday morning hike close to home while the weather is still nice. The kids are teenagers now and have an increasingly low tolerance for pre-8am wake up calls. The bribe of a take out lunch used to be an easy way to make things good, now it's a minimum. Only after a mile or so into the hike do their moods improve.

We started from the ATV trailhead that's east of the Bulldog TH, off of Hackamore Road. Getting to the trailhead along this road is always a little bit of an adventure since it's full of surprisingly deep divots. We started up the main road from the trailhead past the big bowl shaped depression, which Radmila has named "the human sacrifice pit". On our way past that we past what appeared to be somewhat fresh ashes from a bonfire, and a broken bottle of Jack Daniels.

Once we got past the pit (which was only about a quarter mile or so), we reached one of many horse trails in this area. They all have numbers in the 300s, this one is 310. We followed that one, which headed north and then east, then south. At this point there was a junction with another trail that headed east, so we to that one. That went north and looped back to one of the dirt roads. We took that road south back to 310 and back to the junction again and headed south. Further south we encountered more markers with the number 311, 312, and 313. Saw several more junctions without markers. With the amount of trails here, it would be very easy to spend an entire morning meandering about without have to hike on the dirt roads much at all. i made sure we didn't veer too far away from the parking area and once we were over 4 miles, we headed back. The last half mile or so we were one a dirt road. Along that section we paralleled another dirt road on the other side of the forest service rails where there were 2 vehicles. One was a Jeep, the other was a UHaul Chevy Pickup that got stuck in a huge washout in that road. Several bad decisions were made. The 20-somethings involved were trying to solve their problem trying to get the UHaul out. I wasn't sure where to start with the jokes.

Saw one mountain biker the entire time. Not even many ATVers on the dirt roads nearby. Must have been a heavy night a partying that they were all sleeping off. Overall this looks like a nice area to go back to and check out the several horse trails and maybe try piece a map together of what's what.
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Mar 20 2021
DarthStiller
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 Guides 26
 Routes 379
 Photos 7,654
 Triplogs 577

52 male
 Joined Jul 05 2006
 Mesa, AZ
West Pinto Trail #212 - SuperstitionsGlobe, AZ
Globe, AZ
Hiking avatar Mar 20 2021
DarthStiller
Hiking9.10 Miles 2,721 AEG
Hiking9.10 Miles   6 Hrs   39 Mns   1.53 mph
2,721 ft AEG      42 Mns Break
 
Linked linked
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I don't think I've hiked this part of this trail since before my kids were born. It was time to go back. I asked Wally if he was interested and obviously he was. He also graciously agreed to do the driving to the Rogers Trough Th at my request. I needed a break from driving for one week, especially on this road.

Made our way up to the saddle by Iron Mountain and got some good views of to the west with the morning light and the shadows. On the other side of the saddle is where the burned area mostly is. This section of trail has always been kind of loose, I remember sliding off it the last time I hiked it, having the manzanita stop me from sliding further. Now the manzanita is mostly gone, which kind of makes for a better hike in some ways. More scenery and less to bust through. There was one loose section where there's a switchback into the heavy brush which wasn't touched by the fire. I had a little fall there and smacked my knee on a rock. From there it was a small climb to the ridgeline, then the descent into the creek.

The descent down the ridgeline was also through a decimated manzanita area. Can't say I miss that much. The views back at Iron Mountain gave us foreboding of what we had ahead of us for the hike out. Things got steeper the closer we got to the creek. Once we got to the creek, the "trail" heads to the left and follows the creek bed for a mile or so. I noticed later that at this point, if he had went to the right upstream a little bit, there is the Silver Spur Cabin that is shown on the maps. I don't know what this is, or if there is anything left of it. But it wasn't far upstream from where we were. Wish I had known that at the time.

The hike in the creek was crummy. Walking over river rock is not fun. But at least the catclaw made things painful at times to distract us from that. At this point I felt pretty fatigued, not really sure why. the Supes always make for rough hikes, but I just seemed overly tired at times.

We overshot where the trail actually left the creek so we made our way back to it and climbed a small hill. It was there that Wally noticed a severely eroded ruin. We poked through and found a few sherds. At this point we had gone 4.6 miles, and it was a long slog back through the creek bed again and back up the hill. From where we stopped, it looks like the trail stays high up out of the creek bed. Not sure if I've hiked this portion of the trail before. When I did this 16+ years ago from either end, I mostly remember the slog through the creek and across the river rock. At that time I followed my Delorme mapping to make my remedial GPS routes, as opposed to what we have available to us know on HAZ. I'll have to make a note to check that from the Miles TH end before things get to overgrown.

The hike back up the hill wasn't as bad as I was afraid it would be. We stopped and had lunch just before the big ascent, so i think that helped. Getting some rest and food gives you the energy you need to get it done. I took my sweatshirt off for the hike for the first time since before October. The breezes picked up the closer we got to the saddle, which helped cool us off and not use too much water.

On the way down from the saddle to the TH I saw a junction for another trail below Iron Mountain. Not sure where that went exactly, but i marked it on my RS.

Got done by 1:30 and made the bumpy ride down 172, pavement never felt so good.
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Mar 13 2021
DarthStiller
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 Guides 26
 Routes 379
 Photos 7,654
 Triplogs 577

52 male
 Joined Jul 05 2006
 Mesa, AZ
Bluff Spring Mountain SummitPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Mar 13 2021
DarthStiller
Hiking13.11 Miles 3,075 AEG
Hiking13.11 Miles   7 Hrs   22 Mns   1.83 mph
3,075 ft AEG      12 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Route Scout Route Recorded  on Route Scout Popup | MapDEX
I was originally planning to hike another section of the BCT, but with the weather forecast, I decided to stay off I-17. I heard 3rd hand that there were some traffic issues that day, so it looks like I made the right decision. the Supes have been my go to backup hike for bad weather, so I decided to try the Ely Anderson Trail, which I hiked probably close to 15 years ago.

Got to the Peralta TH after 6am, to a lot that was already half full. Headed up Cardiac Hill to do the Miner's loop counterclockwise. The clouds and low cloud ceiling made for some dramatic views at times, and just a lot of haze at other times. Getting good pictures was hit and miss with the subdued lighting. Still managed to get some nice shots. I've been starting my winter hikes this year with my gloves on, which I normally take off after a mere 20 minutes. Today I would keep them on for most of the hike.

Started heading up Ely Anderson and almost immediately had the idea to bail on that portion of the hike since it was obvious that it was very faint and hard to follow. I almost immediately was off track. Once I got on the trail, it was easy enough to follow, but not so much easier than bushwhacking on the hillside that has most of the vegetation burnt away.

About half way up the wind picked up and a graupel squall hit. It immediately started to accumulate. I was worried about traction and slipping with the bare rock section I was hiking on, but thankfully that wasn't an issue. It almost as quickly started to melt as the temps weren't quite that cold to keep the snow there.

by the time I got to the top, I was fully in the clouds. Visibilty was hampered not only by that, but by my glasses fogging up as well. the last time I dealt with these kinds of conditions was in Serbia 3 years ago on Suva Planina. I could make out a hazy horizon at times, so I would hike to what looked like the high point. Then I would check my GPS track and find I had wondered off track substantially. I zig zagged my way back and forth on and off track like Mr. Magoo until I finally got to the peak. My Magoo imitation was complete with me muttering to myself at going the wrong way all the time. Found a game camera mounted on some kind of stake. the amount of deer scat up there was crazy. I can see how the miners and ranchers used this area for grazing. Still didn't see any actual deer, though. At one point the wind picked up and it was cold enough for my fingers to feel numb, a rarity in the western Supes. I was wearing an extra sweatshirt that I earlier had second thoughts about, but at this point I was glad I had it. Once I got to the top, the clouds were still in full force.

The way down was much easier in terms of keeping on track. Looking down at where you're heading makes things easier to navigate. I still had to stop a few times to check the track, but i was able to know when to do that and stay on track rather than check after I was 1000' off track. Once I got back on the Ely Anderson, I looked back and saw that the clouds had cleared the peak and Weaver's Needle. Murphy's Law was in full force.

Got back on the main trail and finished the Miner's Loop back to Peralta TH. Traffic wasn't too bad. the clouds started to clear a little towards the end, but not too much. Just enough to create dramatic scenery with wispy fog and spotty sunlight on the hillsides.
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Mar 07 2021
DarthStiller
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 Guides 26
 Routes 379
 Photos 7,654
 Triplogs 577

52 male
 Joined Jul 05 2006
 Mesa, AZ
Eagles Nest to Hesperus Wash, AZ 
Eagles Nest to Hesperus Wash, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Mar 07 2021
DarthStiller
Hiking6.28 Miles 499 AEG
Hiking6.28 Miles   2 Hrs   25 Mns   2.62 mph
499 ft AEG      1 Min Break
 
1st trip
Linked linked
Partners none no partners
Route Scout Route Recorded  on Route Scout Popup | MapDEX
Took the family up to Fountain Hills for a quick Sunday morning hike on a trail I discovered on previous excursions. We started from the Eagles Nest Trailhead at the end of Golden Eagle Blvd. After the walk through the subdivision to the trail, after only 100' or so along the Dixie Mine Trail, there is a trail to the right that heads down into the ravine. I found this last November during my hike back down from Thompson Peak. We took that trail through the ravine and wash, up over the ridge and down into Hesperus Wash. I've hiked the section of that trail from that junction northwest up to where it junctions with the jeep road just below the Dixie Mine. This time we headed southeast to where it ends at the dam just north of Aspen Drive in Fountain Hills.

We didn't see anyone on the connecting trail from the Dixie Mine to the wash trail, but then on the wash trail there were alot of hikers. At the south end were the most. It looks like a lot of residents make their way down to there for morning hikes and to walk their dogs. I think one couple parked somewhere off of Aspen Drive and took a spur trail into the wash trail.

I spotted an owl's nest in one saguaro on our way in. Surprised to see an owl sitting in there. On the way out one of the other everyday hikers told us that there are bones all over the ground around that saguaro from various meal times.

The connecting trail has some ups and downs and is a little rocky in sections. the wash trail is very smooth and has a very even grade, feels almost level.

We made very good time, hiking nearly 3 mph. Ended with enough time to get a to go lunch orde from DJs Bagel Cafe on our way home.
Fauna
Fauna
Great Horned Owl
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Mar 06 2021
DarthStiller
avatar

 Guides 26
 Routes 379
 Photos 7,654
 Triplogs 577

52 male
 Joined Jul 05 2006
 Mesa, AZ
China Wall Trail w/Bronco Creek #287Phoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Mar 06 2021
DarthStiller
Hiking12.51 Miles 2,384 AEG
Hiking12.51 Miles   6 Hrs   5 Mns   2.07 mph
2,384 ft AEG      3 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Route Scout Route Recorded  on Route Scout Popup | MapDEX
Brian had a good description of the trail in his triplog. After 245 to the corral, it's very easy to follow. From the corral for a half mile to the wash its a bushwhack, but you just follow the fence and the path of least resistance. Then you follow the wash and head to your right towards the end of it, to the north slopes. We headed to the left because I was following the track I downloaded and missed the turn off to the right. Once we got to some serious thick brush, I decided to check the track and saw we were way off.

After the route up the hill to the China Wall is cairned for the most part. The trail is mostly not there, but then visible at times. Most of the time we kept getting off track and off the trail. For most of the hike past the corral I had to keep checking the route to make sure we hadn't veered off, which it seemed like we did constantly.

Brian and I were both on somewhat tight schedules with errands planned later in the day. As we reached the China Wall, we kept ascending on the hill. I wanted to get to the next saddle/summit, and then turn around, but it seemed like it was a series of false summits. Finally we got to the high point, and it was a very nice payoff. The official track continued about another half mile or so, but that all went downhill. We had enough of a bushwhack back, so we decided against that. When I checked the track against a satellite background, there was a visible trail as some sections, but it was on the other side of the wall from where we were. If we had tried to follow, we likely would have been bushwhacking for quite a bit.

Brian ran ahead of me on the way back because he was on a tighter schedule, then promptly veered too far to the right downhill into the ravine and on the wrong side of a hill. After hiking over a mile and a half on the way back, I could see him not too far away trying to find his way. I yelled to him and pointed the way for him to go. He seemed to have already have it figured out by then. The last glimpse of him I got was just before I entered the wash before the corral, which he had passed on his way out.

The weather was very cool and windy the entire time. On the way back home I noticed the difference in temperature as the elevations got lower. Saw no other hikers, bikers, horseriders, etc, for the entire hike. I was rather surprised by that given this time of year. This seems like a pretty popular area normally. Conditions also seemed pretty dry. the big tank off of 245 on the way in was a big grass bed.
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Feb 27 2021
DarthStiller
avatar

 Guides 26
 Routes 379
 Photos 7,654
 Triplogs 577

52 male
 Joined Jul 05 2006
 Mesa, AZ
Hawes Trail #52 - HawesPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Feb 27 2021
DarthStiller
Hiking9.95 Miles 1,486 AEG
Hiking9.95 Miles   4 Hrs   30 Mns   2.23 mph
1,486 ft AEG      2 Mns Break
 
I had some errands to run today, so I picked hiking at the closest trails to my house. I picked a route to hike sections of trail that I hadn't hike in well over 10 years.

I started a figure 8 circuit with the Mineshaft Trail from the parking area east of Granite Reef on the Bush Highway. At the top there, I took the Saguaro Trail all the way down to the Hawes Trail and headed east again. There is a little unofficial trail that goes to the top of Peak 1970. It's pretty steep and loose towards the top, so I decided to bushwhack my way down. Looks like there were signs that others had done the same, the route was pretty easy to walk, not too loose, steep, or overgrown anywhere. at the end of the Hawes I took the Saddle Trail north, then cut to the west on the Upper Ridge and Ridge Trails, and back on the Granite with where I started. At that point I had only done 8 miles, so I went out and back on the Riverview Trail to get my mileage up to 10. The riverview trail has so much ups and downs on it, it's more work than it seems at first.

Looking forward to the new trails they'll be adding this area in the coming year or so.
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average hiking speed 2.32 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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