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81 triplogs
Dec 08 2006
OhOh7
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 Guides 15
 Routes 2
 Photos 1,591
 Triplogs 81

85 male
 Joined Dec 11 2002
 Gold Canyon, AZ
Lost Goldmine Trail - Cloudview to LG THPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Dec 08 2006
OhOh7
Hiking5.75 Miles
Hiking5.75 Miles   3 Hrs   50 Mns   1.50 mph
 no routes
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Just a quick note that yesterday was a fabulous hiking day! I took our neighbor from Peralta Lost Goldmine trailhead over to the Heiroglyphic trailhead. The trail is very well marked and the various views are excellent. I had only done this in reverse before so many of the scenes were new as we went West. While this hike is almost 6 miles in length it is quite easy--even for me. There are several washes and drainages (wonder what the difference is) you need to cross but the trail slants down and back up so the climbing is minimal. This trail has the biggest saguaro forest I have been through in the Supes. There are thousands of them and many are very high and many have multiple arms. These are worth the hike. In one short section of about 200 yards there is suddenly a large number of Jumping Cholla. They look odd all in one place while the Saguaros go on and on.
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Life is what is happening while you are making other plans.
Nov 30 2006
OhOh7
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 Guides 15
 Routes 2
 Photos 1,591
 Triplogs 81

85 male
 Joined Dec 11 2002
 Gold Canyon, AZ
Butcher Jones Trail #463Phoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Nov 30 2006
OhOh7
Hiking6.50 Miles 400 AEG
Hiking6.50 Miles   4 Hrs   30 Mns   1.44 mph
400 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
We picked a cold windy day to do Butcher-Jones with all its various spur trails. I took Andy as he had never been and I was extremely pleased to find that two of the major trash dumps have been cleaned up. Thank you to whomever did this. There still is a variety of trash for the first 1/4 mile that is paved before going through the forest boundary fence. Lots of traffic that far to the large floating dock they use for parties etc.

From the forest gate entrance on it was quite delightful. The hike is easy --for me-- and even though there are several up and down trail route areas, it offers beautiful views of the lake and the surrounding mountains.

Again I was so happy to see that the garbage I had seen before at the beach point and at the end of Burro Cove had been cleaned up. Fun hike followed by a prime rib at the Lakeshore Restaurant. Good day!!
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Life is what is happening while you are making other plans.
Nov 17 2006
OhOh7
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 Guides 15
 Routes 2
 Photos 1,591
 Triplogs 81

85 male
 Joined Dec 11 2002
 Gold Canyon, AZ
La Barge Lower - Box LoopPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Nov 17 2006
OhOh7
Hiking9.00 Miles 3,540 AEG
Hiking9.00 Miles   9 Hrs      1.00 mph
3,540 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
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For a long time I had heard about a strange ethereal area of the canyon on the west side of Battleship mountain in the Superstitions- the LaBarge Creek side. I had read Fritzski's writeup and looked at many photos of the area. While the writeups are good and the photos are good, on the 17th I finally was able to make that hike and I am blown away at the scenery! I have never seen anything like these formations in the Superstitions. As Fritzski says the final area at a left-right turn spot looks out of place for these mountains. Mystical and Lost World scenes. The canyon starts our innocently enough except for the creek bed being strewn with rocks and boulders that seem to get more difficult and bigger as one goes toward the canyon.

We started at Canyon Lake and hiked south over the hump and down to the crossing of LaBarge creek. We followed Fritzski's directions and crossed the creek, then kept going south until the Boulder Canyon Trail turned west toward the Indian Paint mine area. Then we dropped down to the creek bed. As if the climb up from Canyon Lake and the descent to LaBarge wasn't enough, we now faced the challenge of about 1.25 miles of "boulder blockages" and a very rough creek bed that would certainly encourage ankle twisters. Around a couple corners scrambling all the time we saw a jagged peak and in front of it a very rough jagged thin rock wall reaching to the sky. I tried a few times to get a photo of it but the sun was directly behind it.

We proceeded up the canyon between Battleship Mountain and Geronimo Head and they both loom and appear to get higher as we proceeded up the creek. The jagged wall became more clear and we shook our heads in amazement that something like that would be in this canyon. I have been down Boulder Canyon to the basin and the difference is like night and day!

The going is very slow picking your way through and around boulders. You then reach the sharp left turn, climb through a maze of large boulders and suddenly are confronted with the jagged wall about you, walls straight up around you, pools of water, smooth rock and an absolutely astounding scene! It causes one to just stop and be amazed! This canyon in the Superstitions? It seems misplaced.

We went left and then around the corner to the right in the narrow canyon, stopped for awhile for lunch and simply to admire the lofty crags, jagged edges and straight up cliffs. I tried to capture some of the trip in photos that I will later add to this.

The return trip is every bit as treacherous coming down the creek bed to intersect with the Boulder canyon trail. It just takes lots of time and careful footing. The GPS read just over 8.5 miles RT but readings were spotty at the canyon turns and the GPS said it was having trouble getting satellite bearings. Fritzski calls it 9 miles in and out and I think he is about right on.

I don't think (other than the Flatiron) that I have been so impressed by any canyon area. The views are today in my mind. This is not an easy RT. Maybe starting at First water TH to Second water and down to Boulder might be a bit easier. All I know is that coming out the final climb and descent over the hump to the Canyon Lake TH was very hard for me. It took us 9 hours that included the stop for lunch. We met a couple guys on our way out who said it was very lucky that there was no trail to this spot so only a minimum of people would ever see this.

If you go plan 8 to 9 hours for the hike, the creek bed struggles and the sight seeing. If I can make it most can but it "ain't easy". I feel it today but those surreal scenes will remain with me and I consider (even falling down once) it an accomplishment and one I will always cherish knowing a comparative few will ever see such spectacular majesty. As I write this I can't even believe I actually was there! Of course one can continue down to Calvary trail and make a loop but-not me. Don't give up. Fight on through the boulder maze and get to the corners. Out and back to the left-right canyon turns is very well worth it.
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Life is what is happening while you are making other plans.
Nov 06 2006
OhOh7
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 Guides 15
 Routes 2
 Photos 1,591
 Triplogs 81

85 male
 Joined Dec 11 2002
 Gold Canyon, AZ
First Water TH to Canyon LakePhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Nov 06 2006
OhOh7
Hiking7.30 Miles 1,589 AEG
Hiking7.30 Miles   6 Hrs      1.22 mph
1,589 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
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Took my neighbor on this beautiful route. The wonderful changes of scenery and trail types makes this one of my favorites. I generally do not like to go on the same trail twice but this one so far has called to me 3 times. The description has been done for the entire route but this time I also was able to find exactly where the LaBarge Canyon leaves the Boulder Canyon trail so soon I can follow it south into less traveled creek bed terrain. The weather Monday was perfect. Bright sun but a nice breeze most of the way. We took it very slow coming down the "shale trail" to the restaurant. Topped things off with a chili burger and probably will do this route again. When you reach the top and see the lake and then turn around to see the canyons, the Battleship and Weaver's needle; what more would you ever want?
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Life is what is happening while you are making other plans.
Oct 18 2006
OhOh7
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 Guides 15
 Routes 2
 Photos 1,591
 Triplogs 81

85 male
 Joined Dec 11 2002
 Gold Canyon, AZ
Pass Mountain Loop Trail #282Phoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Oct 18 2006
OhOh7
Hiking7.40 Miles 1,020 AEG
Hiking7.40 Miles   4 Hrs      1.85 mph
1,020 ft AEG
 no routes
Linked none no linked trail guides
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Another training hike to get more experience for the rest of the year. This time we started at the Meridian Trailhead and went counterclockwise. Wonderful day for hiking and met a few people on the trail enjoying the weather. This provided us with just over 7 miles of fairly easy terrain. We saw many, many geckos scurrying all over the trail--more than I had seen on any trail. Could that be the headquarters of some insurance company??? :lol:
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Life is what is happening while you are making other plans.
Oct 10 2006
OhOh7
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 Guides 15
 Routes 2
 Photos 1,591
 Triplogs 81

85 male
 Joined Dec 11 2002
 Gold Canyon, AZ
Palo Verde Trail #512Phoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Oct 10 2006
OhOh7
Hiking7.40 Miles
Hiking7.40 Miles
 no routes
1st trip
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Well this one was certainly a surprise!! We wanted to start out the fall season by warming up a bit for later more difficult hikes. I had not checked out the description by Charles Liu in his excellent book until AFTER the hike. In fact I stole his description for the comment about the hike.

It is quite a drive to Carefree and east to the Bartlett Lake road and south 14 miles to the lake front. However, this hike is very well worth it to do. Of course we rather wanted a level hike so we could shake out the summer cobwebs but within the first half mile we quickly discovered that the only level parts of the hike would probably total about 100 feet all together!! We started at Rattlesnake Cove and headed north thinking we would hug the shoreline but as my photos show only a couple places were we actually at the shoreline. The rest of the time we were either going up or down through the washes and over ridges that ended at lakeside.

The trail is generally fairly well marked except for the north end where you kind of have to guess the routes up over the final small ridges. A few places have trail markers but even some of those have fallen down.

On the bright side the lake views are very nice and the local beauty is only disturbed by the various speed boats that find it necessary to tear around the lake. To each his own I guess. There were many cars at the trailhead due to it being a Sunday. However, we were the only hikers and saw no one else on the trail.

I highly recommend this trail. It will tax any hikers with its ups and downs. While it says that there is about a gain and loss of 450 feet the accumulated gain is almost 1,000 feet and gives your legs a workout. This is one of the most up and down trails in the Phoenix area. It simply follows the contour of the many ridges separated by creek beds and washes.

And, of course we finished up our day with a great Mexican feast at El Encanto in Cave Creek. We also missed the rain that came in from the east so the day was a good one. Our third member had to hurry back for an appointment so he did the return trip quite fast; however he missed the trail (easy to do) and bushwhacked much ofthe return route. Happy catclawing!!!
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Life is what is happening while you are making other plans.
Sep 20 2006
OhOh7
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 Guides 15
 Routes 2
 Photos 1,591
 Triplogs 81

85 male
 Joined Dec 11 2002
 Gold Canyon, AZ
Treasure Loop to Praying HandsPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Sep 20 2006
OhOh7
Hiking4.00 Miles 1,000 AEG
Hiking4.00 Miles   4 Hrs      1.00 mph
1,000 ft AEG
 no routes
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Not too detailed this time but we went up Treasure Loop to the top and instead of turning right we went on east up an unmarked trail to the saddle betwen the Praying Hands and the Razor's edge, continued on the trail past the next monoliths, had lunch and returned. Again I say do not miss this route. being next to the cliffs and within the monoliths is fascinating and adds much more to a Treasure Loop hike.
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Life is what is happening while you are making other plans.
Jul 28 2006
OhOh7
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 Guides 15
 Routes 2
 Photos 1,591
 Triplogs 81

85 male
 Joined Dec 11 2002
 Gold Canyon, AZ
Flatiron Hike - SuperstitionsPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Jul 28 2006
OhOh7
Hiking4.20 Miles 2,780 AEG
Hiking4.20 Miles   5 Hrs      0.84 mph
2,780 ft AEG
 no routes
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Well, this will be short and sweet--for me. We had planned all week to go to the Inner Basin north of Flagstaff to camp and do the Inner Basin Trail. Thursday AM we woke to a storm here with its progress headed up 17 to Flag. We did not want to sleep or hike in the rain and lightning so we postponed that foray. Cabin fever dictated that we do SOMETHING. Friday we selected Siphon Draw with the intention of getting to the top of the draw and then going right on the trail to the foot of the Flatiron.

The sky was tightly overcast and very dark in spots. We found that we were the only car in the lot except for the camper area. What we did not correctly evaluate was that the temperature was only 77 when we left BUT the humidity was 79%. Within a few hundred yards we were covered with sweat soaking us and getting in our eyes. We stopped every 15 or 20 minutes to towel off, exchange jokes and recipes (yeah, we exchange recipes).

The sky got darker and darker but we plugged on, made it to the waterfall, sat and had lunch and beat it back down the trail before any storm rain poured. The hike really sapped us because of the humidity. We returned with the temp 91 and the humidity 50%. I think I will postpone further hikes in high humidity!!!
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Life is what is happening while you are making other plans.
May 23 2006
OhOh7
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 Guides 15
 Routes 2
 Photos 1,591
 Triplogs 81

85 male
 Joined Dec 11 2002
 Gold Canyon, AZ
Brown's, Amethyst & Four Peaks LoopPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar May 23 2006
OhOh7
Hiking4.15 Miles 1,196 AEG
Hiking4.15 Miles   4 Hrs   30 Mns   0.92 mph
1,196 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
For several years I have wanted to get close to the Four Peaks. From descriptions read I knew I would not be able to get to the top of Brown's Peak but though I could get at least to the base of the craggy peak. Thanks to Joe I noted the Brown's trail-Amethyst- Four Peaks trail starting at Lone Pine Trailhead. Another attractive thing to me was the distance of just over 4 miles for the loop and, as I continue to recover from some health problems, I felt I could do that and would be able to satisfy my desire of getting close to Brown's Peak.

So, on Monday the 22nd, Andy, Dan and I left early for the trailhead. It took one hour and 35 minutes to get there from my house in Gold Canyon. Up Bush highway to Highway 87 and a few miles to the Four peaks turnoff. The distance from the Four peaks turnoff to the actual Lone Pine Trailhead is 20 miles. Eighteen to the junction with FR648 and then 2 to the parking area. After reading that the Four peaks road was a nightmare I was pleasantly surprised to find that it is simply an country dirt road and very easily negotiable by any car-four wheel drive and high clearance not necessary. Sure it is fairly rough in certain spots but if you go slowly over some of the bumps and rocky surfaces all goes very well. The 20 miles took us one hour so you can see the average. I have been on far more rough roads. If the road in has caused you worry, forget it. You can take any car up there. Obviously if there is rain there are several places where you cross creek beds so bear that in mind. I had arranged to go in Andy's four wheel drive truck but, as it turned out I could have driven my wife's sports car up there easily.

OK, we arrived at the Lone Pine trailhead and the area is beautiful at an altitude of 5700 feet. We started up trail 133- Brown's trail. It is worthy to note that the Brown's saddle where we ended our climb is 6820 feet which means that we had to climb 1120 feet in 2 miles on Brown's trail which is an average of 6%. We did not know this at the time and within about 10 minutes we were huffing and puffing until we realize that we were at a high altitude. Ex-smokers are really affected by this factor. Fortunately Brown's trail has a number of switchbacks and general traverses that make the climb a but easier. BUT, it still is a rather strenuous climb and I had to stop often to "re-breath". The forest is beautiful and the Roosevelt Lake views were astounding. We also began to see Brown's peak looming in front of us after various turns.

After almost 2 miles we came to the junction of the Amethyst trail and we proceeded on about 1/4 mile to the Brown's Saddle. I forgot to mention how windy is was and when we got to Brown's Saddle there were a number of very heavy gusts which cause us to tie our hats down-probably 30 to 40 mph-maybe even a bit more. We wanted to lunch at the saddle but the wind forced us to return down the trail for a bit more shelter.

The experience at the saddle was perfect. As photos will show I was within .37 of a mile (by GPS) of Brown's peak. Of course that .37 of a mile is darn near straight up and nothing that I would ever want to try. I could clearly see the "scree shute" and I want no part of that. My journey to the Four Peaks is completed by reaching that beautiful saddle. No way I would ever try to ascend that crag! I certainly admire those who do go up there. They are in much better shape than I and also much more experienced.

Back at the junction of Brown's and Amethyst, we went right down the Amethyst. WOW! This is a very, very steep trail with lots of scree. You have to take this slow and watch every step. It goes rapidly down until it meets the Four peaks trail that takes you back to the Lone Pine Trailhead. In addition the Amethyst trail has lots of new growth of bushes that cross the trail in many places. One has to be alert as to the trail directions. Once you reach the Four peaks trail the remaining mileage is walking through a beautiful forest until you reach the end of the loop.

It took us 4.5 hours to cover 4.5 miles that included many stops for photos and stops at the saddles and for lunch. This is a delightful hike and is strenuous enough for a good workout and yet has astounding vistas of the lake, mountains, valley and forests. It also puts you right at the base of the highest peak in Maricopa county. One thing that delayed us a bit on the way back was when Danny and Andy stopped for recess to play teeter totter where I have definitely photo proof!!!
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Life is what is happening while you are making other plans.
May 18 2006
OhOh7
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 Guides 15
 Routes 2
 Photos 1,591
 Triplogs 81

85 male
 Joined Dec 11 2002
 Gold Canyon, AZ
Wupatki Ruins National Monument TrailsFlagstaff, AZ
Flagstaff, AZ
Hiking avatar May 18 2006
OhOh7
Hiking1.60 Miles 775 AEG
Hiking1.60 Miles
775 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
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The area from about 12 miles north of Flagstaff to about 40 miles north on the east side of highway 89 there are more pueblo ruins than anyone can imagine. Most of them are off limits so they will not be harmed. However, there are some in the Wupatki National Monument that one can visit. Very worthwhile. These pueblos are not as extensive as the Chaco Canyon settlements in Northern New Mexico but they are excellent examples (as photos will show) of that civilization. These people were basically farming people due to the rich volcanic soil from the many cones and craters in the area. There are some excellent writeups of over night guided hikes in the Wupatki area where guides take people by reservation to several of the ruins not open to the public

There are 6 pueblo ruins that are open to the public and they are accessible from the Sunset Crater-Wupatki NM road that leaves highway 89 about 12 miles north of Flagstaff. The good condition highway is 35 miles long through volcanic country. The 3 best examples are Wukoki, Wupatki and Lomaki. To visit all 3 is about 2.5 miles of excellent trails.

We did this at the same time as the Sunset Crater tours as the car travel and the short hikes are all easily doable in one day. It really causes one to wonder how many pueblo ruins are spread over this total area. This is a very worthwhile day trip—even from Phoenix although it is easier to stay in Flagstaff.
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Life is what is happening while you are making other plans.
May 18 2006
OhOh7
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 Guides 15
 Routes 2
 Photos 1,591
 Triplogs 81

85 male
 Joined Dec 11 2002
 Gold Canyon, AZ
Grand FallsNortheast, AZ
Northeast, AZ
Hiking avatar May 18 2006
OhOh7
Hiking1.35 Miles 210 AEG
Hiking1.35 Miles   1 Hour      1.35 mph
210 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
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Grand Falls is a hidden geological marvel that is not well known because it is on the Navajo Indian reservation. The directions given by previous writers are correct but maybe I can make it simpler. Find Winona just east of Flagstaff.. West of Winona on highway 510 for 2 miles you come to Leupp rd (hwy 15). Go 24 miles on Leupp road until you are between mile markers 5 and 6 and turn left on a graded road that is labeled 6910. Follow this road for 13 miles and you come to the Little Colorado River. Back track about one tenth of a mile and find a passable road to the west that leads to several ramadas on the cliff above the Grand Falls.

Unless you have been there before or someone in your party has you WILL go to the river edge and have to backtrack. That is OK. In fact since there was no water in the Little Colorado at the time we drove across the river bed on a worn rocky surface used for that by residents. We actually met a pickup that was coming from the other direction and seemed to be very natural.

Do not even try another road into Grand Falls even though there are several on the map. I checked with the Bureau of Indian Afffairs and was told that 6910 is the only route to the Grand Falls that is regularly graded. They were grading it when we were there and it needed it. Fairly smooth but rather washboardy in spots. No problems for a car. This road is far better than the 21 miles to Chaco Canyon in Northern New Mexico.

Even though no water at the time this is a fantastic place. I tried to get some photos that show the patterns. I walked the edge of the cliffs but did not go down to the bottom-rather steep at the start and then quite easy. I will bet this place is astounding with water rushing over this high cliff and coming down the slanted wash just above it. Easy a chocolate Cascade. The mud patterns show the force and the erosion patterns are fascinating.

Another route is to go Hwy 40 east to Leupp Corner and north on 99 to leupp and west on 15 two miles to the 6910 turnoff. The location problem is that there is much flat land and quite a few unlabeled roads going off the main route 15. Several roads would get you to the Falls but if you stay with 6910 all is quite easy.

Really, I just stood and stared at this gash in the land and how the water would cascade its length. I think I will come back when the river is running as the roads in are good and weather would not affect the route much. There are some photos by people who were there during the water falling. I had thought for many years that the way there was jeep only but I was very pleased and surprised that the route is easy. Signs are not plentiful but the maps are good.
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Life is what is happening while you are making other plans.
May 15 2006
OhOh7
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 Guides 15
 Routes 2
 Photos 1,591
 Triplogs 81

85 male
 Joined Dec 11 2002
 Gold Canyon, AZ
Sunset crater, AZ 
Sunset crater, AZ
 
Hiking avatar May 15 2006
OhOh7
Hiking1.50 Miles
Hiking1.50 Miles   2 Hrs      0.75 mph
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Even though I can not hike very far at one time I still can travel to some very interesting places. Sunset Crater just North of Flagstaff is quite an experience as you are suddenly in lava fields with craters all around you. The eruptions of some of these were rather recent from 1064 to 1250.There are a couple of very short trails of ½ mile and one mile. Fortunately no one is allowed to climb the actual Sunset crater but several volcanic mounds in the area show that people have climbed them. The sandy soil is black and the actual lava fields are fascinating. I took my dogs out on one of the lava fields (took a couple photos) and the lava slabs are brittle and sound like fragile porcelain as pieces crack and shift under foot. (Yes I know one is not supposed to go off trail but I only went about 10 feet and was careful where I stepped-no lectures please) Many of the "pieces" are fused together to form many square yards of jagged surfaces. If you go to Sunset Crater be sure to hike the ½ mile up to Lenox crater (excellent steep trail) and also do the one mile loop called the lava flow trail. When you get off the roads and trails it can seem like you are on a different planet. Very interesting experience.
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Life is what is happening while you are making other plans.
Mar 29 2006
OhOh7
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 Guides 15
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 Photos 1,591
 Triplogs 81

85 male
 Joined Dec 11 2002
 Gold Canyon, AZ
Tom's Thumb Trail - MSPPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Mar 29 2006
OhOh7
Hiking3.50 Miles 700 AEG
Hiking3.50 Miles   3 Hrs      1.17 mph
700 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
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Well it was drizzling rain when we left plus being very overcast. However we decided to try Tom's Thumb even though it is a long drive. I am very glad we did because the day turned out to be perfect for a hike with the clouds and few rain drops periodically. Directions to this great hike are extremely hard to list but I will try in that section.

The first impression is that this hike is absolutely fascinating. The rock formations and the boulders all the way to Tom's Thumb are amazing. Completely different from any of the Superstition rock formations. Instead of landslides or upheavels it looks like there were explosions that hurled huge boulders into the air and they fell back in astounding patterns as the photos will show.

To get to Tom's Thumb you follow the creek bed at the end of 126th street south almost to the end of the canyon. Then you abruptly turn left up a steep, rocky trail that winds through boulders and around obstacles gradually getting you up to the ridge where you will follow a better marked trail to the right through the "Valley of rocks" to the base of Tom's Thumb. Although it is only about 1.5 miles to Tom's Thumb the first half of the distance is very challenging. Not only is it steep but the route goes over and through boulders with some very steep scree slopes where you have to have care for your steps. Once you reach the saddle before the right turn to the thumb, the views are astounding. To the south is Fountain Hills with the fountain very clear. To the SW is Scottsdale and to the NW pinnacle peak and to the NE a Scottsdale Valley. Once you do a much easier climb to the thumb it self you look south and Camelback plus Piestewa peak are very clear-even with the overcast.

At every turn we marveled at the big rocks that were scattered all over the area. As we neared the thumb our goal was to also locate Ogre's Cave which is on the opposite side of the thumb. I had GPS coordinates that located it. Nothing there now except a memorial and a book to sign. Not really much of a cave but more like a large alcove.

The trip back down was easier but we had to watch our steps carefully as not to slip-several quite steep places. Once back at the car we wound out way back to Pinnacle peak where we hiked up to the top for the views of all the multi-million dollar homes that are clogging the area. We expressed our disgust and then had a steak at a local cowboy steak house.

Great day. Great hikes and amazing terrain. I would highly recommend doing this one for the rock formations and the views in all directions!
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Life is what is happening while you are making other plans.
Mar 24 2006
OhOh7
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 Guides 15
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 Photos 1,591
 Triplogs 81

85 male
 Joined Dec 11 2002
 Gold Canyon, AZ
Fish Creek Canyon - Upper BridgePhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Mar 24 2006
OhOh7
Hiking3.00 Miles 700 AEG
Hiking3.00 Miles   3 Hrs      1.00 mph
700 ft AEG
 no routes
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
My MD said I could go ahead and hike as long as I did not exhaust myself too much. My chemo sessions really sapped me but I still wanted to get out. However, this time I really bit off more than I could chew!! We tried to go up stream on Upper Fish Creek from the Fish Creek bridge on the Apache Trail. We did not make it very far as it is not much like a creek bed but more like an obstacle course. I felt like I was a contestant on Survivor!! First of all one has to start out from the south end of the bridge and do a major climb up to some alcove-cave areas and then down to the creek bed. Otherwise from the bridge to the creek bed is a "long jump" as my photo will show.

Once you reach the creek bed things look good for about 50 feet. Then the boulders start and the brush starts. Route finding is not really the challenge as you always know the general direction you have to go-up the creek. However the various ways to get each 50 feet or so cause one the select the least challenging that involves the least bush whacking and boulder climbing. As you go father up the creek bed the going gets harder and the boulders get bigger and the brush gets more tangled. .

I realize that young guys in good shape could probably dance up many of the boulders bouncing from one to the next. However for me this short up creek jaunt was more difficult than the top part of Siphon Draw. At least there one can climb over the boulders without 5 to 10 foot drops on the other side.

Don't get me wrong. It was fun and the canyon walls are colorful and very high as my photos can show. But the going for me was very slow-and painful to my knees and shins where I hit many rocks. We did make it around several of the canyon corners and the scenery is spectacular where several places you really have to go through rock tunnels or up one side of the canyon for several feet before coming down. Add to that numerous pools of water that I call water hazzards and one gets the total picture of this tough route. Yes, I know that some hikers will wade through water and it might be a bit easier going up the creek doing that but there are places where big boulders simply block the way and you have to go right and left to determine where and how you can get through.

If you are in good shape and really like bush whacking and boulder climbing this hike would be a good one for you. Too much for me but I am glad I tried it up stream for a way before I turned around. I do not know how far we went nor how long it really took as we had to backtrack many times to find a way through that nature's maze!!
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Life is what is happening while you are making other plans.
Mar 19 2006
OhOh7
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 Guides 15
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85 male
 Joined Dec 11 2002
 Gold Canyon, AZ
Saddle Rock-Blue Ridge, AZ 
Saddle Rock-Blue Ridge, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Mar 19 2006
OhOh7
Hiking3.00 Miles
Hiking3.00 Miles
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Normally I would not write up a hike so short as 3 miles RT but my disgust forces me to express my anger at the idiots who target practice in areas close to civilization NOT designated as target ranges.

I went with Andy to check on his geo-cache in the Goldfield mountains that had been reported destroyed by some gun toting stupid people. We started from the Dome Mountain Trailhead just north of Apache Junction off Idaho Road. There are many trail possibilities from that point. There are a number of jeep roads and trails that go into the Goldfield Mountains. Andy's geo-cache was in the area of what is called Saddle Rock on the topo map. Saddle Rock is at the end of Blue Ridge. The views of the Superstitions and other valley spots are very good from most of the ridge vantage points and from Saddle Rock itself.

On this day neither of us took a camera as we had been there before and really termed this as a geo cache maintenance trip. Wish I had done so for photo proof!!!

When we arrived at the Saddle Rock area we were suddenly shocked and appalled when we saw thousands of gun shells, shot up cactus, yards of broken glass and a number of shell boxes scattered around the area. Any idiot that does that should be soundly horse whipped!!! I realize this is not the Tonto Forest nor the Superstitions but the Goldfield Mountains have their own beauty and lots of fun trails and vantage points for casual hikers. What we saw at Saddle Rock was a "dump". They obviously drank what they had and used to bottles and cans for their targets-along with many saguaros and other desert plants!!! These idiots had also shot up Andy's geo cache.

We found shells from a 38 special, a 22 and even a larger weapon so whoever did this had several guns.

Enough said but those who messed up this wonderful vantage point should be used for future target practice. The enlarged topo map of this area shows all the points mentioned and the trailhead.

Directions:
Dome Mountain trailhead:turn N on Idaho Road; go N; don't turn on AZ 88
turn right and go E on McKellips Rd.
turn left and go N on Wolverine Pass Rd.
turn right and go E on Tonto St. (pavement ends)
turn left and go N on Cactus Rd.
turn right and go E then NE on McDowell Blvd.
park at the trailhead (road blocked)
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Life is what is happening while you are making other plans.
Feb 23 2006
OhOh7
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 Guides 15
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85 male
 Joined Dec 11 2002
 Gold Canyon, AZ
Flatiron Hike - SuperstitionsPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Feb 23 2006
OhOh7
Hiking4.40 Miles 2,780 AEG
Hiking4.40 Miles   4 Hrs      1.10 mph
2,780 ft AEG
 no routes
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Although the Siphon Draw hike is referred to the "Flatiron" I feel it should constitute a hike in its own right since he vast majority of people turn around at the basin. The upper part to the Flatiron is very, very difficult and extremely strenuous.

I have been to the top of the Flatiron and consider it a major life accomplishment. I look at it and my photos every day and marvel at how I made it up there with the kind help of several. I actually have been at the Flatiron--or very close to it--3 times. Today I took my neighbor to the top of the basin or top of the actual siphon draw--whatever you want to call it.

This in itself is really a major hike--for me and many others like me. We started at the trailhead at 2080 feet and over a connecting trail onward to the top of the draw reaches 3420 feet as measured on my topo maps. From there it is another 1441 feet to the Flatiron. We saw close to 100 hikers on this day and at least 80 of them were going to or coming back from the basin area. A few were headed over the ridgeline and others to the Flatiron.

There is no water at all up there and of course the waterfall is dry. Once you reach the waterfall area you then traverse climb up the rock surface until you reach to "top of the draw". This climbing is actually easier than it looks as the suface is very solid with good footholds. Coming down is a bit more hairy as you need to watch you step. of course many youngsters trot up and down that area with ease. (Anyone younger than I am is a youngster to me).

This is a very beautiful and challenging hike on a climbing trail that is quite rocky in spots. If you take it easy and really enjoy the fabulous Superstition range, you will have great fun without having to challenge yourself to boulder climb the last mile to the actual Flatiron.

We did run into a few who had planned to go to the basin area but felt driven on to try it to the top. A few of them turned back after a quarter mile or so. We stopped and had a great lunch by the waterfall area and took out time safely up and back. From car back to car was almost 4.5 hours. I did not incluide photos here as there are already millions of this area!!!
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Life is what is happening while you are making other plans.
Feb 16 2006
OhOh7
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 Guides 15
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85 male
 Joined Dec 11 2002
 Gold Canyon, AZ
Hackberry Spring LoopPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Feb 16 2006
OhOh7
Hiking5.00 Miles 462 AEG
Hiking5.00 Miles   4 Hrs      1.25 mph
462 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
Linked none no linked trail guides
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Did the Hackberry Loop today with guests from Colorado. For a Thursday we were amazed at all the people and horses. 15 hikers on one group, 12 in another plus two parties of 10 each on horseback.

Normally I would not write up this loop as I wrote it up before and many have gone on this 5 mile loop. However, I must mention that the entire route is frightfully dry; a major difference from a year ago. The Garden Valley was bone dry and there was no water at all in any streambed. The grasses look gaunt and the trees look starved for some water. It does not look like a good spring for flowers unless it pours rain soon.
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Life is what is happening while you are making other plans.
Feb 06 2006
OhOh7
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 Guides 15
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 Photos 1,591
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85 male
 Joined Dec 11 2002
 Gold Canyon, AZ
Cave Trail #233Phoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Feb 06 2006
OhOh7
Hiking5.00 Miles 1,400 AEG
Hiking5.00 Miles   5 Hrs      1.00 mph
1,400 ft AEG
 no routes
Linked none no linked trail guides
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Even though we did a loop from Peralta Trailhead to Fremont Saddle, we returned via the cave Trail so this writeup and most of the photos will be of the Cave Trail. Joe is very right when he says that the Cave trail is one of the most known trails that "isn't". Most of the route is really not a "trail". Lots of smooth rock and a number of fairly difficult vertical climbs and descents to negotiate. One major difference from the last time I came back to the trailhead this way is that someone has very graciously and quite thoroughly placed a number of carins that mark the way. I agree that many carins are not really necessary when they are on existing trails. However on a trail such as the Cave Trail the placement of carins is extremely helpful. There are a number of places where care must be taken as the dropoffs are very near and they go a long way down.

Of course we started from Peralta trailhead and went the 2.25 miles to Fremont Saddle. (Every time I do this it seems like it gets steeper—or am I getting older?) Once we reached Fremont Saddle we admired Weaver's needle, as always, and proceeded in an easterly direction until we came to a junction where one trail went north to the lone pine and the other trail went south toward the Geronimo Cave. When I had done this route before it was confusing to me as there is a switchback that could easily be missed that enables you to get around the first ridge. This time I was watching carefully and found that carins clearly marked the switchback spot and on around the ridge to the base of the highest ridge where the cave exists.

From Fremont Saddle to the Geronimo Cave is actually fairly easy as the trail is visible and the switchback place is now marked with a carin. In a day or so I will post some photos and label them that show some of the route. Once you reach the main cave it is necessary to climb up to it. There are several places to do this but if you go completely past the cave you will find a much easier way to climb to it. The views from the cave are spectacular; Peralta trail laid out before you with its various switchbacks and the hoodoos forming a backdrop for some great photos.

Now the fun part-and difficult part-of this hike starts. You round the corner of the ridge and find yourself at a shute called the devils slide. I was able to get down this section without sitting down. It is steep but doable with good grip boots. The you come to the bathtub which is a great design for a backyard jacuzzi-except there is no water. Just the other side of the tub starts two slopes that go down very fast. OK OK so Andy walked down the rock faces. I sat down and inched my way down. It is not really scary but it goes down very fast. From there you dart back and forth around boulders and climb up and around a rock display known as the Cathedral Rock. You pass just under it and note that there is evidence that rock climbers have used this in the past. Once past cathedral Rock you wander down gullies and over ridges until you descend quite steeply to the Bluff Springs Trail that takes you back to the Peralta Trailhead A number of places you see the parking lot.

We stopped often and also had lunch and found that this route took us 5 hours and it is 5 miles. The last part of the cave trail is not easy-even when you know where you are going. You have to watch your steps. The rewarding part is I now have been inside Geronimo Cave and can look up at it from Peralta with a sense of accomplishment.
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Life is what is happening while you are making other plans.
Jan 18 2006
OhOh7
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 Guides 15
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85 male
 Joined Dec 11 2002
 Gold Canyon, AZ
Hoolie Bacon - Peters Trail LoopPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Jan 18 2006
OhOh7
Hiking9.20 Miles 1,200 AEG
Hiking9.20 Miles   6 Hrs   30 Mns   1.42 mph
1,200 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
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It was 31.2 degrees Tuesday morning-in the dark. Andy, Dan and I had decided to venture out the Apache Trail to the Tortilla Trailhead with the objective of doing trip number 41 in the Carlson-Stewart book Hikers Guide. The book description says the hike is 8.2 miles and is classified as difficult. I can now verify they are quite correct! The only correction is that the distance is really 9.26 miles. More about this later. Our first demand was to get to the actual trailhead from Highway 88. This is a 3 mile stretch of possibly he worst road in America; or if not, tied for the worst! Several have said that the first quarter mile is the roughest. It may be the roughest to drive over but most of the rest of the road is very rough as we did bottom out a few times. I had left my camera in my car back at Andy's house and therefore requested that Andy and Dan be my personal photographers.

Several writeups of this hike loop say that the first part of the 3 mile road to the actual trailhead is not possible-even for a 4 WD. Since Andy has a big Ford that has a V10 and about 2 million horsepower, we got out and watched while he spun wheels, tried different approaches, banged the differential a few times and hit several other things underneath.. Each time we looked under the vehicle and did not see anything that had fallen off or any oil so we proceeded. The photos can tell you the road condition. The 3 mile approach is also very narrow and, at times, on the edge of quite a depression in the land (Sometimes called cliffs). Dan and I closed our eyes as Andy made his way over extreme bumps until we saw the old windmill stand and the tank.

We parked the car, loaded up out packs and took off up the JF trail until we reached the junction with Hoolie Bacon, then went south and southwest over several (what the writer calls hills and what I call mountains) hills and made our way down into the Horse Camp basin where we ate lunch and marveled at the rock formations. The trail to that point is fairly well defined although toward the actual basin it is quite steep with some switchbacks. At this point we knew that the Peters trail was northwest and if we went northwest we would run into it for the return to the car.

So, using our GPS units with various waypoints and directions we set out off trail to find the Peters trail. Little did we know that for years nature had been having a catclaw festival in this area and we had to try our luck down creek beds and then climb through catclaw, then back to the creek beds and again into the catclaw. Constantly checking our GPS units we finally found the Peters trail so we could make our way back to the car. Now the distance off trail is shown at 1.4 miles but it took us 2 hours to fight our way to Peters trail and today we all have little blood spot reminders of the attacking catclaw on legs and arms. This is part of the "difficult" classification. As the book says, there is no good way to get from Hoolie Bacon to Peters. We tried both creek beds and ridges. Ultimately you get there but it is the worst off trail route I have experienced.

Finally the Peters trail was located and we headed Northeast to get back to the car. We thought, hey we made it. Our excitement was soon dashed when we found that the Peters trail is extremely narrow, uses creek beds, climbs over 3 major "hills" and descends into the Tortilla trailhead valley down very steep slopes. Loose shale, steep spots, many switchbacks and finally down into Kane Spring, along to Indian Spring and finally crossing Tortilla Creek and boulder hopping the creek bed or finding carins several times we saw the windmill stand and were back at the trailhead.

This hike is very remote and not done by many. The scenery is absolute breathtaking and the terrain is quite diverse and can be quite rough. If you go be sure you have proper maps and GPS coordinates. That off trail route can be quite deceptive.

Now back at the car our job was to get back out to Highway 88. Andy negotiated much of the route and we only hit bottom and few times. However at the two very severe spots Dan and I got out and walked in case the truck would turn over and go down the hill!!! As the photos show Andy did a masterful job and got back to the trailhead at highway 88. What an experience!!! Andy already has his photos on HAZ and I will try to post the ones Dan took. I must admit it was nice to have "photographers" along and I felt like a "director"
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Life is what is happening while you are making other plans.
Jan 09 2006
OhOh7
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 Guides 15
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85 male
 Joined Dec 11 2002
 Gold Canyon, AZ
Sears-Kay RuinPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Jan 09 2006
OhOh7
Hiking0.50 Miles 176 AEG
Hiking0.50 Miles   1 Hour      0.50 mph
176 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
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Having inspected some of the Salado cliff dwelling ruins we decided to look over some of the Hohokam ruins. The Hohokams were the basic settlers of the Phoenix valley and ruins of their villages are dotted all over the area. On the 9th we went to 3 of them between Cave Creek and Horseshoe Dam. This total area was badly burned in the Cave Creek Complex fire of July 2005. The Hohokam built many villages on ridge tops where the various rooms would string out along a ridge connected by a few larger courtyard type rooms.

We first drove to the Sears Kay Ruins clearly marked a couple miles north of the Bartlett Dam junction on Cave Creek road. There is a fairl steep climb for about a half mile to the ruins and they are well worth the short jaunt. Some of the broken walls have been reconstructed by park people to try to preserve the ruins. It is very historic to wander through these rooms. There are about 40 of them atop the ridge. The views in all directions are marvelous. Weaver's needle is clear, Four peaks, Pinnacle peak and Camelback plus Piestewa are clearly visible. So is the fountain at Fountain Hills!

We left Sears Kay and went back to the Bartlett Lake road, east on that to the junction with the Horseshoe Dam road, then almost 2 miles to an unmarked jeep road with 2 poles blocking access. We parked there and headed toward Kentuck mountain directly to the Northwest. After a continuous climb of close to 1.5 miles we climbed a very steep off road shute and found an entire set of ruins stretching to the northeast with remants of many rooms and quite intricately stacked rock walls. Another Hohokam ruin called Kentuck.

Here the fire has devastated the area. No need to follow the jeep road; just go cross country. On the way back to the car we spotted another partial ruin and went to it. I would bet there are hundreds of such ancient villages dotted all over many of the ridges. Back at the car we went on toward horseshoe Dam to St Clair mountain and found another jeep road; very steep looking, that will lead to more hilltop ruins. Due to the time of day we did not climb up to those as we rushed back to El Encanto in Cave creek for several tons of Mexican food. Excellent!

We intend to go back to the St Clair ruins and maybe a few others in the area. The only thing that is disappointing are the new developments of very large homes in the Tonto Hills area of Carefree. On the seven Springs highway there is actually a sign that advertises new homes from "1,400,000". Wow! Never had seen a sign like that before!!! The contrast of the Hohokam ruins of 1000 years ago with the extremely wealthy of today is rather amusing!!!
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Life is what is happening while you are making other plans.
average hiking speed 1.14 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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