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213 triplogs

Apr 16 2019
FLYING_FLIVER
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 Routes 186
 Photos 8,027
 Triplogs 213

male
 Joined Jan 28 2010
 Fountain Hills,
Quartz Peak Trail - Sierra EstrellaPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Apr 16 2019
FLYING_FLIVER
Hiking5.76 Miles 2,521 AEG
Hiking5.76 Miles   6 Hrs   38 Mns   1.83 mph
2,521 ft AEG   3 Hrs   29 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
My first hike up to Quartz Peak.
It's a great hike.

Since HAZ is full of 'Quartz' triplogs, there's not much I can add.

The only thing I did, out of the norm for a 'Quartz Hike' is, I casually looked for some benchmarks that were possibly near the trail. I found nothing. They aren't published anywhere - Just a TOPO map symbol. Possibly not even a disk, but just a carving in a boulder. Next time, I'll devote more time to search for them.

I did locate an Army War Dept disk (1949), with those four 25 foot long panels surrounding the disk.
The disk is in perfect shape, but the four panels are almost invisible now.
One of the panels is literally 3 or 4 feet from the road, adjacent to Sevenmile Mtn, when coming into Rainbow Valley from the south.

Great weather, with a nice breeze - An excellent workout, and a fun trail.
Culture
Culture
Benchmark
_____________________
Not All Those Who Wander Are Lost
J.R.R.TOLKIEN
2 archives
Apr 07 2019
FLYING_FLIVER
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 Routes 186
 Photos 8,027
 Triplogs 213

male
 Joined Jan 28 2010
 Fountain Hills,
Black Butte, AZ 
Black Butte, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Apr 07 2019
FLYING_FLIVER
Hiking4.46 Miles 1,375 AEG
Hiking4.46 Miles   5 Hrs   35 Mns   1.75 mph
1,375 ft AEG   3 Hrs   2 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Butte - An isolated hill with steep sides and a flat top (similar to but narrower than a mesa).

The only thing missing from this 'butte' is the 'flat top'. There is no flat top - Just a curved ridgeline with steep sides.
I want a refund.
================
This specific Black Butte is just south of the Vulture Mountain Range, and northwest of the Hassayampa Plain, and the Belmont Mountains.

The drive
The last 5 miles of the 10 mile dirt road was a 5 mph crawl, with small spurts all the way up to 10 mph. High clearance, 4WD is needed. Plus the shorter the wheel base, the better.
There's actually one drop down to a wash that is so eroded, I was wishing I was in a narrow ATV.
Totally forget this road if it's wet.

The hike
I parked near a very new looking wildlife catchment, which was near the azimuth mark area.

I first spent over an hour searching for the Black Butte Azimuth Mark, to no avail. The disk was placed off the butte in a "ground level rock outcrop", in 1948. The whole azimuth disk area is loaded with "ground level rock outcrops", and after 71 years, most of them are now underground, covered with sand and rock.
I boot-scraped a dozen of them with no luck. I'm sure the disk is there, but hiding underground now.
Check out my track and you'll note my futile, back and forth, on the azimuth line.

I then continued on to the butte, which has a long, black, V shaped ridge. The ridge is very narrow, and is loaded with black, sharp, jagged-edged boulders.
(Boulder hopping on rounded boulders is easy compared to these mean shaped guys).

About half way up to the high point , (and to the Black Butte Benchmark), the outer edge of this narrow, curved ridge is almost straight down. The inner edge of the curve is a steep downslope, dominated by boulders all the way to the desert floor. The butte makes a half circle, with the interior curve looking like a huge stadium, with black boulders for high rise bleacher seats.

After locating the 3 disks on the high point, I backtracked down the same ridge. I bailed the ridge a bit further down, as the terrain to the desert floor was less bouldery.

The drive out was just as slow as the inbound drive.

Using Joe's 1 thru 5, star rating criteria for hikes, I'll give this hike a rating of only two stars, which Joe defines as - "Interesting". :)
_____________________
Not All Those Who Wander Are Lost
J.R.R.TOLKIEN
3 archives
Mar 30 2019
FLYING_FLIVER
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 Routes 186
 Photos 8,027
 Triplogs 213

male
 Joined Jan 28 2010
 Fountain Hills,
Sawyer Peak 4293 - Black Mtns - Tres AlamosNorthwest, AZ
Northwest, AZ
Hiking avatar Mar 30 2019
FLYING_FLIVER
Hiking3.85 Miles 1,641 AEG
Hiking3.85 Miles   6 Hrs   12 Mns   1.78 mph
1,641 ft AEG   4 Hrs   2 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
My research showed most hikers go up and down this peak from the east side. The available east side roads play a factor in this east route. Plus, it's an easier, shorter way to the top.

The survey parties did not use the east side at all. They initially started up from the south, then went up, what they called, a ridge from the west.
There's an excellent road to the south, however it goes through private land, and even after two calls to the BLM, no definitive info was given to me stating it was "OK" to use that road.
(A few years ago, Joe and the Eagle had to modify their track due to this "private land" issue).

Anyway, since surveyors placed the Sawyer Azimuth Mark near that west ridge, (and me, not wanting to use private land), I parked on the east side of the peak. I then hiked clockwise, around the base of the mountain, located the azimuth mark, and then hiked up from the west.
I completed my circle by going down the east side, back to my trailhead.
This circle track gave me a tour of most of the base of the mountain.

Excellent info on the Sawyer Benchmark datasheet helped me locate the azimuth mark disk.
Getting to the azimuth mark from the opposite side of the mountain had me using an old mine road for a bit, then crossing six or seven drainages.
Dodging cholla, and dancing on scree added some fun on the way.

The west ridge, up to the high point (and to the Sawyer benchmark) is actually nonexistent.
There's just some very high bumps, lined up in a row, going up to the peak, that I side-traversed to get up the mountain.
There's also a couple cliff bands to navigate on the way up the west side, plus cholla and more scree to add to my entertainment.

The actual peak is very narrow, and full of huge boulders.
Not too hospitable for navigating the top.

Going down the east side was initially steep, for about half the descent, then it got more gentle. The gentle part included the largest grove of prickly pear known to man.
I didn't bother the pears, and they didn't bother me.

All in all, a very nice hike. It's not that far away, so start early, and give Sawyer Pk its due.
Flora
Flora
Joshua Tree
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Not All Those Who Wander Are Lost
J.R.R.TOLKIEN
Mar 24 2019
FLYING_FLIVER
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 Routes 186
 Photos 8,027
 Triplogs 213

male
 Joined Jan 28 2010
 Fountain Hills,
Hiking with Experts, AZ 
Hiking with Experts, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Mar 24 2019
FLYING_FLIVER
Hiking3.75 Miles 835 AEG
Hiking3.75 Miles   2 Hrs   46 Mns   2.50 mph
835 ft AEG   1 Hour   16 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
My two expert Hike Masters are in town, on their spring break, and they decided to take me on a hike.

Eight years ago, we went on an introductory hike.
Three years ago they took me all the way up Sunrise Peak.

Yesterday, the two Hike Masters were at it again, and we tackled two mountains.
They're in such good shape, they didn't even breathe hard.
AHH - To be young.

Anyway, they had a great time, and so did I, their Grandpa.
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Not All Those Who Wander Are Lost
J.R.R.TOLKIEN
1 archive
Mar 17 2019
FLYING_FLIVER
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 Routes 186
 Photos 8,027
 Triplogs 213

male
 Joined Jan 28 2010
 Fountain Hills,
Belmont Mountains Hi Pt 3137Southwest, AZ
Southwest, AZ
Hiking avatar Mar 17 2019
FLYING_FLIVER
Hiking2.63 Miles 1,150 AEG
Hiking2.63 Miles   5 Hrs   15 Mns   1.66 mph
1,150 ft AEG   3 Hrs   40 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
The Belmont Mountain Range is north of Tonopah, and south of Wickenburg.
The high point of the range is designated as Peak 3137, and that's where surveyors set the Belmont benchmark in 1948.
This whole range (and high point) should not to be confused with a small stand-alone 'Belmont Mountain', which is just west of the range.

The Belmont Azimuth Mark is in the flat desert, just N of the meandering Beer Bottle Wash, and northwest of Belmont BM. The Azimuth Mark was an easy find. From there, I continued driving Vulture Mine Rd, to my chosen trailhead to get up Peak 3137.

My TH was at a defunct mine, which is on a weak road off Vulture Mine Rd. Weak, meaning high clearance and 4WD. In fact, the Vulture Mine Rd in that area also qualifies for at least a high clearance transport. I accessed a southwest ridge from the defunct mine.

My research showed that many hikers, using this southwest ridge, have a 6 to 8 mile hike distance, due to them not being able to get their vehicle to the actual mine. That extra distance is all 'road hiking'. I was lucky - No road hiking.

This chosen ridge has about nine or ten rock filled boulder bumps, large and medium size. You can traverse to the side, around some of them, and others you can't. Some bumps you must go up, over the top, and then down the other side.

Through my expert skill and cunning, (OH, and knowledge from another hiker's info), I was able to eliminate two of the largest bumps altogether, by descending off the ridge to a wash, then up, through a small saddle, then up to the ridgeline again. After that maneuver, I still had one high bump to go, before the final climb up to the high point and benchmark.

To look at this whole ridge system up close was, at first, intimidating. (jagged, non uniform ridge obstacles, and possible exposure).
However, when you take each part separately, it's very manageable. This ridge is mostly stable rocks and boulders, with minimal scree.
I just took my time, and side-stepped rock bumps when I could. Going up, side-stepping to the right, (mostly) will prevent any exposure.

You can't miss the benchmark disk, as it's right at the high point of Peak 3137. You can't miss the reference mark #1 disk either, as it's only 12 feet away.
However, you'll have to do a search for RM #2. It's over 63 feet away from the BM disk, through a load of boulders. Take a nice walk and you'll locate it.

All in all, a very fine hike - Just a bit tedious at times, with all those 'rock pile' bumps to navigate.
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J.R.R.TOLKIEN
1 archive
Mar 09 2019
FLYING_FLIVER
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 Routes 186
 Photos 8,027
 Triplogs 213

male
 Joined Jan 28 2010
 Fountain Hills,
Harcuvar PeakSouthwest, AZ
Southwest, AZ
Hiking avatar Mar 09 2019
FLYING_FLIVER
Hiking3.28 Miles 1,979 AEG
Hiking3.28 Miles   6 Hrs   3 Mns   1.22 mph
1,979 ft AEG   3 Hrs   22 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
The name Harcuvar is a Mohave name implying 'there is little sweet water'.

Well, even after all our recent precipitation, the Harcuvar Mountains are very dry.
The drive route I used was on very primitive roads, and whatever rains fell out there must have been absorbed completely, as I drove through a totally dry desert. All the washes were totally dry also.

The Harcuvar Peak hike was alot of fun, with some nice payoffs. One payoff being a nice ridgeline up top, once you get the climb out of the way. Another rather 'novel' payoff was the location of the benchmark.
The surveyors placed the benchmark on what I would call a Tom's Thumb 'Wanna-Be' Bump.
The huge cairn the surveyors placed on the 'Wanna-Be' bump was another touch of 'visual novelty'.

From the mining road to the ridgeline, the ridge I chose to go up, (and an adjacent ridge I chose to go down), were straight forward.
They both covered about 1,900 feet of AEG in seven tenths of a mile, and varied from not too steep in places, to very steep in others. Vegetation and boulders are all over the place, but all are avoidable while going up & down.

There is scree, but I had no problem with it going up, but coming down was very slow in the various scree patches. Finding sturdy boulders to hold onto helped on the descent, through those scree patches.

If a hiker wants to make a lasso loop, and also negate the steep climb, they can go up the little canyon to its end, gain the main ridge there (at a much lower elevation), and follow it up (and around) to the high point. Dropping straight down one of the ridges I used would make the lasso. It would increase the distance, but avoid the 'up' steepness.

The summit log verified that Harcuvar Peak isn't a destination for many. It's remoteness, and the difficulties of choosing a correct drive track probably deter many hikers.
That's too bad, as the mountain is alot of fun.
Named place
Named place
Harcuvar Mountains Harcuvar Peak
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Not All Those Who Wander Are Lost
J.R.R.TOLKIEN
Mar 03 2019
FLYING_FLIVER
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 Routes 186
 Photos 8,027
 Triplogs 213

male
 Joined Jan 28 2010
 Fountain Hills,
Mottbusch Butte and Bees, AZ 
Mottbusch Butte and Bees, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Mar 03 2019
FLYING_FLIVER
Hiking5.79 Miles 1,062 AEG
Hiking5.79 Miles   5 Hrs   40 Mns   2.03 mph
1,062 ft AEG   2 Hrs   49 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
The hike was done to locate a benchmark disk (and a Cairn BM) on Mottbusch Butte, in a remote area about 10 miles southwest of the Eagletail Mountains.
Mottbusch Butte is a stand-alone rise, surrounded by flat desert.
(The surveyors in 1950 called the Butte "Mottbusch" and named the disks Mottbusch - Topos call it "Nottbusch" - I'm still researching which name is correct)

The climb up and down was very slow, due to an abundance of cholla, scree and amazingly loose, fractured rock/boulders. Small, six foot high cliff bands were numerous, and made of fractured rock also. All the easier to break-off while climbing on them.

I eventually located all the things I wanted to locate and left the butte.

The remainder below is my bee encounter.
If you know all about the combo of Africanized bees and hiking, feel free to skip.
=================
I had an encounter with a huge swarm of bees while just short of the Mottbusch Butte high point.

My disclaimer - I'm far from being a bee expert, but I recommend you read my bee encounter.
It may come in handy someday.


Awhile ago, I researched Africanized bees, and what to do if a swarm is near you, or upon you.
As I read the info, I tried to relate it to all of us hikers, since some of the normal "Tips" of what to do won't always apply to us hikers.

Experts estimate that more than 90 percent of honey bees in Arizona are the Africanized hybrid.

As mentioned, I was on the rocky ridge, approaching the high point, where the benchmark is located, when I heard a swarm of bees behind me. They were about 100 feet behind me, and the swarm was spinning around in their 'tornado' looking fashion, and were very noisy. The bee swarm was also gradually coming up the ridge behind me. When I reached the small top of the ridge, I noticed they were gaining on me, so I kept going. I went off the top on the other side, to a lower portion of the ridge and stopped.

Experts recommend you run as fast as you can, knowing Africanized bees will follow for easily 1/4 of a mile (normal, indigenous bees may follow you only 50 to 100 feet). Africanized bees will follow you tenaciously, and sting the heck out of you. (Their 'sting' is no more potent than regular bees, but they're so aggressive, the whole swarm will attack you).

Since the Mottbusch ridge is very narrow, and full of jagged, sharp boulders, and every way off the ridge was steep & full of cholla, scree, and loose rocks, I had no chance to "run-away".

Another tip is to get inside an enclosure (A house, a car). Not likely while on a hike.

So, I got off the actual high point of the ridgeline, and went further on the ridgeline, and down a bit. The swarm was now on the high point, buzzing and swarming around that high point.
My guess, there were thousands of them. They formed a darkened swirl.

My only defense was to stop moving, and hunker down, and cover my skin.
I had on my normal hiking stuff. I had thick, long pants on, and knee high gaiters. I also had a thick, long-sleeve polo shirt on, under my hiking shirt. I immediately rolled down my hiking shirt, put on my thick gloves, pulled down my huge brim hat, sat down in a crouched position, and crunched my neck down. I also covered my nose and mouth with my gloves, as bees attack where carbon dioxide is expelled.
I literally didn't move.
Note - Bee stings are delivered with a pheromone which labels you as a threat.

The main bee swarm stayed on the peak, but some of the outer periphery bees of the main swarm were circling me, and some of those bees were landing on me. I DID NOT swat at them, and I DID NOT kill them.
Dead bees emit an odor that attracts more bees.

Finally, the swarm left. What made the swarm leave?
I believe the wind. It had been totally windless the entire time the swarm was on the high point.
Then the wind started, and got up to at least 15 to 20 mph. The swarm stayed a 'swarm', but took cover on the leeward, no-wind side of the peek.
Eventually, the noise of the swarm disappeared, and they were gone.

I then quickly took photos of disks etc, and fled the high point in the opposite direction of the swarm's direction.

I checked my GPS track when I got home. I was literally in that crouched, motionless position for 34 minutes. That's how long those swarming bees were there. I believe my actions saved me from an actual attack.

Why do they swarm? - To protect their nest, and Africanized bees tend to swarm more often than other bees. Also, a swarm is a bunch of bees on the move. It happens when they leave their nest to move to a bigger one, or when a new queen is produced, and they split to form a new colony. They will protect their queen at all costs.

A hike suggestion - If you normally hike in shorts and never bring gloves, you might want to consider wearing convertible hiking pants, and keep the leg portion in your pack, ready to put on. If you don't use gloves, at least put a pair in your pack.

FYI - If stung, scrape stingers off the skin with a blunt instrument or plastic card. Do Not remove bee stingers with fingers or tweezers – this only forces toxins into the your body.

Well, that's the end of my bee saga. I don't know what made them swarm, and follow me up the ridge. From what I read, it doesn't take much to provoke them.

I don't blame the bees. One 'could' point to the bee biologists/keepers in South America, (over 60 years ago), that accidentally let quarantined Africanized bees get into the wild.
However, even without that accidental escape, those aggressive bees would probably have hitched a ride here by now anyway.

Hike safe.
Flora
Flora
Saguaro
_____________________
Not All Those Who Wander Are Lost
J.R.R.TOLKIEN
1 archive
Feb 25 2019
FLYING_FLIVER
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 Routes 186
 Photos 8,027
 Triplogs 213

male
 Joined Jan 28 2010
 Fountain Hills,
Burnt Mountain, AZ 
Burnt Mountain, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Feb 25 2019
FLYING_FLIVER
Hiking4.65 Miles 1,655 AEG
Hiking4.65 Miles   6 Hrs   28 Mns   1.64 mph
1,655 ft AEG   3 Hrs   38 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Burnt Mountain is in the far southeast corner of the Big Horn Mountain Range, but just outside the Big Horn Wilderness boundary. The mountain is basically one great big basalt boulder field.

The hike consists of four basic segments.
1-Hike across the flat desert.
2-Hike up 1,000 feet on boulders to a ridgeline.
3-Hike the boulder filled ridgeline to its end, and then
4-Hike up again, about 400 feet, to the high point, via boulders (of course).

It was basically a 'Basalt Boulder Fest'.

Once done with the ridgeline, the last 400 feet up to the actual high point is a mix of the basalt boulders, cholla, and thick, calf-high vegetation. I chose basalt, as I shy away from placing my boot down into the unknown.

The actual top is big, roomy, and easy to move around. I took a tour when I was done with all those benchmark disk things. (Burnt Well Triangulation Station lives up on top).
Pretty views from up top - It's always fun to see known landmarks from a new vantage point.

Solving the riddle of how to get near the mountain must keep the crowds away, as the summit log had less entries than expected. I guess that's a good thing.

Anyway, it was a nice little hike, very straight forward, with very few surprises.
Flora
Flora
Jumping cholla
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J.R.R.TOLKIEN
Feb 01 2019
FLYING_FLIVER
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 Routes 186
 Photos 8,027
 Triplogs 213

male
 Joined Jan 28 2010
 Fountain Hills,
Double Eagle - Eagletail Mountains WildernessSouthwest, AZ
Southwest, AZ
Hiking avatar Feb 01 2019
FLYING_FLIVER
Hiking3.56 Miles 1,194 AEG
Hiking3.56 Miles   5 Hrs   30 Mns   1.61 mph
1,194 ft AEG   3 Hrs   17 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
The peak that Double Eagle benchmark is on, is very well guarded by one main vertical cliff wall.
Higher up, there are more, almost vertical obstacles guarding the peak. No big deal - It just takes a bit of time to figure out the best and safest way to the top.

From the desert floor, some drainages up appear doable, but are not - They cliff-you-out.
I have a suspicion the first surveyors had a couple false starts before finding the route up that worked for them. I believe that, because of where they parked. (Near a drainage 'up', that I don't believe is doable).
Surveyors chose a break in the main cliff wall further north, that does work OK.

My early AM hike up my chosen cliff opening was wet, from dew on all the plants. My boots were soaked, and normal boulder hopping was on wet boot-bottoms. It got a bit slippery at times.
Once above that major cliff wall, and after the sun took the dew away, the travel up was easier.

After I was done on the Double Eagle BM peak, (but still above the main cliffs), I took a horizontal stroll south and said 'No', 'No' and 'No', to quite a few possible escape routes to the flat desert below. If I lived near the Eagletails, I'd go back out there and investigate more.

After my stroll, I backtracked and went down a tiny drainage that connected to the 'cliff split' I used to get up top. Even that tiny drainage gave me pause in a few spots. (Steep, but short drop-offs).

The desert floor is amazingly green, and really shows off its splendor in the sun.
Plus the low, early morning sun made that main vertical wall almost glow. Cool.
Enjoy the photos.
Flora
Flora
Saguaro
_____________________
Not All Those Who Wander Are Lost
J.R.R.TOLKIEN
2 archives
Jan 28 2019
FLYING_FLIVER
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 Routes 186
 Photos 8,027
 Triplogs 213

male
 Joined Jan 28 2010
 Fountain Hills,
Fountain Hills - McDowell Mountains, AZ 
Fountain Hills - McDowell Mountains, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Jan 28 2019
FLYING_FLIVER
Hiking5.23 Miles 1,153 AEG
Hiking5.23 Miles   2 Hrs   49 Mns   2.59 mph
1,153 ft AEG      48 Mns Break
 
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Just a local hike in the McDowells, with a friend that doesn't hike much.
He wanted exercise, and he only had a limited time frame, so off we went.
_____________________
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J.R.R.TOLKIEN
Jan 21 2019
FLYING_FLIVER
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 Routes 186
 Photos 8,027
 Triplogs 213

male
 Joined Jan 28 2010
 Fountain Hills,
Table Mountain - NE of Mammoth, AZ 
Table Mountain - NE of Mammoth, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Jan 21 2019
FLYING_FLIVER
Hiking3.61 Miles 1,759 AEG
Hiking3.61 Miles   7 Hrs   7 Mns   1.69 mph
1,759 ft AEG   4 Hrs   59 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
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This Table Mountain is 10 miles NE of Mammoth, and a few miles SW of Aravaipa Canyon Wilderness.

Even though I parked less than two tenths of a mile from where surveyors placed the Azimuth mark (far off Table mountain), it took me an hour and 20 minutes to hike to, and locate the azimuth disk.

Reasons for the time to locate the azimuth disk:
Very steep, scree filled terrain to the azimuth area, (500 Ft up in .17 mile), agave everywhere, and the fact surveyors set the azimuth disk somewhere in a 700 foot long, 20 foot high, mini cliff band of rocks. Searching for the disk had me going up and down boulder sections forever.
Vague placement info on the datasheet didn't help either.
Suffice it to say, I finally found the azimuth disk, after climbing up and down all parts of that cliff band. Whew ….

From the azimuth location, I worked my way up to a long, narrow ridgeline, that connects to Table Mountain. The mountain itself is guarded by a very high, very tight, cliff band.
Without that long connecting ridgeline, you are not getting up Table Mtn, without alot of climbing gear.

Once on the connected ridgeline, the rest of the hike to the top of Table was just boulder hopping and agave avoidance. The top is actually more like a huge, flat mesa (ergo the name, Table).

I located the Table benchmark disk right away. No problem there.
I also located three reference mark disks. (As most know, normally only two RMs are set).

Now here's the fun part atop the mountain.

Ironically, two of the three RM disks Do Not reference the benchmark disk!!!
RM #1 and RM #2 reference a "dead tree".

Yep - In 1936, the surveyors used a dead tree as the Table benchmark, and set two normal disks for reference marks, with arrows pointing to the dead tree.

Ten years later, another crew of surveyors set the Table benchmark "disk" in place, about 15 feet from the "Dead Tree BM". Those 1946 guys set another RM (#3) for the BM "disk".

There are more anomalies up there, but that's enough bizarre stuff for a triplog.

The trip down was uneventful, but slow, due to all the above mentioned stuff.
I ended the day with 3 'stabs' from agave. My hand is swollen, and all black & blue, and there's still an agave tip in my leg that'll hopefully work its way out.

All in all, this short hike turned out to be a test of fortitude, and actually was worth all the silly adversities. It's beautiful country out there.

Would I do this hike again? Sure - But I'd wear anti-scree boots, and anti agave armor. :)
Flora
Flora
Agave
Named place
Named place
Holy Joe Peak Table Mountain
_____________________
Not All Those Who Wander Are Lost
J.R.R.TOLKIEN
Jan 17 2019
FLYING_FLIVER
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 Routes 186
 Photos 8,027
 Triplogs 213

male
 Joined Jan 28 2010
 Fountain Hills,
Black Mesa-New Water Mountains Wilderness, AZ 
Black Mesa-New Water Mountains Wilderness, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Jan 17 2019
FLYING_FLIVER
Hiking5.76 Miles 1,585 AEG
Hiking5.76 Miles   5 Hrs   38 Mns   2.03 mph
1,585 ft AEG   2 Hrs   48 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
This 'Black Mesa' is in the far NW part of the New Water Mountains Wilderness, just south of Quartzsite. For well over a century, the activity of choice in this area appears to have been mining and prospecting. There are mines (mostly prospects) all over the place.
In fact, I hiked a very tired 'prospect road' to get closer to the mesa. I then used a drainage up to the top.

The drainage was filled with vegetation, huge black boulders, and had many ponds of water from a recent rain. When I got bored with boulder hopping, I plowed through mostly non-sticky plant life. Once on top, It was an easy benchmark find.

This Black Mesa is about 1 mile long, and over 1/2 mile wide.

The mesa is rather featureless.
In fact, from the Black Mesa benchmark, right in the middle of the mesa, the N/E/S/W views are all the same. Without features, (and without a compass), you could easily get lost in broad daylight.

Surveyors set the Black Mesa Azimuth mark right on the vertical edge. There are very nice views from there.

It's a bit of a drive to this wilderness area, but I know of a couple mountains nearby that want me to climb them. They're lonely for visitors.
Named place
Named place
Black Mesa
_____________________
Not All Those Who Wander Are Lost
J.R.R.TOLKIEN
Jan 09 2019
FLYING_FLIVER
avatar

 Routes 186
 Photos 8,027
 Triplogs 213

male
 Joined Jan 28 2010
 Fountain Hills,
Eagle 3186 & 2 Benchmarks-Eagletail Mtns Wilde, AZ 
Eagle 3186 & 2 Benchmarks-Eagletail Mtns Wilde, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Jan 09 2019
FLYING_FLIVER
Hiking3.62 Miles 1,647 AEG
Hiking3.62 Miles   6 Hrs   6 Mns   1.62 mph
1,647 ft AEG   3 Hrs   52 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Partners none no partners
Peak 3186 is the second highest peak in Eagletail Mountains Wilderness.
(Eagle Tail Peak is 116 feet higher, with the last portion a technical climb).

The only two HAZ triplogs/photosets used a route starting from the northwest. This northwest route includes a total of 6 miles of wilderness road hiking (3 in and 3 out, through a wide valley).
At the end of the road, you hike off-trail to Peak 3186.
Along that route, you could maneuver to get great views of 'Triple-Eye' and other arches, plus view a very impressive wildlife catchment.

Since my objective was only Peak 3186, I chose a much shorter route, from the northeast, starting out on the east side of the Eagletail range. It was basically the same route used by surveyors that went up Peak 3186 in 1949 and 1950. The route is shorter and more steep.

Those surveyors set two benchmarks in 1949, one a normal benchmark disk, and the other was a huge cairn. The cairn was set so as to be visible from the valley to the east. (While up there, I rebuilt the demolished cairn).

From the eastern valley, the actual top of Peak 3186 sticks up like a thumb.
Viewing my route up, from the desert floor, reminded me of my Woolsey Peak hike - very vertical. The difference ended there however, as Woolsey has alot of solid, grippy basalt boulders to assist on the hike up. The way up to Peak 3186 was just as steep, but was mostly slipping and sliding on scree.

Plus, once I got done with the steepness and leveled off, I still had to maneuver around the vertical walls of the actual top crag of the peak. I determined (after the hike), that once I leveled off from the steep climb, I was only about 120 feet (horizontally) from the benchmark.
The problem was the vertical walls of the crag were easily twenty five feet high, so I had to maneuver around to the other side of the actual top to make the last vertical "up".
No big deal - It just took a bit longer to get up there.

The actual top of Pk 3186 is quite small, with vertical drop-offs on three sides. To go from the benchmark disk to the cairn benchmark (58 feet away, via a narrow peak extension) is an interesting little jaunt. No true exposure, but I wouldn't try it in the dark.

I have a few more hikes planned out here (west of PHX and south of I-10), with some of them a bit further west. The remoteness and ruggedness are addictive.
_____________________
Not All Those Who Wander Are Lost
J.R.R.TOLKIEN
2 archives
Jan 02 2019
FLYING_FLIVER
avatar

 Routes 186
 Photos 8,027
 Triplogs 213

male
 Joined Jan 28 2010
 Fountain Hills,
Fountain Hills - McDowell Mtns, AZ 
Fountain Hills - McDowell Mtns, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Jan 02 2019
FLYING_FLIVER
Hiking5.44 Miles 1,322 AEG
Hiking5.44 Miles   2 Hrs   50 Mns   2.21 mph
1,322 ft AEG      22 Mns Break
 
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
I took some out-of-town visitors on a nice, air conditioned hike (temps in the 40s).
We started at the new Adero Canyon Trailhead in Fountain Hills, and did a series of 5 trails in the FH McDowell Preserve.

After gaining a bit of elevation, it was nice to see how low the snow fell to the northeast, toward Four Peaks.
As expected, the trails were in great shape, making for easy travel.

The Fountain Hills portion of the McDowell Preserve, has some new trails constructed, plus some cross-cut connectors, to give hikers more choices and variety.

As mentioned, once we got moving, we had excellent temps to keep us 'air-conditioned'.
_____________________
Not All Those Who Wander Are Lost
J.R.R.TOLKIEN
1 archive
Dec 15 2018
FLYING_FLIVER
avatar

 Routes 186
 Photos 8,027
 Triplogs 213

male
 Joined Jan 28 2010
 Fountain Hills,
Hiking in the Fog, WI 
Hiking in the Fog, WI
 
Hiking avatar Dec 15 2018
FLYING_FLIVER
Hiking4.31 Miles 373 AEG
Hiking4.31 Miles   1 Hour   21 Mns   3.27 mph
373 ft AEG      2 Mns Break
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
I’m in the midwest for the holidays, going to band concerts, basketball games etc.
The star performers being my grandchildren.

I go for hikes, whenever I can, to keep my legs in tune for my future HAZ hikes.
My last little jaunt included hiking in the fog, near the lake I live on, and on a 9 hole golf course nearby.
‘Fog-hiking’ is OK, as long as you’re on very familiar terrain.

The lake iced-over recently, and it’s not thick enough to walk on, so I stayed off of it for now.
Some ice fisherman are out there, but they’re staying close to shore.
I guess they don’t want to join the fish.

Since the little golf course is closed to golfers, I can hike in any direction I want.
Note my four mile track - It appears, random, arbitrary, unplanned, haphazard, erratic and all other ‘like’ words in a thesaurus.

At one point, I got bored, and tried to make a crop-circle. I failed, but i know I can do better.
OH - What a goal. :)
_____________________
Not All Those Who Wander Are Lost
J.R.R.TOLKIEN
Nov 29 2018
FLYING_FLIVER
avatar

 Routes 186
 Photos 8,027
 Triplogs 213

male
 Joined Jan 28 2010
 Fountain Hills,
Hovatter Camp & Alamo Benchmark, AZ 
Hovatter Camp & Alamo Benchmark, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Nov 29 2018
FLYING_FLIVER
Hiking9.20 Miles 717 AEG
Hiking9.20 Miles   5 Hrs   5 Mns   2.91 mph
717 ft AEG   1 Hour   55 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
I have done a few hikes west of Phoenix and south of I-10, along Hovatter Road.
I was curious about why the road was named Hovatter, so I did some research and discovered that a mining family had lived about 27 miles south of I-10, basically in the middle of nowhere.
Hovatter Road goes directly to their 'Hovettar Camp'.

They lived on a flat, low mesa in the Little Horn Mountains, in the eastern edge of the Kofa National Wildlife Refuge. They occupied the land from 1951 to 1976, and called it their "camp".
The family owned the Hovatter claims group. The claims group mined gold, silver and manganese, with their main living coming from manganese.
They actually operated a manganese mill on the property.

Ray Hovatter, his wife and three daughters lived on the property with no electricity, no running water, and no flush toilets. They got water from a well about 1/10th a mile away.
Hovatter Camp was partially bordered by a high wooden fence, and the Hovatter family lived in a line cabin (2 trailers connected), another wooden structure and an old bus.

The three daughters were mostly home schooled, and helped with chores. Mrs Hovatter established an expansive garden of native plant life. In the 1950s, she transplanted dozens of 3 to 4 foot high saguaros and young ocotillos, and bordered their curved driveway with them.
The saguaros and ocotillos are now huge, healthy, and quite a sight.
Even Google Earth picks them up nicely.

They also had a rather short, dirt runway (1,200 ft) at the camp, but my research gave no info on whether it was ever used by anyone. There are rocks on the side of the runway that could have spelled out "HOVATTER" at one time - Google Earth gives a hint of that.

Tragedy struck the family in 1968, when a propane tank exploded, killing one of their daughters. She was buried on the property. The explosion also burned Ray Hovatter (the father) and one other daughter. Both survived their burns.

The father died six years later, in 1974 (natural causes) and was also buried at the 'camp'. Kofa National Wildlife Refuge took over the property in 1976, and eventually disposed of all the buildings, the fence, the water tank and bus, plus all Mrs Hovatter's individual gardens.

All that remains now is that elegant row of saguaros and ocotillos, lining the curved driveway/road, plus the grave sites of the father, and the oldest daughter that died from her burns. Their graves are atop a rise on the camp property. When Mrs Hovatter died in 1992 (natural causes), her ashes were placed over the grave sites.

The only remnants of the numerous gardens are the layers of flat plate stone used for the garden borders.
Google the name Hovatter, and you'll get way more information about their camp, etc.

============
Well, after wandering around the Hovatter Camp, I hiked south from the camp, climbed up a mountain, (Peak 2073), located two benchmarks, and two reference marks. Then, on the way back to the camp, I located an azimuth mark out in the desert.
It was a good day.
_____________________
Not All Those Who Wander Are Lost
J.R.R.TOLKIEN
1 archive
Nov 23 2018
FLYING_FLIVER
avatar

 Routes 186
 Photos 8,027
 Triplogs 213

male
 Joined Jan 28 2010
 Fountain Hills,
Black Mountain Azimuth a Ruin and a Mine, AZ 
Black Mountain Azimuth a Ruin and a Mine, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Nov 23 2018
FLYING_FLIVER
Hiking6.10 Miles 838 AEG
Hiking6.10 Miles   5 Hrs   9 Mns   2.27 mph
838 ft AEG   2 Hrs   28 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Last March I hiked up Black Mountain, north of Oracle, to locate Black Mtn benchmark, and its two reference marks. Two disks were missing and RM #2 is either hidden by very dense vegetation, or it's missing also.
Anyway, due to my chosen track up the mountain, I didn't attempt to locate Black Mtn's azimuth mark, as it was far from my hiking track.

This hike was primarily done to locate Black Mtn Azimuth disk. I assumed that it would still exist, as it is far off in the foot hills to the northeast, and I can't imagine anyone leisurely hiking in that area. The area is too dense with cat's claw and other 'fun vegetation'.

In the vicinity of the azimuth location, Google Earth displayed signs of a ruin, and also a long forgotten, very overgrown dead-end road, leading to an old mine or prospect.
So, off I went, on a sort of three event treasure hunt.

I located a one-room ruin first. It was about 25 ft by 20 ft., and had the usual boulder walls. I found no artifacts at the ruin area.

Location information for the azimuth mark, from the 1947 Black Mtn BM datasheet, was a bit sketchy. The datasheet had location clues like, "X yds NE of a NW-SE Fence", "X Paces from another E-W Fence" and " X paces NE of the highest point of a knoll".

Well, the brush etc was dense enough to negate using those clues, so I hiked up my home-made GPS azimuth line, as well as I could, and finally located the disk.
The Black Mtn azimuth disk (set in 1947) looks brand new, as I expected, due to its remote placement. I would be surprised if anyone has even seen the disk since 1947.

After locating the azimuth disk, I dove back into the cat's claw again, and located the remains of that forgotten, and vague, mine road. I followed the road to the remaining artifacts left behind at the mine/prospect site.

I did this hike the day after eating too much turkey with my Marana, Az relatives. When I got back to Marana after the hike, they looked at my 'cat's claw', scratched up arms and just shook their heads. I think their idea of a hike is different than mine. :)
Named place
Named place
Black Mountain
Meteorology
Meteorology
Lenticular Cloud
_____________________
Not All Those Who Wander Are Lost
J.R.R.TOLKIEN
Nov 17 2018
FLYING_FLIVER
avatar

 Routes 186
 Photos 8,027
 Triplogs 213

male
 Joined Jan 28 2010
 Fountain Hills,
Browns Peak Plus A Bolt and Washer, AZ 
Browns Peak Plus A Bolt and Washer, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Nov 17 2018
FLYING_FLIVER
Hiking5.25 Miles 1,950 AEG
Hiking5.25 Miles   5 Hrs   25 Mns   1.98 mph
1,950 ft AEG   2 Hrs   46 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Linked linked
Partners none no partners
I arrived at the trailhead just before sunrise, and was the first one on the trail.
I had the chute and Browns Pk to myself, and saw no one until I got back down through the chute, and back to the saddle.

I hiked up Browns Pk for the same reasons most go up there - the challenge, the views, and just the overall experience. However, I had one more objective, that coaxed me to hike through Browns Pk's chute of scree, and humorously vertical obstacles.

In 1899, surveyors set a survey disk atop Browns Pk. They named the benchmark, Four Peaks.
They also constructed an eight foot cairn over the disk. Well, the disk is gone, (which I already knew), and if you've been up there, you know the eight foot cairn is gone also.
However, there should be some telltale evidence of exactly where the benchmark disk was located. I easily found the location.

All that's left at the Benchmark location is a bolt, and a washer, secured in a drill hole. The bolt, and washer, are in plain sight, but if you're not looking for them, you could easily not know they're up there. If you have noticed them, good for you.

So, locating what's left of the 1899 surveyor's efforts was my extra reason for going up to the top of Maricopa County.

The hike was alot of fun, and a good challenge.
=======================
Now - For a Feel Good story.


After I got back down to the saddle, I visited with four hikers for a moment, then I proceeded to the trailhead.
Those four hikers did me a great favor, and are now my 'new best friends'.
(I now call them the …. 'Saddle Four' hikers).

The 'Saddle Four' hikers were taking in the views at the saddle before going up to the peak, as I was on my way back to the TH.

About ten minutes after I left the 'Saddle Four', I noticed I had left my cell phone, either on the peak, or just off the peak. :pout:
Some hikers were coming up from the trailhead, and I told them my cell phone saga, and also gave them my name and home phone #. I told them if they were going to the peak, please look for my cell phone, OR if they see any hikers that are going to the peak, give those hikers my home phone #.

Well, all that worked perfectly. :y:

Somewhere up the trail, the hikers I gave my home # to, talked with the 'Saddle Four' hikers, and gave them my home phone #. Those 'Saddle Four' hikers proceeded up to the peak, located my cell phone, and called me at home, from the peak.
(They used their cell phone, as mine was locked).

On the phone, one of the 'Saddle Four' said, "Hey, did you lose a cell phone on Browns Pk"?
I could hardly believe it. It was definitely my lucky day.

Anyway, when they got done with their hike, they were kind enough to rendezvous with me near my home, and return my adventurous cell phone.
I thanked them for all their efforts and thoughtfulness.

Although my cell phone was locked, the 'Saddle Four' still succeeded in taking a 'selfie' of themselves on my cell phone. I included their selfie in my photoset.

If any of those 'Saddle Four' hikers read this HAZ triplog,
…….. I say again - "Thank-You" - "Thank-You" - for all your efforts.
Culture
Culture
Summit Register Log
Named place
Named place
Browns Peak Four Peaks
_____________________
Not All Those Who Wander Are Lost
J.R.R.TOLKIEN
2 archives
Nov 12 2018
FLYING_FLIVER
avatar

 Routes 186
 Photos 8,027
 Triplogs 213

male
 Joined Jan 28 2010
 Fountain Hills,
Grayback Peak 3570Globe, AZ
Globe, AZ
Hiking avatar Nov 12 2018
FLYING_FLIVER
Hiking3.30 Miles 1,178 AEG
Hiking3.30 Miles   5 Hrs   2 Mns   1.75 mph
1,178 ft AEG   3 Hrs   9 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Grayback Peak 3570 is east of Florence and sits all by itself, amongst rolling hills and washes.
Great views up there.

I planned the hike 'up', in a way to avoid all the huge boulders that surround most of the top part of the peak. That track worked perfectly.
For the descent, I took a different 'through-the-boulders' track, just for a change.

The descent was very slow going, due to the steepness, and the pea-size scree that wanted to have me snow board down the slope.
Trust my 'up' track and use it for your up and down. - Forget my down choice.

The USGS set a benchmark atop the peak, way back in 1900. As per usual for older benchmark disks, this one has no specific info stamped into it by the surveyors. Those original surveyors did build an eight foot cairn over the disk that is now long gone.

As mentioned, there are great views up there, especially to the north and west.
You'll be eye to eye with N and S Buttes, and alot of the White Canyon wilderness.

A fun little hike with a 'view payoff'.
Flora
Flora
Saguaro
_____________________
Not All Those Who Wander Are Lost
J.R.R.TOLKIEN
Nov 05 2018
FLYING_FLIVER
avatar

 Routes 186
 Photos 8,027
 Triplogs 213

male
 Joined Jan 28 2010
 Fountain Hills,
Woolsey Pk/Gila Pk BM/GCRCZO, AZ 
Woolsey Pk/Gila Pk BM/GCRCZO, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Nov 05 2018
FLYING_FLIVER
Hiking3.42 Miles 1,940 AEG
Hiking3.42 Miles   6 Hrs   34 Mns   1.15 mph
1,940 ft AEG   3 Hrs   36 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Linked linked
Partners none no partners
Woolsey Peak - Named after an 1800s, Arizona pioneer.
Gila Peak Benchmark (1949) - Named after a previous BM (1910) of the same name.
GCRCZO - Is a Geocache placed on the peak.
The Wilderness - Does not include the road north of Woolsey.

This was an excellent, and very fun hike.

I did alot of research on everything "Woolsey", including reading the HAZ description from 2002, reading every triplog (12), and viewing every photo published on Haz. I even read a bit on other sites to round off my knowledge.

Conclusion:
(1) - Some hikers are having issues on how to drive 'close' to the peak, and
(2) - The routes (and distances) up and down the peak are all over the place.

Alot of the stuff I read gave me pause.

HA - Here's an example - I read the 2002 HAZ Woolsey Peak description - and I quote:
"Do not attempt this peak from the north face. It was five hours of sheer hell."

Well after I read that, I DID go up the north face, just like Chumley, Johnlp, and Trekkin_Gecko did on 8 May 2016. I trust those seasoned hikers.
Their info was the best, and I had no issues going up or down. I'm no trail blazer (well, sometimes I have to be). I followed the official HAZ route (Chumley's) and had no issues.
I also investigated the north wilderness boundary. Chumley had located some markers that gave a good clue that the final road to the peak, is not actually in the wilderness.
(We can't use motorized vehicles in a wilderness).
I have included a map (in my photo set) that verifies the road is OK to use.

I drove south, all the way to the end of that road, and started the hike. From there, you quickly start going "up" the north face.

Basalt boulders, vegetation, scree, and steepness - Were all doable. I certainly huffed and puffed alot, but made it up easily.
The top is full of 'stunted' cholla. The soil must be really poor. Although the cholla is mostly avoidable, someone made walking paths all over the the top.

Gila Peak BM and its two reference marks were easily located, as was the summit log.

There's a geocache up there also. I don't 'geocache' for a living, but if there's one, way up on a peak, I'll respect the geocacher that went to the trouble of placing it, and try to locate it. The geocache ammo can was far from the area hikers stroll on this peak, but still was an easy find.

After photos and lunch, I went back down the same way I hiked up. The initial part of the 'down' hike is extremely steep, and I tested each boulder before using it. I wanted to make good time, but I didn't want to 'pirouette' down that north face.

I highly recommend Woolsey, as a great off-trail romp.
_____________________
Not All Those Who Wander Are Lost
J.R.R.TOLKIEN
average hiking speed 1.91 mph
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