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231 triplogs

Apr 07 2020
FLYING_FLIVER
avatar

 Routes 203
 Photos 8,618
 Triplogs 231

male
 Joined Jan 28 2010
 Fountain Hills,
Turret PeakCamp Verde, AZ
Camp Verde, AZ
Hiking avatar Apr 07 2020
FLYING_FLIVER
Hiking3.75 Miles 1,275 AEG
Hiking3.75 Miles   5 Hrs   28 Mns   1.96 mph
1,275 ft AEG   3 Hrs   33 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
This hike was rather short, due to me being able to negate all 'road hiking'.
I took FR-1981 all the way to the last point where Bishop Creek and FR 1981 cross each other.
It's as close to Turret Peak as a car can get.

The last 100 yards of FR 1981 (just prior to Bishop Creek), is a 'joke' of a road. It's more like driving down a very narrow, and rounded, 'half-tube'.
It made me think of the Olympic game's 'Luge' event.

I used Bishop Creek, then a drainage, to get part way up to Turret Pk.
I then plowed through vegetation for the last portion of the hike. It gets quite steep, the closer you get to the 'turret' portion of Turret Pk.

I peered at the vertical walls of the turret, and finally found a safe, and easy route up to the top of the bouldery turret ridge. A short trek on the turret top led me to the high point.
The high point is rather level, with alot of room to move around. As soon as I got to the high point, I could see all three USGS disks, that were set atop boulders back in 1966.

There are great views in every direction. I spent alot of time enjoying those views.
The hike down was easy and uneventful.

======================

Sadly, this will be my last hike in HAZ country, until this coming fall. This COVID-19 stuff is forcing me back to the midwest early, to take care of some family things. Nothing drastic, just getting back there to be available, if needed.

Now ….. I have some "Shout-Outs" to make, to HAZ hikers.

Shout-Out #1
Thanks for all your 'Likes' and nice 'Comments' on my triplogs and photosets. I read them all, and appreciate them all. Obviously, I end up hiking to benchmarks, but that's only my 'own ploy', to get out, and enjoy Arizona.
It appears we all have different, and varied backgrounds, but the love of hiking, sets us all in the same, adventurous direction. Good for us.

2 - Shout-Out #2
wallyfrack - I won't be able to get up to "Peak 5501" until this fall, but I promise it will be one of my first hikes, when I get back.
With the stock market in the 'dumps', I now have a double incentive to get up to Peak 5501. :)
[ photo ]

Shout-Out #3
To our HAZ CEO and President, Joe Bartels - You don't get enough verbal credit. Your HAZ hiking site is, by far, the absolute best hiking site on the planet. No other site even comes close.
The work you have put into this website is just amazing. The depth and breadth of HAZ is almost never-ending, and it's all because of you, and your efforts. Yes, we all contribute our hike stuff to HAZ, but you make all this work.

I'm sure I'm not alone, when I say, every time I put up my hike info, I smile from ear to ear, knowing that I'm affiliated with HAZ. Keep up the great work, and know that you are much appreciated.
===========
Now - To all HAZ members - Hike Safe - and - Stay Healthy.
Flora
Flora
Claret Cup Cactus
_____________________
Not All Those Who Wander Are Lost
J.R.R.TOLKIEN
1 archive
Apr 01 2020
FLYING_FLIVER
avatar

 Routes 203
 Photos 8,618
 Triplogs 231

male
 Joined Jan 28 2010
 Fountain Hills,
Rugged Mesa 5660 - Tonto NFCamp Verde, AZ
Camp Verde, AZ
Hiking avatar Apr 01 2020
FLYING_FLIVER
Hiking7.67 Miles 1,677 AEG
Hiking7.67 Miles   7 Hrs   10 Mns   2.12 mph
1,677 ft AEG   3 Hrs   33 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Only 3 Haz members have logged hikes to Rugged Mesa, and all three just used the mesa as part of their track, to get to there real destination - Turret Peak.

I chose to hike up Rugged Mesa as a destination, because I knew my reason for going up there may take all day. (Turret Pk can wait, as a stand-alone hike).

There's a symbol on some TOPO maps, of a triangle on Rugged Mesa.
It could be either a triangulation station (for we hikers, a benchmark), or possibly a 'GLO' Mark (General Land Office survey disk). The symbol appears to be almost, but not quite, at a point where four sections of land intersect, so it could be a GLO mark, yet most TOPOs indicate a 'benchmark' with that triangle symbol.

GLO marks are usually disks set on a pipe, extending up about a foot or two.
As most know, benchmarks are usually round disks, set in a cement block, or in a bedrock boulder.
Also the USGS has set many 'benchmarks' without a disk. They just etched/carved a number in a boulder, and that etching/carving is the benchmark location. (See my Joe's Hill hike).
[ photo ]

The fourth thing the symbol could be is ….. nothing at all.

The Hike:
The mesa is about 2 miles long, and about 3/4s of a mile at its widest.
I drove to the base of Rugged Mesa, and hiked up.
Most of the mesa is ringed (at the top edge) with protective boulder walls, or just great big boulders. After finding a soft spot through the boulders, I was greeted with rather easy hiking atop the mesa. Tall grasses, 5 Ft high shrubs, including Cat Claw, and boulders of all sizes are up there.
Also, some hardwoods are present, showing signs of a long ago fire.

I hiked to the 'triangle symbol' area, and started searching.
A zillion boulder outcrops are in this area, plus alot of shrubs and trees. I stood on boulders for height, and scanned areas, looking for disks, any lumber, etchings in boulders, and short pipes coming out of the ground.

Finally, while scanning my 4th or 5th section, I saw what appeared to be a pipe, about 100 feet away.
It 'was' a pipe, and it had a disk atop the pipe.
It was a GLO mark, designating where 4 sections of land meet.
YIPPEE for me.

Still curious about that triangle symbol on TOPOs, I did search that specific area for a disk, and for etchings/carvings in boulders. I saw nothing else 'man-made', so I took photos of the 'disk-on-a-pipe', and then just wandered around Rugged Mesa.

I descended the mesa at a different location, for variety.
It was a much longer, arduous track down, and not recommended. Very thick vegetation, on very steep terrain.

As my curiosity was satisfied, I call the hike a success, and alot of fun.
Flora
Flora
Indian Paintbrush
Culture
Culture
Cadastral Survey Marker
_____________________
Not All Those Who Wander Are Lost
J.R.R.TOLKIEN
Mar 27 2020
FLYING_FLIVER
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 Routes 203
 Photos 8,618
 Triplogs 231

male
 Joined Jan 28 2010
 Fountain Hills,
Granite Peak (Yavapai County), AZ 
Granite Peak (Yavapai County), AZ
 
Hiking avatar Mar 27 2020
FLYING_FLIVER
Hiking4.14 Miles 1,332 AEG
Hiking4.14 Miles   4 Hrs   45 Mns   2.20 mph
1,332 ft AEG   2 Hrs   52 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
This Granite Mountain is about 12 miles northeast of Perry Mesa, and only 3 miles northwest of Turret Pk and Rugged Mesa.

I used three dirt roads to get close to the base of Granite Mtn, and the last road was the challenging one. - Not much left of it.

It was a fairly straightforward hike up, and a bit of brush coming down. Catclaw was the nemesis vegetation for the day.

Starting out, the temp was 36 degrees, and when I finished, it was 50 degrees. - With a breeze.
Great temps for going up a mountain.

Surveyors took a helicopter ride, in 1966, to do their work up there.
A fire must have swept through the area, sometime after that, as most of the hardwoods on the mountain were dead and charred.
All other plant life were getting ready for their spring glory.

A fun little hike, with excellent views.
Flora
Flora
Catclaw Acacia
_____________________
Not All Those Who Wander Are Lost
J.R.R.TOLKIEN
1 archive
Mar 22 2020
FLYING_FLIVER
avatar

 Routes 203
 Photos 8,618
 Triplogs 231

male
 Joined Jan 28 2010
 Fountain Hills,
Buckhorn Mountains Hi Pt 4565Prescott, AZ
Prescott, AZ
Hiking avatar Mar 22 2020
FLYING_FLIVER
Hiking6.90 Miles 2,192 AEG
Hiking6.90 Miles   7 Hrs   49 Mns   1.77 mph
2,192 ft AEG   3 Hrs   55 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
At 4,565 feet, Buckhorn Mountain is the highest point in this mountain range. I have read that it is also known as 'Crater Benchmark'.
(There are quite a few 'Buckhorn Mtns' in Az. This one is between Winkelman, and Pleasant Lake Reservoir, in Yavapai County).

The area was once very prolific in mining, and prospecting. Plus, I believe some ranching still goes on, due to the "Watch where you step" methodology I had to employ.

I did a clockwise loop, with the, 'up to the mountain', being mostly a curved track, going up and down many mountains and ridges.
Once off Buckhorn Mtn, it was more of a straightforward descent, with the added attraction of using the 'A D Wash' for awhile.

The only negative on the way up was traversing around the side of one of the many mountains.
The area had very thick vegetation, with barely visible, loose rocks/boulders.
We humans like to walk upright, but traversing a mountainside with a pitch of 30 to 40 degrees, is a good way to strain the heck out of your 'human' feet, and ankles. Good thing that area was short lived.
Of course, the USGS surveyors wouldn't want to hear any of my whining, as they used a helicopter, to get up there in 1963.

Wonderful views up there - That alone made the hike worthwhile.
Flora
Flora
Claret Cup Cactus
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Not All Those Who Wander Are Lost
J.R.R.TOLKIEN
Mar 15 2020
FLYING_FLIVER
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 Routes 203
 Photos 8,618
 Triplogs 231

male
 Joined Jan 28 2010
 Fountain Hills,
Lost Mine-National-Goat-Pyramid Loop, AZ 
Lost Mine-National-Goat-Pyramid Loop, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Mar 15 2020
FLYING_FLIVER
Hiking7.42 Miles 1,619 AEG
Hiking7.42 Miles   3 Hrs   56 Mns   3.01 mph
1,619 ft AEG   1 Hour   28 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Most of my hikes are up obscure mountains that are only approachable via dirt roads, and most of those roads (in dry weather), are in fair to terrible shape.
Now, you add the rain we just had, and with more to come, I'm giving those roads a hiatus.
Ergo, this hike.

I have done this 'combo trail' hike before, and it's great. A good, quick AEG up Lost Mine, followed by cruising as fast as you desire on National, and Pyramid. I threw in tiny Goat Hill also.
Plus, this 'trail hike' felt like a vacation, as it lets me avoid all vegetation, that usually attempts to reach out and say "Hello".

I started out from Ahwatukee, or as 'johnlp' calls it, "The Dark Side". - :)

I got to the TH before sunrise, and was the first car in the lot. When I was done, cars were parked up and down Chandler Blvd for two blocks. (Oh yeah - It was Sunday).

The first couple miles felt like 'midwest humidity', probably due to the soil trying to equalize, and dry out, after the heavy rains.

After that, a breeze started up, and all was excellent.
A fun hike.
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Not All Those Who Wander Are Lost
J.R.R.TOLKIEN
Mar 04 2020
FLYING_FLIVER
avatar

 Routes 203
 Photos 8,618
 Triplogs 231

male
 Joined Jan 28 2010
 Fountain Hills,
Joes Hill, AZ 
Joes Hill, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Mar 04 2020
FLYING_FLIVER
Hiking8.52 Miles 700 AEG
Hiking8.52 Miles   5 Hrs   41 Mns   2.26 mph
700 ft AEG   1 Hour   55 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Joes Hill was plan B.
A road to Plan A had a 'pond' in the middle of it, and the bypass around the pond was 18 inches of wet mud, with signs of one or more vehicles being pulled out of the mud. No thanks.

Actually, I did Joes Hill, and then another little hike on the way out of Perry Mesa, near Bishop Creek.
After those treks, I did an even shorter hike on the other side of I-17, to locate Joe Benchmark's azimuth disk.
If you can follow my photos - Congratulations.

Joes Hill:
Formed a zillion years ago, and is considered an example of a 'shield volcano'. (Look it up).
Basically, that's how the various mesas formed also.
Joes Hill is actually located on Hansenaz's Mesa - Some call it Perry Mesa.
But since Hansenaz has spent as much time up there as William Perry did, he should have equal billing. - :)

Joes Hill has a benchmark at its top, named "JOE". It was set by the NGS, in 1958. The year it was set intrigued me, as 1958 seemed much later than I expected.

Well, I discovered another 'benchmark' up there, (and its two reference marks), that I'm sure pre-dates Joe BM. It's a USGS BM, which means I'll have to email to get data on it. (No info online).

I started out from Perry Windmill, went to the 'Hill', located stuff, then wandered back to the windmill.
My arbitrary wander back, had me almost walk right into 'another disk' - This one was sitting on a pipe. I swear, these things are starting to locate Me.

Although my intent was just to locate disks, Perry Mesa is so rich in "Art and Kitchen Utensils", It's hard not to wander into them.

I'm glad I was forced to do my Plan B (and C), as the day turned out to be alot of fun.
Plan A can wait for dryer conditions.
Fauna
Fauna
Cow
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Not All Those Who Wander Are Lost
J.R.R.TOLKIEN
Feb 20 2020
FLYING_FLIVER
avatar

 Routes 203
 Photos 8,618
 Triplogs 231

male
 Joined Jan 28 2010
 Fountain Hills,
East of Eagletails, AZ 
East of Eagletails, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Feb 20 2020
FLYING_FLIVER
Hiking15.97 Miles 850 AEG
Hiking15.97 Miles   6 Hrs   47 Mns   2.80 mph
850 ft AEG   1 Hour   5 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
I did four hikes east of the Eagletail Mountains.
I drove the Pipeline Rd, and stopped three times to do the four hikes.

The 16 mile distance above includes 7 miles in the car, and 9 miles hiking.
I adjusted the MPH.
(I turned on the GPS and kept it on throughout).

Hike #1 - Eagle Azimuth Mark - 1 Mile
In Jan 2019, I hiked up into the Eagletails, and located Eagle Benchmark, its two reference marks, plus a huge cairn that also is an actual benchmark. Surveyors placed the cairn on the east edge of the mountain, to make it visible from the easterly flat desert.
The cairn was totally dismantled when I got up there last year, so I rebuilt it.
[ photo ]
Sure enough, from the Eagle Azimuth Mark, I could see the cairn peeking at me.

On the hike last year, I ran out of time to locate the Eagle Azimuth Mark, so I took this short little trek, and located it.
In fact, Eagle Azimuth Mark was the impetus for driving to the area in the first place.
I chose other, rather quick hikes, to make the drive worthwhile.

Hike #2 - Centennial Benchmark on Centennial 1559 - 4 Miles
The car stayed parked, and I headed north northwest, across the open desert to one of the tiniest mountains I've ever hiked. From afar, it looks like any other 'mountain range', except it must have taken shrinking pills.
I located Centennial BM, and its reference marks, then hiked back to the car.

Hike #3 - Maricopa/Yuma Boundary Monument #33 - 3 Miles
I drove down Pipeline Rd a bit, and hiked NE to locate the marker, which was set atop a pipe. The big disk reads "Yuma County" 1918 "Maricopa County"
This was true in 1918. (Now It should read La Paz and Maricopa).
Some monuments along their shared border are frustums, but not this one.

Hike #4 - Court Benchmark on Court 1773 - 1 Mile
It's nice to be able to park, literally at the base of a mountain. This craggy, scree laden mountain is just east of Courthouse Rock, and I presume surveyors named the BM after the bigger mountain.
Court Benchmark, and its 2 RMs were easily located.
============
I located everything I set out to locate - Eight disks.
The Eagle Azimuth mark, and the County boundary monument locations were sketchy at best, but I lucked out and found them.

The views to the southwest, (Eagletails), were great. The views other directions were just OK.

Except for jumping in and out of the car alot, this "Hike/Drive Fest" was a fun little excursion.
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Not All Those Who Wander Are Lost
J.R.R.TOLKIEN
Feb 13 2020
FLYING_FLIVER
avatar

 Routes 203
 Photos 8,618
 Triplogs 231

male
 Joined Jan 28 2010
 Fountain Hills,
CAP - Sauceda Mountains, AZ 
CAP - Sauceda Mountains, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Feb 13 2020
FLYING_FLIVER
Hiking5.14 Miles 973 AEG
Hiking5.14 Miles   5 Hrs   31 Mns   2.17 mph
973 ft AEG   3 Hrs   9 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Another hike in the Sauceda Mtns, south of Gila Bend and east of Rte 85.
You'll need a permit from the BMGR, to be in this area.

Peak 2085 is five miles west of Hat Mountain, and located off the same set of roads. Peak 2085 is a rather nondescript mountain, attached to a range of nondescript mountains.
CAP benchmark is on Peak 2085's high point.

Peak 2085 is on the 'deterioration-fast-track'. It's craggy, full of loose rocks and boulders, and has numerous cliff bands all over the place. Some of the cliff bands are also falling apart.
All this probably makes the peak a low contender on anyone's hike list.

My track up included two, 25 to 30 foot high cliff bands. I avoided one of them by trekking beside it until I found an opening.
The other cliff band had no such openings, so I had to climb up (and down), using the softest spot I could locate.
Prior to going down that spot, I took my backpack off, and lowered it down first, using parachute chord. All went well.

From the top of the peak, I had good views of the surrounding area.
To the east, I could see Hat Mountain's 'Hat' and 'Brim' - Too bad it was still in the shade.
To the west of Rte 85, Air Force fighters were busy firing missiles at targets, leaving plumes of white smoke over those targets.

I ran across numerous stashes of discarded, old clothes and other trash, (backpacks, clothing, batteries). They mostly were in little alcoves on the initial ridge I used, prior to getting to the cliff bands.
I also found a well made 'boulder wind-break' atop the mountain (with old clothing and trash). It was just ten feet from the buried benchmark disk. I assume that was a look-out post for bad guys.

The hike down was uneventful, even with that unavoidable cliff band I had to climb down.
The usual cholla and scree weren't too bad either, on my descent.
All in all - A good, solid hike.
_____________________
Not All Those Who Wander Are Lost
J.R.R.TOLKIEN
Feb 04 2020
FLYING_FLIVER
avatar

 Routes 203
 Photos 8,618
 Triplogs 231

male
 Joined Jan 28 2010
 Fountain Hills,
Frustum 24 - New River Mountains, AZ 
Frustum 24 - New River Mountains, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Feb 04 2020
FLYING_FLIVER
Hiking7.20 Miles 4,300 AEG
Hiking7.20 Miles   10 Hrs   20 Mns   1.18 mph
4,300 ft AEG   4 Hrs   14 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
I used FR 41 to get as close as I could to Maricopa/Yavapai County marker #24.
Other than immediately crossing the flowing New River 'river', the entire hike was up mountains, then down mountains, then up again.

As I found out on my last hike into the New River Mtns, this whole area looks, and feels big and expansive. Most of the highest mountains, 'peak-out', between 5,400 and 5,900 feet, and all appear to have a common symmetry.

The last time I went 'Frustum Hunting' was in 2017 - [ photo ] -
A refresher on what I'm trying to locate:
To settle an early 1920s dispute between Yavapai and Maricopa Counties, as to where their common border was located, the NGS (National Geodetic Survey) came in and set dozens of benchmarks near the border area, and then set 31 county boundary monuments right on the actual border- The NGS did all this in 1924.

The 31, three sided concrete boundary monuments, are in the shape of a frustum, with a pipe protruding from the top. (Frustum - Think of a pyramid with its top cut off)

My first destination was Bilby Benchmark (1924), which is sitting on top of a mountain, south of the county border, obviously in Maricopa county. Then I had to go further north, way down through a valley, then up another mountain for Summit Benchmark (1924). Summit BM lives in Yavapai county, and is very near the county border. Frustum #24 is only about 65 Ft south of Summit BM. All three are in great shape.

Well, Frustum #24 does have a bit of a 'wobble' to it, but possibly, so will all of us when we are 96 years old.

Once done locating these things stuck in the ground, I headed back to the TH. As usual, the hike back was a 'footslog'.

Of the 31 frustums set, I have located all the ones that are available to be located, except for one.
The frustums not available are either gone via infrastructure modifications (roads etc), on private land, under water (Pleasant Lake Reservoir) or pulled out and taken by vandals.

This was a challenging hike, with alot of 'YO-YO' ups and downs.

To locate that last viable frustum, I'd have to ford the Verde River to get a bit closer to it. It would be an 18 mile hike, without fording, and no frustum is worth 'slogging' that far. :)
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J.R.R.TOLKIEN
1 archive
Jan 26 2020
FLYING_FLIVER
avatar

 Routes 203
 Photos 8,618
 Triplogs 231

male
 Joined Jan 28 2010
 Fountain Hills,
Hat Mountain, AZ 
Hat Mountain, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Jan 26 2020
FLYING_FLIVER
Hiking3.00 Miles 1,400 AEG
Hiking3.00 Miles   7 Hrs   5 Mns   1.64 mph
1,400 ft AEG   5 Hrs   15 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Hat Mountain is in the Sauceda Mtns, south of Gila Bend and east of Rte 85.
You'll need a permit from the BMGR.

This is the first time I have ever hiked up a mountain, knowing in advance, I would not get all the way to the top. The last 150 to 200 feet of Hat Mountain is literally a vertical wall, all around its perimeter.

Hat Mtn reminded me of my hike up Tam O' Shanter, except on that smaller mountain, the highest vertical wall was only 25 to 35 feet up, and I found a safe notch to shimmy to the top. [ photo ]
There's no such thing for Hat Mtn. Research tells me, climbing gear is used to get on top.
I won't say Hat Mountain's vertical wall can't be 'free climbed', but the person that lives in my skin wouldn't even think of it.

There's a benchmark on the flat top of Hat Mtn called Dome, set there in 1920. Without a helicopter, Dome BM and I will never meet.

However, surveyors did set a different benchmark, directly below the vertical wall, and appropriately named it "Hat Brim". Those 1936 surveyors likely had a chuckle naming it.
I hiked up the mountain to say hello to Hat Brim benchmark, and its two reference marks. Plus, I hiked up another lower, Hat Mtn peak, to locate its azimuth mark.

The hike:
I took all day long on this hike, even though its only about three miles, TH back to TH, and only about 1,400 AEG. I stayed on the mountain a long, long time, searching for stuff, un-cairning cairns (and rebuilding them), plus exploring at least half of Hat Mtn's vertical, oval brim.
It was a beautiful day, so I took advantage of it, and just hung out a bit.

I'm sure there are many ways to get up to the hat's brim. My track up was very circuitous, as I had to go around cliffs and other obstacles.
I first climbed up a lower peak and located Hat Brim Azimuth Mark. It was under a cairn that was almost glued and locked to the peak. Maybe I was the first one to say hello to it since 1936.
I then loosely followed Outlander's track for the middle portion of the climb. That portion was not fun, as you traverse a lower wall on a rather scree filled, angled pitch, through a couple high drainages. After that middle portion, you can see Hat Mtn again, and the last portion of the hike is straight forward. Yes, the 'brim' of the hat is steep, has scree and cholla, but it's very doable.

I hiked up all the way to the vertical wall, then worked my way to the east side of the mountain where Hat Brim benchmark was set.

I ventured CCW around the perimeter of the wall, confirming (to me), there's no safe way to get to the top of the 'Hat' without climbing gear.

Finally, I let go of the mountain, and started down.

One suggestion - Use my 'Up' track to go up and down, and disregard my down track. In my attempt to make my down track more straight forward, I 'cliffed out' 3 times. (My Bad).

I highly recommend this hike. It can be extended easily, by descending near the Hat Brim BM, for more exploring.
Flora
Flora
Teddy Bear Cholla
_____________________
Not All Those Who Wander Are Lost
J.R.R.TOLKIEN
Jan 20 2020
FLYING_FLIVER
avatar

 Routes 203
 Photos 8,618
 Triplogs 231

male
 Joined Jan 28 2010
 Fountain Hills,
Cortez Peak, AZ 
Cortez Peak, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Jan 20 2020
FLYING_FLIVER
Hiking4.75 Miles 1,121 AEG
Hiking4.75 Miles   4 Hrs   59 Mns   1.91 mph
1,121 ft AEG   2 Hrs   30 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Cortez Peak is located in the Gila Mountain Range, and it's home to a benchmark.
There's a mining road off of Agua Caliente Rd that leads to a defunct mine/prospect, at the base of Cortez Pk. That road is "Arva" Caliente Rd.

I looked at this hike years ago, and put it on a 'waiting list', mostly due to having no info on that 9 mile mine road. Arva Caliente Rd is mostly on flat terrain, but I needed some current input on its condition.
One of my many sources of intel, about a 'new-to-me' area is the geocache site. Occasionally, I'll get current info of road conditions etc from a geocacher's comments.
For years, I had no intel on that road.

Then, less than a year ago, a geocacher set 25 geocaches, 1/10 TH of a mile apart, along Arva Caliente Rd, with the last ones near the end, by the defunct mine. Dozens of geocachers took the road to do their thing. I had my road conditions.
I don't geocache for a living, but at the end of my hike, I stopped at one of the 25 placed geocaches, and logged in. It's the least I could do for the intel I got on the road.

Cortez benchmark, and its two reference marks, were set in 1949, atop Cortez Pk, while Cortez Azimuth mark was set in 1950, near the mine.
I also knew about a 'Height Modernization Survey Station', set near the mine in 1999. It's long name basically means (to a hiker), that it's a survey point done by Maricopa DOT. It's a good example of the 'modern way' survey marks are set.

The actual hike to the highest peak was rather short, but very steep. Once up there, I realized there's about five or six peaks, all in a row. All just tiny, lined up peaks, filled with rocks and boulders. It looked a little like Four Peaks in miniature.

Cortez Pk is a perfect spot to get great photos of well known mountain ranges and peaks, "IF" you have good weather. My WX was very windy, hazy, and humid, along with alot of cloud cover. My photos are weak, because of mother nature.
She's my 'scapegoat' anyway. :)
_____________________
Not All Those Who Wander Are Lost
J.R.R.TOLKIEN
Jan 13 2020
FLYING_FLIVER
avatar

 Routes 203
 Photos 8,618
 Triplogs 231

male
 Joined Jan 28 2010
 Fountain Hills,
Malley Benchmark and Boulders, AZ 
Malley Benchmark and Boulders, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Jan 13 2020
FLYING_FLIVER
Hiking3.45 Miles 726 AEG
Hiking3.45 Miles   3 Hrs   35 Mns   2.16 mph
726 ft AEG   1 Hour   59 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
I was in Yuma for a couple days, and decided to work in a little hike while driving back to PHX. I also wanted to do some 'recon' in the area, for possible future hikes.

I got off I-8 at Dateland and went north, past the agricultural area, then drove into the, flat desert for thirty miles. There's a plateau out there, with a benchmark on its top. It was a good 'perch' to look around the area.

Most of the smaller mountains and plateaus in the area consist of basalt boulders, with very little vegetation on their tops. The lack of much vegetation can be said for the open, flat desert plains surrounding the bumps also.

I was surprised to see a couple of the "Usual Suspects" signed into the summit log, as I wouldn't expect this bump of a plateau to be worthy of their time.

Anyway, I located Malley Benchmark and its two reference marks, looked around the plateau a little bit, then dropped down to the 'flats' and looked for the Malley Azimuth mark.

Actually, I purposely parked right where the surveyors set the azimuth disk.
They pounded a pipe into the open, flat ground, right next to the road (in 1949), and put the disk atop the pipe. The pipe was only 6 inches above the flat ground.
I could see ATV tracks all over the place, so I assume off road vehicle enthusiasts got rid of the disk and the pipe years ago. That pipe wouldn't be good on tires if the pipe was run over.

All in all, an easy hike, and a successful recon of the area.
Flora
Flora
Saguaro
_____________________
Not All Those Who Wander Are Lost
J.R.R.TOLKIEN
Jan 06 2020
FLYING_FLIVER
avatar

 Routes 203
 Photos 8,618
 Triplogs 231

male
 Joined Jan 28 2010
 Fountain Hills,
BART and Bart Benchmark 3127, AZ 
BART and Bart Benchmark 3127, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Jan 06 2020
FLYING_FLIVER
Hiking3.60 Miles 1,126 AEG
Hiking3.60 Miles   5 Hrs   39 Mns   1.89 mph
1,126 ft AEG   3 Hrs   45 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Linked linked
Partners none no partners
Six years ago I did a hike and started my triplog by saying:
"This hike is all Hansenaz’s fault. (I’ve never met the gentleman, but I still blame him)" :)

Well, for this hike I say,
"This hike is all Outdoor_Lover's fault. (I’ve never met the young lady, but I still blame her)". :)

On New Years Day, Outdoor_Lover, and her Dozen-Plus New Year's Day Crew, hiked up Bart Benchmark 3127, and after viewing all triplogs, and photosets, I know they all had a great time.
They had great views, and great "HAZ" camaraderie - Bravo to all of them.

Outdoor_Lover said that none of her Dozen Plus Crew saw a "Bart Benchmark" on the hill named "Bart Benchmark". Some located Bart's reference marks, but not Bart himself.
That was enough enticement for me to get up there, and look around, and try to find the little guy.
I'm sure Bart would have wanted to join the party.

If Bart is still up there, and I locate it - Excellent.
If I don't locate Bart, I'll save face, and just say someone took it off the hill.
And - Even if Bart doesn't make an appearance, he was there in spirit, on New Years day.

Usually, locating a benchmark is not difficult, IF you have its datasheet of info, which includes the BM's LAT/LONG. Bart is one of those benchmarks with no readily available datasheet, so the next step is to rely on the arrows on the BM's reference mark disks. If the arrows were aimed perfectly, by the surveyors, then where the two extended "arrow aiming" lines cross, you should find the benchmark.
My experience on those arrows aiming correctly is maybe, 50%, or less.
=====================
So, off I went, to get a bit of exercise, and enjoy some views - And just maybe locate a little disk called Bart.

I started out before official sunrise. Once on the second or third bump, I looked back and saw the sun come up over the easterly mountains. A very nice view.

Once atop BB 3127, I easily located the summit log, where Outdoor_Lover and her Dozen Plus Crew, gathered for their celebration of New Years.
[ photo ]

I then easily located Bart's two reference marks, and attempted to line up their arrows. That took awhile due to the far distances the RMs are, from the top of the hill.
It turns out that the two RM lines cross each other at least 50 feet northwest of the high area of the hill top. I etched an "X" in the soft ground and dug down anyway - Nothing.
At least one of those RM's arrows is very, very wrong.
Not good.

Next - I used a little garden shovel to pierce the ground - Up and down each RM's extended arrow line.
My thought was, stab the ground to the hilt of the tool, and try to find the top of hidden bedrock, as that's what surveyors usually use to secure the Barts of the world on mountains and hilltops.
I failed to locate Bart on those RM lines. I found alot of small rocks, but no bedrock.

The last thing I do on a mountain is - Sign the Summit Log.

After a whopping 3 hours and 43 minutes on the hilltop, and dozens of holes and shovel stabbings, I stopped my search.
With great frustration, I logged into the summit log, and left BB 3127.

================

Well - Guess what ? - I got about 100 feet off BB 3127 and stopped, and went back up the hill.
I had one of these.
"A clear (and often sudden) understanding of a complex situation."
YEP - - - - A Brainstorm.

Bart WAS at the party, front and center.
Happy New Year
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Not All Those Who Wander Are Lost
J.R.R.TOLKIEN
1 archive
Dec 24 2019
FLYING_FLIVER
avatar

 Routes 203
 Photos 8,618
 Triplogs 231

male
 Joined Jan 28 2010
 Fountain Hills,
Golf Course Trek, WI 
Golf Course Trek, WI
 
Hiking avatar Dec 24 2019
FLYING_FLIVER
Hiking3.20 Miles 280 AEG
Hiking3.20 Miles   1 Hour   6 Mns   2.95 mph
280 ft AEG      1 Min Break
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
I’m in the midwest for the holidays, and took a quick hike on the seasonally closed golf course near my house.
As usual, my golf course track appears to be a hike to nowhere.
Just randomly going up and down the hills on the course. Good exercise.

Temps have been in the high 50s, most of December, which is way out of the norm.
Snow fell once - About three quarters of an inch of powder. Not even enough to say “hello” to my snow shovel.

In less than a week, I’ll be back in HAZ country, searching for round things in boulders, and that’s much more fun.

I expect all HAZ members to do their part in warming up, and drying out Arizona before I get back, also.

Happy Holidays to all HAZ hikers.
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Not All Those Who Wander Are Lost
J.R.R.TOLKIEN
Nov 25 2019
FLYING_FLIVER
avatar

 Routes 203
 Photos 8,618
 Triplogs 231

male
 Joined Jan 28 2010
 Fountain Hills,
Blue Plateau, AZ 
Blue Plateau, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Nov 25 2019
FLYING_FLIVER
Hiking4.60 Miles 1,468 AEG
Hiking4.60 Miles   6 Hrs   14 Mns   1.73 mph
1,468 ft AEG   3 Hrs   34 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
CAUTION - You need a permit to hike in this area, as it is adjacent to BMGR-East (Barry M Goldwater Range East).
Years ago, this area was part of the range, and many maps still depict it as such, but it was relinquished from the BMGR, and it's now part of the Sonoran Desert National Monument.
This actual area is called "Area A" of the SDNM.


Blue Plateau is south of I-8, between Gila Bend and Casa Grande, in the Sand Tank Mountains.
From I-8, it's 12 miles of dirt road, and it requires high clearance and 4WD. It took me an hour to get to my 'guzzler' trailhead.

From the guzzler, you cannot see the plateau. You first hike up a steep valley grade, to a boulder filled ridgeline, then traverse a saddle to get to Blue Plateau. The hike 'up' the valley wall was steep, but I had very good footing. Scree was everywhere, but the ground was still damp from recent rains, and the scree was stable. (Not so on the return - The ground dried out by afternoon, and the scree was waiting for me.)

Surveyors went up Blue Plateau in 1949, and set some disks in boulders. I easily located all three USGS disks.
I then wandered around the plateau for awhile, and stumbled upon a small solar panel that was wired to a battery, and two small antennas. Some kind of a communications set-up. (Possibly used by the military).

All in all, a fun hike, with some 'uphill' huffing and puffing on the way to a ridgeline, and some 'scree-skiing' at the end.
Flora
Flora
Saguaro
_____________________
Not All Those Who Wander Are Lost
J.R.R.TOLKIEN
Nov 16 2019
FLYING_FLIVER
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 Routes 203
 Photos 8,618
 Triplogs 231

male
 Joined Jan 28 2010
 Fountain Hills,
CODY BM - Gila Bend Mountains, AZ 
CODY BM - Gila Bend Mountains, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Nov 16 2019
FLYING_FLIVER
Hiking4.13 Miles 1,066 AEG
Hiking4.13 Miles   5 Hrs   35 Mns   1.94 mph
1,066 ft AEG   3 Hrs   27 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
CODY is located on a craggy mountain top, in the Picacho Hills. Picacho Hills is in the eastern portion of the Gila Bend Mtns, south of the Eagletail Mtns.

I hiked up a drainage, to the right of the mountain, near a vertical wall, thinking that once I got to a saddle and turned left, I could easily hike to the top.
Well, to my surprise, that vertical wall continued past the saddle, and down to a valley. From the saddle the mountain appeared to be in a fortress. I had to go far downhill from the saddle, and locate a safe place to climb over this mean stone wall.

Once over the wall (and after marking a waypoint, so I could find my notch through the wall on my return), I had to again hike up, to get to the ridgeline, and make my way to the benchmark area. Note my interesting GPS track, before and after, the wall snafu.
Cholla, scree, and very loose, rock plates made the last climb portion challenging.

There are two benchmarks atop this weathered mountain top, only seven inches apart.
One is a normal disk (1950) and the other is a, now rusted, railroad spike (no date noted). Both are named CODY, and the RR spike precedes the disk. The RR spike has a triangle on it, but that's the only discernible etching that is readable now, due to rust. If you 'squint' at the RR spike long enough, you can talk yourself into seeing "Cody".
My "magic FF dust" made the RR spike harder to read.

Next to the two BMs is a large cairn. It's on the edge of the peak, and is easily seen from the desert floor. I cautiously looked for a summit log in the cairn, but since pack rats have claimed it as their home, I didn't look too aggressively.

On the way down, and once through the wall, my travel was uneventful.
This rather smallish 'Picacho Hills', is home to Big Horn sheep, and the Az Game & Fish Dept keep an eye on their numbers.
I noticed alot of their scat, but saw no sheep.

I'll be back in this area soon, as I have some other things besides 'disks' to locate and photograph. This whole area is alot of fun, and quite easy to get to.
_____________________
Not All Those Who Wander Are Lost
J.R.R.TOLKIEN
Nov 07 2019
FLYING_FLIVER
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 Routes 203
 Photos 8,618
 Triplogs 231

male
 Joined Jan 28 2010
 Fountain Hills,
GUNSITE - Harcuvar Mountains, AZ 
GUNSITE - Harcuvar Mountains, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Nov 07 2019
FLYING_FLIVER
Hiking4.20 Miles 2,343 AEG
Hiking4.20 Miles   6 Hrs   25 Mns   1.20 mph
2,343 ft AEG   2 Hrs   55 Mns Break
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Gunsite benchmark is located on a nondescript peak in the Harcuvar Mountain Range, at 4457 Ft.
Since I've already hiked up to Smith Pk (5242), the highest peak in the Harcuvars, and also hiked up to Harcuvar Pk (4618), I thought I'd hit the 'trifecta', with Gunsite BM.
Gunsite is located on a peak almost midway, in the 25 mile long Harcuvar Mtn Range.
It's just above Happy Camp Canyon, and NE of the Webber Mine area.

GOOD STUFF:
- The last 12 miles of the drive (on soft dirt/sand, with lots of encroaching shrubs) actually turned out OK - No backtracking & no Arizona pin stripes.
- I located all four disks related to Gunsite. :)

"HOW TO SLOW A HIKER DOWN" - Stuff:
- I had a boot sole start to delaminate, about half way up to the top of the ridge I was using.
I repaired it with tape (I thought). Boulders & scree kept ripping my repair job, making for a very slow ascent. Many stops to re-tape.

I took a direct track up, following a ridge that would lead me to the Gunsite Azimuth mark disk. This 'ridge up' was 60% boulder walls, making travel very slow, as I had to locate slots in the walls to continue my climb.
The azimuth disk was set on its own separate knoll, about a quarter mile from the benchmark knoll. I had to 'de-rock' a huge cairn to get to the azimuth disk. Some of the boulders, stacked up to make the cairn, were larger than a microwave. Those 1948 surveyors must have been musclemen.

I then made my way to the BM knoll, via a saddle, and located the BM disk and it's two RM disks. The BM disk was hiding on me, but through my expert skill & cunning, (OH - And referring to the BM's datasheet), I found the hiding disk.

Beautiful views from atop the Harcuvars.

I stayed off the boulder bumpy ridge on the way down, and chose a wide, steep drainage, in the hopes the drainage would be a better choice for my delaminating boot.
It wasn't.
The repair tape was no challenge for the scree on the way down. Heck - Going down, I even tried electrical-cable-ties on the boot sole. The cable ties did work a little better.

All in all, a good hike in a very remote area. I will bet those four disks haven't been seen since 1948, when they were cemented into their boulders.

Now, I'm off to the boot store.
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Not All Those Who Wander Are Lost
J.R.R.TOLKIEN
Nov 02 2019
FLYING_FLIVER
avatar

 Routes 203
 Photos 8,618
 Triplogs 231

male
 Joined Jan 28 2010
 Fountain Hills,
Sunrise Trail - MSPPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Nov 02 2019
FLYING_FLIVER
Hiking7.08 Miles 1,439 AEG
Hiking7.08 Miles   3 Hrs   41 Mns   2.26 mph
1,439 ft AEG      33 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Partners none no partners
It's good to be back in HAZ country, after spending the summer in the midwest.

I'll call this a "warm-up" hike, since I haven't hiked in awhile.
It turns out I still know how to put one boot in front of the other, so I'm ready to go out and explore the desert countryside again.

Sunrise Trail on a Saturday equals - Alot of hikers - I was glad to see hikers enjoying themselves.

Venturing out on the Andrews-Kinsey Trail was the opposite - No hikers.
I ventured down the A-K Tr to the base of one of the Twins, Pk 3585, then did a 180 back to the 145th St TH.

Now it's time to go out and find what I can, on mountain tops. Wish me luck.
Named place
Named place
Peak 3585 Peak 3804 - MSP
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Not All Those Who Wander Are Lost
J.R.R.TOLKIEN
Apr 16 2019
FLYING_FLIVER
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 Routes 203
 Photos 8,618
 Triplogs 231

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
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Not All Those Who Wander Are Lost
J.R.R.TOLKIEN
2 archives
Apr 07 2019
FLYING_FLIVER
avatar

 Routes 203
 Photos 8,618
 Triplogs 231

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". :)
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Not All Those Who Wander Are Lost
J.R.R.TOLKIEN
3 archives
average hiking speed 2.04 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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