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639 triplogs

Oct 04 2019
kingsnake
avatar

 Guides 83
 Routes 184
 Photos 7,987
 Triplogs 639

57 male
 Joined Dec 20 2010
 Sunnyslope, PHX
Inner Basin Trail #29Flagstaff, AZ
Flagstaff, AZ
Hiking avatar Oct 04 2019
kingsnake
Hiking8.71 Miles 1,639 AEG
Hiking8.71 Miles   3 Hrs   35 Mns   2.43 mph
1,639 ft AEG
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
My first stop in this year’s fall color tour.

Even though I lived in Flagstaff for five years in the 1980s, I had never been to the Inner Basin.

Driving up I-17 from Phoenix, the top of the San Francisco Peaks was obscured by clouds. Visually, it looked like someone had lopped of the peaks with a sword. 🗡

I checked out the info kiosk at the Inner Basin Trailhead, then backtracked a hundred yards to a gated, unnumbered, jeep trail. I folowed that jeep trail for 1.5 miles to the intersection of Waterline Rd., where it reconnected to Inner Basin Trail #29. The color in there was decent, but most importantly, I was away from other people.

From the Waterline Rd. intersection, I again veered off Inner Basin Trail #29, opting for a continuation of the old jeep trail I had been on. Split right to follow my route; left to stay on Inner Basin Trail #29. There was some really good fall color, cheddar-colored quaking aspen, some of which framed Doyle Peak and Fremont Peak. After ⅔ of a mile, rather than continue up Beard Canyon to Bear Paw Spring or Flagstaff Spring, I turned left / south.

There is a small two-person shelter at the Inner Basin Pumphouse. Its back faces up canyon, from where the wind was blowing hard. I saw quite a few people bundled up, but I soldiered on in only my hiking shirt. Other than my ears, body heat compensated. I took a break on the leeward side of the pumphouse.

From Inner Basin, I took Trail #29 back to Waterline Rd. The color was only okay in that ¾ mile section, but a couple of Chinese tourists were sure enjoying it. 📸

I headed east on Waterline Rd., through the cathedral of quaking aspen. (Still only key lime-colored, but beautiful nonetheless.) There were quite a few bits of broken ceramic pipe along the road.

There is a gate just before Waterline Rd. changes from quaking aspen to grassland. I turned left, heading down the unnumbered jeep trail towards FR 553. The jeep trail had great views southeast towards Flagstaff’s outskirts, and east towards O’Leary Peak and Sunset Crater. The ridge top was only 100 ft. up. Though the ridge did not have the panoramic fall color view I had hoped for, it did have a great view north to SP Crater, Colton Crater and other volcanic formations on the Babbitt Ranch.

There were some small lupine along the jeep trail, nearly the only flowers I saw all day. (I saw one closed up Arizona Thistle and one purple daisy-like bloom: That’s it!) The top of the ridge had some dry grassy plant with a seed-filled pod that rattled when I brushed against it. I jumped a few times, before figuring out it was not snakes. 😏

At FR 553, I turned west returning to Lockett Meadow. There was some final good fall color in that short stretch between Sugarloaf Mountain and the meadow.

Hiking Video: [ youtube video ]
Culture
Culture
HAZ - Selfie
Meteorology
Meteorology
Autumn - Color Foliage
foliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observation
Autumn Foliage Observation Moderate
Better on the jeep trail that parallels Inner Basin Trail #29.
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation None
I could count them on one hand.
_____________________
http://prestonm.com : Everyone's enjoyment of the outdoors is different and should be equally honored.
Sep 20 2019
kingsnake
avatar

 Guides 83
 Routes 184
 Photos 7,987
 Triplogs 639

57 male
 Joined Dec 20 2010
 Sunnyslope, PHX
Turkey Creek - Mogollon RimPayson, AZ
Payson, AZ
Hiking avatar Sep 20 2019
kingsnake
Hiking12.18 Miles 845 AEG
Hiking12.18 Miles   4 Hrs   54 Mns   2.49 mph
845 ft AEG
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Wow, what a crappy week I’ve had since I hiked Turkey Creek and Gentry Ridge. I wish I was still hiking the Mogollon Rim. But you are here to read about a hike, not sob over Dear Abby. Onwards!

Turkey Creek certainly was no Crackerbox Canyon! [ photoset ]

The hike starts out the back of the trailhead, past a fire ring, and down a decommissioned jeep trail. The ferns along the jeep trail were a beautiful blend of summer green and winter orange. If you consider that ‘fall color‘, it was the only fall color I saw the whole day. (With one isolated exception.) 🍁

The next four miles in Turkey Creek alternate between hiking flat, shaded, creekside shelves and slighty sloped grassy hillsides. There were tons of yellow cornflower along Turkey Creek, but very few still had petals. Most had gone fallow for the fall. There were very few other flowers in the canyon bottom and none on Gentry Ridge.

There were very few use trails, or animal trails, in Turkey Creek. Certainly nothing like the freeway in Beaver Canyon.

North of the use trail to FR 92E, Turkey Creek loses its easy bank travel. Though the creek bottom never gets tangled in underbrush or deadfall, it is very rocky, slow, going the next 1.5 miles to McGuire Crossing.

Turkey Creek was totally dry, with the exception of the middle section, roughly between 2.4 and 3.7 miles downstream. Mostly small, isolated pools, though there was decent water in the “tripod moment” prairie. No flow.

It was hard to tell the difference between Turkey Creek and FR 91 at McGuire Crossing, so rocky was the forest road. I would not feel comfortable driving it in my SUV. High clearance recommended.

After a couple of miles, FR91's rocks gave way to a road surface that was often quite sandy. That was an issue because the wind which was howling all day, was at its peak mid-afternoon on the elevated ridge top. I haven’t had sand blow in my eyes like that since Desert Storm.

There was plenty of shade along Gentry Ridge. Whereas Turkey Creek was almost all pine, the ridge top had lots of aspen, plenty of oak, and a scattering of other deciduous species.

There was quite a bit of traffic along FR 91, south of FR 40, which descends to Camp Bonito and Open Draw (both on my list of future Mogollon Rim hikes). I saw Arizona Game & Fish twice, and there were probably twenty vehicle camps scattered along Gentry Ridge.

Considering the mileage, I was feeling pretty good when I finished my hike. On the way out along Rim Road, my wife & I stopped at my favorite place in Arizona, Woods Canyon Lake, for ice cream and ice cold beer. 🍦🍺👍

Hike Video: [ youtube video ]
Flora
Flora
Mexican Silene
Named place
Named place
Beaver Canyon
Meteorology
Meteorology
Autumn - Color Foliage
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Isolated
_____________________
http://prestonm.com : Everyone's enjoyment of the outdoors is different and should be equally honored.
Sep 13 2019
kingsnake
avatar

 Guides 83
 Routes 184
 Photos 7,987
 Triplogs 639

57 male
 Joined Dec 20 2010
 Sunnyslope, PHX
Upper Lemmon Canyon & PoolsTucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Hiking avatar Sep 13 2019
kingsnake
Hiking8.51 Miles 1,538 AEG
Hiking8.51 Miles   3 Hrs   58 Mns   2.15 mph
1,538 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Partners none no partners
As I discovered on the Potato Patch Loop [ photoset ] , in the Hualapai Mountains, two weeks ago, is that I am out of elevation gain shape. Too many flat hikes spinkled between my neighborhood walks. And Mount Lemmon’s trails are all about elevation gain (AEG). ⛰

After digging around, I hit upon the idea of an out-and-back hike on Marshall Gulch Trail #3 and Wilderness of Rocks Trail #44 to the Upper Lemmon Canyon Pools. There would be decent mountain temps, shade, enough AEG to stretch my current limit, and a nice payoff at the end. (Actually, midway.)

There’s not much parking at the Marshall Gulch trailhead, and when my wife & I arrived at 9:00 a.m. it was already full. (On a Friday!)

As I was waiting for my crappy Garmin 62S to find satellites, another hiker remarked that there were no flies in the pit toilet. I responded, “Because the stench killed them.” 😁

It quite lush lower down on Marshall Gulch Trail #3. Higher up, it starts catching a little more sun, as burnt areas higher up on Mount Lemmon expose the trail as it meanders through fern patches and infant pine trees.

At Marshall Saddle, there is a 5-way trail intersection, but there were enough signs, it was obvious which way to go. (I saw quite a few older folks hiking the Aspen Trail #93 loop.)

Despite being a hair shallower than Marshall Gulch Trail #3, Wilderness of Rocks Trail #44 felt steeper. Besides the huge boulder formations which give the wilderness its name, the surrounding terrain was piney & more open, low to the ground. There were a number of good sitting logs that came in handy on the return trip. 🌲

I thought about scrambling up several formations in Lemmon Canyon, but decided I needed the energy to actually climb back out.

¾ of a mile below the intersection of Lemmon Rock Trail #12, II found a decent size pool that was at least four feet deep, being fed by a very loud pour. There was a reclined scoop on the edge of the pool that I could sit in while dangling my feet in the water. I would have taken a nap there, except lack of overhead cover was frying me quick like. It's a great spot!

After a half hour of relaxation at the pool, I slowly hiked my way back up Lemmon Canyon. Grey clouds were rolling in, but it didn’t start sprinkling until just before I reached Marshall Saddle. Wanting to avoid a possible deluge, I booked it 1.5 miles back to the trailhead in only 37 minutes! 🏎

Hike Video: [ youtube video ]
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Light
About a dozen species scattered up & down both trails, though primarily Marshall Gulch Trail #3. New Mexico Thistle most common. One large patch of Yellow Columbine in Marshall Gulch.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max Lemmon Pools 51-75% full 51-75% full
Can't really assess how full "full" is, but the one I stopped at was a good four feet deep with quite loud flow. Check out the video, above.
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http://prestonm.com : Everyone's enjoyment of the outdoors is different and should be equally honored.
Sep 07 2019
kingsnake
avatar

 Guides 83
 Routes 184
 Photos 7,987
 Triplogs 639

57 male
 Joined Dec 20 2010
 Sunnyslope, PHX
Peavine TrailPrescott, AZ
Prescott, AZ
Hiking avatar Sep 07 2019
kingsnake
Hiking5.24 Miles 544 AEG
Hiking5.24 Miles   2 Hrs   6 Mns   2.50 mph
544 ft AEG
 
1st trip
This being my first time hiking the Granite Dells, I cannot attest to the remainder of the park, but at least along Peavine Trail, and in the Storm Trails, each trail intersection is marked by a map of the full Storm Trails system, with relevant terrain features, and a black dot indicating current location. In addition, all the Storm Trails' actual paths are marked by a spray-painted white dot every 100 ft. or so.

After picking up an excellent trail map at the trail register, we headed down the Peavine Trail. Such as “down” is. (Peavine only descends 200 ft. in 5.5 miles to AZ-89A.)

There were lots of birds — primarily geese, with some ducks and a single Great Blue Heron — on the shallow, muddy, southern shore of Watson Lake. They were too far away to shoot with my dinky pocket camera: I would have need a tripod and zoom lens. If you hear shots, it isn’t duck hunters, it is cops on the adjacent outdoor range. Mind the “CAUTION: Hazardous conditions exist. Please stay on trail.” signs. 😉

Captains Trail is only 0.72 miles, with 143 ft. of elevation gain. There’s a little bit of shade after a ⅓ of a mile, and some decent Watson Lake photo ops at the ½ mile mark. But there is better to come! Just before the end of Captains Trail, and the start of Easter Island Trail, there is a use trail off to the left. A few yards over is a rest bench and great views of Watson Lake, the Granite Dells and, in the distance, Granite Mountain. 📸

Easter Island Trail has even less shade than Captains Trail. After 250 yds. on Easter Island Trail, or maybe a ¼ mile from Peavine Trail, the vertical boulder which gives Easter Island Trail its name — it resembles the moai on Rapa Nui — came into view on our left. The trail wraps around the boulder, so Prescottstyle & I took photos from multiple angles & distances. It was warming up quick enough that Prescottstyle & I decided to forgo hiking out to the Flintstones-themed trails at the far end of the Storm Trails system. Instead, we turned up Big Rock Canyon Trail. 😅

Big Rock Canyon Trail starts just after the Easter Island boulder. It is only 0.28 miles long. Not exact the Appalachian Trail. While eyeing some shade, I got rattled. I looked high & low for the culprit, but could not spot him in the darkened rocks, branches and leaf litter. Prescottstyle & I kept moving. 🐍

Boulder Creek Trail is 0.53 miles. Since we just took it back to Peavine Trail, I’m clueless how much AEG it might have. Certainly not Matterhorn, or even Glassford Hill, levels of gain. Boulder Creek did have some water, but the flow was so light it was inaudible.

We took Lakeshore Trail and Peavine Trail back to the trailhead. Thick clouds were rolling in. We made it to the covered picnic tables just as it began raining. 🌧

Hike Video: [ youtube video ]
Flora
Flora
Sacred Datura
Meteorology
Meteorology
Sunburst
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Substantial
Flowers were isolated in the Storm Trails system, but there were dense thickets of tall, yellow, sunflower-type flowers along Peavine Trail.
_____________________
http://prestonm.com : Everyone's enjoyment of the outdoors is different and should be equally honored.
Aug 30 2019
kingsnake
avatar

 Guides 83
 Routes 184
 Photos 7,987
 Triplogs 639

57 male
 Joined Dec 20 2010
 Sunnyslope, PHX
Potato Patch LoopNorthwest, AZ
Northwest, AZ
Hiking avatar Aug 30 2019
kingsnake
Hiking5.41 Miles 1,084 AEG
Hiking5.41 Miles   2 Hrs   28 Mns   2.19 mph
1,084 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
I’ve had my eye on the Hualapai Mountains for several years, but never quite got around to hiking there due to their distance. Besides Potato Patch Loop, I also planned to summit Hualapai Peak, which would make for a relatively short hike (8.0 miles), but with some good elevation gain (2,500 ft.). I hoped my lack of recent decent hikes would not be a factor.

I started hiking at 9:30 a.m., just behind some chatty girls (“We’re from the Mojave Desert!”). A few minutes after filming the intro to my hike video, I caught up to them already taking a sit down break. I never saw them again. Flatlanders. Not that I am Reinhold Messner. 🏔

On one of the early switchbacks, I got rattled by a snake. A rattle so brief, I wasn’t sure it was a rattle. I didn’t even jump. It was an Arizona Black Rattlesnake (crotalus cerberus). I wonder if the brief rattle was random, or if the species has a shorter rattle, as the western diamondbacks and speckled rattlesnakes I’ve encountered tend to quite lengthy rattles. 🤔

Some fluffy yellow flower clusters were the most common of the sparse floral pickings, with most of the patches found in the open, grassy, area around the Pine Lake Overlook. I took a short break on the bench, as I was already feeling the elevation.

Just past the overlook is Storm Shelter 1. Not sure why storm shelters are needed in the Hualapai Mountains, of all places. I’ve never seen them anywhere else. Indeed, the only other trailside shelters I’ve seen are for camping along the Appalachian Trail or Wisconsin’s Ice Age Trail. Definitely not for storms. ⛈

I was already noticing that every time I looked up, then back down to the trail, I was briefly experiencing visual anomalies. Not from looking at the sun (I wasn’t). Not nearly as bad as the heat exhaustion I experienced hiking from Table Mesa Rd. to Little Pan Loop back in 2011! [ photoset ] I figured best not to push too much, and decided to skip Hualapai Peak, or any of the other nearby summits.

At Camp Levi Levi -- not a misprint -- I checked three well hand pumps, and each gushed water, two of them without a single pump, just by lifting the handle! 💦

The 1.5 miles downhill from Storm Shelter 4 -- what happened to 2 and 3? 🤔 -- went much quicker than it's opposite earlier in the day. Less than an hour, in fact. And that despite stopping several times to wander off trail to enjoy some nice views. (If Kingman could be considered attractive.)

Even though I didn't summit any of the peaks, that means I now have three other hikes I can do in the area ... once I get back in hiking shape.

Hike Video: [ youtube video ]
Named place
Named place
Aspen Peak - Hualapai Pine Lake
Meteorology
Meteorology
Sunburst
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Isolated
_____________________
http://prestonm.com : Everyone's enjoyment of the outdoors is different and should be equally honored.
Aug 01 2019
kingsnake
avatar

 Guides 83
 Routes 184
 Photos 7,987
 Triplogs 639

57 male
 Joined Dec 20 2010
 Sunnyslope, PHX
Wild Goose State TrailNortheastern, WI
Northeastern, WI
Hiking avatar Aug 01 2019
kingsnake
Hiking7.42 Miles 142 AEG
Hiking7.42 Miles   2 Hrs   28 Mns   3.01 mph
142 ft AEG
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Since I am no longer doing Endurance Karting races — long story — I try to get my karting in during race weekends at Road America. I still love karting, so that means I have to, absolutely have to, return to Wisconsin more often! 😁

So, if all I did was hike the Ice Age Trail, I would burn through the segments in only three years. What to do then? Hike some other Wisconsin trail on our second visit of the year. The trail I chose is the Wild Goose State Trail.

At the Kwik Trip truck stop (MP 0.2) in Fond du Lac, I kissed and hugged my wife goodbye, hoping the truckers did not think any shenanigans were going on. 😇

It was immediately obvious Wild Goose State Trail would have quite a bit of #flowerporn, though perhaps not as much as the Mitchell Park Horticultural Conservatory — aka The Domes [ photoset ] — we visited in Milwaukee the day before.

The first 1.2 miles of the Wild Goose State Trail pass through the warehouse / light industrial zone that used to be serviced by the Chicago and Northwestern Railroad on whose former right-of-way I was hiking. As on most of the trail to Oakfield, there was plenty of shade, so you can enjoy trees, flowers and birds rather than hulking buildings.

Most the of the farms along the Wild Goose State Trail are crop farms — mainly corn & soybeans — but a dairy farm (MP 2.5) butts right up against the trail a half mile south of the East Branch Fond du Lac River. Often the trail splits farms. In those cases, where a farmer has to cross the trail to get from one field to another, there are black-on-yellow caution diamond signs picturing a farmer on his tractor. 🚜

Oakfield is a typical small Wisconsin town: Clean, safe & friendly. Well, almost.

Walking into town, I was greeted by a friendly gentleman who appeared to be mowing the municipal grass. I’m happy, he’s happy, the world is a beautiful place.

Just a minute later, crossing County Highway D, a big guy left the grain elevator to ask me what I was doing. (I was filming as I walked.) The implication being that I was some sort of ISIS terrorist hell bent on suicide bombing America’s sole remaining source of food, causing mass starvation. Seriously. It’s not illegal to film in a public place. I blew him off, replying that I was filming “Because I want to.” I understand he meant well, but dude … perspective. 🙄

After meeting my wife on the south side of Oakfield, we drove back ‘downtown’ for lunch & beers at Anita’s Log Cabin. Recommended if you are in Fond du Lac County!

Hike Video: [ youtube video ]
Fauna
Fauna
Cow
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Moderate
It's Wisconsin, so you can hardly avoid flowers!
_____________________
http://prestonm.com : Everyone's enjoyment of the outdoors is different and should be equally honored.
2 archives
Jul 31 2019
kingsnake
avatar

 Guides 83
 Routes 184
 Photos 7,987
 Triplogs 639

57 male
 Joined Dec 20 2010
 Sunnyslope, PHX
Mitchell Park Horticultural ConservatorySoutheastern, WI
Southeastern, WI
Walk / Tour avatar Jul 31 2019
kingsnake
Walk / Tour0.50 Miles 30 AEG
Walk / Tour0.50 Miles   2 Hrs      0.25 mph
30 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Our last trip to Wisconsin, in June, we visited the Milwaukee Art Museum, the first time I had been there in 50 years.

This time around, it was The Domes, which it's been probably 20 years. I think my wife & I had one of our first dates there.

Anyway, enjoy the flower extravanza!
Culture
Culture
Humor
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Extreme
Are you kidding me?
_____________________
http://prestonm.com : Everyone's enjoyment of the outdoors is different and should be equally honored.
1 archive
Jul 19 2019
kingsnake
avatar

 Guides 83
 Routes 184
 Photos 7,987
 Triplogs 639

57 male
 Joined Dec 20 2010
 Sunnyslope, PHX
Beaver Canyon - Mogollon RimPayson, AZ
Payson, AZ
Hiking avatar Jul 19 2019
kingsnake
Hiking11.51 Miles 752 AEG
Hiking11.51 Miles   4 Hrs   28 Mns   2.58 mph
752 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Slowly, but surely, I am working my way through the canyons on the Mogollon Rim.

At the end of May, I hiked Box Canyon [ photoset ] , near General Springs Canyon. Today, I decided to skip east twelve miles to hike Beaver Canyon, which is between Knoll Lake and Bear Lake.

The topo shows FR 92 as gated, but I swear I read on Haz somewhere that it was open. (Maybe for a Camp Grasshopper?) Not only are motor vehicles banned on FR 92, but apparently all along Turkey Beaver Ridge — that is its name — and in Beaver Canyon. Instead I found a nice viewing spot off Rim Rd., but with a great view of the Mogollon Rim and points south. So, I parked there. (See the attached GPS route.)

I walked east a few hundred yards on Rim Rd. I saw a jeep trail on the north side of Rim Rd., that I thought was FR 92D, but is one of many unnumbered jeep trails that are not even noted on the topo map. From the anonymous jeep trail, I soon down a steep, debris strewn slope, to Beaver Canyon. I hit the canyon bottom a ¼ mile from Rim Rd.

The second corral is where it struck me that the corrals seemed intended to protect the riparian / creek area. Not that the broken down gates & half-collapsed fences were doing much good.

The Beaver Park powerline clearance is unfortunate, but necessary, to reduce the chance of wildfire as those powerlines were buzzing. (Crossing back under the powerlines on FR 92, later, I was so close I would have been worried about The Boys had I not already had my children.) The best part of Beaver Park was finding some elk antlers, that I carried the next 8+ miles. 💪

Down canyon from the third corral, there were some decent pools of water, but no flow.

in the woods at the tip of Rattlesnake Ridge, I spotted the wreck of the Dodge pickup. One of the Haz routes show two wrecks, but I could not find the second. (Back at home, after an hour of google image searching, I ID’d the pickup as a 1949/50 Dodge B-Series, based on the arrangement of its grill and headlights.)

Crossing the prairie just north of Rattlesnake Ridge, I found an elk skull, which I stuck on a nearby post as warning to any nearby predators. (Or my enemies.) 😈

After taking a lunch break at Turkey Crossing, it was 12:30 p.m. If I went further, all the way to Turkey Creek, I would be on the trail probably another four hours. Instead, I decided to take advantage of the presence of FR 92, and hike that out of Beaver Canyon.

I did not see any bears along FR 92, but twice I encountered elk: First a herd of eight females, and later a single large antlerless elk. Judging by the size a male, but I’m not an elkologist. I also saw a coyote that was so large, I at first thought it was a wolf. (Twenty years ago, Mexican Grey Wolves were introduced to the Mogollon Rim; surely they can’t still be around?) Either way, I kept my head on a swivel for the rest of my hike.

Hike Video: [ youtube video ]
Flora
Flora
Yellow Coneflower
Named place
Named place
Beaver Park Turkey Crossing
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Isolated
What few flowers there were were mostly either yellow coneflower or lupine. I did spot one yellow columbine and a few western yarrow.

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Beaver Canyon - Upper Pools to trickle Pools to trickle
Some small pools, but no discernable flow, below Beaver Park.
_____________________
http://prestonm.com : Everyone's enjoyment of the outdoors is different and should be equally honored.
Jul 12 2019
kingsnake
avatar

 Guides 83
 Routes 184
 Photos 7,987
 Triplogs 639

57 male
 Joined Dec 20 2010
 Sunnyslope, PHX
Cunningham Loop TrailTucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Hiking avatar Jul 12 2019
kingsnake
Hiking6.43 Miles 757 AEG
Hiking6.43 Miles   2 Hrs   46 Mns   2.32 mph
757 ft AEG
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
I was going to hike Cunningham Loop Trail #316 last week. I only made it to Gold Canyon: [ triplog ] .

This week, I not only made it past Gold Canyon, but all the way to Cunningham Trailhead on the west slope of Mount Graham. Yeeee-HAH! 🥳

Because of the long drive, I did not start hiking until 10:45 a.m. I wish I was riding, rather than driving, as the views along AZ-366 were spectacular!

At the intersection, I went left, hiking clockwise. I figured by doing the Cunningham half of the trail clockwise, and the Grant Hill half counter-clockwise, I would do both Grant Creek crossings downhill. As I was expecting both crossings to be bushwhacks, I sure didn’t want to be fighting brush up a steep slope! ✋

One of the things I’ve noticed on my hikes through old wildfires is that even though a burn area may encompass some number of acres, what is actually burnt in that area varies from moonscape all the way to not at all. In other words, fire hopscotches around, varying with wind, topography, type of fuel, etc. Also, brush, shrubs, flowers & groundcover recover much faster than even small trees. This hike was no different.

2.3 miles into the hike, I arrived above Grant Creek, where I found a trail sign that seemed to indicate I should descend to the creek. (That sign coincided with the route I had downloaded from Haz.) I was expecting it to be a bushwhack, and it did not look like anything more than some bent brush. Certainly not a purpose-built trail. Meanwhile, though somewhat overgrown, FR 4535 continued and seemed more obvious. So, I followed FR 4535. 🧭

It ended in a ¼ mile. Totally disappeared. Due to fire damage, I could see the far side of Grant Creek, and there was no obvious trail of any sort on, above or below the 9400 ft. contour. Rather than double back to the wood sign, I headed down.

The effects of heavy post-Fry Fire erosion were obvious in Grant Creek. It was very rocky, with quite a bit of deadfall. It took me 30 minutes to canyon crawl a ⅓ of a mile. On the positive side, Grant Creek had good flow even though the first rains of the summer monsoon had yet to arrive. 🌤

A ¼ mile east of Grant Creek, FR 4539 was cut in half by a weed-choked gully. It was 1:30 p.m. I calculated it would take me two hours to hike the FR 4539 / FR 4541 half of the “figure 8”, plus another 90 minutes doubling back to Cunningham Trailhead on FR 4538. I had promised my wife I would be back around 3:00 p.m., so I bailed.

Heading back, FR 4538 crossed a number of small gullies, gradually eroding their way upslope with each passing monsoon. There were good-size patches of grass, weeds & other small greenery surrounding each gully. One grassy area even had a seep. All the gullies were easy to cross.

There was also more shade on FR 4538 than there was 200 ft. upslope on FR 4535, and that was despite the afternoon sun, which rotated to Mount Graham’s western slope. The shade was welcome, despite the temperature being only 72℉, as I had gotten burnt pretty good hiking through the Frye Fire burn area. Burnt from the sun, that is. 😁

Hike Video: [ youtube video ]
Named place
Named place
Grant Creek
Meteorology
Meteorology
Fire Burn Area & Recovery Sunburst
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Isolated
Overall, isolated. Maybe a dozen species total. Western Wallflowers were the most common species, and were spectacular.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Grant Creek Light flow Light flow
Loud flow between 9200-9400 el. Also found seep on east flank of Hill 9323.
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Jul 05 2019
kingsnake
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 Guides 83
 Routes 184
 Photos 7,987
 Triplogs 639

57 male
 Joined Dec 20 2010
 Sunnyslope, PHX
Aborted Mt. Graham Hike, AZ 
Aborted Mt. Graham Hike, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Jul 05 2019
kingsnake
Hiking
Hiking
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
I made plans to hike Mount Graham.

I made it as far as Gold Canyon.

My wife and I had been sitting at a stop light on US-60, at the Superstition Mountain Dr. intersection, for 10 seconds, with a quarter mile of clear #1 lane behind us, when suddenly we were jolted forward. 💥

It was much, much more than a mere tap, like someone had just started to accelerate for a green. (The light had turned green exactly 0.5 seconds before we were hit: I measured.)

Luckily, neither of us was injured. 🙏🏻

After all was said & done, I bailed on the hike, heading straight to my dealer to have my vehicle checked. Amazingly, what appeared to be no more than a ding, was just that: $0 in repairs. 🥳

-----

Never have I been so glad to have a dashcam, including a rear facing unit. Obviously, the footage contains NSFW language. 😉 [ youtube video ]
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Jun 28 2019
kingsnake
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 Guides 83
 Routes 184
 Photos 7,987
 Triplogs 639

57 male
 Joined Dec 20 2010
 Sunnyslope, PHX
Upper Pasture Trail #38Prescott, AZ
Prescott, AZ
Hiking avatar Jun 28 2019
kingsnake
Hiking7.28 Miles 969 AEG
Hiking7.28 Miles   3 Hrs   35 Mns   2.03 mph
969 ft AEG
 
1st trip
Partners partners
Prescottstyle
I have not been to the Hotshots Juniper before, and was not sure where it was. For quite some time, it has been tradition in Prescott not give exact directions to the juniper, I guess in attempt to maintain its serenity. But my hiking / mine exploring buddy @Prescottstyle , says that the juniper’s location is no longer a secret. There’s even several routes here on Haz!

FR 38 was much bumpier than I expected. I was glad my wife stayed in Phoenix, because otherwise she would have had to drop Paul & I off at the powerlines on Contreras Road, and it just got too darn hot later in the day to countenance hiking an extra 1.6 miles round trip between Contreras Road and Division Well.

Because visiting the Granite Mountain Hotshots juniper was only my second real hike of June, I needed the miles to make my 50 for the month. (As I have for 42 straight months since December, 2015.) So, Paul and I hiked a counter-clockwise loop of Upper Pasture Trail #38, Little Granite Mountain Trail #37 and White Rock Spring Trail #39 to the juniper, rather than the 1.6 mile (one way) direct route.

Upper Pasture Trail #38 remains old jeep trail for a mile to the intersection with White Rock Spring Trail #39. The intersection has a number of old trail signs, plus at least two “19” arrows. Follow the “19” arrows left, on Trail #39, to head straight to the juniper. Prescottstyle and I turned right to get our miles in first. 🚶‍♂️🚶‍♂️

The burn damage is much more obvious along Trail #37, with many ghostly junipers. Grasses and shrubbery, however, are going gangbusters. Thankfully no foxtail, like what fuelled the ongoing Woodbury Fire, which started a week after I hiked from Woodbury Trailhead into Fraser Canyon and Randolph Canyon. Still, lots of fresh fuel. 🤔

From Blair Pass, Prescottstyle and I turned west on White Rock Spring Trail #39. The barb wire fence to the north of the trail marks the edge of the Granite Mountain Wilderness. Trail #39 is much rockier than either Trail #37 or Trail #38, but not too bad. I thought the Granite Mountain Hotshots juniper was on the opposite side of the canyon. But like I said earlier, I wasn’t sure where, so Paul and I took our time, as I scanned for large, stand alone alligator junipers.

¾ of a mile west of Blair Pass, White Rock Spring Trail #39 passed through a small patch of unburnt trees, which provided welcome relief from the sun. (But not the ants which swarmed us when we stopped for a break!) 🐜

From the Trail #41 sign, it is ⅓ of a mile through another surviving stand of shady trees to the turn off to the Granite Mountain Hotshots juniper. The turn off is marked by another “19” arrow. The juniper is 100 yds. down the trail.

There is a brass plaque, set in stone, in front of the juniper. The plaque is dedicated to all 20 Granite Mountain Hotshots: Andrew Ashcraft, Robert Caldwell, Travis Carter, Dustin Deford, Christopher MacKenzie, Eric Marsh, Grant McKee, Sean Misner, Scott Norris, Wade Parker, John Percin, Anthony Rose, Jesse Steed, Joe Thurston, Travis Turbyfill, William Warneke, Clayton Whitted, Kevin Woyjeck, Garret Zuppiger and Brendan McDonough — who barely survived being burned over for the second time in a week (Re: https://www.amazon.com/Granite-Mountain ... 031630817X by McDonough & Talty). 🙏🏻

There are many mementos on & about the juniper: Money, ammo, tins of chewing tobacco, American flags, painted rocks, t-shirts, crosses, challenge coins, bells, chimes, wristbands, sweat rags, patches, hats, and even a Navy SEAL trident. (Respect from one warrior to 20 other warriors.) The number “19” was everywhere, including a half dozen more impromptu white granite rock sculptures. I felt bad I did not have something in my pack worth donating.

After spending an hour documenting all the mementos, Paul and I took an ant-free break, before heading 1.6 miles downhill, back to the trailhead at Division Well.

Hotshot Juniper Video: [ youtube video ]
Meteorology
Meteorology
Fire Burn Area & Recovery
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Light
Verbena were everywhere, in all the shades between white & purple. The penstemon were the reddest I have ever seen. Century plants also represented. Scattering of other species.
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Jun 13 2019
kingsnake
avatar

 Guides 83
 Routes 184
 Photos 7,987
 Triplogs 639

57 male
 Joined Dec 20 2010
 Sunnyslope, PHX
Point Beach Segment - Ice Age TrailNortheastern, WI
Northeastern, WI
Hiking avatar Jun 13 2019
kingsnake
Hiking11.93 Miles 261 AEG
Hiking11.93 Miles   4 Hrs   18 Mns   2.77 mph
261 ft AEG
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
This is the fifth straight year I’ve hiked the Ice Age Trail in Wisconsin.

Not the whole thing, mind: The Ice Age Trail curls 1,200 miles from St. Croix Falls to Door County. Roughly half of the trail is paved, the rest is actual trail (some single track, some multi-use).

Since my wife and I base out of Sheboygan County — currently at the excellent Inn on Hillwind — I’ve been hiking the unpaved parts of the Ice Age Trail nearest Plymouth: Glenbeulah to Parnell Tower (2015), Parnell Tower to Crooked Lake (2016), Crooked Lake to New Fane (2017) and New Fane to Kewaskum (2018). 📆

I have no interest in hiking paved ‘trail’. Neither to do I want to drive nearly to Minnesota to hike on dirt. So, this year, I turned north, to hike the Point Beach Segment of the Ice Age Trail from Two Rivers, past the Rawley Point Lighthouse, to Lake Shore Road — about 10 miles. (My hikes are usually ~10% more than the official distance due to wandering back & forth taking pictures.)

I added the [ Point Beach Segment - Ice Age Trail ] Guide a few days ago, so a lot of what would be in my triplog is there.

At 0.5 miles, there is a creek crossing. Depending on tide, you may be able to jump across it, or have to wade through the calf-deep water. I was there about midway between high & low tide. I didn’t want to get my wet feet so early in the day, so I dragged a an old log over, then flopped it across as an ad hoc bridge. Most people turned around and headed back to Neshotah Park, as there were few tracks north of the creek. 👣

Molash Creek is significantly larger than the one I logrolled. The mouth of Molash Creek is another ½ mile north, if you want to test your fording abilities.

Though I had generated a good route using Haz's mapping tools, at Viceroy Rd., there were some good Point Beach Segment trail maps available at a 📪-like thingy. Crossing the wide wooden bridge, I noticed a bench — there are many along the Ice Age Trail’s Point Beach Segment — half buried in Molash Creek’s bank, being reclaimed by the bayou. If I’d had a hiking partner to take my picture, I would have waded through the much to sit on it. 😁

There were two un-boardwalked bayous I had to work my way over / around. Despite several days of rain, the trail was otherwise in decent condition.

My wife met me at Rawley Point Lighthouse, where I topped up my water bottle. (I don't take gear when I fly to a hike.) I didn’t expect to ab able to go to the top of the lighthouse — though that I would have rocked! — but not to be able to get close to it was a bummer. 😕

North of the Red Pine lot, Despite all the Ice Age Trail signs, I managed to get off track twice, doubling back the first time, then saying “🔩 it” and continuing on the second, until the snowmobile trail eventually recrossed the Point Beach Segment. It was the same distance either way.

As my Boy Scout troop discovered hiking the Ice Age Trail from Glenbeulah in November, 1972, it’s not a good idea to be in the woods during deer season. If it isn’t deer season, and you hear gunfire between Red Pine and County Highway V, that is a skeet club a half mile west of the trail. 🦌

After my wife picked me up on Lake Shore Rd., we doubled back to Two Rivers for a late lunch / early dinner. Linner? Dunch? Besides trying to hike every where I travel, I also like to try new restaurants, and today’s choice was Kurtz’s Pub & Deli. We quickly got a bowl of plain potato chips with Kurtz’s equivalent of Horsey Sauce, which was a tasty difference from nachos. The Homemade Buffalo Chicken Dip was hot & yummy. The Brat Reuben was okay, nothing wonderful. The service was AWESOME! Being a German place, Kurtz’s has a great selection of Deutsch brau: I made sure to properly rehydrate with three of them. 🍻

Hike Video: [ youtube video ]
Flora
Flora
Driftwood
Named place
Named place
Lake Michigan IL Neshotah Park
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Isolated
Neither many species, nor many flowers. However, despite the chill & breeze, the flowers were in full bloom -- unlike Arizona where it takes until mid-morning before flowers even begin opening up.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water 4 out of 5 Molash Creek Heavy flow Heavy flow
Are you kidding me? It's Wisconsin: More water than you can shake a Camelbak at!
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http://prestonm.com : Everyone's enjoyment of the outdoors is different and should be equally honored.
May 31 2019
kingsnake
avatar

 Guides 83
 Routes 184
 Photos 7,987
 Triplogs 639

57 male
 Joined Dec 20 2010
 Sunnyslope, PHX
Box Canyon - Mogollon RimPayson, AZ
Payson, AZ
Hiking avatar May 31 2019
kingsnake
Hiking5.93 Miles 631 AEG
Hiking5.93 Miles   3 Hrs   4 Mns   1.93 mph
631 ft AEG
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
I always plan my canyon crawls so that the hard part is outbound, while the return is (preferably) on a forest road or (hopefully) an easy, unobstructed, canyon, such as nearby Fred Haught Canyon.

The drive in on FR 300 / Rim Road was the worst I’ve ever experienced. There were more, and bigger, pot holes, plus multiple deep cross cuts in the road. It was so bad that for the first time, I saw a “car not allowed” type sign at the turn off from AZ-87 onto Rim Road. Somehow, someone got a Fiat 500(!) — you know, with tiny kids’ tricycle tires — into Kehl Springs Campground. That’s nuts. Rim Road was so bad, we took FR 141H and FR 141 back to AZ-87 after I returned from my hike. Seriously, they ought to consider paving Rim Road. 🚜

Canyon crawling Box Canyon starts by heading out the back of the trailhead, past the fire rings, aiming for the low point in the terrain which, at the trailhead, is an almost imperceptible crease.

After a ½ mile, I started encountering small, shallow, pools with no trickle, which were easily avoided. The first pool was also where I spotted the first mylar balloon (of five on the day). God doesn’t pluck them from the sky, you know. I hope your Valentines Day sucked.

Box Canyon was so mellow, I was thinking I might skate all the way to General Springs Canyon. It did not help that I was misreading my GPS, thinking I had gone about twice as far as I had. At the ¾ mile mark, Box Canyon began tightening up, with deadfall, that at least initially was easily avoided.

A mile down Box Canyon, I came to the first pour. Though not nearly as large as the pour I found off McCarty Draw, it had an overhang and was too high for me to descend. I bypassed it to the right. The second pour is only 150 yds. further down Box Canyon. I bypassed it to the left, then backtracked to its base. The second pour was wider, higher, more verdant, and had a slight, but audible, flow. I had places to go, or I could have sat on the moss, under the overhang, all day. 😌

After a mile of canyon crawling, Box Canyon finally began opening up. A creek meandered between flat, grassy banks. I found a good back support rock, and sat down for a shady break. Walking on rocks, and limboing under deadfall, had my right knee aching. After some consideration, I decided to only do half my intended Figure 8.

From my break spot, the creek meandered back & forth across the cienega for the final ¾ of a mile to General Springs Canyon. I had to cross the creek several times, but I always managed to find a narrow spot I was able to step across. The pools also got larger, one of which had fairly loud flow.

When I reached the mouth of Box Canyon, I headed up a rocky draw. Though rocky, the draw was actually an easy ascent, and there were a number of large flat areas that would make great camp spots. I took my lunch break there. Two day old Arby’s Classic Beef & Cheddar never tasted so good! 🍔

Properly refreshed with a hiking beer — Newcastle Brown Ale, apparently now contract brewed by Lagunitas — I pounded up the 200 ft. bluff to FR 395, and two miles back to the trailhead in only 45 minutes, aching knee and all. 💪

Hike Video: [ youtube video ]
Meteorology
Meteorology
Fire Burn Area & Recovery
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Isolated
There may have been more mylar balloons than flowers.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Box Canyon Light flow Light flow
Lots of water in the small creek which flows through the cienega just above the mouth of the canyon. Some audible flow. Water looked pretty clear.
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May 17 2019
kingsnake
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 Guides 83
 Routes 184
 Photos 7,987
 Triplogs 639

57 male
 Joined Dec 20 2010
 Sunnyslope, PHX
Fraser - Randolph LoopGlobe, AZ
Globe, AZ
Hiking avatar May 17 2019
kingsnake
Hiking11.45 Miles 1,265 AEG
Hiking11.45 Miles   6 Hrs   6 Mns   1.88 mph
1,265 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Since temps were expected to be very comfortable last Friday, I decided to stay in the Valley. (More or less.)

The furthest I had ever been up rocky, bumpy, FR 172 was Pam's New Year climb up Roblas Butte back in 2016: [ photoset ]

I took my time driving up FR 172, enjoying the views, and taking care in what to me were trickier sections. The last thing I wanted was a flat, or to puncture the oil pan, as FR 172 has no cell reception at all. It took me 1h 15m. I started hiking at 8:30 a.m.

The turn off for Coffee Flat Trail #108, down Fraser Canyon, is just before Woodbury Well, and is marked by a cairn. But first I explored the well. It has a windmill, but it no longer operates the pump, which is now solar-powered. At the base of the windmill was an elevated rubber pipe end, which was giving a steady flow of clear water. Two adjacent large plastic tanks sound like they were both full. (I knocked.) A spring box was dry, but a cattle tank was close to full. There were a number of well-licked salt blocks laying about. 🐄

Coffee Flat Trail #108 would have been a great hike had it not been for the INSANE amount of foxtail on it, particularly below JF Ranch. I'm not joking when I say sometimes the trail disappeared in the foxtail. I suppose I should have followed recommendations and hiked the canyon bottom, but I wanted to lay down an accurate track. 🙄

Fraser Canyon gets pretty tight for the next two miles, past Whetrock Canyon and Musk Hog Canyon, to Dripping Spring. There’s a decent amount of shade, and lots saguaro on the canyon slopes. Near Whetstone Spring, I found an mine adit that went in less than 50 ft.

I took a break at Dripping Spring, contemplating my foxtail riddled shoes & socks. I decided it would take too long to de-foxtail them, and that the existing infestation might somewhat innoculate me against further foxtails I might accumulate in Randolph Canyon. 🤔

After my break, I started up Red Tanks Trail #107, which passed by some pools and pretty purple boulders & slick rock. Along the way, I encountered a gila monster — the first one I’ve seen in the wild since I hiked from the Bronco Trailhead to Cave Creek in 2016.

After a ½ mile, Red Tanks Trail #107 heads north while Randolph Canyon continues northeast. I thought at first I might have found a use trail, but it quickly disappeared. I really did not want to fight catclaw for four miles, so I stuck to the rocky canyon bottom. That got old quick.

Though Randolph Canyon only climbs 500 ft. in the 3.5 miles to JF Trail #106, it felt like I was climbing stairs the whole way. My leg muscles got so tired, I briefly considered turning back, and even had non-sensical thoughts like “drop pack” and “cross country would be easier”. Both would have been bad news. I had to gut it out.

A few minutes before I reached Randolph Spring, I came within 5 ft. of a wetern diamondback sunning itself on a pink boulder. Naturally, I jumped back, but he never did rattle me, or even coil. 😅

Despite mostly staying in the rocky bottom of Randolph Canyon, I still accumulated scads more foxtail, as I occasionally had to work my way around an obstacle, trying to keep my stabby feet dry. (I eventually gave up staying dry.)

Two and a ½ miles up Randolph Canyon, I was dead tired. Naturally, that is when I encountered a 2-3 ft. high fence, across the wash. I’ve seen read that there is a gate in the brush on the side of the wash. Not knowing it at the time, I wondered how I could lift my weary legs over the fence, as there was no room to low crawl it. Even if there was, I did not have the energy to get back to my feet. After contemplating my options for a few minutes, I settled for stepping on the fence, depressing it enough that I was (barely) able to lift my other leg over it.

Finally, after nearly seven hours, I came to JF Trail #106. Though there is a cairn, the trail is faint. If you miss it, and really enjoy rock hopping, JF Trail #106 crosses Randolph Canyon a second time, in another half mile. I opted to climb the 150 ft. out of the canyon, stopping several times along the way for 10 seconds here and 15 seconds there. I was spent. 🚑

About halfway between the Woodbury Well and the trailhead, I got rattled by a second western diamondback*, on the left side of the jeep trail. Surprised, I did the hokey pokey back step. After gathering my senses, I walked around him.
* I almost ran over two more western diamondbacks on my drive back down FR 172! 🐍
I returned to the Woodbury Trailhead at 4:10 p.m., after nearly eight hours of hiking. (I might have taken even more time, if I was not concerned about getting back to pavement before dark.) Cold beer never tasted so good!

In summary, I liked Fraser Canyon, but downgraded it a star due to all the foxtail. Randolph Canyon blew chunks.

Drive to Woodbury TH: [ youtube video ]
Hike Video: [ youtube video ]
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Light
Desert Marigold, Ocotillo, Cholla, Flat Top Buckwheat, Desert Lavender, Sacred Datura, Prickly Pear Cactus, New Mexico Thistle, Saguaro, Salt Cedar and -- of course -- Brittlebush.

dry Fraser Canyon Dry Dry
Some water here & there, but not comparable to Randolph Canyon.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Randolph Spring Quart per minute Quart per minute
Pools, and flow from trickle to audible pour, both above & below Randolph Spring. Some of the pools decent size. Some with algae, some crystal clear.
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May 10 2019
kingsnake
avatar

 Guides 83
 Routes 184
 Photos 7,987
 Triplogs 639

57 male
 Joined Dec 20 2010
 Sunnyslope, PHX
Cottonwood Trail #120Globe, AZ
Globe, AZ
Hiking avatar May 10 2019
kingsnake
Hiking13.59 Miles 2,199 AEG
Hiking13.59 Miles   5 Hrs   51 Mns   2.32 mph
2,199 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Partners none no partners
Just after entering Cottonwood Canyon, there is a trough, that when I passed by was full. There was a rubber hose from upslope, past the trough, down into Cottonwood Creek (which was dry at that point). If the hose is feeding the trough, the connection is buried. The water didn’t look bad, but would need to be filtered to be drinkable.

I did not bother locating the Thompson Spring, but the spring box was as full of decent water as the trough a half mile back. Cottonwood Creek had slight pooling at the FR 341 crossing, which had lots of shade.

From Thompson Spring, Cottonwood Trail #120 climbs rocky FR 341 for a steep 500 ft. in only a half mile to a cattle guard. From there, the gain is mostly a steady 300 ft. per mile.

At the three mile mark, FR 341 turns west, while Cottonwood Trail #120 and the Arizona Trail continue south, as actual foot trail, at the bottom of Cottonwood Canyon. The junction is marked by a dry trough, a large metal tank full of decent water, and a small corral. And foxtail. Lots and lots of foxtail. There was an incredible amount of foxtail all along the trail, but it was worst at the tank.

From the metal tank, Cottonwood Trail #120 basically winds back and forth across the bottom of Cottonwood Canyon, which at some points had slight pooling, with trickle, and others was bone dry. (On the surface: Cottonwood Creek must have subsurface flow.) The vegetation varies from desert flora to well-shaded canopy with leafy green groundcover. It reminded me a lot of Arnett Creek & Telegraph Canyon, near Superior. At one point, the creek was just a bit too wide for me to jump across, so I built a ‘bridge’ with a dozen rocks. 🌉

At the 4.5 mile mark, just past the second slant-bolted metal tube gate, is a ~30 acre burn area, about a ½ mile long, on the lower west slope of Cottonwood Canyon. The trail passes right through it, but I still managed to wander off trail, smearing my pack with soot. The burn area had the greatest quantity & density of flowers on Cottonwood Trail #120, which was already riddled with species.

Cottonwood Spring is supposedly 5.25 miles up canyon from Frazier Trailhead. I could not find it, nor any evidence — water trickling across the Cottonwood Trail #120 or moisture in the canyon bottom. Just past the spring’s ostensible location, the the Arizona Trail Association is rerouting the trail off the rocks at the bottom of the canyon, up slope 20 ft. or so. Fresh tred has been scraped, flourescent flags planted, and shrubbery trimmed. A couple of hundred yards past the trail work, there is a 5 ft. cairn apropos of nothing. 🤔

At the 6.1 mile mark is the sixth trough I spotted, the fourth bone dry one. 300 yds. past that, not far from Pinyon Mountain, is the end of Cottonwood Trail #120 at FR 83. There is nothing at the end of the trail: No sitting rocks, no shade. Enh. Kind of anticlimactic considering how enjoyable the hike was to that point.

So, I backtracked to the nearest dry trough, sat back against it, and took a break while the sun beat down my shoulders. At least the temperature was a very moderate 77℉. After my break, I booked it back to the Frazier Trailhead, where I downed my sodium & potassium restoring V-8, before my wife & drove back to Tonto Basin for cold beers & delicious pizza at Big Daddy’s. 🍕🤗

Hike Video: [ youtube video ]
Culture
Culture
Trail Maintenance
Meteorology
Meteorology
Fire Burn Area & Recovery
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Moderate
I spotted at least 30 species: Flat Top Buckwheat, Mexican Gold Poppy, Desert Globemallow, Machaeranthera, Buckhorn Cholla, Sacred Datura, Desert Marigold, Strawberry Hedgehog, what I believe were Bluestem Pricklepoppy, Owl Clover, Lupine, Desert Chicory, Dudleya, Ocotillo, Blackfoot Daisy, Mexican Vervain, Desert Beardtongue, many more! AND New Mexico Thistle -- some 6 ft. tall -- with MASSIVE blooms.

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Cottonwood Creek Pools to trickle Pools to trickle
Upper reaches had some small pools and light trickle.

dry Cottonwood Spring Dry Dry
Couldn't find it. Saw no evidence of moisture along the creek bottom or AZT realignment.

dry Thompson Spring Dry Dry
Spring box was full; not sure on status of spring itself.
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http://prestonm.com : Everyone's enjoyment of the outdoors is different and should be equally honored.
May 03 2019
kingsnake
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 Guides 83
 Routes 184
 Photos 7,987
 Triplogs 639

57 male
 Joined Dec 20 2010
 Sunnyslope, PHX
Blue Dick Mine, AZ 
Blue Dick Mine, AZ
 
Hiking avatar May 03 2019
kingsnake
Hiking8.57 Miles 1,874 AEG
Hiking8.57 Miles   4 Hrs   25 Mns   1.94 mph
1,874 ft AEG
 
1st trip
Partners none no partners
Blue Dick Mine, located in Hassayampa District, was supposedly active from 1902 to 1928, when V. F. Grove And Sons ceased operations. But the February 24, 1890, edition of the New York Times, in an article on the Walnut Grove Dam collapse two days prior, reported that John McDonald, owner of the Blue Dick Mine, had observed the disaster from the “Dozoris [sic] Divide”. The mine produced $200,000, primarily in gold & silver.

I’ve parked my SUV a ½ mile down FR 79A before, but this time was no bueno. Instead, I parked at the FR 79 / FR 79A intersection.

The slippery in dry conditions climb up to the Moun Tritle-Maverick Mountain saddle was enhanced by a mountain runoff-fed creek trickling down the middle of the trail.

We followed FR 9403C as it bent south for a level & sun exposed 0.6 miles, before it began descending through shady pines, towards the knob labelled Hill 6507 on the topo. From the pines to FR 667, FR 9403C is an exceptionally steep & rocky descent. (A dirt biker we met at the bottom actually turned around rather than go up it.) Paul nicknamed the descent “The Eiger“, after the famous Swiss mountain.

Blue Dick Mine is located on a small plateau, below the intersection of FR 9403C and FR 667, on the south slope of Maverick Mountain. A pair of well-preserved ore cart tracks, with many ties still intact, bent its way across the plateau towards a small draw. 🛤

There was a foundation at the mouth of the small draw. It was obviously Blue Dick Mine’s processing area.

Paul and I followed the or cart cart tracks 50 yds. around a curve to Blue Dick Mine’s lower adit … which was collapsed. The cross beam which had been cracked in 2008 had given way, and more earth had slid from the side, all but blocking the adit. What opening remained was even smaller than the one I low-crawled at Webber Mine ( [ photoset ] ) three years, and several pounds, ago.

Fifty yards east, and 40 ft. up slope, was Blue Dick Mine’s upper adit. While a guy was able to squeeze in 11 years ago, more collapse in the intervening years made it impossible for this fat man to get in now. Fiddlestix. ⛔️

Just before rejoining FR 667, we found the miners dump, and what two foundations that looked like an assay and a office / living quarters. No artifacts there either, though.

Paul & I thought we were done with our exploring, but as we headed east along FR 667, we spotted what is marked on the topo as a prospect. In fact, it is two side-by-side, irregular-shaped, shafts. They were so close, that stepping between them to get a decent photo was a sketchy proposition.

Back at FR 9403C, we faced “The Eiger”. I’m not ashamed to say I took my time, taking a couple of minutes’ breather every 100 slippery, rocky, feet we climbed. I did not do much talking. The ¼ mile of shade north of Hill 6857 was most welcome, even though it continued to climb (albeit at more modest slope). 🥵

It was nearly 4:00 p.m. by the time Paul & I got back to my always patient wife at the trailhead on FR 79, so after we dropped Paul off at La Casa Prescottstyle, we quick-timed down AZ-89 towards Phoenix, stopping to pick up a pizza at the highly recommended T-Bird Cafe ( http://www.tbirdcafe.com/ ) in Peeples Valley along the way.

Mine Exploring Video: [ youtube video ]
Flora
Flora
Chia Periwinkle
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Light
Chia were blooming all along FR 9403C and the more explosed slopes of Maverick Mountain.
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http://prestonm.com : Everyone's enjoyment of the outdoors is different and should be equally honored.
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Apr 20 2019
kingsnake
avatar

 Guides 83
 Routes 184
 Photos 7,987
 Triplogs 639

57 male
 Joined Dec 20 2010
 Sunnyslope, PHX
C&O Canal PathDC, DC
DC, DC
Hiking avatar Apr 20 2019
kingsnake
Hiking12.63 Miles 374 AEG
Hiking12.63 Miles   4 Hrs   10 Mns   3.03 mph
374 ft AEG
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Sorry for babbling on. Lots of detail! 😉

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Last year ( [ photoset ] ), after hiking my second segment of the C&O Canal, I mused about the possibility of doing the whole thing. This winter, I looked closer as possible planning, eventually breaking the remaining 168 of 184.5 miles up into 17 segments of 8-15 miles. I will day hike the segments, with my wife shuttle driving, doing one or two segments every Easter and Halloween visit, to my son & his family in Hagerstown, through Easter 2025. I'll throw in a few side hikes, just off the C&O Canal, such as Maryland Heights (overlooking Harpers Ferry) and Fort Frederick. All the segments are anchored by trailheads accessible by paved road.

The only problem I had to puzzle over was the huge gap of nothingness in the Green Ridge State Forest, between Little Orleans and the [ C&O Canal Towpath - Paw Paw Tunnel ] . It's 20 miles from pavement to pavement, with only 4x4 accessible dirt trailheads in between. I was able to get it down to 16 miles, which I will hopefully still be able tto manage when I am 60 years old in 2023.

Yes, this is my next long range project, now that my four years long Loop 202 South Mountain Freeway survey hike project ( [ photoset ] ) is nearing its end. (Btw, ADOT is already planning a 202 expansion spur west along Baseline, or something like that, to Avondale / Buckeye.)

So, today's hike was from Georgetown (MP 0) to Carderock Recreation Area (MP 10.5ish) ...

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I didn’t realize C&O Canal mile 0 is at the Thompson Boat Center, just south of the Rock Creek Park trailhead, so instead I started hiking north along Rock Creek Parkway to where the towpath actually begins.

There’s lots of traffic on the C&O Canal Path, more tourists and joggers in Georgetown, tending towards bicyclists further out. Dog walkers too. I should have lived my young professional life in Washington D.C.: There’s eye candy for everyone! 😍

There’s so many historical markers along the C&O Canal Path that I did not have time to read them all.

There’s so many interesting things along the C&O Canal Path’s first ten miles that despite my best intentions I shot 119 photos and 94 video segments. The first cut of my hike video -- 📽 [ youtube video ] 📽 -- was 13:30, but I managed to whittle it down to 5:45. Less is more. 😉

The Locks 1 to 4 are located on the first ¼ mile of the towpath, between Rock Creek Parkway and Wisconsin Avenue, in the shadowy canyon between Civil War era factories & warehouses, converted to lofts, tech businesses & restaurants. There’s an insignificant detour around Lock 3 and Lock 4 which are fenced off for restoration work. The memorial to Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas — who led efforts to prevent turning the C&O Canal into a roadway — is currently behind the fence.

Adjacent to the Potomac Boat Club, there is a small trailhead at the terminus of the Capital Crescent Trail. (The Capital Crescent Trail is a paved trail which parallels the C&O Canal Path for 3.3 miles, until it crosses over the Arizona Avenue Bridge, heading north to Silver Spring.) There’s a number of crossovers, so you could easily head out on one, then back on the other.

There’s audible heavy flow in the C&O Canal in Georgetown, but the flow is normally placid west of Lock 4. Instead of the soothing sound of flowing water, I was accompanied by the cacophony of traffic along Canal Rd. NW and Clara Barton Parkway all the way to I-495 at MP 9.5.

The Abner Cloud House & Mill (c. 1801) and Fletchers Cove are located at MP 3.1. There’s clean, flush toilets, picnic tables, grills, watercraft & bicycle rentals, a bait shop / snack bar, water fountain, and lots of parking. I took an ice cream break. (Drumstick! :y: )

To minimize my luggage, the only gear I typically carry with me on a fly away hike are my GPS, my pocket camera and a bottle of water. I had intended to bring some Off!, but forgot the bug juice in Hagerstown. Luckily, despite the rain, and abundant vegetation, there were few gnats and absolutely zero mosquitoes. happy dance icon

It was a beautiful day. Perfect.

The Chain Bridge (MP 4.4) is the last pedestrian crossing to the south bank of the Potomac River for the next thirty-one miles to White’s Ferry.

Lock 5 (MP 5.0) has an adjacent guard lock. Also known as an “inlet lock”, it was designed to maintain flow in the C&O Canal. Lock 5 has a small parking area, a couple of porta potties, a water fountain and a bench. It’s a good place to turn around if you are hiking from Georgetown and don’t have a shuttle driver waiting at Carderock Recreation Area like I did.

There were lots of turtles sunning themselves on the logs. 🐢

there were lots of flowers along the C&O Canal Path. But the most impressive flowers were not down low, but up high, amongst the trees: Endless thick clusters of pink & purple blooms. Despite all the flowers, unlike Arizona, no allergies!

Lock 6 (MP 5.4) has the first lockhouse on the C&O Canal. Lockhouse 6 is one of six lockhouses which can be rented for $110-160 / night from the National Park Service under their Canal Quarters program ( https://www.canaltrust.org/programs/canal-quarters/ ). Before they became rustic hotels, the lockhouses served as the home & office for each lock’s operator.

The dam at Little Falls (MP 5.8) was the original start point of the C&O Canal. It looked like a still active facility, and there were warning signs about dangerous undertow. 🚫🚣🏻‍♂️

I took my second break at Lock 7 (MP 7.0). Though not for rent, Lockhouse 7 is one of 26 still standing lockhouses on the C&O Canal. Lock 7 was the first lock where there were well preserved gears I could get a close up look at, and even turn an inch or two.

Lock 8 (MP 8.4) is the first of the Seven Locks, which raise the C&O Canal fifty feet in just over a mile to Lock 14 on the west side of I-495. Fifty is not even noticeable elevation change when you are hiking, but fifty feet is a lot for moving water. Thus, the Seven Locks. There is a picnic table in front of Lockhouse 8.

Lockhouse 10 (MP 8.8) is the second lockhouse the NPS rents out overnight. The C&O Canal Path diverts to the north bank for a ¼ mile, to Lockhouse 11, due to restoration of Rock Run Culvert, which flows under the canal. Lock 10 has a picnic table, water fountain, and parking area.

Lock 12 under I-495 to Lock 14 (MP 9.3 to 9.5) are now basically dry locks. There might be some pooling, but the only flow is that of the constant traffic on the Capital Beltway.

The Billy Goat Trail (MP 10.0) splits to left. That can be taken to the Carderock parking area, but I stayed on the C&O Canal Path for another half mile where there is a dirt towpath access road for maintenance vehicles that is the most direct route to the Carderock Recreation Area, which has picnic tables, grills, restrooms, water fountain, and lots of parking.
Flora
Flora
Spring Beauty
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Moderate
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http://prestonm.com : Everyone's enjoyment of the outdoors is different and should be equally honored.
2 archives
Apr 06 2019
kingsnake
avatar

 Guides 83
 Routes 184
 Photos 7,987
 Triplogs 639

57 male
 Joined Dec 20 2010
 Sunnyslope, PHX
Loop 202 South Mountain, AZ 
Loop 202 South Mountain, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Apr 06 2019
kingsnake
Hiking7.34 Miles 853 AEG
Hiking7.34 Miles   3 Hrs   9 Mns   2.33 mph
853 ft AEG
 
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
I timed my ninth Loop 202 South Mountain Freeway survey hike to coincide with the first full weekend of the month, as that Saturday and Sunday are the only two days of the month that San Juan Road is open to vehicular traffic.

From Bajada Trailhead, I followed National Trail for ¾ mile to the saddle on Main Ridge North, then cut across country for a few hundred yards to the Graffiti Ranch. 👨🏻‍🎨

From Graffiti Ranch, I followed the jeep trail to its neighbor, Rock Wall Ranch.

Which was no more. Gone. The collapsed chicken coop, the foundation, the rock wall, the planter, the random garbage and thousands of nails … all gone. I thought being 100 yds. from the right-of-way Rock Wall Ranch would be safe. Bummer. I’ll miss the rock wall. 😕

I was hoping one of the multi-use crossings would be complete, so I could legally cross the right-of-way, but alas not. So, I worked my way along the yellow “do not cross” rope, between the right of way and the Taylor-Morrison luxury community.

Good thing too! As I was taking pictures from the Wildwood Dr. cul-de-sac, a white pickup drove up from the construction zone. The driver asked what I was up to. “Just taking pictures,” I said. Pointing them out, he replied that they had seen me on three or four security cameras. I mentioned that I had been careful not to cross the yellow rope. And that was that. Because if somebody did cross the yellow rope, that would be a huge safety issue, causing work to shut down, resulting in delays and dollar losses to the project. (Not to mention Federal Pound Me in the Pumpkin Prison for the offender.) 😳

I crossed over Main Ridge South near the lxury development gate. A number of cyclists and walkers were getting extra exercise heading up from the Pecos Road area.

Working my way south along the wall / fence bordering the still-standing 32nd Lane properties, I arrived near Waypoint #1, at the 3303 W. Pecos Road pump station. Which was missing. I figured the freeway would curve north before it reached the pump station, but I guess it was cheaper to relocate it.

I then backtracked north, back over Main Ridge South and across the valley to Main Ridge North. There were a TON of Arizona Blister Beetles near Waypoint #11,  the former location of the R.A. Steele Ranch. Between Waypoint #12 and Waypoint #14, there was a parking lot of inactive earth movers.

Still staying clear if the yellow rope, I made my way up Main Ridge North's steep slope, which was made more difficult due to not being able to use the old jeep trail that was blasted away.

Waypoint #15 was on top of Main Ridge North. From there, I looked north, across the multi-use crossing #3, adjacent to the pink reservation water tanks, to Dusty Lane. On the far side of the enclave, I could see that pavement had extended south from the Pecos Segment to the foot of Alta Ridge at 51st Ave.

Though from elevated point on Main Ridge North I could get a solid overview of the changes along Dusty Lane, I continued to follow the yellow security rope north, photographing Waypoints #16-20 up close. (Or as close as I could get without trespassing.)

My survey hike complete at Choppo Road and 43rd Ave. (Waypoint #20), I cut cross country, northeast back to my car at the Bajada Trailhead.

Hike Video: [ youtube video ]
Culture
Culture
Bridge
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Isolated
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http://prestonm.com : Everyone's enjoyment of the outdoors is different and should be equally honored.
Mar 29 2019
kingsnake
avatar

 Guides 83
 Routes 184
 Photos 7,987
 Triplogs 639

57 male
 Joined Dec 20 2010
 Sunnyslope, PHX
Palo Verde Trail #512Phoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Mar 29 2019
kingsnake
Hiking7.88 Miles 1,054 AEG
Hiking7.88 Miles   3 Hrs   28 Mns   2.27 mph
1,054 ft AEG
 no routes
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
My dad is laid up, and several times has mentioned to me his disappointment at not being to get out to see the Super Bloom. 🏥

From previous hikes on Palo Verde Trail #512 at Bartlett Lake, I knew that there would be decent flower coverage. But I had no idea how good.

On the drive down Bartlett Lake Road, from Carefree to Rattlesnake Cove, it was obvious that at the very least there would be epic amounts of lupine. (On the drive back about 1:00 p.m. even more epic amounts of late blooming Mexican Gold Poppy.)

As always, Palo Verde Trail #512 is better exercise than its length and AEG would otherwise indicate.

Besides the Coulter’s Lupine and Mexican Gold Poppy, I spotted owl clover, brittlebush, chuparosa, scorpionweed, desert globemallow, cream cup, chia — not the pets! — blue dick, desert chicory, fairy duster, wooly daisy, Esteve’s Pincushion, paleface delphinium, dandelion, fiddleneck, flat top buckwheat, fairy duster … and even mutant white poppies! I probably forgot a few. 😁

Super Bloom Video: [ youtube video ]
Named place
Named place
Bartlett Reservoir
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Substantial
_____________________
http://prestonm.com : Everyone's enjoyment of the outdoors is different and should be equally honored.
Mar 22 2019
kingsnake
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 Guides 83
 Routes 184
 Photos 7,987
 Triplogs 639

57 male
 Joined Dec 20 2010
 Sunnyslope, PHX
Mountain Wash Trail - Skyline RPPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Mar 22 2019
kingsnake
Hiking8.47 Miles 1,815 AEG
Hiking8.47 Miles   3 Hrs   30 Mns   2.42 mph
1,815 ft AEG
 
1st trip
Not sure where to look for flowers this week, and not having been to Skyline Regional Park in over a year, I decided schlep back out to Buckeye. In case flowers were thin in the White Tank foothills, I added the Verrado Petroglyphs to my route, so I could guarantee some interesting photos. I also added the Crest Summit Trail, hoping for extra elevation gain and some nice views. 📷

There were a ton of fluffy, yellow, desert marigold at the trailhead.

While getting ready at the Skyline Regional Park trailhead, I saw what I thought was a poo pumper truck. Not quite. As I passed by the restrooms — actual running water & flush toilets! — I saw the truck, next to which was a guy in a wetsuit & silver dive helmet, with hoses coming out of it. I thought maybe they were filming a commercial, but instead the diver climbed into a tiny pipe & disappeared! (I found out later that the diver was clearing blockages in the water / sewer line.)

Skyline Regional Park was not in “super bloom”, but on Mountain Wash Trail I did spot what looked like a pink lupine, globe chamomile, brittlebush (of course), and Fremont’s pincushion (?) — a white, difficult to photograph, flower that looked like a small carnation.

Flowers on Lost Creek Trail included California sun cup, scorpionweed, Mexican gold poppy, Fremont’s pincushion (?) and scads of lupine. I even saw one lupine patch growing in the middle of the old jeep trail! 🤗

SOB Trail is a marked, but apparently unofficial, MTB trail along the eastern boundary of Skyline Regional Park. It switchbacks 225 ft. in a mile to a saddle on the west slope of Hill 1976. SOB Trail then follows the contour for a ½ mile to Hill 1976’s east slope, where there is a rocky foot trail that connects the Verrado Petroglyphs back to the old jeep trail. SOB Trail was a pleasant stroll.

A razor wire-topped fence makes it difficult to photograph the Verrado Petroglyphs. Not only due to distance, with my crappy pocket camera, but also angle, as many of the etchings are high on the varnished rock formation.

I really don’t like rocky trails — they are hard on the feet, and there’s always the threat of breaking an ankle — but I followed it from the Verrado Petroglyphs 200 ft. down to the old jeep trail. In a ¼ mile, I was at the SOB Trail sign, back in Skyline Regional Park.

On the 400 ft. climb back up Lost Creek Trail, I was passed by a sheriff’s deputy in a weight vest. 😅

The handful of steep little 50 ft. climbs on Skyline Crest do not come close to justifying its “difficult” rating. It’s mostly level, then downhill to Quartz Mine Trail. (Done the opposite direction, south to north, the climb is 250 ft. in a ⅓ of a mile, or the same as moderate rated Lost Creek Trail.)

I loved Skyline Crest Trail! It winds along the spine of the ridge, each twist revealing a new, awesome view: southwest towards the Eagletail Mountains, south to the Gila Bend Mountains, southeast to South Mountain, and east into Phoenix. ⛰

Though not reaching “super bloom” levels, there were scads of flowers on Skyline Crest Trail: desert tobacco, desert globemallow, scorpionweed, desert chicory, and the only decent ocotillo I spotted all day. (Most ocotillo blooms I saw were fading to brown.)

At the top of Crest Summit Trail, I found a fairly smooth back supporting rock to recline against, and sat down for lunch and a hiking beer, while enjoying the spacious view.

I blasted through Quartz Mine Trail, 1.4 miles to the trailhead, in only 30 minutes. There may have been a few flowers on Quartz Mine Trail, but I had already got what I came for, and so wasn’t much interested in spending time looking. 😉

Hike & 💐 Video: [ youtube video ]
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Moderate
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http://prestonm.com : Everyone's enjoyment of the outdoors is different and should be equally honored.
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average hiking speed 2.33 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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