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675 triplogs

Aug 08 2020
kingsnake
avatar

 Guides 87
 Routes 201
 Photos 8,479
 Triplogs 675

58 male
 Joined Dec 20 2010
 Sunnyslope, PHX
Clark Spring Trail #40Prescott, AZ
Prescott, AZ
Hiking avatar Aug 08 2020
kingsnake
Hiking5.83 Miles 1,059 AEG
Hiking5.83 Miles   2 Hrs   28 Mns   2.36 mph
1,059 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
@prescottstyle & I started hiking from the Metate Trailhead, near Granite Basin Lake, at 8:25 a.m. It was a bit confusing at the start, as we first started down a wash marked with blue ribbons, and marked on the topo as “FR 374C”. Then we went past a row of boulders, starting up Granite Mountain Trail #261. Then I spotted the Clark Spring Trail #40 sign, on the right side of the trail, rather than on the left where the trail actually goes. Eh. Only lost a few minutes. No big. 🧭

Clark Spring Trail #40 climbs 700 ft. in the next two miles. The first mile has spot shade, but is mostly exposed. The next ¾ of a mile, switchbacks through shadey pine, oak and juniper. Two of the juniper — one living, one dead — are massive. (Though not as large as the Granite Mountain Hotshots juniper.) The final ¼ mile to the Granite Mountain Wilderness boundary gate is exposed, as is the rest of the climb to the summit of Little Granite Mountain.

The Clark Spring Trail #40 switchbacks do not do much to slow down mountain bikes bombing down the trail, so keep your head up, and your ears open. Besides two MTBs, we also encountered a couple and their pair of friendly dogs. We chatted with them for a few minutes, and it turned out they were the folks who maintained Trail #40, which they said had been rough and overgrown just a few months ago. Now, the trail is in great shape! 👏

At the wilderness boundary gate, Paul realized one of the bolts was falling out of the trail sign. The washer and nut were still in the back of the sign, so I screwed them back on as tight as I could, squeezing my fat fingertips into the small hole.

We turned north on Little Granite Mountain Trail #37.

From the gate, Little Granite Mountain Trail #37 climbs 100 ft. in a ¼ mile to the top of a spur. If you continue on Trail #37, it descends 700 ft. in 1½ miles to Upper Pasture Trail #38. Instead, at the spur, turn right, off trail up the spur. In 100 yds. is a barb wire fence. I suppose we could have stayed on the east side of the boundary gate, and followed the fence up, but Paul & I did not.

We arrived at the fence just after 10:00 a.m. It was already quite toasty. Paul had been under the impression we were doing the Little Granite Mountain Loop again, not a summit. Combined with the temperature being higher than expected, he was low on water. Rather than cause a heat injury, I suggested we bail. 🥵

On the way back down, heavy clouds started coming in. The two rain drops I felt were no relief from the heat. It was already 90℉, heading for 95 at 3:00 p.m., when Paul & I got back to the Metate Trailhead at noon. Rehydration commenced soon thereafter at La Casa Prescottstyle. 🍻

Hike Video: [ youtube video ]
Culture
Culture
Cag Shot Humor
Meteorology
Meteorology
Moon
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Light
_____________________
http://prestonm.com : Everyone's enjoyment of the outdoors is different and should be equally honored.
Jul 30 2020
kingsnake
avatar

 Guides 87
 Routes 201
 Photos 8,479
 Triplogs 675

58 male
 Joined Dec 20 2010
 Sunnyslope, PHX
Woods Canyon Lake Trail - Mogollon RimPayson, AZ
Payson, AZ
Hiking avatar Jul 30 2020
kingsnake
Hiking5.90 Miles 282 AEG
Hiking5.90 Miles   2 Hrs   8 Mns   2.77 mph
282 ft AEG
 no routes
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Every other time I hiked the Woods Canyon Lake loop I hiked it counterclockwise. Today I hiked it clockwise. Because a trail changes when you hike it the opposite direction, here’s what I noticed that was different:

First, there are two dry creek crossings at the west end of Woods Canyon Lake. Hiking clockwise, the southern of the two is Woods Canyon. The obvious, well worn, trail actually continues west, up canyon, through a dense False hellebore (corn lily) patch. It is easy to get wander off the “wrong” direction there, so look for the next blue diamond trail marker. 🔷

Second, there were a couple of downed trees across the trail at the west end of Woods Canyon Lake. One log near the second creek crossing was large enough that I could not climb over it. The other couple of trees were more easily avoided.

Finally, at a trail split on the north side of Woods Canyon Lake, there was a blue diamond with a black arrow pointing right. I started to go right, but then realized the next blue diamond was to the left. “Somehow”, the arrow sign had fallen off the upper nail, rotating it 180°. I did my best to put it back. Hard to get lost, though, if you always keep the shoreline on the same shoulder. 😉

I arrived at Woods Canyon Dam a little over an hour after I started at the bait shop. Looking south, down canyon, I followed a trail from the top of spillway to the canyon bottom, then across the cienega.

I stuck to the east side of the Woods Canyon, in the shade, as it was already getting warm. The first ½ mile, there was plenty of water in the creek, though the flow was imperceptible. The water often looked greasy, probably engine runoff from the lake. The few flowers were scattered Richardson’s geranium and western yarrow.

Woods Canyon tightened up after a ½ mile. Strollers will want to turn around at that point, however the trail continues for another ½ mile across scattered boulders, stagnant pools, bracken fern and false hellebore (corn lily) patches. Unlike nearby Willow Springs Canyon two weeks ago, none of the corn lily were blooming.

After a mile, the trail disappeared as Woods Canyon became bouldered up. (Difficult terrain which continues all the way down canyon, five more miles to the junction with Willow Springs Canyon and Chevelon Canyon.) The canyon walls are a climbable 100 ft. bluff; I elected instead to backtrack the trail. ↩️

Once back at Woods Canyon Dam, I followed the shoreline to the baitshop, where my wife was waiting for me with an ice cream drum stick and a hiking beer: A Budweiser, so I’m not sure if she loves me, or was trying to poison me. 🤔

Hike Video: [ youtube video ]
Named place
Named place
Woods Canyon Woods Canyon Lake
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Isolated
Saw one small cluster of Mexican silene on the loop trail; scattered western yarrow and Richardson's geranium below the dam.
_____________________
http://prestonm.com : Everyone's enjoyment of the outdoors is different and should be equally honored.
2 archives
Jul 23 2020
kingsnake
avatar

 Guides 87
 Routes 201
 Photos 8,479
 Triplogs 675

58 male
 Joined Dec 20 2010
 Sunnyslope, PHX
Milk Ranch Point, AZ 
Milk Ranch Point, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Jul 23 2020
kingsnake
Hiking10.39 Miles 552 AEG
Hiking10.39 Miles   3 Hrs   38 Mns   2.86 mph
552 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Tonto NF is closed. Luckily, I had a Plan B: Explore Milk Ranch Point, at the top of the Mogollon Rim, in the Coconino National Forest. I didn’t have a route loaded in my GPS, so I figured I would just wing it.

I basically walked south along Milk Ranch Point Rd. for almost four miles. FR 218 is in better shape than Rim Rd. / FR 300 usually is. (Though Rim Rd. is currently in the best shape I've ever seen.) FR 218 is easily SUV-able as far as I walked it, and even cars would have no problem if it’s dry and they mind their speed.

The views above West Webber Creek are SPECTACULAR. 🤗

There are informal car camping spots all along Milk Ranch Point Rd., mostly on the east canyon side of the road. But there were a lot fewer fifth wheel RVs than at formal campgrounds, such as nearby Kehl Spring. I think I got passed by two vehicles all day, and they were driving reasonable speeds, not channelling their inner Sebastian Loeb. 👍

Although nowhere near urban levels of garbage, there was more trash than I expected given the low population density along Milk Ranch Point Rd.: Plenty of discarded beer cans, tins of mystery meat, and even rain-bleached toilet paper. But don’t let that dissuade you from a visit!

A ½ mile south of the corral is the prairie known as Dickenson Flat. In the middle of the prairie, I saw some white rocks arranged in some sort of design. Crossing the muddy, elk-poo strewn, flat I found that the rocks spelled “PPA” and “PHX :next: 75”, with the arrow pointing southwest … towards Sun City. Obviously, some sort of old aerial navigation aid, but whoever followed the arrow would have faced a long, hot, thirsty 18-mile hike across then virgin desert to 1930s Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport. Missed it by that much. 👌

A ⅓ of a mile south of West Webber Trail #228, Milk Ranch Point Rd. intersects several forest roads and a trail marked by nothing more than a generic white hiker on brown background sign. (Which turns out to be Donahue Trail #27, down to the town of Pine.) It had started sprinkling 30 minutes before, and by the time I got to the intersection it was raining pretty hard, so I bailed. A few minutes later it stopped raining. 😏

On the way back to the FR 218A trailhead, I did about 2½ miles of mostly very easy off trail hiking. No views, but I wanted to confirm that the interior of Milk Ranch Point was as obstacle free as it appeared from the road.

Hard to believe I hiked over 10 miles, especially given my knees still being achy after last week’s adventure. Next time I explore Milk Ranch Point, I’ll do it from a forward trailhead, probably at the top of West Webber Trail #228, so I can spend more time off trail and still get to enjoy the mesa’s expansive southern views. 🤗

Hike Video: [ youtube video ]
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation None
Three flowers is more than none, but less than "isolated". If there are flowers on Milk Ranch Point, July is the wrong time for year for them.
_____________________
http://prestonm.com : Everyone's enjoyment of the outdoors is different and should be equally honored.
Jul 16 2020
kingsnake
avatar

 Guides 87
 Routes 201
 Photos 8,479
 Triplogs 675

58 male
 Joined Dec 20 2010
 Sunnyslope, PHX
Willow Springs Canyon - Mogollon RimPayson, AZ
Payson, AZ
Hiking avatar Jul 16 2020
kingsnake
Hiking6.62 Miles 516 AEG
Hiking6.62 Miles   4 Hrs   42 Mns   1.41 mph
516 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
The less said, the better.
Culture
Culture
Dam - Rock
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Substantial
Some new flower IDs to me, but Richardson's geranium; tons of tall, blooming, corn lily; tons of sneezeweed (?); tons of coneflower; common pipsissewa (?), Arizona thistle, tons of wild bergamot. Others. Great flower hike if you turn back before the 2-mile mark. **** Rating is for the flowers.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max Willow Springs Canyon Medium flow Medium flow
Flow the whole way down to Chevelon.
_____________________
http://prestonm.com : Everyone's enjoyment of the outdoors is different and should be equally honored.
Jun 26 2020
kingsnake
avatar

 Guides 87
 Routes 201
 Photos 8,479
 Triplogs 675

58 male
 Joined Dec 20 2010
 Sunnyslope, PHX
Mount TritlePrescott, AZ
Prescott, AZ
Hiking avatar Jun 26 2020
kingsnake
Hiking8.46 Miles 2,215 AEG
Hiking8.46 Miles   4 Hrs   18 Mns   1.97 mph
2,215 ft AEG
 
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
I’ve been in the Mount Tritle area several times before, but it was so long ago that I hadn’t figured out how to edit videos, so I just uploaded a random segment I shot on my iPhone. I figured it was time to return. 😁

Mount Tritle is named after Frederick Augustus Tritle (1833-1906), the sixth governor of Arizona. Tritle was a lawyer, banker and financier, who operated mines in Nevada and Jerome, Arizona. I learned something new today! 👨🏻‍🎓

Rather than starting from the “forward” trailhead at Kendall Camp, I started hiking a ½ mile back, at the intersection of FR 79 and FR 79A. I figured I could use the extra mile of exercise, but by the time I reach Mount Tritle’s summit, I was wishing I had parked a bit closer. 😅

I took plenty of 30-second breathers on the climb up Mount Tritle. Even though it was only 64℉ when I started, the direct sunlight, in the thinner high-altitude air, made it seem warmer. The plentiful shade provided by the pines, juniper and oak were a big relief. The bestest, mostest shadiest pine of all was on Mount Tritle’s summit.

The summit of Mount Tritle was mostly covered with scrub, most of it stabby, but a lot less grabby & painful than catclaw. The true summit is 100 yds. southeast of where the USGS topo claims it is. The topo summit is marked by an old 3′ x 3′ antenna base marked “W7GOK / K7EUR”, the initials “BL”, “TB” and “JS”, and is dated “6-25-61”. A quick google search confirmed my suspicion that the code letters were amateur radio “ham” callsigns: W7GOK was James H. Schultz, and K7EUR was Bill F. Lesko, both of Phoenix. No idea who “TB” was. 📡

Mount Tritle’s true summit is marked by a small cluster of exposed rock, 100 ft. south of the shady summit pine. According to the topo, there is a wood shack on the summit, but it disappeared years ago. (Topo information can lag reality by as much as 50 years.) There is a 3 ft. high cairn where the shack used to be.

At various spots along the ridge, Maverick Mountain, Spruce Mountain, Lookout Mountain, Moscow Peak, Mount Davis, Mount Union, Granite Mountain, Thumb Butte and Glassford Hill are visible. Also, there are great views southwest, past Wagoner and Walnut Grove in the lush Hassayampa River valley, towards the Weaver Mountains, including Antelope Peak and Yarnell Hill. I could clearly see the large gold & silver surface operation at Zonia Mine, midway between Walnut Grove and Peeples Valley. Closer, a mile down Dosoris Canyon, I could see active operations on lower parts of the Davis-Dunkirk Mine. There was quite a bit of shooting down there. Maybe claim jumpers. 😈

After lunch under Mount Tritle’s shady summit pine, I started back down. Still taking plenty of breathers, and even a 10 minute break near the Maverick Mountain saddle. I put out a cap filled with gatorade, hoping to attract a hummingbird. No luck: The only thing that flew by were a pair of fighter jets. I looked, but could not spot them -- only the bluest sky I have ever seen in my life. 🤗

Hike Video: [ youtube video ]
Fauna
Fauna
Ladybug beetle
Meteorology
Meteorology
Moon
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Isolated
A couple of prickly pear, a few penstemon (but VERY red), butterfly weed, some light purple thing I think might be a wire lettuce, and a light blue/purple shrub flower that sprinkled all along FR 9403C.
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http://prestonm.com : Everyone's enjoyment of the outdoors is different and should be equally honored.
Jun 18 2020
kingsnake
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 Guides 87
 Routes 201
 Photos 8,479
 Triplogs 675

58 male
 Joined Dec 20 2010
 Sunnyslope, PHX
Kehl CanyonPayson, AZ
Payson, AZ
Hiking avatar Jun 18 2020
kingsnake
Hiking9.67 Miles 796 AEG
Hiking9.67 Miles   4 Hrs   48 Mns   2.01 mph
796 ft AEG
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Due to the Bush Fire preventing all traffic along AZ-87, we took I-17 and AZ-260 to the Mogollon Rim. Traffic was normal in the morning, but heavy late afternoon on our way back on AZ-260, as Payson-bound traffic routed around the road closure. Just before we reached Kehl Springs Campground, I stopped to video the Bush Fire smoke ( [ youtube video ] ), which obscured all views south, even though the fire front was 40 miles away. 🔥

Kehl Canyon is immediately tighter than the beginning of any other Mogollon Rim canyon I’ve so far hiked. Not bad, but tighter, with no shelves or meadows to speed travel. I don’t know if ferns can “peak” like spring flowers, but there were tons of them. False hellebore / corn lily were also plentiful. The most common actual flower was yellow columbine, followed by some white thing that was neither daisy, lily, poppy nor fleabane. I also spotted western wallflower and Richardson’s Geranium.

There was evidence of water the first 1.6 miles down Kehl Canyon, and a small, but loud, pour to a clear, waist deep, pool at the junction with Middle Kehl Canyon. The junction would make a great campsite.

The next 1.3 miles of Kehl Canyon considerably tightened until I came to a waist deep pool flanked by steep rock formations. I didn’t want to get wet, but neither did I want to bail, so in I went. On a smaller scale, it reminded me of hiking the Gila River — literally, hiking the river — in 2015 ( [ photoset ] ). Having gotten soaked, I didn’t hesitate to splash right through any further pools. 💦

I wanted to stop for lunch at the mouth of West Kehl Canyon, but didn’t find just the right combination of shade, soft ground and a decent back rest until I was a half mile up West Kehl. My photos don’t bear it out, but it was slow travel, with uncertain footing, pools, deadfall, etc. In other words, “tight”.

A mile up West Kehl Canyon, it began opening up. By the time I reached bone dry Mud Spring, FR 6110 was just a few yards away, in a small meadow. I didn’t want to do any more canyon crawling than necessary, so the solution was obvious. 😁

After a ½ mile on FR 6110, I turned left onto FR 308E, which was quite rocky for the ½ mile I was on it. Okay for walking, but I wouldn’t drive my SUV up it. Where FR 308E turns north, I took a short break before dropping into Middle Kehl Canyon for my final canyon crawl of the day.

Like West Kehl Canyon, I remember the initial stretch of Middle Kehl Canyon being more congested than my photos otherwise suggest. A ½ mile south, there was a leaning, but still standing, pine with the largest trunk I’ve seen on the Mogollon Rim: It was at least 60″ diameter! Speaking of which, most of the trees in the various Kehl Canyons are pine, with few oak or other deciduous species. 🌲

A ¼ mile south of the massive pine, Middle Kehl Canyon intersects FR 308B, by which point the canyon bottom travel is fern patches. Instead of heading up the spur on FR 308B, I continued at the bottom of Middle Kehl on an unnumbered jeep trail.

After another ½ mile in Middle Kehl Canyon, I turned off the unnumbered jeep trail, up an obstacle-free draw, before crossing a burn area on FR 308A, back to the Kehl Springs Campground.

Hike Video: [ youtube video ]
Culture
Culture
Cag Shot
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Light
Ferns, corn lily, western wallflower, yellow columbine, Richardson's Geranium, others.

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Kehl Canyon Pools to trickle Pools to trickle

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Middle Kehl Canyon Pools to trickle Pools to trickle

dry Mud Spring Dry Dry

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max West Kehl Canyon Pools to trickle Pools to trickle
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http://prestonm.com : Everyone's enjoyment of the outdoors is different and should be equally honored.
Jun 08 2020
kingsnake
avatar

 Guides 87
 Routes 201
 Photos 8,479
 Triplogs 675

58 male
 Joined Dec 20 2010
 Sunnyslope, PHX
Buena Vista Trail #637 - Show LowPayson, AZ
Payson, AZ
Hiking avatar Jun 08 2020
kingsnake
Hiking11.53 Miles 1,277 AEG
Hiking11.53 Miles   3 Hrs   54 Mns   2.96 mph
1,277 ft AEG
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
The past year or so my regular hike day is Thursday. But Arizona temperatures were scheduled to peak on Thursday — including 90℉ in Show Low. However, temps were supposed to drop 5° on Friday, and another 10° Saturday through Tuesday. Then again, the north country is a zoo on the weekend, as Phoenicians jam I-17 and AZ-260 heading to points north and east. The more I can avoid other people, the better. So, I waited until Monday. 🌡

After the three hour drive from Phoenix, my wife & I arrived at the trailhead at 9:00 a.m. For a small trailhead, in a small town, it was packed: I counted at least 10 vehicles. (There may have been more, but I ran out of fingers.) ✋🤚

Despite the crowded trailhead, I only encountered two hikers about halfway, two hikers near the end, three ATVs moving too fast for conditions, and no mountain bikes, dog walkers, or horse riders. Only three vehicles were left at the trailhead when I returned at 2:00 p.m.

There’s good maps posted at the trailhead, and apparently some are occasionally available to take along. However, I recommend carrying a GPS: The official loop is criss-crossed by uncountable other jeep trails and mountain bike paths. I hiked 1½ extra miles due to wrong turns, and the couple I met near the end had just gotten un-lost. 🧭

The 1,200 ft. of AEG on Buena Vista Trail #637 mostly occurs in a half dozen 150-200 ft. climbs. Nothing too strenuous. The best views on the loop, occur from a clear “summit” 4.0 miles into the hike. The hospital in Pinetop-Lakeside was obvious, as were the antennas on Porter Mountain and the quarry at First Knoll.

I finished the Buena Vista Trail #637 loop in 3h 54m, which — math 😣 — is 2.96 mph, a speed akin to my neighborhood walks during the week. The hike is is not spectacular by any means, but I enjoyed the pleasant stroll. 🙂

On the way home, I diverted off AZ-260 in Pinedale so I could drive through the covered bridge — apparently the only one in Arizona — just for my loving & supportive wife, who had always wanted to drive through a covered bridge. Happy birthday, Schnook! 🤗

Hike Video: [ youtube video ]
Named place
Named place
Hansen Tank Porter Mountain
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Light
I was surprised by the wide variety of flowers along Buena Vista Trail #637: Lupine and western wallflower were among the more numerous, while a saw only one or two penstemon, paintbrush and prickly pear flowers.

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Hansen Tank 1-25% full 1-25% full
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http://prestonm.com : Everyone's enjoyment of the outdoors is different and should be equally honored.
May 28 2020
kingsnake
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 Guides 87
 Routes 201
 Photos 8,479
 Triplogs 675

58 male
 Joined Dec 20 2010
 Sunnyslope, PHX
Watson Lake LoopPrescott, AZ
Prescott, AZ
Hiking avatar May 28 2020
kingsnake
Hiking5.75 Miles 530 AEG
Hiking5.75 Miles   2 Hrs   6 Mns   2.74 mph
530 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Pretty warm, even in the morning, with plenty of humidity. I was a sweat hog. Enjoyed the shady Watson Dam area. Instructions to follow white dots are BS: EVERY trail has white dots! I added a mile to my distance for the at least eight times I followed the wrong white dots. Good thing I had a GPS. I could see someone getting lost in there. Climbing dells in the northern half of the loop better workout than the meager AEG would indicate. Scenic as expected. Stopped by south boat ramp to chat with Karts Huseonica, who is canoing the Yukon River this summer https://www.yukon2020.com . (A year or two ago, Karts set the age record for oldest AZT yoyo.) Afterwards, cookout and desperately needed adult beverages at La Casa Prescottstyle.
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.
May 21 2020
kingsnake
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 Guides 87
 Routes 201
 Photos 8,479
 Triplogs 675

58 male
 Joined Dec 20 2010
 Sunnyslope, PHX
Juniper Flat - Sierra AnchaGlobe, AZ
Globe, AZ
Hiking avatar May 21 2020
kingsnake
Hiking8.32 Miles 629 AEG
Hiking8.32 Miles   4 Hrs   14 Mns   1.97 mph
629 ft AEG
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
I don’t get out to the Sierra Ancha too often, as it is a three hour drive from Sunnyslope, despite being only 67 miles away as the crow flies. Or hawk, as I would later discover.

Exploring Juniper Flat is a total, but mild, bushwhack.

From the trailhead, I headed northeast, making sure to stay on the Juniper Flat side of the unnamed canyon that separates it from Elephant Rock Mesa.

Besides simply enjoying the day, my main objective was to see if there was a way down to the mines / caves, I had previously spotted from Elephant Rock Mesa ( [ photoset ] ). They were on the Juniper Flat side of the canyon, maybe 200 ft. down from the rim. When I got near to where they should be, I would get closer to the edge, peer around, move over a bit, repeat, etc. There were some cracks in the rim that I could have scrambled down to about the right level, but didn’t want to waste the energy if I didn’t see the caves first. It might be a small, unnamed, canyon, but it is sheer & rugged.

Moving along the rim of the unnamed canyon, and Cherry Creek into which it feeds, had both the most tangled vegetation on Juniper Flat, and also the most open movement. Where it was tangled, I would “dip in & out” from the rim, as I sought a less tangled path — which is why the attached GPS route looks so jagged. Where the rim was clear, it was smooth sailing across flat stone outcroppings.

Juniper Flat has much less wildfire damage than Elephant Rock Mesa, so there is plenty of shade. Still, I got quite sunburned from spending so much time on the exposed rim of Cherry Creek.

3.0 miles into my explore, I found two cairns about 25 yds. apart: one regular size, one with large stones. I couldn’t figure out their purpose, nor that of an obviously placed wood pole at the 3.4 mile mark. The wilderness boundary was nearby, so maybe that is why? 🤔

A ¼ mile west of the wood post is a beautiful, layered, dryfall that would be spectacular if water was running. I got buzzed by an irate hawk (see video below), who must have had a nearby nest. As I had already been exploring three hours, I decided to skip the northern half of my planned Juniper Flat figure 8.

The first 3.5 miles of my Juniper Flat exploration were in the Sierra Ancha Wilderness. I crossed the wilderness boundary two other times, and approached it a third, but never saw a fence of any sort, other than by the trailhead, and along the Young Highway / AZ-288. There is no fence along the Cherry Creek rim, nor where the dirt road crossed the wilderness boundary. (It ends in a loop a ¼ mile into the wilderness.) With no barrier, it was no surprise to see an OHV exploring the dirt road.

After walking the dirt road’s length, I again headed off trail, searching for Juniper Flat Tank — which is not where the map claims it is. I did, however, find a land survey monument and the cadastral survey marker for the northeast corner of the Cagle Cabin admin site.

What I assume is Juniper Flat Tank, was 200 yds. away. It was a large, waterless, clearing with two large water bladders, wood benches, an upright metal tank, a small metal tank on a trailer, and an old home site with two concrete foundations, a stone grill / BBQ pit, and a mostly intact stone chimney. From Juniper Flat Tank, it was under a mile back to the trailhead.

Hike Video: [ youtube video ]
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Light
Juniper Flat has quite a bit of vegetation, mostly pine, pinyon, juniper, manzanita, etc. No catclaw that I recall. The few cacti were mostly prickly pear, which had some amazing flowers. Fleabane and some yellow flower I can never remember the name of were quite common. The manzanita were blooming their tight clusters of white & pink flowers. I also found New Mexico thistle, indian paintbrush, century plant, and an absolutely stunning purple number that I believe was a Gunnison’s Mariposa Lily.
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http://prestonm.com : Everyone's enjoyment of the outdoors is different and should be equally honored.
1 archive
May 14 2020
kingsnake
avatar

 Guides 87
 Routes 201
 Photos 8,479
 Triplogs 675

58 male
 Joined Dec 20 2010
 Sunnyslope, PHX
Open Draw - Mogollon RimPayson, AZ
Payson, AZ
Hiking avatar May 14 2020
kingsnake
Hiking11.18 Miles 653 AEG
Hiking11.18 Miles   4 Hrs   13 Mns   2.65 mph
653 ft AEG
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Check out the Guide I just added. 👆

Continuing my quest to hike every named canyon on the Rim between AZ-87 and AZ-260 ...

You can chop 2.8 miles round trip off the distances of the loop options in the Guide by parking at the FR 91 intersection with FR 40F. I hiked from the official trailhead near FR 115. When I started hiking at 8:30 a.m., there was no traffic, and only one RV camping along FR 91.

In Open Draw, I saw a few flowers too small to photograph, but 90% of the blooms were dandelions. Some people call them “weeds”, but I think dandelions are pretty. 🤗

The only other flower I saw in any quantity were pine thermopsis, a member of the pea family also known as golden pea. I saw pine thermopsis here & there in Open Draw, but there were several large, dense patches along FR 40F.

I took a snack break, and swapped water bottles, just past the small check dam (which is no bigger than a cement curb). Unfortunately, no hiking beer, as I thought I needed the pack weight for an extra water. Turns out I only drank 1.5 liters all day!

After negotiating the tightest part of Open Draw -- the final ½ mile -- I arrived at Gentry Canyon. Rather than eat lunch there, I instead took an animal trail 250 ft. up the bluff to the north end of FR 40E. I crossed a meadow, and FR 40G, about halfway up.

There were a number of very old, abandoned, log decks along FR 40E. It has been so long since the road has seen vehicles, that FR 40E is covered with a half inch of pine needles. Fire appears not to have touched Open Draw, or the forest roads on this hike, so there was plenty of shade. 🌲

Where fire did touch was the car -- fully-engulfed -- along AZ-87, near Sunflower, on the way home. That was in addition to the four (4!) emergency vehicles that passed us on Rim Rd., heading towards Bear Lake (or points west), just an hour earlier. Exciting end to the day! 🚙🔥

Hike Video: [ youtube video ]
Meteorology
Meteorology
Moon
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http://prestonm.com : Everyone's enjoyment of the outdoors is different and should be equally honored.
May 07 2020
kingsnake
avatar

 Guides 87
 Routes 201
 Photos 8,479
 Triplogs 675

58 male
 Joined Dec 20 2010
 Sunnyslope, PHX
Rocky Ridge Trail #153Flagstaff, AZ
Flagstaff, AZ
Hiking avatar May 07 2020
kingsnake
Hiking11.09 Miles 1,355 AEG
Hiking11.09 Miles   4 Hrs   2 Mns   2.75 mph
1,355 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Partners none no partners
I passed through Flagstaff as recently as last October, on my way to see the fall colors in the Inner Basin [ photoset ] , but we took I-40 out to the east side, rather than driving through town. Seems like a lot has changed since we last drove through the west side, 18 months ago: There’s all kinds of construction along Milton Rd., and other buildings abandoned and fenced off. Downtown, there’s a new hotel across from Wheeler Park. Flagstaff is, unfortunately, becomming more city-like with each passing year. 😕

Today’s plan was to park at the bottom of Schultz Pass Rd. / FR 420, then hike a loop of Rocky Ridge Trail #153, bits of Lower Oldham Trail #1 and Brookbank Trail #2 across the Dry Lake Hills, FR 789 (aka “Little Gnarly”) to the Sunset Trailhead, then Schultz Creek Trail #152 back to where I started.

There’s a few small boulders sticking out here & there, but Rocky Ridge Trail #153 is in great shape. I saw precisely one blooming claret cup cactus and one indian paintbrush on #153. I didn’t see another flower until the prairie in the middle of the Dry Lake Hills. There were a number of slash piles in the first two miles, including the biggest one I’ve ever seen. 😳

There was plenty of shade the first two miles of Rocky Ridge Trail #153; not so the third & final mile, as it lies within the Museum Fire‘s burn area: The section along Mount Elden Lookout Rd. was a moonscape: One large tree was hollowed out by the fire, and many smaller ones were burnt down to 6″ stubs. 🔥

At the intersection of Rocky Ridge Trail #153 and Oldham Trail #1, there was a Forest Service sign announcing “Trail closed to all traffic including foot traffic.” Bummer. I headed up Mount Elden Lookout Rd. instead.

In a ¼ mile, at the bottom of Brookbank Trail #2, there was another Forest Service closure sign. I could have headed back the way I came with a low drive time ROI, or snuck past the sign when nobody was looking. But then it occured to me that I swear the Museum Fire closures had recently been rescinded! Luckily I had cell signal, and was able to scroll back through the Coconino National Forest‘s twitter feed, and there it was on April 28: Closure lifted. Sweet! 👍

Despite heavy fire damage, the dead needles in the upper reaches of the pine trees provided pretty good shade as Brookbank Trail #2 headed up canyon.

At the top of the climb, I veered right along a use trail, rather than head straight across the prairie. That took me to north end of the cattle tank which is the prairie’s highlight. Rather than taking pictures into the sun, my position gave me a quartering light, making the water & trees pop.

Little Gnarly had many large log decks, which are unstable, dangerous, piles of harvested logs being staged for transport. Give them a wide berth.

Rather than head straight to Schultz Creek, I split right towards Sunset TH, because I am a completist. 😏

From Sunset TH, I started down Schultz Creek Trail #152. Unlike the other trails, Trail #152 also had tons of mountain bikes. Thankfully, they were all considerate and friendly. I ate lunch and enjoyed a hiking beer — Brouwerij Bosteels Tripel Karmeliet, a Belgian abbey beer rated 99 out of 100 — in a shady spot next to Schultz Creek.

After lunch, I hauled the last couple of miles back to where I started. I was expecting Schultz Creek Trail #152 to be shadier, but it had plenty of sun too, and my wife commented on the burn I’d acquired. Great day and the best part was we were back home in Phoenix by 4:30 p.m.! 🍦

Hike Video: [ youtube video ]
Meteorology
Meteorology
Fire Burn Area & Recovery
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Wildflowers Observation Isolated
Precisely one blooming claret cup & one indian paintbrush. Ironically, within feet of each other on Trail #153. Fair number of dandelions around the tank and down Little Gnarly. And some yellow flower I don't know along Schultz Creek. (Looked like a ground-hugging yellow holly.)

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Schultz Creek Pools to trickle Pools to trickle
Moist first half mile below Sunset TH. Next mile decent flow. Spotty the rest of the way down to whatever that trailhead is near the bottom Schultz Pass gate.
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Apr 23 2020
kingsnake
avatar

 Guides 87
 Routes 201
 Photos 8,479
 Triplogs 675

58 male
 Joined Dec 20 2010
 Sunnyslope, PHX
Mount Peeley SummitPayson, AZ
Payson, AZ
Hiking avatar Apr 23 2020
kingsnake
Hiking6.10 Miles 1,492 AEG
Hiking6.10 Miles   3 Hrs   4 Mns   1.99 mph
1,492 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
The last time I was in the Old Beeline Highway area was just over eight years ago, when I hiked Little Saddle Mountain Trail #244 ( [ photoset ] ). This time, instead of following the pavement south down the Old Beeline Highway, I turned north on dirt FR 201. Though narrow & twisty, FR 201 was in much better shape than FR 172 to Woodbury Trailhead last year. It took me 40 minutes to make the 10.3 mile drive. Part of the reason I chose to hike Mount Peeley, was so I could do one of the two or three off roading videos I do every year. 😁

Make sure you do your business before you leave home: The restrooms, at the reservation station on AZ-87 in Fort McDowell, are closed due to the coronavirus panic. And there is nothing at the Mount Peeley Trailhead other than bushes — which, judging by the toilet paper, has been recently used. 💩

It was 61° at the Peeley Trailhead, but felt warmer. The high at Mount Peeley was expected to be 81°, but it was 87° when I returned at 1:30 p.m. I was thought there would be shade at the trailhead, but no such luck. Looking at @PrestonSands original hike description photos, it's a shame what happened. 🔥

The first ½ mile, there were some very healthy patches of spreading fleabane, Gooding’s verbena and whatever that yellow flower is in my photoset. 🤔

I headed up through the switchbacks on Mazatzal Divide Trail #23, which climbs 600 ft. in the next unshaded mile. I kept my pace slow & steady. The only slightly rocky part of the first two miles was a couple of feet of step-up in this section. Otherwise the trail was in great shape.

Just past the Mazatzal Wilderness sign, there is a moderate-sized cairn, currently marked with an Arizona Trail sticker. Mazatzal Divide Trail #23, now colocated with the Arizona Trail, continues west. Instead, turn left, off trail.

I say “off trail”, but there is an obvious use trail dragged through the duff, and cairns every 50-200 ft. If you lose site of the use trail, or the next cairn, keep heading up the spur which you’ve been following up Mount Peeley’s northwest slope. (A spur is a terrain feature which is down in three directions, up in one.) There were a few easily avoided patches of manzanita, but no grab & stabs or dangerous traverses along the use trail. Other than being very steep, climbing 500 ft. in a ½ mile, the use trail was no problem at all.

There is little shade on the use trail, and none on Mount Peeley’s summit. 😅

I spent over an hour on Mount Peeley’s summit, exploring, enjoying the views, taking photos and reading the summit logs, which contained many familiar names.

It took me 40 minutes to hike off trail to the summit, but only 15 minutes to make it back down to Mazatzal Divide Trail #23. Overall, an hour all the way back to the Peeley Trailhead, jogging about a quarter of the way.

Drive Video: [ youtube video ] (FR 201)
Hike Video: [ youtube video ]
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Light
Some decent flowers along the lower portion of the trail.
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Apr 16 2020
kingsnake
avatar

 Guides 87
 Routes 201
 Photos 8,479
 Triplogs 675

58 male
 Joined Dec 20 2010
 Sunnyslope, PHX
Legacy Trail Plus - Prescott Circle TrailPrescott, AZ
Prescott, AZ
Hiking avatar Apr 16 2020
kingsnake
Hiking7.39 Miles 403 AEG
Hiking7.39 Miles   2 Hrs   55 Mns   2.53 mph
403 ft AEG
 
1st trip
Partners partners
Prescottstyle
Skipping the 1.5 miles of road walking between Katahn Rd. and Williamson Valley Rd., today I set out to hike the seven miles from Williamson Valley to Willow Creek. And since I was in Prescott, my mine exploring buddy Prescottstyle (Paul) came along. ⚒️

Longview Trail is basically flat, as it follows the contour line between Pioneer Parkway and a housing development to the north. I’m not sure if it is on Prescott National Forest or Yavapai County land, but Longview ends when the PCT enters the City of Prescott.

The mile-long section of the Prescott Circle Trail through Pioneer Park used to be the Whipple Barracks Target Range. No more boom booms, but it is criss-crossed with old jeep trails. 🚫💣

There’s also three large tunnels under Pioneer Parkway,and it is the third which the PCT passes through. (The first two can be used as shortcuts to Kuebler Park.) Shade is a precious commodity between Williamson Valley and Willow Creek, so the cool tunnel was a welcome minute out of the sun.

The Prescott Circle Trail borders a city truck yard and some more baseball fields, before reaching the simple barbwire fence which encloses Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. The gate had a chain across it, with a “no trespassing”. We didn’t see an alternative, so Paul & I opted for a liberal interpretation of the sign, that it was meant for the Embry-Riddle’s physical plant rather than the PCT itself. 😇

From the gate, the Prescott Circle Trail parallels a Yavapai County equipment yard and the county health clinic, where there is another chained gate. Maybe the “no trespassing” sign is intended for bums & meth addicts?

The Prescott Circle Trail then passes behind a mini-storage and a Subaru dealer to the edge of Willow Creek Rd. The park is literally 250 yds. away, right behind the Honda dealer. But the PCT instead turns north. 😏

After a few more switchbacks, the Prescott Circle Trail arrives at the tunnel under Willow Creek Rd. … Which had an orange reflector traffic barricade across it … and another “no trespassing” sign. Maybe it’s because of the Chinese Lung AIDs?

Along Willow Creek, the Cottonwood Peninsula, and the trail accessing it, were underwater, making the area look more like a mangrove swamp.

When Paul and I arrived at the dog park, my wife was nowhere to be found. Turned out she was waiting for us back at Kuebler Park. No big: Without her shuttle driving, I would not be able to do these hikes. 😘

Hike Video: [ youtube video ]
Fauna
Fauna
Coot
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Isolated
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Apr 09 2020
kingsnake
avatar

 Guides 87
 Routes 201
 Photos 8,479
 Triplogs 675

58 male
 Joined Dec 20 2010
 Sunnyslope, PHX
Table Mesa Rd to Boy Scout Loop - BCTPrescott, AZ
Prescott, AZ
Hiking avatar Apr 09 2020
kingsnake
Hiking8.71 Miles 1,064 AEG
Hiking8.71 Miles   3 Hrs   17 Mns   2.65 mph
1,064 ft AEG
 
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Not much to add to my previous rather long triplog ( [ photoset ] ) in 2011, other than the shooting garbage had all been cleaned up: There was just a few stray brass at the small knoll where Gasline Rd. meets the Black Canyon Trail, and none of the large shot up objects -- like a propane tank 🙄 -- just south of Table Mesa Rd.

Oh, and a flower report!

Descending from the top of the first small climb, towards the saguaro forest, is where the owl clover kicked off in earnest. North of the saguaro forest, I started to see more flat top buckwheat. There were also a lot of fairy duster, but unfortunately none that really struck me as photogenic.

Strawberry hedgehog, aka Engelmann’s Cactus, still had bright pink flowers. (Despite supposedly blooming only five days a year, I’ve been seeing strawberry hedgehog blooms for several weeks now.)

I had occasionally seen desert globemallow earlier, but descending from the second sort of climb towards the power towers, there were just scads of them. I took advantage of a cloud passing over to pop some against the cloud’s shadow with a flash.

The owl clover somehow got even better between the saddle and the power line!

I finially found my first non-hedgehog cactus flower -- a prickly pear -- just before I finished my hike at Table Mesa Rd.

The Black Canyon Trail is really an under-appreciated flower hunting destination. Particularly this segment, and segments 6, 7, and 8, between Black Canyon City and Bumble Bee.

Hike Video: [ youtube video ]
Meteorology
Meteorology
Fair weather cumulus cloud
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Substantial
The largest, densest, patches of owl clover I've ever seen. Lupine in abundance. Most desert globemallow I've ever seen, though not nearly as many as the lupine or owl clover. Not too many globe chamomile.
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http://prestonm.com : Everyone's enjoyment of the outdoors is different and should be equally honored.
Apr 02 2020
kingsnake
avatar

 Guides 87
 Routes 201
 Photos 8,479
 Triplogs 675

58 male
 Joined Dec 20 2010
 Sunnyslope, PHX
Overton Trail - CCRPPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Apr 02 2020
kingsnake
Hiking7.88 Miles 959 AEG
Hiking7.88 Miles   2 Hrs   48 Mns   2.81 mph
959 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Partners none no partners
I’m not concerned about coronavirus 🦇🍜, so much as I am being able to find things open if I travel for an “away” hike. For instance, a trip to the Mogollon Rim will probably require refueling, and it would be nice after eating gorp all day to get some more substantial hiking food on the return home, while rehydrating with a few cold beers. (Especially since National Beer Day is Tuesday!) 🍻

So, I headed off to CCRP. It was still an hour drive.

I purposefully left my hiking poles behind after not using them last week at Granite Mountain - MSP. They are missing the tips anyway. I guess I like to maximize ROI. 😁

I hiked clockwise, Overton Trail, Go John Trail, Quartz Trail and Slate Trail. Much of Overton was in shadow at 8:00 a.m.

The strawberry hedgehog were in full bloom, but I saw not a single other cactus flower. Not even a cholla bloom, like I had in my backyard a few days earlier. That was a bummer, as cacti have the most beautiful flowers. 🤗

Go John Trail was the only segment of my loop where I saw no other people. Plenty of “social distance” as it were.

I started encountering people again on Quartz Trail. Due to Sino Sinus Syphilis, most kept a distance when I passed them, some even going so far as to stop and turn their backs to me. 🙄
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Substantial
The hillsides surrounding the trailhead were golden with brittlebush (not globe chamomile). Lots of lupine. Strawberry hedgehog in full bloom. No other cactus flowers. Also spotted desert wishbone bush, desert globemallow, Mexican gold poppy, filaree, owl clover, globe chamomile (aka stinknet), scorpion weed, desert chicory, California goldfields, flat top buckwheat, barestem larkspur, plus others.
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http://prestonm.com : Everyone's enjoyment of the outdoors is different and should be equally honored.
1 archive
Mar 27 2020
kingsnake
avatar

 Guides 87
 Routes 201
 Photos 8,479
 Triplogs 675

58 male
 Joined Dec 20 2010
 Sunnyslope, PHX
Bootlegger Trail - MSPNPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Mar 27 2020
kingsnake
Hiking9.79 Miles 736 AEG
Hiking9.79 Miles   3 Hrs   23 Mns   2.89 mph
736 ft AEG
 
1st trip
Wanted to get this out while you folks may be planning your weekend expedeitions: Go to MSP North!

Counter-Clockwise, I hiked parts of Bootlegger Trail, the Overlook, Granite Mountain Trail, Branding Iron Trail, Cholla Mountain Loop, Cathedral Rock, the Amphitheater, Balanced Rock Trail (plus the Rock itself), back on Granite Mountain Trail, Saddlehorn Trail, then back to the trailhead on Bootlegger Trail. Around 10 miles and 750 AEG. Trail was pristine. No climbs. But the flowers ...

OH MY.

Bootlegger Trail (substantial) at 8:30 still had shadows, and it was 47o, so only the Brittlebush were really out, and they were abundant. Plenty of lupine. Some desert globe mallow. Plus owl clover, blue dick, fairy duster, and other species too small too photograph.

Granite Mountain Trail-North (moderate): Coverage definitely tapered off.

Branding Iron & Balanced Rock Trails (light): Branding Iron at the north end of the valley separating Granite Mountain and Cholla Mountain, and Balanced Rock at the south end, had the least coverage of all. It was more spikey succulents. Never saw one cactus flower all day.

Cholla Mountain Trail (Substantial): By the time I got to Cathedral Rock it had warmed up a bit. Brittlebush & lupine had come back in in numbers, both north & south of Cathedral Rock, and there tons of penstemon, and that until I turned onto Balanced Rock Trail. Some good fairy duster by the rock.

Can allergies cause a bloody nose, because I got a good one on Balanced Rock. Maybe it was the lofty altitude?

Granite Mountain Trail-South (EXTREME): Penstemon and brittlebush were BONKERS! Lupine substantial. Some really dense patches of owl clover. A few desert marigold, daisies, some good desert globe mallow, sparse buckwheat, small desert chicory. Not a whole lot of Mexican gold poppy anywhere all day, and what ones I saw were mostly cinched up tight against the cold & recurrent deep cloud caused shadow.

Met a couple who were out last week, on the south end of Granite Mountain Trail, and they said the flowers were definitely better today compared to last week.

It will be awhile before I get pictures up, as I shot around 200.
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Wildflowers Observation Extreme
See extended report above.
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http://prestonm.com : Everyone's enjoyment of the outdoors is different and should be equally honored.
3 archives
Mar 15 2020
kingsnake
avatar

 Guides 87
 Routes 201
 Photos 8,479
 Triplogs 675

58 male
 Joined Dec 20 2010
 Sunnyslope, PHX
North Mountain - PhoenixPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Mar 15 2020
kingsnake
Hiking2.55 Miles 624 AEG
Hiking2.55 Miles      48 Mns   3.19 mph
624 ft AEG
 
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Four minutes overall faster (from home) than on Thursday. At least 30 seconds faster on way up (17:30). Sunnyslope got hit hardest any place in Phoenix in Thursday afternoon's torrential downpour, and it showed (see photos). Phoenix Rain Gauge: http://alert.fcd.maricopa.gov/alert/Google/v3/gmap.html

(Why are these triplogs being set to hide one week?)
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Light
Brittlebush a little worse for wear after the rain. Lots of small lupine on lower half of access road. Globe chamomile by 7th St. Saw one desert globemallow. Scorpionweed. A couple of small things.
_____________________
http://prestonm.com : Everyone's enjoyment of the outdoors is different and should be equally honored.
2 archives
Mar 12 2020
kingsnake
avatar

 Guides 87
 Routes 201
 Photos 8,479
 Triplogs 675

58 male
 Joined Dec 20 2010
 Sunnyslope, PHX
North Mountain - PhoenixPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Mar 12 2020
kingsnake
Hiking2.55 Miles 624 AEG
Hiking2.55 Miles      52 Mns   2.94 mph
624 ft AEG
 
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Decided a long hike looking for flowers might not be a good choice today, so i'm sticking around the house. Watching radar ( http://alert.fcd.maricopa.gov/alert/Google/v3/gmap.html ), I snuck out between rain bands while the next downpour was still over the White Tanks. Unlike yesterday, when I got soaked walking to the post office, today I was smart enough to wear a rain jacket, just in case.
Named place
Named place
Piestewa Peak Shaw Butte
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Moderate
The valley between North Mountain and Shaw Butte is golden with Brittlebush, even after 36 hours of rain. Even spotted one lupine looking good.
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http://prestonm.com : Everyone's enjoyment of the outdoors is different and should be equally honored.
7 archives
Mar 06 2020
kingsnake
avatar

 Guides 87
 Routes 201
 Photos 8,479
 Triplogs 675

58 male
 Joined Dec 20 2010
 Sunnyslope, PHX
Hawk's Nest Trail - Sonoran PreservePhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Mar 06 2020
kingsnake
Hiking7.59 Miles 995 AEG
Hiking7.59 Miles   2 Hrs   59 Mns   2.54 mph
995 ft AEG
 
1st trip
I hiked a spastic looking figure-8 that included seven trails. If you want to follow my route, see the attached route. Or you could just wing it: With all the signage in Phoenix’s city parks, you have to try to get lost. (That said, the day before a rescue chopper was airlifting some doofus off North Mountain, across from my office window.) 🤪

All the trails were in great shape!

Brittlebush predominated — as they have for the past month throughout Phoenix — but there were also some lupine along Hawk's Nest Trail.

The flowers along this short section of Dixie Mountain Loop included desert chicory, blue dick, lupine and brittlebush.

While Hawk’s Nest Trail and Dixie Mountain Loop existed when I first hiked the Phoenix Sonoran Preserve [ photoset ] , the next five trails were either under construction or in the planning stages.

The flowers along Valle Verde Trail included lupine, globe chamomile, blue dick, fiddleneck, owl clover, scorpionweed and lots of Mexican gold poppy.

Cactus Wren Trail is also rated moderate, but other than a few wash crossings was also flat. It should be rated easy. I continued to find Mexican gold poppy and scorpionweed, while the owl clover and lupine density increased. I took some really nice photos with multiple flower species mixed tightly together. 📸

Cactus Wren Trail is where I had my first rattlesnake encounter of the spring: A small, maybe 30″, western diamondback with indistinct diamonds. A retired couple, completely unaware, were resting in the shade a few yards away. That’s the thing about rattlesnakes: They are all around you, all the time, you just never realize it because they don’t feel threatened enough to make you aware of their presence.

As elsewhere throughout the Sonoran Desert Preserve, there is very little shade on Great Horned Owl Trail. I tried to make myself small under a palo verde while I swapped out water bottles.

I was tired enough I wasn’t sure I wanted to even try Union Peak Trail, but I made it. 👍

South past Deer Valley Airport, I could clearly see Camelback Mountain, Piestewa Peak, North Mountain and Shaw Butte. The only summit flowers were the sole desert globemallow of the day.

After an extended break on Union Peak, including a hiking beer — Hofbräu Dunkel — I headed back down to the saddle, then west on Great Horned Owl Trail, where I found large, dense patches of Mexican gold poppy.

On Desert Tortoise Trail, I was in no mood to take pictures or even much notice what kinds of flowers it had, other than the ubiquitous brittlebush. (Besides the climb up Union Peak, I was under-watered for higher than expected temperatures.)

Hike Video: [ youtube video ]
Culture
Culture
HAZ - Selfie
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.
Feb 17 2020
kingsnake
avatar

 Guides 87
 Routes 201
 Photos 8,479
 Triplogs 675

58 male
 Joined Dec 20 2010
 Sunnyslope, PHX
Dreamy Draw Nature Trail #220Phoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Feb 17 2020
kingsnake
Hiking2.55 Miles 339 AEG
Hiking2.55 Miles      52 Mns   2.94 mph
339 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Arrived about 1:00 p.m. to do lunch time hike, forgetting that it is Presidents' Day. There were cars illegally parked all along the spillway. Oh boy. Probably no spaces, but I didn't want to get a ticket. So I followed two other cars into the lot. First car turned right into a space. I was looking at him, so missed the space to my left. Couldn't back up as there were pedestrians behind me. Not sure where second vehicle went. Looped back around and ... THE SPACE WAS STILL OPEN!!! :y:

Then I went walking.
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Light
Some good patches of Mexican Gold Poppy along the Trail #220 route.
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average hiking speed 2.51 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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