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334 triplogs
Jan 02 2021
ddgrunning
avatar

 Guides 2
 Routes 215
 Photos 4,065
 Triplogs 334

50 male
 Joined Apr 13 2011
 Gilbert, AZ
Shaw Butte - North Mtn LoopPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Jan 02 2021
ddgrunning
Hiking5.89 Miles 1,525 AEG
Hiking5.89 Miles   2 Hrs   59 Mns   2.54 mph
1,525 ft AEG      40 Mns Break
 
no photosets
1st trip
Partners none no partners
Route Scout GPS Route Recorded on Route Scout View
Finally knocked this one off the list. While it’s been on the to-do list for some time, I never have been able to get very excited about this hike. Probably as a result of my meh attitude, I give it a meh rating. Really seems to be best suited for getting in a local hill workout. It does deliver there, whether it’s the smooth asphalt climb up the north/east side of North Mountain, or the mostly dirt road up the north side of Shaw Butte, or the more steep/rugged climb up the northwestern draw up North Mountain. That said, it’s a little far from my east valley home for such purposes. So, it will probably be awhile before this one pops up again on my to-do list.
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Jan 01 2021
ddgrunning
avatar

 Guides 2
 Routes 215
 Photos 4,065
 Triplogs 334

50 male
 Joined Apr 13 2011
 Gilbert, AZ
Lone Mountain-High Ridge Usery, AZ 
Lone Mountain-High Ridge Usery, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Jan 01 2021
ddgrunning
Hiking9.56 Miles 1,608 AEG
Hiking9.56 Miles   2 Hrs   27 Mns   4.31 mph
1,608 ft AEG      14 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Partners none no partners
Route Scout GPS Route Recorded on Route Scout View
Hit up Lone Peak, north of Pass Mountain on my trail run. I never realized this was a named peak. Great trail to the top from the horse lot, with some solid aeg for the mileage. And views from the summit were nice. Lots of good “destination” points along the way, for those not up to getting to the summit itself.

After returning to the horse lot, I crossed the street and ran up a newer trail that climbs up to the ridgeline along the Usery Mountains. Similar aeg and nice views from here. Would be a good workout on the mountain bike—and there were several partakers.

Other than the crappy air quality, it was a great kick off to 2021. Followed it up by taking my two youngest and their teenaged cousins rappelling at Coon Bluff.
_____________________
Dec 26 2020
ddgrunning
avatar

 Guides 2
 Routes 215
 Photos 4,065
 Triplogs 334

50 male
 Joined Apr 13 2011
 Gilbert, AZ
Canyon Lake Paddle, AZ 
Canyon Lake Paddle, AZ
 
Kayak avatar Dec 26 2020
ddgrunning
Kayak2.72 Miles 233 AEG
Kayak2.72 Miles   2 Hrs   33 Mns   1.14 mph
233 ft AEG      10 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Post Christmas paddle with the family. It was a beautiful day with great company.
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Dec 24 2020
ddgrunning
avatar

 Guides 2
 Routes 215
 Photos 4,065
 Triplogs 334

50 male
 Joined Apr 13 2011
 Gilbert, AZ
Silly Mountain Trail SystemPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Dec 24 2020
ddgrunning
Hiking1.70 Miles 382 AEG
Hiking1.70 Miles   1 Hour   37 Mns   1.31 mph
382 ft AEG      19 Mns Break
 
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Route Scout GPS Route Recorded on Route Scout View
Christmas Eve hike with the family. The original plan was to hike the LOST-Canyon segment over by Superior, but the wind was whipping down the canyon in about 45 miles an hour, making it a poor choice for a family friendly hike. So, we backtracked to Silly Mountain and enjoyed a trip to the High Point and back. Turned out to be perfect for our three and two-year-old grandson’s. It’s amazing how there was hardly any wind at Silly Mountain, compared to the wind storm blowing through Superior.
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Dec 19 2020
ddgrunning
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 Guides 2
 Routes 215
 Photos 4,065
 Triplogs 334

50 male
 Joined Apr 13 2011
 Gilbert, AZ
Battleship Mountain from Canyon LakePhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Dec 19 2020
ddgrunning
Hiking14.89 Miles 3,563 AEG
Hiking14.89 Miles   7 Hrs   54 Mns   2.14 mph
3,563 ft AEG      56 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Route Scout GPS Route Recorded on Route Scout View
My son and I set off from the Canyon Lake Marina just before 7 am. The “in” gate to the marina doesn’t open till 8 am, but entering through the exit gets you to the parking area.

Temps were a little chilly, but the 700 ft climb right out of the gate gets the blood pumping.

By the time we crested the initial hill, the coming dawn opened up a nice view back toward the lake with a pinkish hue on the northwestern horizon.

At the Indian paint mine, we ran into our first company—a couple of guys who were planning to hit up the Battleship. We informed them they missed their turn. We told them we were headed there, but they could also circle back on the LaBarge side. They decided to head that direction, and we parted ways.

From the paint mine to the second water trail junction was the coldest section of the hike. We still hadn’t seen the sun but were anxious to meet it past the second water junction.

About 1/4 mile before the turn up to Battleship, we met a couple more hikers who were backtracking in the opposite direction—also headed to Battleship and thinking they had missed the optimal turn up. I told them they were welcome to try their luck wherever, but suggested that the easier routes still lay further down a bit. They were convinced and trailed us to our chosen turn up—which incidentally is somewhat before the one reflected on the official HAZ route.

We were happy with our choice, which ended up being a pretty clear and well cairned route.

Clambering across the spine turned out to involve a bit more scrambling than I had recalled, but was a lot of fun.

We made it to the summit and had it to ourselves for 15 minutes or so until our trailing hikers arrived. After a bit though, we could see that Battleship was shaping up to be a popular destination on the day—with several groups making their way across the spine.

After backtracking across the spine, we swung east and dropped down into the LaBarge drainage. This was a section I hadn’t previously hiked, and it was the gem of the trip for me. The route down to the Box was clear and didn’t require any bushwhacking.

At the entrance to the Box was a large pool of water next to a fantastic camping spot. The shaded pool was a perfect reflection pond for the west-facing cliff face that was drenched in afternoon sun. We took lots of pictures and had a great time exploring up the Box. Lots of pools and plenty of water for filtering. What a cool area—definitely exceeded my expectations.

After taking in our fill of the Box, we tackled the northbound route through LaBarge. This involved a little bushwhacking, and boulder hopping, but again was more tame than anticipated.

Once we reconnected with the actual trail, we cruised back to the trailhead.

Turned out to be another great day in the Supes.
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3 archives
Dec 05 2020
ddgrunning
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 Guides 2
 Routes 215
 Photos 4,065
 Triplogs 334

50 male
 Joined Apr 13 2011
 Gilbert, AZ
Superstition RidgelinePhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Dec 05 2020
ddgrunning
Hiking11.50 Miles 4,480 AEG
Hiking11.50 Miles   8 Hrs   1 Min   1.67 mph
4,480 ft AEG   1 Hour   9 Mns Break
 
Route Scout GPS Route Recorded on Route Scout View
It’s been several years since I last tackled the full ridgeline. Took my son and brother along, and decided to tackle in the opposite direction from last time—starting at Carney Springs and heading west, finishing off down the Flatiron route. I think this direction is slightly easier from a navigational standpoint.

We dropped our shuttle off on the Flatiron side and made it to Carney by 7 am. Enjoyed the initial climb up to the saddle by watching the sun rise on Three Sisters, with a backdrop of the moon still high in the sky.

From the saddle, 5057 comes into view, looking much farther away than it really is. Crossing Boulder canyon, the burn area comes into view and is an unwelcome companion for much of the rest of the ridgeline hike. Although much of the area got toasted, I was encouraged to see that at the base of many of the scorched trees, there were sprouts and other new growth, indicating that roots were still in tact and alive.

We took a side trip to tag 5057 on the east end, and up to 5024 on the west end. It was a refreshingly clear day, so views were nice.

Saw a handful of folks heading to 5057 from the Hiero route, and another handful coming the opposite direction from Flatiron.

Heading down Siphon Draw, there was a fair amount of traffic—but to be expected this time of year.

All in all a beautiful day to be on top of the Supes.
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Nov 28 2020
ddgrunning
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 Guides 2
 Routes 215
 Photos 4,065
 Triplogs 334

50 male
 Joined Apr 13 2011
 Gilbert, AZ
Holbert Trail - South MountainPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Nov 28 2020
ddgrunning
Hiking3.08 Miles 653 AEG
Hiking3.08 Miles   1 Hour   33 Mns   2.12 mph
653 ft AEG      6 Mns Break
 
no photosets
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Route Scout GPS Route Recorded on Route Scout View
Little Thanksgiving weekend hike with the family. Was disappointed to see that the Dobbins lookout connector was closed for repairs on the lookout.

Made it up to the first major overlook and then headed back, as one of our group wasn’t feeling too great.

Kind of a meh experience, but still nice to get out.
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Nov 27 2020
ddgrunning
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 Guides 2
 Routes 215
 Photos 4,065
 Triplogs 334

50 male
 Joined Apr 13 2011
 Gilbert, AZ
Fay Canyon Trail #53Sedona, AZ
Sedona, AZ
Hiking avatar Nov 27 2020
ddgrunning
Hiking6.76 Miles 1,556 AEG
Hiking6.76 Miles   5 Hrs   13 Mns   1.50 mph
1,556 ft AEG      42 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Route Scout GPS Route Recorded on Route Scout View
Took an anniversary day trip up to Sedona for a hike with my sweetheart. I was under strict instructions not to choose something not too long or crazy. Fay Canyon seemed to fit the Bill, and I had never done it before.

We arrived at the TH about 10:30. Still several parking slots available. This one understandably attracts a young crowd and is a great kid-friendly hike. But it also offers a little adventure for the non-kids, with an off-trail side trip to Fay’s Arch, and more exploring up canyon beyond the end of the official trail.

We did both. Enjoyed the arch. Beyond the trail end, we took the north/east spur of the canyon and climbed up the side drainage and back out to an excellent overlook for a great lunch spot.

After lunch, we explored a bit more up canyon for some ruins. After a little extra (and some unnecessary) bushwhacking, we found two sets, one on each side of the canyon, though they were a bit too uniform and had no mortar of other signs of habitation, so we were a bit skeptical of whether their origin was that ancient. Regardless, they were fun to visit.

Took our time on the return and cruised into town for an early dinner at Cafe Jose.

The wife declared it a perfect hike, so mission accomplished!
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Nov 21 2020
ddgrunning
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 Guides 2
 Routes 215
 Photos 4,065
 Triplogs 334

50 male
 Joined Apr 13 2011
 Gilbert, AZ
Pass Mtn Peak 3004 Ridgeline Loop, AZ 
Pass Mtn Peak 3004 Ridgeline Loop, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Nov 21 2020
ddgrunning
Hiking4.83 Miles 1,235 AEG
Hiking4.83 Miles   2 Hrs   40 Mns   2.10 mph
1,235 ft AEG      22 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Route Scout GPS Route Recorded on Route Scout View
Arrived at the Meridian Trailhead a just shy of 6 a.m. Dark with only one other car there. Brought my headlamp, but mostly preferred to hike without it. Enjoyed the hooting of owls and yipping of coyotes.

Headed out on the Pass Mountain Loop counterclockwise. At the saddle, decided to climb up to the point to see the sunrise. Then decided to improve the view by gaining the neighboring highpoint to the east. Then, before I knew it, I was committed to completing the Peak 3004 ridgeline. Turned out to be more up and down than I recalled from hiking around it in the past. Great views, including a nice "window" on the east side of the ridgeline.

Returned on the Bulldog Saddle Trail.

Saw a tarantula, but he crawled into his burrow before I could get a photo.

Beautiful sunrise and beautiful morning.
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Nov 14 2020
ddgrunning
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 Guides 2
 Routes 215
 Photos 4,065
 Triplogs 334

50 male
 Joined Apr 13 2011
 Gilbert, AZ
SoMo east explore, AZ 
SoMo east explore, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Nov 14 2020
ddgrunning
Hiking8.41 Miles 1,602 AEG
Hiking8.41 Miles   2 Hrs   57 Mns   2.90 mph
1,602 ft AEG      3 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Route Scout GPS Route Recorded on Route Scout View
Started at the Beverly Canyon Trail head, and put together an 8 mile loop I’m various trails in the eastern half of South Mountain, heading as far west as hidden Valley. It was a beautiful morning to be out in the valley. Arrived at the trail head parking area at 6 AM. It was already half full. Hiked in the dark for a half an hour. Then watch the sunrise from the Ridgeline.
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Nov 07 2020
ddgrunning
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 Guides 2
 Routes 215
 Photos 4,065
 Triplogs 334

50 male
 Joined Apr 13 2011
 Gilbert, AZ
South Kaibab-Bright Angel Rim-to-River, AZ 
South Kaibab-Bright Angel Rim-to-River, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Nov 07 2020
ddgrunning
Hiking18.83 Miles 4,778 AEG
Hiking18.83 Miles   8 Hrs   11 Mns   2.51 mph
4,778 ft AEG      41 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Partners none no partners
Route Scout GPS Route Recorded on Route Scout View
This was a family trip organized by a close friend, who invited me and my daughter to tag along. The friend and his son wanted to do the SK-BA loop, while his wife and younger kids planned to hike down to Indian Garden and meet us there to hike back out together.

We headed up Friday evening to Tusayan and stayed the night at the Red Feather Inn. Set the alarm for 4:15 a.m.

Temperatures looked relatively mild for November (overnight low was only in the mid 40s), so I opted to go with shorts, and left the thermal shirt in the car. That turned out to be a good call, as the weather was fantastic all the way up to the very last stretch, when rain/hail moved in ....

The four of us doing the SK-BA loop arrived at the BCO at 5:30, as the first hiker express shuttle to SK TH was set for 6 a.m. (with additional shuttles scheduled on the hour at 7 and 8 am). Because of COVID, they are only allowing 15 people per shuttle. There was one other group of 10 that had arrived in front of us, but behind us, there were probably another 45-50 people who were "in line" by 6 a.m.

We were glad we got there early and got on the first shuttle. The shuttle operator had done some thinking ahead, in that they had a couple of shuttles show up at 6 a.m., but I think those at the back of the line likely waited awhile before they were able to make it to the TH.

When we arrived at the TH, we wasted no time and hit the trail just in front of a mule train at about 6:20 am. We stayed in front of the train to Ooh Ahh Point, and then they passed us. Luckily, the train was relatively small and they were moving at a decent clip, so we didn't end up having to eat their dust :-).

Although it was light at Ooh Ahh Point, the sun didn't crest the rim from our vantage point until we were below Cedar Ridge. The sunrise was beautiful, particularly as it reflected off the opposing canyon walls.

On the way down, I marked the spot where the miner's trail veers off from SK and popped off the trail a bit to check out the upper portion. Looks like challenge. One I'll tackle on another trip. Speaking of other trips, I also decided I need to get up O'Neill Butte one of these days as well.

At the Tip Off, I was surprised to see the new shade shelter structure that's been erected (at least new since my last visit a couple years back). A solid structure with two tanks of water that can be treated by those in need. They are designed to collect runoff from the roof of the structure, but I'm not sure if that's the only way they would get water in them, or if there are filled otherwise. I didn't test the taps ...

Speaking of water, there was a problem with the pipe, so the only points where treated water was available were Phantom Ranch and Indian Garden.

As a result, we made a side trip to Phantom just to make sure we were good. In the end, it probably wasn't necessary, but a nice little jog along the way--particularly for my friend who had never been there. While in the area, I looked at the bottom of the Utah Flats route (also on a future agenda), and that approach looks a little daunting. Although I know the route/trail is there, it's not very obvious ...

The river trail and up BA were as usual. It was nice to have shade and light cloud cover most of the way.

At IG, we met up with the rest of the family. At that point, the darker, heavier clouds were beginning to roll in.

The weather held nicely till about 1.5 resthouse, when it started to sprinkle lightly. With about 0.5 to go, the rain started to come down in earnest, mixed with hail, and the wind picked up on the rim.

We donned the ponchos and headed straight for hot chocolate when we topped out.

Another great day in the canyon. This old place never gets old to me.
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Oct 31 2020
ddgrunning
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 Guides 2
 Routes 215
 Photos 4,065
 Triplogs 334

50 male
 Joined Apr 13 2011
 Gilbert, AZ
Pyramid-National-Bursera, AZ 
Pyramid-National-Bursera, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Oct 31 2020
ddgrunning
Hiking11.07 Miles 2,310 AEG
Hiking11.07 Miles   3 Hrs   46 Mns   2.98 mph
2,310 ft AEG      3 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Route Scout GPS Route Recorded on Route Scout View
Nice morning on South Mountain. Parking area was full when we arrived at 6:30 a.m. Nice early morning cloud cover provided a beautiful backdrop for the sunrise. Pyramid gets the blood pumping. Air was clearest it’s been in sometime, allowing good views from the ridgeline.

Cloud cover continued throughout the morning, making conditions very pleasant for a hike, despite a forecasted high near 90 for later in the day.

A good number of folks out, and we even had company on our side trip to Goat Hill.
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Oct 24 2020
ddgrunning
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 Guides 2
 Routes 215
 Photos 4,065
 Triplogs 334

50 male
 Joined Apr 13 2011
 Gilbert, AZ
Usery Park-South Exploration, AZ 
Usery Park-South Exploration, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Oct 24 2020
ddgrunning
Hiking9.93 Miles 848 AEG
Hiking9.93 Miles   2 Hrs   6 Mns   4.97 mph
848 ft AEG      6 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Route Scout GPS Route Recorded on Route Scout View
Most of my hiking in Usery Park has been on or around Pass Mountain and the loop. Decided today to explore some of the trails on the south side of the park, as a trail run.

Started on Meridian trail, from Meridian Road. Meridian is kind of blah—just kind of a way to get from one point to another. Along the way, did a figure 8 loop of Cat’s Peak and Pass, which has a little elevation and allows for some views of the surrounding area. Saw a group of 5 deer on the east side of the peak.

After completing the figure 8, hopped on the Blevins trail, which is also rather blah and more of a connector trail. Followed Blevins over to the Merkle trail, which circumnavigateds a couple of small hills. The Vista trail splits the Merkle trail, over the ridgeline of the two hills. This was the highlight of the explore for me. Just some moderate aeg, but some nice views and trail along the way. I did it twice.

Then hopped on the road and ran around by the Wind Cave TH and finally back on the trail along the southern side of the Pass Mountain Loop.

Final assessment: Other than Vista and the Cars Peak Pass, South Usery seems best suited to beginner mountain bikers.
_____________________
Oct 09 2020
ddgrunning
avatar

 Guides 2
 Routes 215
 Photos 4,065
 Triplogs 334

50 male
 Joined Apr 13 2011
 Gilbert, AZ
Nankoweap TrailNorthwest, AZ
Northwest, AZ
Hiking avatar Oct 09 2020
ddgrunning
Hiking42.56 Miles 7,000 AEG
Hiking42.56 Miles3 Days   8 Hrs   56 Mns   
7,000 ft AEG
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Four days unplugged and off the grid with my high school senior daughter--the caboose of our family--was just what the dr. ordered. Originally, we had planned to bring a few more family members, but jobs, school, and other commitments reduced this to a daddy-daughter trip, and it was one for the books.

Day 0: Travel up and Camp at Triple Alcoves TH
Thursday, we strolled out of town mid-morning, took lunch in Flag, and made a pit stop at Navajo Bridge. We knew it was a good omen when we saw two California Condors swoop in for a roost underneath the vehicle bridge. Then, taking advantage of our last official bathroom option, we headed down the Vermillion Cliffs to the Buffalo Ranch Road turnoff and 27-mile dirt road drive out to the eastern TH for the Nankoweap No. 57 trail. The road in was in pretty good shape--a little washboardy here and there, and one short, sandy spot in a wash crossing, but do-able in a sedan if you take it slow.

We arrived at the TH around 4:30 pm to find a surprising number of cars (10). Our plan was to spend the night near the TH to get an early start the next morning. The TH is in the middle of a burn area--not too scenic--and although certainly possible to camp there (or very close), it wasn't much on ambiance. Instead, we had scoped out a spot another 5 minutes drive beyond the NK 57 Trailhead, at the Triple Alcoves TH where we planned to set up camp for the night. Turned out to be a great choice. Triple Alcoves is just beyond the burn area, and there is a great little camp spot, complete with fire ring, directly across from the TH on a spur road. And, the main attraction for the evening, was that the TH provided a short 1/2 mile trail out to the edge of the rim with fantastic views of the Canyon, a nice stretch of the Colorado River and an excellent backdrop for the setting sun. We partook in just that adventure and enjoyed a beautiful, golden, sunset painted canyon as a primer for our backkpacking adventure the next morning. My separate triplog and photos for that short hike are here [ photoset ] .

Day 1: Hike to Our Basecamp on Nankoweap Creek
Friday morning, we were up before dawn, packed up camp, ate breakfast and backtracked the 5 minute drive back to the NK 57 trailhead. Arrived and got underway just as dawn was breaking on the horizon. Within the first half mile, we had our first incident. One of my daughter's hiking poles broke. :( For those who've done this trail, you know having good hiking poles is definitely a plus--if not near mandatory. Oh well! I gave her one of mine and figured we'd survive! And it worked out fine.

From the TH at 6400 ft. the trail immediately rises 300 feet only to promptly give that 300 feet right back, as the trail drops steeply into the main drainage into Saddle Canyon. From there, I made a somewhat costly navigational error. Directly across from where the trail drops into the drainage is a trail that begins going up on the opposite side. Figuring that this was our trail, I began plugging up the trail, which climbs quite steeply. After a couple tenths of a mile and a couple hundred feet of AEG, I checked my GPS and realized that this was the trail to Saddle Mountain Summit, and that the NK 57 trail actually follows the creekbed in the drainage for awhile. So, we backtracked down our unnecessary additional AEG and got back on track. Gratefully, that was the last of our navigational errors for the trip.

However, I mentally underestimated the challenge of the ensuing ascent to the Nankoweap TH at the GCNP boundary. In that three-mile stretch, we gained over 1500 ft of elevation. With full packs, plus additional water for caching, it definitely got the heart and lungs pumping well before the Canyon ever came into view.

At last, we crested the saddle and within a few minutes arrived at the official TH. Others opt to knock out that initial 3 mi. ascent the evening before and camp at the official TH. Not a bad strategy, and there were several spots for decent camping.

We cached 2L of water near the TH, enjoyed our first views into the Canyon--which was a bit hazy, and then took the plunge below the rim.

After about 0.1 mi., the trail drops steeply down a break, giving you your first taste of the primitive trail. Then, it's on to the Supai traverse, with its seemingly endless undulations. Between the drop in and Marion Point, we began to pass a handful of groups coming out of the canyon. We chatted briefly with each, and they all shared that the past several days had been brutally hot. One group had decided to cut their trip a day short due to the heat. Another had made it to Mystic Falls on a day hike, and we were anxious for news (the Backcountry Office had no intel--in fact, the ranger told me she didn't know what Mystic Falls was??). They reported that the Falls were running, but that it was an absolute grind to get there. And the evidence of that grind was apparent on their heavily scratched up legs and arms.

We passed a couple more groups ascending from the Canyon before Tilted Mesa, and as it turns out, these groups constituted all of the 10 cars at the TH. So, we were in for some solitude! :y:

We stashed another 2 L of water at Marion Point camping area. BTW, there is a small flat camping area there, but not ideal, IMO. There is some shade, but not well placed or particularly comfortable. We took lunch there, but then realized that a better lunch spot lies another 100 yards or so beyond MP where the trail passes under a nice shaded overhang with plenty of flat rocks to stretch out on for a bit and enjoy the view.

As for exposure, we passed the old, storied sketchy spots (one before, and one after, MP) that I had seen in many photos and videos, but agreed that they were not all that sketchy for anyone with a reasonable tolerance for heights. The primary caution on the one past MP is to be "backpack aware," as there are a couple of rock outcroppings that need to be maneuvered around. All in all though, nothing to induce undue fear.

Eventually, we arrived at Tilted Mesa and the "Gates of Hell," which is promptly followed by the two downclimbs referenced in the hiking description. We took a longish break there in the shade and gave the feet a breather before starting our descent in earnest. Several good camping spots in this area, though I think the best were a little further down, including one spot for a small tent under a cedar tree where rocks had been built up to create a wind shelter. We cached our final 2L of extra water here, and were glad to have finally lightened our water load.

From Tilted Mesa, we finally started dropping elevation in earnest. That said, there is a fair amount of contouring even in this section, interspersed with several very loose and steep drops. Honestly, from an exposure standpoint, I felt that some of the spots in this area were more concerning than anything on the Supai traverse. But still, nothing to cause undue concern. In fact, we managed to make the entire trip up and down without taking a single fall. :app:

From Tilted Mesa, you can see Nankoweap Creek below, but it seems very far away and even after hiking and descending for some time, it didn't seem to be getting any closer, and we still seemed to have a lot of elevation to lose. Eventually, with about 1000 ft of drop in each of the three miles from Tilted Mesa, we pulled into Nankoweap Creek just before 4 pm, and were comforted to be near water again.

The area was deserted, and we were pleased to get what I consider the prime camping spot another 100 yards from where the trail meets the creek on the south side of the creek, up next to the south edge of the canyon. Lots of cottonwoods for shade (and my daughter's hammock), plenty of flat spots for tents, and a lot of good flat rocks for makeshift chairs, cooking, etc. This would be our home base for the next three nights.

Day 2: Granaries and exploring on the Colorado
After a relaxing evening in camp, we headed out the next morning for the presumptive highlight of the trip--a hike down to the river to explore the Granaries and the iconic views of the Canyon from that vantage point, as well as an exploration of the beaches and surrounding rapids along the river.

The trail-less travel down the creek was shaded in the morning, and other than the constant navigating of the rocky creekbed (a constant challenge for any exploring in this area), the hike down was pleasant. We passed a couple who had hiked in Buck Farm Canyon and packrafted 11 miles down river and were hiking out via Nankoweap. Cool idea, though I didn't envy their exit in mid day with no water cache on the way out.

We arrived at the granaries mid morning and I was worried that they would be taking the direct sun at that time, but was surprised and pleased to find that they had already taken all the direct sun they would get and were already in the shade. Also, while we saw a few rafts down at the rafters' beach, no one was at the granaries. So, we ascended and had the place to ourselves for a couple of hours.

And bonus, as we were making our final ascent to the granaries, another California Condor was gracefully weaving back and forth above us on the morning updrafts. Beautiful. As were the views from the granaries. With the river flowing clear and green, we could not have asked for a better backdrop, and we spent a couple of hours just relaxing, exploring, and taking it all in.

Eventually, several other rafting parties arrived and made their way up to the granaries. We had had our fill by that point, and made our way down to explore the beaches. Slightly further down river from the rafters' beach is another very nice beach that would be my destination as a backpacker if I intended to camp overnight. It's less popular with the rafters because it is slightly smaller and further away from the granaries, but it is an excellent beach with excellent camping options right on the river, with amazing views. My daughter and I hung out there and relaxed for another hour or so, playing in the water and beach.

After the beach, we wandered down river a way to some rapids and watched as several of the rafting parties ran the rapids in the afternoon.

Then, we explored back upstream and the other, larger (but unshaded) beach area north of the rafters' beach, before finally turning back towards our camp. On the way back to camp, we came across a group of 5 deer (3 adults and 2 fawns). They allowed us to get quite close before scurrying away. Looked like it had been a tough year for nourishment ... :(

Back at camp just before the sun dropped behind the canyon walls. That evening another couple arrived in the area and set up camp. But they were gone by 4:30 a.m. the next morning.

Day 3: Almost Mystic Falls
On day 3, we decided to make an attempt on Mystic Falls. Hoping that the group we had talked to made some poor navigational choices that led to their intense bushwhacking, we set off in the early morning. The creekbeds for the first three miles were pretty passable, with some brush and bushwhacking but not bad. However, beyond the junction where the route turns left between Seiber and Bourke Points, the creek becomes an absolute nightmare of choked trees and brush. As it turns out, the shelfs above the creek aren't any better. With only about a mile to go to the falls--but probably a 3-4 hour commitment to heavy bushwhacking, we made the decision to abandon the attempt, knowing that tomorrow morning we would be making the long climb out of the Canyon. It was slightly disappointing, but it was the right call for us on this trip and avoided making the return trip a real death march. As a consolation, we came across two stout bucks on the way back with good-sized racks, and told ourselves that this was worth the trip :-)

With the change in plans, we arrived back at camp in mid afternoon and had something I wasn't used to on a backpacking trip--several hours of relaxing down time! It was great to take a nap in my daughter's hammock--and I decided I need to get me one of those, as I slept much better than in my tent/pad.

The evening came with lots of good father-teenager conversation, and we hit the hay early, with a plan to get up at 4:30 to ready for the hike out. Once again, we had the camping area to ourselves.

Day 4: The Hike Out
We awoke dark and early. The temperatures generally had moderated from the week before, and the last night, while still pleasant, made me grateful I had opted to bring the sleeping bag, rather than just a liner.

Camp clean up, etc. took a bit longer than expected, but we were on the trail by 6 a.m. with the goal to be on Tilted Mesa before we got too much direct sunlight.

Those first three miles and 3K AEG are a challenge, but honestly, easier to go up than down, IMO. About half way up, we ran into a couple of hikers who had spend the night on the mesa and were descending to do a day hike to the granaries and back. We shared some thoughts and wished them luck.

We made the Mesa in decent time and retrieved our first water cache. After a short break, we continued on towards Marion Point, and took lunch in the overhang spot we had located on the way in. Passed another couple of hikers planning to spend a week in the canyon and then a solo hiker with a similar agenda who confirmed that it was only his car and ours at the eastern TH.

We were elated to get back to the official GCNP TH around 1:30 pm, and after taking at 20-30 min break realized that it was actually going to take us less time to hike out of the canyon than it did to hike in!

The decent from the saddle made me even more impressed with our initial climb on the first day. That final 300 ft climb out of the drainage with less than 1.4 mi to go was just sick and wrong! But we conquered it, retrieved our broken hiking pole from the side of the trail, and celebrated victory at the car shortly thereafter.

My daughter got some good dirt-road driving experience on the drive out.

We hit the showers at Marble Canyon Lodge ($2.50 in quarters), then headed to Flagstaff where we telephoned in a order for some pizza from NiMarco's in advance. It was hot and delicious when we arrived.

The drive home had one more twist for us, as we managed to get a flat tire just before the big climb out of Camp Verde. So, we got to have some lessons on tire changing as well.

Arrived home about 12:30 a.m., exhausted but feeling accomplished and with a backpack full of lifelong memories with my daughter, which I will forever cherish!
_____________________
1 archive
Oct 08 2020
ddgrunning
avatar

 Guides 2
 Routes 215
 Photos 4,065
 Triplogs 334

50 male
 Joined Apr 13 2011
 Gilbert, AZ
Triple Alcoves TrailNorthwest, AZ
Northwest, AZ
Hiking avatar Oct 08 2020
ddgrunning
Hiking0.63 Miles 73 AEG
Hiking0.63 Miles      14 Mns   2.70 mph
73 ft AEG
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
In advance of our Nankoweap backpacking trip beginning Friday morning, we drove up on Thursday with a plan to camp near the TH for an early morning start. Instead of camping at the TH--which is not a great spot for a camp (in a burn area, etc.), we decided to continue drive down FR8910 another 5 minutes beyond the Nankopweap No. 57 TH to camp near the Triple Alcoves TH. Turned out to be a great choice. It's out of the burn area, and a great camping spot.

After setting up camp, we wandered down the 1/2-mile-ish trail to the edge of the rim to a great view over the Triple Alcoves and the Colorado River below. We didn't want to haul our stuff down to the overlook, but there is an excellent camping spot right on the edge of the rim.

We enjoyed the beautiful views as the sun set over the canyon, then strolled back to our camp as night fell.

Great little hike. Highly recommend.
_____________________
Oct 03 2020
ddgrunning
avatar

 Guides 2
 Routes 215
 Photos 4,065
 Triplogs 334

50 male
 Joined Apr 13 2011
 Gilbert, AZ
Pass Mountain Loop Trail #282Phoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Oct 03 2020
ddgrunning
Hiking9.91 Miles 1,259 AEG
Hiking9.91 Miles   3 Hrs   29 Mns   2.90 mph
1,259 ft AEG      4 Mns Break
 
Linked linked
Partners none no partners
Route Scout GPS Route Recorded on Route Scout View
Needed to test out the healing collarbone with a fully loaded backpack for an upcoming trip. Pass Mountain Loop was a good and close option. Tacked on the Cats Peak Loop for good measure. I figured I’d have that section of the trail to myself. Quite the opposite—crossed paths with more people there than at any other portion of the trail of comparable length.

Arrived around 6 am. Nice temps heading up to the saddle in the shade. Always enjoy watching the rising sun hit the cliffs along the east side of the Pass Mountain ridgeline. It was quiet enough for me to hear the conversation of a handful of guys doing the ridgeline.

Nice morning, but still too hot by the time I finished.

I declared the test run on the collarbone a success.
_____________________
Sep 26 2020
ddgrunning
avatar

 Guides 2
 Routes 215
 Photos 4,065
 Triplogs 334

50 male
 Joined Apr 13 2011
 Gilbert, AZ
Rim to Rim, AZ 
Rim to Rim, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Sep 26 2020
ddgrunning
Hiking28.15 Miles 5,846 AEG
Hiking28.15 Miles   10 Hrs   32 Mns   2.82 mph
5,846 ft AEG      32 Mns Break
 
Partners none no partners
Route Scout GPS Route Recorded on Route Scout View
When my non-hiking friends ask why hiking is so special to me, I'll point them to this weekend’s R2R as a way to sum it up.

Two days disconnected from internet, tv, media, email, cell phones, politics, COVID-craziness, etc.— and 10+ hours of uninterrupted time with my teenage daughter (a HS senior), immersed in one of the most amazing places on earth.

As this is my youngest daughter, I'm starting to run out of nearby kids to hike with, so I'm trying to build a few more memories while she's still at home. We'll be heading back soon to do a backpacking trip to Nankoweap. :y:

On this trip, we drove up to the North Rim on Friday. We usually stay at the cabins on the North Rim, but this time stayed outside the park at the Kaibab Lodge. It's an eclectic place. Nothing fancy, but the beds were comfortable (which is all that really mattered to me).

Up early the next morning (of course), and on the trail by 5:30 a.m. TH parking was relatively full but not packed, and the trail traffic was relatively lighter (due to COVID?). It was relatively warm by end-of-September standards, which was nice at the start, but portended an oven later on in the hike ....

Hiked by headlamp for the first mile.

Passing through Supai Tunnel is like the entrance to a Disneyland theme park: when you come out the other side, it feels like you are in another world, as the Canyon opens up to dramatic views at that point.

At the Roaring Springs turnoff, I decided to make a short side trip to the rest area. I had never been down there before. It adds another .6 or so to the trip, plus a couple hundred feet of elevation gain. At the rest area, there are bathrooms (closed/locked) and a water spigot (turned off) and not much else in the way of amenities. Views of Roaring Springs along the trail, though, are better than from the NK trail. Also, you notice that there are several other places where the springs are flowing down the side of the canyon walls. The resulting creek in the drainage also has some nice cascades, including a 10-12 ft. fall not very far downstream (by slight bushwhack) from the rest area. There was an anchor and rope that would allow one to downclimb to the base of the small falls, but as I was still in the latter stages of recuperating from a broken collarbone, I decided that further off-trail exploring downstream would have to wait for another trip.

My daughter was not interested in taking any extracurricular detours, so I had to hustle to catch up to her, which I eventually did just around Cottonwood campground.

At the Ribbon Falls turnoff, we checked out the dilapidated bridge and wondered how much longer till it would collapse altogether and crash into the creek.

We didn't venture over to Ribbon by way of the creek, but from the NK trail, it looked like the flow was a bit anemic.

The rest of the way to Phantom was uneventful. I always enjoy the narrow confines of the Box.

After about 5 hours of hiking, we reached Phantom Ranch and soaked our feet in the creek by the BA campground area, while eating lunch.

Then it was over to the Silver Bridge and up Bright Angel. The River was a a deep/vibrant green--beautiful, but seemed a little lower, given the dry winter.

I had planned on giving a go up South Kaibab instead of BA, but my daughter wasn't interested in that waterless, exposed death march, so we stuck with the traditional BA climb.

We hit Devil's Corkscrew at the hottest and most exposed time of day. It made for a bit of slog, but my daughter was a champ, and soon the Corkscrew was conquered.

At Indian Garden, the temperature gauge was showing well over 100 degrees. My daughter soaked her feet in the creek while we steeled ourselves for the final 4.5 mile / 3000 ft. climb. I always tell people that it's just a Flatiron hike to the top from Indian Garden--but less steep! (I also warn them that the last two miles are five miles long!).

As usual, those final miles took their toll, but my daughter set a solid pace and kept on trucking. Luckily, by the time we hit the base of the climbing in earnest (about .75 mi. up canyon from Indian Garden), the trail was largely shaded.

Topped out at 4 pm, and hung around for a beautiful canyon sunset.

Unfortunately, due to COVID, the showers at Mather Campground were closed, so we settled for a hand/face wash and change of clothes for the late drive home.

Back to the question of why hikes like this are so meaningful to me. This is my battery recharging station.

It’s not just the incredible vistas—and they ARE incredible. But incredible vistas can be appreciated in photos, in a magazine, on a poster, or on a social media post of HAZ triplog.

Hiking itself offers an exponentially different level of appreciation—one that is simply not available through two-dimensional, visual perception.

Hiking allows me to jump INTO the photo; to manipulate and appreciate the incomparable artistry of God’s creations from many angles; to interact with, and EXPERIENCE the vistas of the trail with all five of my senses, as well as a touch of the spiritual:

*From the smell of the towering pine trees on the North Rim;

*To the sound of Roaring Springs or the rushing cascades along Bright Angel Creek;

*To the sight of the mighty green (or chocolate) Colorado River underfoot at the Silver Bridge with the powerful, churning eddy swirling upstream on its south side;

*To the taste of fresh water at Indian Garden after conquering the Devil’s Corkscrew in the mid-day heat;

*To the burning/aching of my own muscles and rolling drops of my own sweat, mixing with the powdery layer of dust I’ve carried with me 20+ miles from the North Kaibab Trailhead and across the expanse of the Canyon, as I ascend the seemingly endless climb from Three-Mile-Resthouse to the Bright Angel Trailhead.

Hiking allows me to become part of the landscape—to feel alive and to connect (or reconnect) my life with fellow creations of Mother Earth—both animate and inanimate.

There are some things that cannot be fully appreciated without investing a portion of your very being--your own energy and sweat (and some occasional blood, blisters, tears, and muscle cramps).

Precious few things are more valuable in this world to me than sharing such immersive hiking experiences with someone I love and savoring the resulting shared memories created thereby.
_____________________
Sep 19 2020
ddgrunning
avatar

 Guides 2
 Routes 215
 Photos 4,065
 Triplogs 334

50 male
 Joined Apr 13 2011
 Gilbert, AZ
Thompson Peak from Dixie Mine THPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Sep 19 2020
ddgrunning
Hiking10.60 Miles 2,394 AEG
Hiking10.60 Miles   3 Hrs   49 Mns   2.78 mph
2,394 ft AEG
 
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Early start at the TH. The parking area was closed off, and the gate locked, when we arrived. I thought they may have shut it down due to COVID, but apparently it’s just that they don’t open it till 6 am. We parked on the street instead.

Expected more people on the trail, but wasn’t complaining after last week’s traffic jam on Piestewa. Passed a couple of hikers along the way, but had the summit to ourselves.

The climb up the road is crazy steep. I still can’t figure out how they got the concrete to sit still long enough a that slope to set up.

Saw two dbacks and a garter snake. It’s been the summer is snakes for me, but this was my first three-for.

Did a side trip to the Dixie mine on the return.

Route Scout was glitchy today and did not get a good route, so stats are from
my Garmin.

Happy Saturday!
Culture
Culture
HAZ - Hike HAZard
_____________________
Sep 12 2020
ddgrunning
avatar

 Guides 2
 Routes 215
 Photos 4,065
 Triplogs 334

50 male
 Joined Apr 13 2011
 Gilbert, AZ
Phx Mtn Preserve Explore, AZ 
Phx Mtn Preserve Explore, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Sep 12 2020
ddgrunning
Hiking13.18 Miles 4,296 AEG
Hiking13.18 Miles   6 Hrs   27 Mns   2.32 mph
4,296 ft AEG      46 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Route Scout GPS Route Recorded on Route Scout View
I was planning to head up to the Peaks/Flagstaff for some AEG and a solid tune-up hike in advance of an upcoming R2R, but logistics didn’t align—my brother (who’s is also doing R2R with me) had to work. So, I turned to more local options. I hadn’t done Piestewa Peak in years, and had never hiked any of the other trails in the Preserve, so I decided to make a morning of exploring the area. I knew the Peak was essentially a 1-mile stair climber, and I was sure I could find other stuff in the area to climb up and down for the desired AEG. I also needed a longer-ish hike to get a feel for how my new trail runners (Saucony Peregrine 10) would perform over a long distance. And, after a dozen years with my Costco High Sierra daypack, I finally decided to upgrade to a new pack (Osprey Talon 22). So, lots of gear getting a first workout on this hike.

As it was Saturday morning, and the temps had moderated a bit, I expected it to be busy, but somehow still managed to be shocked that every parking slot was filled, with dozens of cars waiting in line by 6 a.m. I ended up parking a half mile away in a neighborhood. No big deal, since I was there to hike and didn’t have a specific destination in mind.

I had planned to start the trip with a couple of ascents to the peak, but after navigating the “Piestewa rush hour” once, I decided to postpone ascent two in favor of some exploring. (As an aside, the diverse cross-section of humanity hiking Piestewa Peak on a Saturday is quite a sight.) As I peeled off onto the circumference trail to the west on my descent, I concluded that I could probably go another several years before deciding to hike Piestewa again.

Once on the circumference trail, I entered into the much more solitary portion of the hike. I passed a few hikers here and there, but had good stretches of alone time as well—especially in places where I followed a use path or climbed up to one of the intermediate summits or ridgelines.

About a third of the way through the hike, I got a text from my brother with a couple of photos and a note saying he decided to get up early and do a quick ascent of ... Piestwwa Peak and the circumference trail!!! :o :o :o I immediately called him and we laughed about the improbable coincidence of us separately deciding last minute to hike the same trail—which neither of us had hiked in many years. In fact, as we compared notes, it’s likely that we passed each other on the summit trail without even recognizing each other. Crazy! :lol:

After finishing the call, I continued to wander around the western side trails looking for stuff to climb. : rambo : I found plenty of options and was pleased with how my shoes and pack were performing. I was also happy with my new 3L hydration bladder, as well as the insulation bag I had purchased to keep it cold (a must for me, and truly one of the reasons I kept the High Sierra for so long—its insulated hydration pouch).

Eventually, I exhausted my hydration bladder and was down to a water bottle, so I made my way back to the TH, and refilled a bit for my second ascent.

By that time, the temps had warmed, the masses had cleared, plenty of parking was available, and the trail was much more manageable. That said, I was just grinding out another 1K in elevation and ready to be done for the day.

In the middle of my determined but somewhat unenthusiastic grind, I looked up the trail to see a figure that I immediately recognized—even from a distance, though I had never met him in person before. It was the elusive @joebartels, grinding out a few ascents of his own in his native environment. I flagged him down and introduced myself. We visited for a couple of minutes, and as we parted, I felt a bit of ironic redemption in meeting a fellow "hiking brother" after apparently hiking right by my "actual brother" earlier in the day. :lol: Joe indicated that he was planning another ascent, so we would probably pass again on my way down. We did, and I was glad, since I had failed to take a selfie with the legend the first go around. I fixed that on the descent and enjoyed another brief chat about HAZ and my family-focused hiking adventures. I thanked him for the great resource and community which is HAZ and finished out the hike.

Ended up with 4.2K AEG, which was the intended goal for the day, and though I was on top of Piestewa Peak twice, the "summit" experiences on the day for me occurred about half-way up/down, when I made a personal acquaintance with someone I've followed virtually all these years. Thanks again, Joe, for HAZ. : app : It'll probably be another several years before I"m back on Piestewa, but perhaps we'll meet again out in the "wild" someday. :-)
Culture
Culture
HAZ - Selfie
_____________________
Sep 05 2020
ddgrunning
avatar

 Guides 2
 Routes 215
 Photos 4,065
 Triplogs 334

50 male
 Joined Apr 13 2011
 Gilbert, AZ
Picketpost Mountain SummitGlobe, AZ
Globe, AZ
Hiking avatar Sep 05 2020
ddgrunning
Hiking5.00 Miles 2,116 AEG
Hiking5.00 Miles   2 Hrs   57 Mns   1.95 mph
2,116 ft AEG      23 Mns Break
 
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Route Scout GPS Route Recorded on Route Scout View
Saturday Snake Day on Picketpost Mountain with good company! 🐍. A predawn start and a western approach meant shade almost the entire way. Nice breeze at the top. Home by 9:25 a.m. I always feel like this one should involve more mileage. Short, but packs a nice punch. Someone has gone on a “helpful” red arrow painting spree. 😕. Also, the “replacement” mailbox has gone missing, and now another “new” one is up there (didn’t get a pic). And what happened to the bench?

It’s good to be alive!
Fauna
Fauna
Tiger Rattlesnake
_____________________
average hiking speed 2.26 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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