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Apr 02 2022
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 Triplogs 22

42 male
 Joined Feb 27 2012
 Cochise County
Miller Canyon Trail #106Tucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Hiking avatar Apr 02 2022
AndrewAZTriplogs 22
Hiking16.20 Miles 6,750 AEG
Hiking16.20 Miles   8 Hrs   30 Mns   1.91 mph
6,750 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
Partners none no partners
Miller Canyon --> Crest --> Pat Scott --> Hamburg --> Crest --> Miller Canyon

Was the first car in the parking lot at 5:50, started hiking at 6am. At the Crest Trail by 8, where I startled ~8 deer not too far from Bathtub Spring. The last time I had hiked this stretch of the Crest Trail was a decade ago when I did the AZT, so I remembered the descent on the west side, but after that my memory was a blank. The stretch from the descent to Bear Saddle was a very pleasant surprise.

From Bear Saddle to Pat Scott was another pleasant surprise. Lovely tree cover and many great views to the west. I had some kind of game bird explode into flight nearly under my feet at one point. Too big to be a quail, but I don't think there are grouse in the Huachucas, so I don't know what it was.

Just before Pat Scott I passed 3 deer within 20 feet of the trail who couldn't have cared less about my presence. Even when I stopped to take a picture, they just continued eating while occasionally looking at me.

Pat Scott sees way less use than the Crest based on the trail condition. I knew the approximate distance of the loop I was doing, but I hadn't looked too closely at the elevation changes. Once I realized how much Pat Scott was dropping, I could tell Hamburg was going to be a fun climb. Sure enough, that's a steep one.

I had lunch at Bear Saddle. Windy with strong gusts, but just the right temperature in the sun. Some ravens showed up to play in the wind gusts doing barrel rolls and flips. I appreciate them giving me a show during my lunch.

Back up at the Crest, I stopped for a water break and noticed that someone had left an Evernew 2.0L bottle at the campsite where Carr & Crest split. It was very new, so I left it there in case they noticed later that day and came back, but that was probably quite the bummer for an AZT thru-hiker.

I thought about doing Carr Peak, but my legs had decided they had had enough AEG for the day. Next time.

As I started down Miller Canyon, I saw 4 people coming down the Crest trail from Miller. Those were the only people I saw all day. I have no idea how so few people were out hiking in the Huachucas on a Saturday with such perfect weather, but it worked out great for me.
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Mar 19 2022
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 Triplogs 22

42 male
 Joined Feb 27 2012
 Cochise County
Miller Canyon Trail #106Tucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Hiking avatar Mar 19 2022
AndrewAZTriplogs 22
Hiking11.83 Miles 4,630 AEG
Hiking11.83 Miles   6 Hrs      1.97 mph
4,630 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
My first time going up Miller Canyon trail. Quite the steep one. The gentle gain on the Crest Trail was a relief in comparison. Sunny and warm, but still a decent amount of ice/mud in the Crest Trail in places (which I'm sure was doubled by the storm a few days later).

I met a trio of women who were hiking the AZT (or at least a big chunk). One went up Miller Peak while the other two kept going. I know some people hike that way, but I've always found it odd to separate by big distances during the day. And the two who didn't head up to the peak missed out.
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Nov 11 2021
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 Triplogs 22

42 male
 Joined Feb 27 2012
 Cochise County
Gardner Canyon Trail #143Tucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Hiking avatar Nov 11 2021
AndrewAZTriplogs 22
Hiking13.40 Miles 4,000 AEG
Hiking13.40 Miles   11 Hrs      1.22 mph
4,000 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Cave Canyon TH --> Link Trail --> Gardner Canyon --> Super --> Crest --> Cave Canyon Trail

Did this hike with a friend who wasn't quite ready for the distance or elevation gain, so we took a leisurely pace. I added Gardner Canyon to my mental list of places where it's hard to believe one is in southern Arizona. We passed on summiting to make sure we finished in the daylight.

The Crest Trail from Baldy Saddle to Florida is breathtaking. The views and the forest are both amazing. A stunning 2.5 miles that I'll definitely repeat at some point.

The descent down Cave Canyon was steep with loose footing. I had gotten ahead of my friend, so I missed out on the black bear that he saw. That's my punishment for being that far ahead.
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Oct 28 2021
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 Triplogs 22

42 male
 Joined Feb 27 2012
 Cochise County
Crest Trail #103Tucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Hiking avatar Oct 28 2021
AndrewAZTriplogs 22
Hiking16.65 Miles 5,640 AEG
Hiking16.65 Miles   8 Hrs   2 Mns   2.07 mph
5,640 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Starting at Montezuma Pass TH, going along the Crest Trail to Miller Peak, then along the Crest again to Carr Peak, and then all the way back to Montezuma Pass.

My first hike as a resident of the county. At the first overlook (not even .5 mi from the TH), a startled coati bolted through the tall grass into the nearby rocks. An auspicious start to living/hiking here.

Didn't see anyone else until I was on Miller Peak--two guys were on the far end of the southwest ridge that stretches away from the peak. Looked like hunters doing spotting prep work.

I hadn't been along the Crest from Miller to Bathtub Spring since I did the AZT a decade ago. Absolutely wonderful. The pine forests on the top of the sky islands really are God's country.

While I enjoy the "more open + tall grass + occasional pines" scenery that dominates after Bathtub Spring, it makes for much hotter hiking. The climb to Carr Peak was toasty.

On the way out, as I descended from the big juniper that's 2 miles from the TH, I kept hearing voices, so I assumed I would catch some hikers in front of me. I never caught them, but I kept hearing them. When I started looking hard, I realized there were 4 people doing a bushwhack straight down from the big juniper (where the Crest trail curves to the west of the canyon). They were maybe .5 mile down, and had quite a way to go through steep, rough country to reach the road at the bottom of the canyon. I hope they made it.
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Feb 02 2021
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 Triplogs 22

42 male
 Joined Feb 27 2012
 Cochise County
Dripping Springs Super LoopPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Feb 02 2021
AndrewAZTriplogs 22
Hiking20.15 Miles 4,134 AEG
Hiking20.15 Miles   9 Hrs   38 Mns   2.09 mph
4,134 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
Dutchman :next: Coffee Flat :next: Red Tanks :next: Whiskey Spring :next: Dutchman

I started walking a little bit before 7am. The Peralta TH had maybe a dozen vehicles--quite the difference compared to a weekend morning.

About a half mile before the windmills along Coffee Flat trail, I saw a pack of javelinas. What's the correct collective noun for javelinas? A gregory? A gregory of peccaries? Anyway, a pack. I then saw a second pack at the windmills, and saw at least 16 of them, including plenty of young ones.

As always, Red Tanks is a hot trail to climb in late morning on a day headed towards 80 degrees. Only a small trickle of water flowing out of the first half of the trail. After the big climb into the second half, there was more water flowing along Red Tanks down towards Upper Labarge box and some nice spots to easily collect water.

This was my second or third time along Red Tanks since the fires, so between that and people helpfully building more cairns, I found it easier to navigate the burned areas. Not too much time spent looking for trail or wandering around this time.

This was my nth time in Upper Labarge box, and I finally stayed on the trail the whole time without any wild bouldering down the center of the wash. Whiskey Springs was hot and exposed in the afternoon.

The part of Dutchman dropping past Miner's Needle is always enjoyable. I like how the trail works its way down and around that drainage. Surprisingly, there was a big pool of water partway down the trail that had a steady trickle filling it.

I made it back to the parking area without ever seeing another person on the trail all day. Some water out there, but unless it rains more soon, I can imagine it drying up soon.
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Jan 17 2021
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 Triplogs 22

42 male
 Joined Feb 27 2012
 Cochise County
Bluff Springs Trail #235Phoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Jan 17 2021
AndrewAZTriplogs 22
Hiking15.20 Miles 3,990 AEG
Hiking15.20 Miles   7 Hrs   30 Mns   2.03 mph
3,990 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Bluff Spring Mountain Trail :next: Terrapin :next: Dutchman :next: Bull Pass :next: Dutchman :next: Peralta

I did this loop to break-in my new pair of Topo Trailventure boots. I've worn Topo Terraventure2 trail runners and like them, so I decided to try these. They seem to be identical to the Topo Terraventure2 but with ankle support. They felt great and I didn't have any hot spots or blisters. I think I still slightly prefer the Terraventures, but I'm pleased with these as well.

I started walking around 7am and the Peralta TH parking lot wasn't yet half full. I don't imagine that lasted long, though. I could see a never-ending line of headlights on the way in.

Where Terrapin intersects Dutchman, I met a solo woman hiker with an overnight pack. I proceeded down Dutchman to Bull Pass Trail, went over Bull Pass, and then turned back onto Dutchman. After a few steps, I met that woman again (who presumably stayed on Dutchman the whole time on the way to First Water TH). Funny how the wilderness can be small like that.

Going over Bull Pass was warm, but the climb up Peralta to Fremont Saddle was hot. They weren't kidding about the high 70s forecast. It didn't help that there is zero shade along Peralta now aside from the one thicket that survived the fires.

Until Fremont Saddle, I think I only saw about a dozen people on the trail. Fremont Saddle back to the parking lot was the usual horde.
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Mar 01 2020
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 Triplogs 22

42 male
 Joined Feb 27 2012
 Cochise County
Holdout Creek Trail #69Tucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Backpack avatar Mar 01 2020
AndrewAZTriplogs 22
Backpack20.00 Miles 5,000 AEG
Backpack20.00 Miles4 Days         
5,000 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
I journeyed to the Santa Teresa wilderness to do some brush clearing. I had previously hiked this section in 2018 as part of a GET segment hike and greatly enjoyed it, but knew the trail needed some work.

The drive to Reef Tank was exciting. The ~34 miles of Klondyke Road was scenic and easy to drive, but the ~7 miles of 4x4 driving along FR 941 was much more difficult. The best part was the ridgeline portion where it was a drop on both sides and felt like the road might disappear over each little rise. The last .75 mile down to Reef Tank wasn't bad on the way in, but I spun my wheels a little on the way out.

I camped at the big parking area near Reef Tank. That's a very nice camping area for such a remote location. On the drive in, I ran into Nathan/g-string, who was hiking the GET. He had come up Trail 68 but was opting to do the Black Rock Creek alternate instead of Trail 69. That's the only hiker I saw.

I arrived on the 1st and left on the 5th. Each day, I hiked along the trail and cut back what I could using lopping shears, a brush saw, and an axe. My goal was to improve the first 3 miles and then get a start on the second 3 miles, but the trail had gotten much brushier in the first 3 miles since I was last there, so my time was limited to those first 3 miles.

I remembered the first 3 miles being brushy but passable, but the manzanita and shrub oak had grown together in a number of places to make impenetrable walls. Some of the drainages required extensive clearing. There are still some brushy spots in the first two miles, but I opened up the worst of the thickets.

Once in Holdout Canyon, I cleared the worst brush to improve the sightlines and built cairns (hopefully visible for both west- and east-bound hikers) where the trail meanders through little washes starting around mile 2. I remember that being really frustrating in 2018 when the trail would just disappear. Up until the trail reaches Holdout Creek proper for the first time, it should be much easier to follow.

I stopped where the trail reaches Holdout Creek and then climbs back up into the brush. The trail hits a massive patch of manzanita there, and I know the trail is there thanks to the flagging tape, but I couldn't get a feel for where it went and where I should be clearing.

I will head back next year and try to get to that second 3-mile stretch. I'll have an extra pair of lopping shears this time (managed to snap the cutting blade off the pair I had) as well as flagging tape. I'll need to camp out in Holdout Canyon, but I should be able to make good progress with 3-4 days working on that second stretch.
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Jan 18 2020
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 Triplogs 22

42 male
 Joined Feb 27 2012
 Cochise County
JF Trail #106Phoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Jan 18 2020
AndrewAZTriplogs 22
Hiking23.71 Miles 5,075 AEG
Hiking23.71 Miles   11 Hrs   5 Mns   2.14 mph
5,075 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
From Woodbury TH: JF over Tortilla Saddle to Hoolie Bacon to Red Tanks to Coffee Flat to Woodbury.

This one was a real :pk: kicker. I left my place before 5am, left US 60 around 6am, drove FR 172 in the dark, and started hiking at 7am. After Tortilla Saddle, I saw a buck and doe along JF, but that was it for wildlife. I had lunch at the saddle on Hoolie Bacon at 12:30.

While hunting for trail along a burned/eroded part of Hoolie, I was down in a wash and found a stainless steel canteen. Cap was still on tight and it was about 3/4 full of water (I'd guess it's a quart-sized bottle). The little chain holding the cap on was rusted, but otherwise it was in decent shape. I dumped it and hiked it out. I wonder how long it had been out there.

My hopes were getting high that I was finally going to do it: over 20 miles on established trails in the Superstitions without seeing anyone (without hiking in July or something dangerous like that). My hopes were dashed along Red Tanks when I finally met a pair of hikers. Only people I saw all day.

I was tempted to go up Randolph Canyon instead of using Coffee Flat trail, but there was enough water coming out of Randolph that it seemed like it could be tricky to stay dry. Plus, I hoped Coffee had better trail. I was wrong on that part. If there was ever good trail along that stretch of Coffee, it's gone now (aside from one portion that goes up high along the canyon wall, I assume to avoid a pouroff). The easiest thing was to walk in the wash, which had enough firm sand to make for pleasant walking on my very tired feet. With all the greenery and the trickle of water down the center, it was a nice "I can hardly believe this is Arizona" walk.

I was running low on fun around mile 18. I was out of fun by mile 20-21. The last two miles were more of a forced march than I would've liked.

I had to hustle along Red Tanks and Coffee Flat when I realized how much daylight I had left. I made the final climb along Woodbury as the sun was setting behind me (that final climb can kiss my :pk:). I got back to my truck with just enough light to change my shoes and drink the last of my water. It turned out to be even less fun to drive out on FR 172 in the dark than it was to drive in.

Lots of water flowing in most of the major washes. Not much along the higher parts of JF or Hoolie Bacon, but water almost everywhere else. Probably the most along Red Tanks, and definitely the most once it combined with the flow out of Randolph.

This was my first time on JF and the final stretch of Coffee Flat. I've now done every major trail on the western side of the Superstitions on my Green Trails map except the 1.6-mile stretch from Tortilla Pass to Angel Basin. However, I'm still missing some of the less-used (unofficial?) trails like Randolph Canyon, the Cedar Basin alternate to Hoolie Bacon, and West Boulder Canyon.

Comments on the specific trails:

JF: alternating areas of burnt and unburnt. Some stretches of vague and indistinct trail due to too few feet stomping the grass down. A little brushy in places, but nothing too bad. In spots where it did burn, it didn't seem to affect the trail too much.

Hoolie Bacon: the climb over the saddle is still steep and hot. Lots of burn damage (and subsequent flood damage). No underbrush among the dead manzanita groves, so parts of the trail are hard to follow--where once there was a clear path through underbrush, now everything looks open and vaguely trail-like. More than a few places I was thankful for cairns.

Red Tanks: Even more burn/flood damage than Hoolie. If it weren't for cairns, parts of this would be incredibly difficult to follow. Much of this reminded me of the burned-out areas along the AZT in the Mazatzals. The creek appears to have had torrential floods in the last mile or so approaching Coffee Flat trail. I don't recall it being that deep or wide the last time I walked it. I'd say this was the most damaged of all the trails I walked.

Coffee Flat: as mentioned above, there's really not much of a trail for most of this. It's just walking in the wash.
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Jan 04 2020
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42 male
 Joined Feb 27 2012
 Cochise County
Bluff Spring Mountain LoopPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Jan 04 2020
AndrewAZTriplogs 22
Hiking19.70 Miles 2,748 AEG
Hiking19.70 Miles   9 Hrs   45 Mns   2.02 mph
2,748 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
Partners none no partners
From the Peralta TH on the way out: Bluff Spring Mtn Tr to Dutchman, then past Red Tanks Jxn and Peters Jxn on Dutchman to Cavalry and turning around at the Calvary/Boulder Jxn. On the way back: Boulder Canyon to Dutchman to Peralta to the TH. My Green Mountain map says it's 19.7 miles.

Cold at the start, but a little too warm in the late morning and the afternoon once the sun was on me. As I expected/hoped for, there was plenty of water everywhere. Many water crossings, including some tricky ones. I managed to keep my feet dry all day, but had there been another 2 inches of water in some of them, staying dry would've been impossible.

I encountered a group of ~15 women at the Dutchman/Cavalry Jxn. That's the exact same spot I encountered a group of women hikers a few years ago when doing a super loop. Whichever hiking club that is, they're consistent (as am I, apparently).

I don't think I had hiked that stretch of Boulder Canyon Tr before. That was the only brushy trail of the day, although it wasn't too bad.

I didn't see much wildlife. I blame that on the repeated helicopter flyovers, including lots of hovering around a mountain more towards AZ 88. I assume that was related to the road closure.

This was the first hike in my Topo Ultraventure 2s. One small hot spot on the outside of my left heel, but that's it. Not bad for new shoes. I'm not sure about their durability, and who knows how they'll feel after a week straight on a long trip, but so far I'm a fan. Much better than the Sportivas I had or the Altras I have.
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Apr 13 2019
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 Triplogs 22

42 male
 Joined Feb 27 2012
 Cochise County
Rogers Canyon Trail #110Globe, AZ
Globe, AZ
Hiking avatar Apr 13 2019
AndrewAZTriplogs 22
Hiking20.00 Miles
Hiking20.00 Miles   10 Hrs      2.00 mph
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Partners none no partners
Rogers Trough TH to go up Rogers Canyon to Angel Basin, followed by Frog Tanks trail to Reavis 109 (via Plow Saddle), and then 109 all the way back to the TH. My map says that's 20 miles, which seems high, but who am I to argue with the map.

At the register, I counted at least 40 people in April who had signed in with the destination of Utah. I think there were 12 on the 12th alone. That is a remarkable number of thru-hikers. I assume most of them will finish since they made it through the worst parts already.

Frog Tanks Trail was a little brushy/thorny in spots, but mostly easy to follow thanks to many cairns. There was one spot where the trail disappeared into a mudhole surrounded by a thorn thicket, though. I eventually found the trail again, but I'm still not sure how it connected in-between.

On the second big climb of Frog Tanks, I met a rattlesnake and a little later a large gopher snake. The rattlesnake wasn't pleased to see me, and the feeling was mutual. He eventually moved off the trail, but my pace afterwards suffered as every stick near the trail seemed to be a rattlesnake.

Until I reached the Reavis Gap intersection, I had only met one other hiker. He was doing a meandering 5-day journey through the Superstitions, which made me envious. There were quite a few people in the meadows between Reavis Gap and the ranch site, although none appeared to be thru-hikers.

I sat under a tree near the ranch site for my second break, and I watched a number of deer come down off the hill to eat. However, they all got into the one functional corral/pen where horses have eaten all the grass down to bare dirt. A giant wilderness area and a large meadow filled with soft, lush, green grass... and five deer come down and get into the fenced pen to eat what little remains. Typical. I did get to see one of those deer clothesline himself spectacularly when some new hikers came through and startled him and he didn't realize that side of the pen had a very high wire.

When I got back to the TH, there was the usual assortment of pickups and SUVS... and a 3rd gen Dodge Durango with street tires. I assume they come in 4x4, but given the length, low clearance, automatic transmission, and tires, that must've been a slow, cautious drive up. I was certainly thankful to have serious tires, clearance, and low-range 4x4 to cruise off the mountain.

Overall, there was water everywhere, everything was green and lush, and the temperature was ideal. If I didn't have work deadlines coming up, I'd copy the hiker I met and get out there for 5 days.
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Jan 26 2019
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 Triplogs 22

42 male
 Joined Feb 27 2012
 Cochise County
Superstition RidgelinePhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Jan 26 2019
AndrewAZTriplogs 22
Hiking17.00 Miles 4,480 AEG
Hiking17.00 Miles   9 Hrs   40 Mns   1.76 mph
4,480 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
I was victorious on the rematch: Carney Springs TH to the Flatiron and then back. Distance is an estimate, and I have no clue what my AEG would be. This was a real :pk: kicker and I'm very pleased with how it turned out.

4 hours 30 minutes--from Carney Springs TH to the Flatiron
0--breaks taken in that stretch (my best pace is always the part before my first break, so if I don't take a break...)
30 minutes--break at Flatiron to eat, drink a liter of nuun-ade, and put on sunblock

4 hours 40 minutes--Flatiron back to Carney Springs TH
1--charley horse about 15 minutes after beginning the return journey
2--breaks taken in that stretch

2--total liters of water consumed (1 liter of water and 1 liter of nuun-ade)
1060--total calories consumed while hiking (2 snickers, 1 larabar, 1 PB pack, 1 e-gel)

There were already 10 cars at Carney Springs TH when I got there at 6:30. Another hiker said he saw a group of 30+ setting up shuttles. I met that group somewhere in the mile 6-7 range, and 30+ was conservative. I don't know if it was a meetup group or what, but it was a pretty big age range of people. I caught the tail end of them as I was headed back to Carney Springs, and they were discussing a missing pair. I hope they located everyone.

The wind was fierce and unrelenting for the first half of the day. The kind of cold, biting wind where my face was numb. Then the wind stopped for the second half of the day and the sun came out and I baked and burned (where I missed with the sunblock). Except for some rain, I think I got all the Arizona hiking weather yesterday.

I'm pleased with my pace overall. Had I taken a shorter lunch break and proceeded to Lost Dutchman, I could've come close to breaking 6 hours. My pace on the way back is the real surprise, though. I felt like I was dragging, but considering my 2 breaks added up to more than 10 minutes, my pace was actually better on the return.

I've always done the Ridgeline from Carney Springs to Lost Dutchman, but for scenery, I think the opposite might be the better direction. Plus, that would get Siphon Draw, the bouldering (my least favorite part), and all the people headed to the Flatiron done with in the first part of the day. I might have to do any future end-to-ends that way.
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Jan 05 2019
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 Triplogs 22

42 male
 Joined Feb 27 2012
 Cochise County
Superstition RidgelinePhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Jan 05 2019
AndrewAZTriplogs 22
Hiking9.00 Miles 4,480 AEG
Hiking9.00 Miles
4,480 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
Linked linked
Partners none no partners
The plan was to go from Carney Springs TH to the Flatiron and back. That seemed like a good 16-mile day and it's been on my to-do list for a while.

I got to the TH in the dark and started hiking when it was light enough that I wouldn't injure myself. It's been a few years since I did the Ridgeline and was impressed by the nice new trail. It also seemed to be going up the wrong drainage. I decided it would be better to keep going and go up a new drainage than turn around.

The trail went to what I assume is the Wave Cave and then disappeared. There was a use path and some cairns, but those disappeared after a bit. I kept bushwhacking up the sidehill for a half hour or so and then noticed what appeared to be a trail in the bottom of the wash. Sure enough, there was a decent trail and it went all the way to the top. I wonder if I missed good trail between the Wave Cave and that one. I reached the top and could see the Ridgeline trail beneath me.

I was surprised to find plenty of packed snow and ice on the trail. The parts of the trail that are steep and loose at the best of times are not improved by adding packed snow and ice. I'm glad I had my hiking poles. Parts had me wishing for microspikes. I managed to get off trail more than once and meander about in the snow for long periods of time. The snow was actually a nice firmness so it was easier to walk on than the ice on the trail.

Things got much less fun once I was making my way around Superstition Peak. The off-camber trail plus packed snow and ice was a chore. I had to pay very close attention to the ground and couldn't gawk around at the scenery. I eventually reached the top of the rocky chute and discovered that just getting down to it was incredibly treacherous. Peering down into it, I could see plenty of snow and ice waiting for me. The prospect of injury seemed higher than I'd like, and the thought of hiking for a few more hours and then having to climb back up it wasn't appealing.

I turned around and found the sun had warmed the snow and ice the right amount to make everything even more slippery. It was a taxing hike back. I dropped back down the usual drainage and got the typical roasting. No matter the temperature elsewhere, that canyon is always amazingly hot. When I passed the massive rock pile and signless post, I discovered where I had gone wrong in the dark. Now I know where to turn next time, although if there's trail all the way to the ridge past the Wave Cave, that might actually be the better route.

There were probably 40 cars parked around the TH area, and whenever I could see the road on my hike back, it was a non-stop progression of cars going towards Peralta TH. That must've been a zoo.

I'll try again in February when everything has had a chance to melt and dry out.
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Nov 10 2018
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42 male
 Joined Feb 27 2012
 Cochise County
Cottonwood Mountain Trail #66 - Santa TeresasTucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Backpack avatar Nov 10 2018
AndrewAZTriplogs 22
Backpack9.50 Miles 2,297 AEG
Backpack9.50 Miles2 Days         
2,297 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
My hiking partner and I attempted Segment 8 of the GET in March without success (we did finish Segment 7, Aravaipa Creek, which was a delight). Dropping into Laurel Canyon on Trail 68 from the 4-wheel drive road was fine, climbing Trail 68 to Reef Tank was challenging but manageable, and the descent into Holdout Creek from Reef Tank was not bad overall, but the part from Holdout Creek to Black Rock Creek was a nightmare. It seemed like a never-ending maze of thornbrush with the occasional fifty foot stretch of discernible path with some bits of blue flagging tape. After making it to the corral at the junction (one of the best backcountry campsites I’ve ever had), we decided we didn’t want to find out how rough the upcoming cross-country section was or the trail over Cottonwood Mountain and got ourselves out of the wilderness by [exact method redacted for national security reasons].

Leaving trails unexplored bothers me, so I decided to go back into Segment 8 using the route we would have exited on. A long weekend in November with a cold front moving in seemed like the perfect time to possibly camp at 7000 feet in the middle of nowhere.

I parked along FR 677 when it started to get rough enough that I wouldn’t want to drive out with sore feet, which left me about 45 minutes of road walking to get to the gate at the National Forest boundary. A red Jeep passed me and then I met them again on their way out. I encountered one hunter walking along the road who said he had seen one rabbit and two quail.

There was decent water flow from the National Forest boundary until the point where the trail left the wash to climb up over Cottonwood Mountain. I spooked a deer within 10 minutes after entering the National Forest—obviously it knew where to hide from that hunter.

The trail was overgrown with grass, but not too much thorn brush. I saw a wild squash plant of some kind with two round squash about the size of a baseball. The trail was occasionally tough to follow through the tall grass, but it never took more than a pause and careful look around to find it again.

The trail work in 2015 became apparent once the trail left the wash area to climb. Although still overgrown with tall grass, a very obvious corridor had been cleared through the manzanita, junipers, and thorn brush. The switchbacks were also well-built and still in good shape. It was a hot climb in the sun with no breeze, but it never felt uncomfortably steep.

Breaking over the top was something out of a fantasy book. It didn’t feel like I had passed 7000 feet, so I assumed the wall of brush was a false summit—it wasn’t. The trail broke through the wall...and that was it. I was on top and could already see a bit into Holdout Canyon. I was also instantly chilled by the strong wind after getting all sweaty on the climb.

It was short walk to the overlook into Holdout Canyon. From above, it was hard to believe I had been in that maze in March. It looked utterly impassable (which was close to true). It’s a shame Gardner Canyon Trail #67 no longer exists. The views coming up from Holdout must have been stunning.

I was pleasantly surprised by all the pine trees. From the desert along FR 677, this has to be one of the shortest sky island desert-to-pine transitions, especially for not feeling cruelly steep. It was only a few minutes before I met two deer. One was barely concerned with my presence and did no more than keep a large bush between the two of us while she continued eating.

There was more water flowing in Fourmile Canyon, and it also had the densest stretch of pine trees. Several spots looked like they’d make a good camping site, but it was still early afternoon.

From Fourmile Canyon to a gate along the ridge (about a mile stretch) is the part that needs the most trail work. The manzanitas are doing their best to grow over the trail, and a few more years of growth will create an impassable wall. There are already a few downed trees that require fighting through manzanita to get around, and as mean as I am, a thicket of manzanitas all over 6 feet tall is way meaner.

The drop from the ridge down to Kane Spring was generally easy to follow. There were a few switchbacks that zigged unexpectedly, but nothing too bad. There were some good views of Mt Turnbull and some partial views of Black Rock.

Everything at Kane Spring was dry. The three metal tanks near the corrals were empty and had holes in them, which isn’t promising for them ever having water again. The metal tank up the wash from them was empty. The big camo tank farther down the trail was empty. I was thankful I had carried too much water.

I set up my tent and then wandered down the trail a little to see if I could get a better view of Black Rock. I could see from the GET elevation profile that there was a big drop and I didn’t feel like losing and then gaining a big chunk of elevation to end my day, so I turned around before long when the view didn’t materialize.

While I ate dinner, I heard a yowling noise in the vicinity of the corrals (I was a little farther down the trail towards the camo tank). I pondered what could make such a noise, and then it happened again, but it was longer and then became a high-pitched scream towards the end. I mentally ran through my list of what might make such a noise and wasn’t pleased with the candidates. I didn’t hear anything further and never saw anything, so the mountain lion must’ve decided I didn’t look like dinner.

I have no doubt it got quite cold overnight on top of the mountain, but it stayed much warmer than I expected in the little canyon where Kane Spring is. I don’t think it dropped much below 50 there. The large number of east-west jets was much harder on my sleep than the temperature. The wilderness must be in a major flight path.

The hike out the next morning was uneventful. I didn’t see any people or any noteworthy wildlife. Aside from the Jeep and the walking hunter, I had it all to myself. Not bad for a long weekend.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Fourmile Spring Quart per minute Quart per minute

dry Kane Spring Dry Dry
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Oct 27 2018
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42 male
 Joined Feb 27 2012
 Cochise County
Dripping Springs Super LoopPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Oct 27 2018
AndrewAZTriplogs 22
Hiking19.00 Miles 3,200 AEG
Hiking19.00 Miles
3,200 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
I went east on Dutchman's Trail 104 from the Peralta TH to Coffee Flat 108, east on Coffee Flat to Red Tanks 107, north on Red Tanks and then west through Upper Labarge Box, south and west on Whiskey Spring 238, and south and west on Dutchman 104 to get back to the TH. My Green Trails map claims that is 19 miles.

I got started at about 6:15 and wondered how long it would take me to see another person. The answer was 15 minutes because a cute, blonde trailrunner passed me with her dog at that point. However, aside from people in the parking area, that was the only person I saw all day. It's possible that heat kept people off the trails. If I had had any sense, it would've kept me away.

The trailrunner must've stayed on Dutchman because the number of spider webs I walked through went way up after I turned onto Coffee Flat trail. Coffee Flat trail through lower Randolph Canyon was brushy, but nicely shaded. The shade vanished once I turned up Red Tanks. The scenery along Red Tanks was spectacular, although it would've been much more enjoyable at 65 degrees instead of 85. I would rank Red Tanks up there with Hoolie Bacon and Peters Trail for great scenery plus remote wilderness feel.

With all the rain, I had expected lots of water. There were a few pools here and there, but not much. It was a small trickle in Upper Labarge Box instead of the torrent it had been in February after the rain.

I thought Red Tanks in Upper Labarge Box would be easier to navigate when it dropped down the to the wash without all the water to hide the trail. Nope. The trail still just vanished for a while and required some boulder hopping. I found it for a while only to have it vanish again.

There was some trickling water when I turned on Whiskey Spring trail, so I filtered a liter. I could've made it back to the truck with what I had left (I had started with 2 liters), but it would've been unpleasant.

Red Tanks is obviously not the most popular trail, but I hoped Whiskey Spring had seen more use to make the remainder of my day easier. It was not to be. Whiskey Spring was also quite brushy due to the rains, and the brush all had thorns. I mean, it wasn't brushy like the GET through the Santa Teresas (the horror, the horror...), but I still got sliced up.

The heat and mileage had really taken their toll by the time I got back to Dutchmans. The drop past Miners Needle and the stretch back to the TH was more of a forced march than I would've liked.

I think I have now done every major trail in the western Superstitions on my Green Trails map. I guess it's time to start working on the central and east portions as well as the questionable dotted-line trails. The JF-Cedar Basin-Red Tanks-upper Randolph Canyon loop looks like a memorable one...
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3 archives
Jul 09 2017
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42 male
 Joined Feb 27 2012
 Cochise County
Humphreys Summit Trail #151Flagstaff, AZ
Flagstaff, AZ
Hiking avatar Jul 09 2017
AndrewAZTriplogs 22
Hiking10.25 Miles 3,313 AEG
Hiking10.25 Miles   6 Hrs   5 Mns   1.68 mph
3,313 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Second Humphreys summit of the year and ninth overall.

I camped on Friday night and got to the parking lot around 5:15 am. Much emptier than on June 17th. I was rolling up the trail around 6 am and the parking lot was still fairly quiet. I reached the saddle at 1:50, which is the first time I've broken two hours. I took a 25-minute break to hydrate, eat, and stretch, and then made it to the peak in 43 minutes. That's the first time I've made it to the top in under 3 hours.

There were a few flies at the top, but nothing like the swarm on the 17th. Very hazy due to the fires, and the black cloud hovering over the Prescott area was impressive/ominous. The trip down was even faster without pushing too hard, and the partial cloud cover made the temperature perfect.

By the time I reached the parking lot, the clouds were getting serious, and I wondered about all the people I had met who were heading up and wouldn't be reaching the peak before 1 p.m. (if even by then). I saw that someone set up a little food truck in the parking lot--a great idea on their part. I got rained on a little while driving back into Flagstaff, and there was a dark cloud over the peak.

Between the lovely weather, the lack of elevation sickness, and my pace, it was an almost ideal day of hiking. Too bad I didn't see any turkeys this time!
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Feb 25 2017
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42 male
 Joined Feb 27 2012
 Cochise County
Hoolie Bacon - Peters Trail LoopPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Feb 25 2017
AndrewAZTriplogs 22
Hiking23.98 Miles 4,004 AEG
Hiking23.98 Miles   10 Hrs   40 Mns   2.25 mph
4,004 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
I parked at the 2wd trailhead just after 6:30 am and was hiking by 6:50. Wisdom being the better part of valor, I opted not to drive the 4wd road since I've never been up it before. I'm glad I made that choice. I probably could've made it up the road with my Tacoma with a skid plate and all-terrain tires, but it wouldn't have been fun.

The three road miles were quick and a good warm-up (or so I told myself). Started up JF to Hoolie Bacon to do the clockwise loop. At the first major water crossing, I startled three whitetails. Until the spot where one can bushwhack over to Peters Trail, HB was pretty easy to follow. After that point, it became awfully theoretical in places. Parts of it reminded me of Two Bar Ridge Trail, and that's not a good thing.

One of my brand-new Black Diamond Z Poles snapped 5 miles into the hike. The internal string broke inside the handle. My first pair of Z Poles lasted over 1000 miles, and this one gave out at under 20 miles. Defective, I hope, and not a sign of decreasing quality at BD. Having one break was frustrating since my 3wd speed is not nearly as good as my 4wd speed, and my stability is definitely worse.

Red Tanks was better quality than the second half of HB, although that's not saying much. After climbing up and over along the canyon wall, it disappeared for a while when it dropped back down to the creek. I assume it goes down the wash, but that's a challenge when there's several feet of water flowing down it. I ended up bouldering down the center of the creek, which was perhaps a bad idea. Some pretty big drops and leaps. Eventually found the trail again and it was well-marked from there to the Whiskey Spring junction.

In comparison, the part after the junction was a highway. I passed one woman along that stretch and she was the first human I'd seen all morning. She had a Gossamer Gear Mariposa and looked to be loaded for camping. I recently got a GG Mariposa and was using it for the first time as a day pack. What are the odds?

The water crossings on Dutchman were a little easier than in January, but not by much. Still some very large pools of water in places.

The drop in trail quality from Dutchman to Peters after taking 10 steps was amusing. It was a steep, hot climb in the afternoon sun, and once again the trail reminded me of Two Bar. Once I was up on the mesa, there was a little bit of air movement and the temperature was pleasant. The trail dropped again into a drainage, and it was the climb from that drainage where I could feel that I was running out of gas. I had powered up the climb from Dutchman, but this smaller climb took it out of me.

I had hit 18 miles, and I was getting pretty smug. I had only seen 1 person, and I had seen 3 whitetails. How many times can you see more deer than humans in the Superstitions? Of course, I ran into 2 hikers shortly thereafter to ruin the ratio. They were loaded for camping and looked a little tired. I discovered why when I made that drop past Kane Spring. Talk about steep and rocky and unstable trail. I was very thankful to be going down that section and not climbing it with a full pack.

About a mile from the 4wd trailhead, I ran into two guys and a dog splashing in the big pools of water and drinking beer (the dog looked like he might've been underage). I got my feet wet at the second-to-last water crossing when the rocks rolled under my feet, so I got to do the roadwalk with wet, sore feet. However, I was thankful I wasn't trying to navigate the road with my truck (manual truck + sore feet + rough road = not a good time).

On the way out, I caught and passed a guy on a bike with a very large hunting pack (at least two rifles). I think he was training or practicing, but he appeared to have more of a cyclocross bike than true mountain bike. He was having a tough time on the rocky shelves and it looked hard to balance with the big pack.

I carried a filter all day, but the 2L of water I started with ended up being enough. Just barely. This was a great hike and one that can finally be crossed off my to-do list.
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1 archive
Jan 28 2017
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42 male
 Joined Feb 27 2012
 Cochise County
Bluff Spring Mountain LoopPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Jan 28 2017
AndrewAZTriplogs 22
Hiking14.80 Miles 2,748 AEG
Hiking14.80 Miles
2,748 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
Linked none no linked trail guides
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I did this counterclockwise, and I'm glad I did. There were many water crossings from the 235/104 junction until the 104/239 junction that would've been a real chore in the afternoon when I was tired.

I got started at 7:10 am and I was sorry I didn't bring something to keep my ears warm for the first few miles. I was just ahead of a large group of women and just behind an older solo hiker. The women turned off at Terrapin, and the solo guy went south on Dutchman when I went north. I don't think I saw anyone until I saw tents at Charlebois.

I did scare a nice buck deer a half-mile after starting north on 104. Even got a few pictures. Wide rack and 5 points on each side. He must've been down getting water, because he was close to the trail.

I couldn't believe the amount of water in the 5 miles between joining Dutchman and hitting the Cavalry junction. Some of the water crossings were right out of the Wind Rivers. There were two where the trail normally went right across a wash, but this time there was 2+ feet of water. Others had a foot of strong flowing water. Lots of bushwhacking to slightly better crossing points, and I still had to get a foot wet twice. I know there has been a month of rain, but it was still something to see. Almost every wash and low point had running water (including plenty in the trail).

Stopped for 20 mins at Cavalry junction to take off my long sleeves, put on sunscreen (and I was so cold at the start of the day!), have some water, and eat a snack. After that, I started encountering lots of people. Terrapin had a trail crew working on it. Nice and steep, but I'd rather go up something that steep with loose, rocky trail than come down it.

Stopped partway between Bluff Saddle and the junction with 235 to have a snickers and enjoy not being able to see/hear a single man-made thing. Not the best snickers break I've ever had (that was day 3 on the Arizona Trail), but a mighty good one.

Back to the truck at 2:40pm. Still had a liter of water left, and I had only started with 2. Unnecessary weight for the day, along with the filter in case I ran out.

With this much water everywhere, I think I need to get back at least next once in the next two weeks. The Peters/Hoolie Bacon loop from Tortilla seems awfully tempting...
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Nov 19 2016
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42 male
 Joined Feb 27 2012
 Cochise County
Barnhardt Trail #43Payson, AZ
Payson, AZ
Hiking avatar Nov 19 2016
AndrewAZTriplogs 22
Hiking12.40 Miles 1,912 AEG
Hiking12.40 Miles
1,912 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
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I hiked this trail yesterday since I needed to get out of the house and the weather looked perfect. I hadn't been in the Mazatzals since doing the AZT in 2013, and a friend who hiked Barnhardt had been impressed.

About 2 miles into the trail, I was wondering how it took 6 miles to reach the AZT. Then it switchbacked and I realized it was going to be like climbing a fractal--getting around every drainage required going around a smaller drainage, which required going around another drainage, etc. The climb was just as gradual as promised, though, and the weather was ideal, so I wasn't complaining. I did see a pile of bear scat that was big enough it looked like the bear had eaten 6 granola bars and the 2 hikers carrying them. I'm happy I didn't meet that bear.

I hit the AZT, and was quite puzzled. It was some random point along the divide, not the base of Mazatzal Peak as I thought it would be. I wandered south along the divide trail until I could see Mazatzal Peak, and I realized my error. Y-Bar was the one that hit the base of the peak, not Barnhardt. That'll teach me to wing it (and rely on the vague memories of friends). I recalled the long, long drop from Mazatzal Peak along the divide trail, and sat and had a snack while I thought about whether I wanted to make that climb and descend along Y-Bar, which I didn't know much about.

While I thought, I met 6 section hikers heading towards Pine. 3 of them would finish their overall hike of the AZT when they got there. I also met the 3 guys and 2 dogs I saw in the parking lot, which must've been ToughBoots and company.

I decided I didn't want to go up the divide trail to come down Y-Bar, so I turned around and headed back to Barnhardt. Before I had gone a fifth of a mile, I took a spill and bent one of my z-poles. With a bruised ego, sore butt, and z-pole suffering from Peyronie's Disease, I decided it was time to get back to the truck. On the way down, I passed one of the section hikers, Gary from Tucson, who was bailing out rather than try to reach Pine before the big rain/snow storm rolled in. He needed a ride back to Phoenix, so I offered to help since I had plenty of room.

We walked together for a bit, but he insisted he was slowing me down, so he told me to go ahead and he'd find another ride. I got to the truck, changed my shoes, stowed my gear, drank my remaining water, and had barely sat down on the tailgate when he arrived. For a guy with a multiday pack, he needn't have worried about slowing anyone down. He wanted to find a hotel as close to Tucson as possible so his wife could easily pick him up, which worked out perfectly as I was heading to Ahwatukee.

While it was a good hike and I'm happy to have helped out a fellow hiker, I look forward to going back and doing Y-Bar-Divide-Barnhardt soon.
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Aug 06 2016
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42 male
 Joined Feb 27 2012
 Cochise County
Humphreys Summit Trail #151Flagstaff, AZ
Flagstaff, AZ
Hiking avatar Aug 06 2016
AndrewAZTriplogs 22
Hiking10.25 Miles 3,313 AEG
Hiking10.25 Miles
3,313 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
There were more cars in the lot than I expected when I pulled in just after 5 a.m. At least two large groups started ahead of me: one of 10-14 people, and one of 5-6 people with a dog. Oddly enough, I never saw either group again, and their cars were all gone when I got back to my truck just after noon. I have no idea what hike they did or how I didn't see them again, but I'm assuming Sasquatch ate them all and took their keys to steal their cars.

This time, I only saw one turkey. When I first met her, she was in the trail and close enough to me that I could've poked her with a hiking pole. She moseyed off the trail and into the brush, clearly not concerned about me.

Many, many mushrooms thanks to all the rain. A nice, big pair of coral mushrooms in a pretty yellow-orange color. Several large, pink mushrooms with slimy tops and very pointed teeth on the underside.

Clouds were forming quickly when I reached the saddle, and everything but the west side was obscured by the time I reached the peak. I had the peak to myself for 5 minutes before other people arrived, and the clouds quickly swallowed the west side as well. I hiked down and was out of the clouds before too long. The day had that feel of bright sunshine but strange shadows thanks to the clouds that I associate with storms at high elevations, so I didn't dawdle much on the way down. It never did rain, but the wet pavement in Flagstaff indicated it had rained there while I was hiking.
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Jul 16 2016
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42 male
 Joined Feb 27 2012
 Cochise County
Humphreys Summit Trail #151Flagstaff, AZ
Flagstaff, AZ
Hiking avatar Jul 16 2016
AndrewAZTriplogs 22
Hiking10.25 Miles 3,313 AEG
Hiking10.25 Miles
3,313 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
I thought my summit in June was good, but this one was even better. I got a decent night's rest camped out along a FS road, and I was the sixth car in the parking lot. I started around 6 a.m. with no one right in front of me or right on my heels. When I passed the wilderness boundary sign and sign-in log, I caught a flock of turkeys in the trail (2 hens and 4-5 chicks). I herded them up the trail for a few hundred feet before they ducked off into the brush. The temperature was comfortable but a touch warm in long sleeves until the saddle, and then I was thankful for sleeves given the strong, sustained winds.

I took 25 minutes off my total ascent time compared to my June hike, and most of that was gained in the saddle-summit stretch. Even so, I avoided elevation sickness again. The wind wasn't too bad at the summit, and thankfully the flies weren't too bad, either (they were a ridiculous swarm in June). Once some loud people left, the summit was even devoid of human voices for 5 minutes or so, which is always a highlight. There was a solid conga line on the way up when I descended, but that's hard to avoid.

Random thoughts:
1. Quite a few people in shorts and short sleeves. Maybe they are Flagstaff residents and used to cold temps, but the wind between the saddle and summit had me chilly in long pants and sleeves. Shorts and short sleeves wouldn't have been fun.

2. Lots of random garbage this time and I forgot my extra plastic bag. It seemed like there were tissues all over the place (at least I hope they were tissues and not used TP).

3. I don't get the people who hike with music playing from phone speakers.

With any luck, I'll be hiking it twice more this summer in anticipation of the High Sierra Trail and Whitney in late August...
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average hiking speed 1.93 mph
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