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317 triplogs
Feb 07 2021
rayhuston
avatar

 Guides 1
 Routes 83
 Photos 3,938
 Triplogs 679

63 male
 Joined Mar 09 2012
 Gilbert, AZ
Rough Eye Javelina LoopPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Feb 07 2021
rayhuston
Hiking8.95 Miles 907 AEG
Hiking8.95 Miles   4 Hrs   1 Min   2.33 mph
907 ft AEG      11 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Route Scout GPS Route Recorded on Route Scout View
I missed last week and haven't done much of anything for a couple of weeks so I was looking at something with a few miles but not too taxing. This was the ticket.

This was a nice long meander in the desert. Easy going throughout with some nice views along the way. I deviated slightly from this guide, adding Willow Springs Tank and the RnR Willow Springs Crossover trails to make a longer loop. I also added the Anniversary Arch Loop, which I had hiked with @CannondaleKid a few years ago, and which I found just as enjoyable on this trip.

I saw just four other hikers on the day, most near the trailhead. The weather was perfect while I was out there (12:30 to 4:30). This hike was most enjoyable and not difficult, but I underestimated the effect of 20,000 plus steps in a remote area. I was whooped at the end and sore the next day. Good day to be out though.
_____________________
Jan 24 2021
rayhuston
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 Guides 1
 Routes 83
 Photos 3,938
 Triplogs 679

63 male
 Joined Mar 09 2012
 Gilbert, AZ
Boulder Canyon Trail #103Phoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Jan 24 2021
rayhuston
Hiking6.87 Miles 1,786 AEG
Hiking6.87 Miles   3 Hrs   7 Mns   2.28 mph
1,786 ft AEG      6 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Fun out and back to just past La Barge Creek. I waited until the rain had stopped before leaving home. It was raining off and on on the way out, but I was pretty sure it would stop before I got started. It did, but I didn't get started until after 2pm. There was a little drizzle when I reached La Barge Creek, but it didn't last long.

It was gorgeous out. The smell of the desert after it rains is intoxicating. It was humid, but cool and breezy enough that the humidity didn't bother me. Occasional bursts of sunshine made for outstanding views all around. The trails were not at all muddy as I expected they would be. The rocks weren't slick either. The soil was soft underfoot, but there were no concerns. I was moving just as quickly as if it hadn't rained at all.

I planned to go to the junction with Second Water, but as I was heading up the hill north of Battleship Mountain, I noticed the sun was lower than expected. Then I remembered that I didn't start until after 2pm. :o My joyful exuberance had gotten the best of me. I would have finished in the dark if I kept going. I wasn't concerned about that, but I was expected to grill some chicken for dinner and I was definitely going to be late for that. So I grudgingly turned around and high tailed it back to the trailhead.

Not many people out. I passed a few people on the way out, most within a couple of miles of the trailhead. I caught up with another guy on the way down to the creek. We chatted for a few minutes. He was eyeballing the cliff looming above us, wanting to know what it was. Geronimo Head I told him, recognition coming to him. I told him where the trailhead was and mentioned Hikearizona.com as a good resource if he wanted to tackle it. I want to get up there some day, too. Maybe this year.

As I topped out on the last hill before the descent back to Canyon Lake, I saw Canyon Lake with late afternoon sun hitting the massif just right. It might have been the highlight of the day. Splendid hike. I didn't get to play in the mud, but it was nice to see some rain out there. The desert flora needs it.
_____________________
Jan 23 2021
rayhuston
avatar

 Guides 1
 Routes 83
 Photos 3,938
 Triplogs 679

63 male
 Joined Mar 09 2012
 Gilbert, AZ
Goldfields Loop, AZ 
Goldfields Loop, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Jan 23 2021
rayhuston
Hiking5.77 Miles 916 AEG
Hiking5.77 Miles   2 Hrs   45 Mns   2.23 mph
916 ft AEG      10 Mns Break
 
I was hoping to play in the mud today, but the rain we've been expecting hasn't materialized, at least not where I live. I kept it short with this little loop, hoping to try again tomorrow. The first three plus miles was new to me. The last leg I'd been on before with @trekkin_gecko and @johnlp.

Nice little roller coaster hike, first through Willow Springs Canyon, then returning along Rough N Ready Canyon with a nice crossover trail connecting the two.

It was a little humid, but cool with a nice breeze for most of the hike. I saw a group of backpackers, looked like a scout troop and their leader, and a few others, maybe a dozen people total. All within a mile of the trailhead.

My right knee was squawking the last mile or so, hopefully because rain is coming. :D
_____________________
1 archive
Jan 17 2021
rayhuston
avatar

 Guides 1
 Routes 83
 Photos 3,938
 Triplogs 679

63 male
 Joined Mar 09 2012
 Gilbert, AZ
First Water Creek OverlookPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Jan 17 2021
rayhuston
Hiking4.35 Miles 1,528 AEG
Hiking4.35 Miles   3 Hrs   12 Mns   1.59 mph
1,528 ft AEG      28 Mns Break
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
I was busy Saturday and all morning Sunday so I didn't have time for a hike until Sunday afternoon. Not having a plan and knowing that all of my favorite places would be overrun by mobs, I decided to link up the rest of the First Water Creek Overlook trail that I started from the north end a few weeks back. The southern end starts at the Little Four Peaks trailhead, my third trip here in the last four weeks.

By the time I made it to the trailhead, it was already 2:00 so I didn't have much time to do little more than an out and back. While not much, some sections of the trail have enormous views. Plus it's a great workout suitable for just about anyone willing to huff and puff a little. A fairly well defined trail with plenty of cairns made it easy to follow throughout.

Following the Little Four Peaks trail in the clockwise direction, the overlook trail departs from L4P trail and veers north uphill towards a saddle. Up and over the saddle, I followed the trail until I reached my turnaround point from 12/12/20. I continued on farther to get some extra steps. I was following cairns instead of periodically checking the route so I missed an opportunity to visit the actual overlook until the way back when the creek was in shadows. No worries, the views were still outstanding.

On the way out, I took a cholla break to ply out a ball that attached itself to my left calf. On the way back, I made sure to get up to the overlook and took a longer break there. The views from that perch are some of the best I've seen in the western supes. I will surely be back to check that out again, perhaps when there is actually some water in the creek and the creek is not in shadows.

The weather was gorgeous. Not a cloud in the sky with temps in the mid-70's. I didn't see another person during my trek. The parking area across the road is coned off by SRP so I parked in the little cutout right at the start of the trail. There are several large crates of what appear to be water jugs, but I may be wrong.
Culture
Culture
Ray Bain de Soleil
_____________________
1 archive
Jan 13 2021
rayhuston
avatar

 Guides 1
 Routes 83
 Photos 3,938
 Triplogs 679

63 male
 Joined Mar 09 2012
 Gilbert, AZ
Eastern Canal Ride, AZ 
Eastern Canal Ride, AZ
 
Road Biking avatar Jan 13 2021
rayhuston
Road Biking13.70 Miles
Road Biking13.70 Miles
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Rode south to Ray, then did three laps between Ray and Warner to avoid traffic. Zero breeze made for a speedy ride.
_____________________
Jan 09 2021
rayhuston
avatar

 Guides 1
 Routes 83
 Photos 3,938
 Triplogs 679

63 male
 Joined Mar 09 2012
 Gilbert, AZ
Picketpost CircumferenceGlobe, AZ
Globe, AZ
Hiking avatar Jan 09 2021
rayhuston
Hiking9.27 Miles 819 AEG
Hiking9.27 Miles   5 Hrs      2.00 mph
819 ft AEG      22 Mns Break
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
I met @AZLumberjack and @rwstorm at the Picketpost Mountain trailhead for a planned hike around the mountain. After arriving and chatting with Jack and Randy for a bit, Randy decided last minute to pass. He hadn’t hiked in over a year and wasn’t feeling up to it. We chatted for a bit longer and agreed to try again at a future date. I hope we can. It was very nice meeting you Randy. I look forward to hiking with you in the future!

Jack and I set off with a plan to hike in a CCW direction. At the new signage, we decided instead to go east and check out some new stuff we saw on the sign. It was fun walking through the canyon along Arnett Creek. It's quite scenic with excellent views of the mountain to the south.

At about the 3 mile mark, we turned north on what appeared to be a new trail heading up to the perlite mines, and later connected with the northern section of the circumference trail. Jack had been to these mines before, but from the opposite direction. This was all new to me.

Once at the mines, we took a break, looked for Apache tears, talked to numerous others doing the same, then headed back towards the circumference trail. At that point, we talked about going back the way we came or making a loop out of it by finishing the northern part of the circumference trail. We decided to make it a loop.

On the way down the trail/road, Jack pointed out a few things to me: some ruins, the airstrip, where the remnants of Pinal City were, the site of the old mill, etc. Lot of history through here. We meandered about, looking for signs of the old town. Not much there but old rusty metal here and there. We eventually came across ruts in the bedrock caused by numerous back and forth trips by wagons carrying ore to the mill. Must have been some heavy loads going through there. Wow.

From here on, it became an adventure. The northern section of this trail became difficult to find or follow. It my have been due to the highway 60 realignment or just lack of use. We followed the railroad tracks until we noticed what appeared to be an old utility road closer to the highway. This turned out to be the "trail." Noisy along the highway, but easy walking. We followed that until we dead-ended at a culvert about 5 feet in diameter that ran under the highway. The track we followed indicated we should be heading in that general direction so we stooped over and headed through the culvert. Mistake.

Once on the other side, we ended up near the Arboretum parking lot. We now knew it was a mistake being on this side, but we continued on, crawling under a few fences, bushwhacking up and over a couple of hills, under a couple of more fences until we finally reached the trail we started out on. I was a little worried that this might have been too much for Jack, but not a peep : rambo : . He was still upright and smiling at the end, probably a little sore that night and the next day, as I surely was.

I always enjoy my hikes with Jack. I hope this didn't mess up the chance for future hikes. We had a good time through most of it, but next time we should probably stick to the plan. Good hiking with you, Jack. Hope to see you again soon.
Named place
Named place
Picketpost Mountain
_____________________
1 archive
Jan 02 2021
rayhuston
avatar

 Guides 1
 Routes 83
 Photos 3,938
 Triplogs 679

63 male
 Joined Mar 09 2012
 Gilbert, AZ
Table Top TrailSouthwest, AZ
Southwest, AZ
Hiking avatar Jan 02 2021
rayhuston
Hiking9.14 Miles 2,382 AEG
Hiking9.14 Miles   4 Hrs   46 Mns   2.27 mph
2,382 ft AEG      44 Mns Break
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners 8 partners
Eaglet
johnlp
JuanJaimeiii
LindaAnn
PrestonSands
The_Eagle
Tortoise_Hiker
trekkin_gecko
These year end hikes with Bruce and Denny haven’t always fared well for me, but this one turned out great.

A little chilly at the start, but we warmed up quickly with a nice, relatively flat two mile power walk before the steep switchbacks began. Then most started shedding layers.

The views along the way were splendid. Although dry out here like everywhere, this area looked better than most I’ve seen recently. It must look amazing with a fair amount of rainfall.

I had the good fortune of hiking with @PrestonSands for the first time. Nice to meet you Preston! Nice seeing the rest of the gang again!

The road was in pretty good shape according to those that have been here before. No problem driving in but I hit a sandy rut a little too quickly and bottomed out once on the way back. No harm done.

Great day, great company, good times!
Flora
Flora
Soaptree Yucca
Named place
Named place
Table Top
_____________________
1 archive
Jan 01 2021
rayhuston
avatar

 Guides 1
 Routes 83
 Photos 3,938
 Triplogs 679

63 male
 Joined Mar 09 2012
 Gilbert, AZ
10th Annual New Year's Day Peak Bag, AZ 
10th Annual New Year's Day Peak Bag, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Jan 01 2021
rayhuston
Hiking1.98 Miles 567 AEG
Hiking1.98 Miles   2 Hrs   56 Mns   1.54 mph
567 ft AEG   1 Hour   39 Mns Break
 no routes
1st trip
Partners 7 partners
HAZ - Event
Daytripper
Nightstalker
Oregon_Hiker
outdoor_lover
SuperstitionGuy
tibber
wallyfrack
Another outstanding New Year's Day celebration sponsored by @Outdoor_Lover. :y:

Angela, Tom, Terry, Christina, Larry, Owen, Gavin, Wally and myself joined Pam on the massif overlooking Canyon Lake for some champagne, chocolate covered strawberries and cookies on a gorgeous morning. The trip to the top is a little rough in spots, but I don't think anyone will remember the trip up or down. The party at the top, however, was memorable as always.

Great choice for this location, Pam. Nice seeing everyone again. Happy New Year!
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Dec 27 2020
rayhuston
avatar

 Guides 1
 Routes 83
 Photos 3,938
 Triplogs 679

63 male
 Joined Mar 09 2012
 Gilbert, AZ
Shaka Cave - Robbers Roost - Barks Upper, AZ 
Shaka Cave - Robbers Roost - Barks Upper, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Dec 27 2020
rayhuston
Hiking8.75 Miles 2,549 AEG
Hiking8.75 Miles   5 Hrs   48 Mns   1.64 mph
2,549 ft AEG      27 Mns Break
 no routes
1st trip
There is no place I'd rather be than hiking in the Superstition Wilderness.

My wife wanted to get out for a hike this morning, so that was on the docket. She changed her mind when she woke up with some back pain. Now mid morning, I cobbled together a few of my favorite things and added Shaka Cave, inspired by the recent guide posted by @ScottHika.

I started at the Lost Goldmine TH and scoped out the concrete basin followed by the Shaka Cave. Then up the steep trail to West Boulder Saddle. I followed the route from the saddle down into the drainage, then east up the drainage towards the Roost. I passed an older gentleman on the way up the hill, trying to catch up with his family. His son and granddaughters were having lunch at the Chimney while Grandpa struggled up the hill. Oh well.

I made my way around the corner and then down the hill to the roost. There were two occupants when I arrived, just finishing their lunch. I snapped a couple of pictures and left when they did. For whatever reason, I always get disoriented when I leave that place so I followed them out.

I made my way to the top of the hill, heading towards Fremont Saddle. I had lunch there with a very nice view of Weavers Needle. Grandpa appeared again while I was having lunch. His family left him again in search of the Roost. He walked back and forth a few times, seemingly uncertain whether to continue on to Fremont Saddle or wait. I waited until I heard his family coming up the hill, then headed down to the saddle.

From the saddle, I headed towards the Pinyon Pine, but it was like walking in a mall at Christmas, too many people to dodge. As soon as I reached the Barks Canyon junction, I headed down. I had seen a few photos of the area, most of which were in areas not burned. I was hopeful for awhile. It was short-lived, though. Most of the Barks Upper route was badly burned. One of my favorite icons in the area (I called it the Burning Bush) was gone. I was bummed.

I stayed bummed for the rest of the Barks Upper route. When I reached the Bluff Springs trail, I had intended to go left to visit my favorite saguaro, but instead headed up the hill to finish the loop. I was running out of gas anyway. Time for this hike to end.

The hike up Bluff Springs and down Cardiac Hill was uneventful. I walked the road back to the Lost Goldmine trail where I found the two men that I ran into at the Roost. We chatted briefly about our hikes. When I headed back to the truck to leave, the sky was clouding over to the west, making for an interesting sky. Rain is coming!

Not counting the usual mobs near the Wave Cave, Fremont Saddle and Weavers Overlook, I passed nine people on this loop. Just the way I like it. The weather was warmer than expected at the start, but it got breezy once I reached WB saddle and stayed that way the rest of the hike. Very enjoyable time today. Not easy by any stretch of the imagination, but a great hike.
Culture
Culture
Ray Bain de Soleil
_____________________
1 archive
Dec 26 2020
rayhuston
avatar

 Guides 1
 Routes 83
 Photos 3,938
 Triplogs 679

63 male
 Joined Mar 09 2012
 Gilbert, AZ
Little Four PeaksPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Dec 26 2020
rayhuston
Hiking1.68 Miles 573 AEG
Hiking1.68 Miles   1 Hour   21 Mns   1.38 mph
573 ft AEG      8 Mns Break
 
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
@AZLumberjack and I went out last weekend to place a heart shaped rock that Jack found with the other rocks in the "Heart Collection." We couldn't find the collection on our trip, but I promised I would come back, find it and place his rock there.

Jack remembered it being at the first saddle he came to. And it was if you go in a clockwise direction. Jack and I, however, went in a CCW direction during our trip making it the the third saddle we passed that day. In fact, in the photo I took of Jack at that third saddle, he was standing a few feet from the collection :lol: .

Anyway, with the help of @Outdoor_Lover and some photos Jack had taken on a previous trip, I knew where it was and could see it from afar as I approached. I placed Jack's rock with the collection and included some photos of it.

It was windy and cold on this trip. I don't think I got warmed up until I returned to the truck. Beautiful blue sky.
Culture
Culture
Ray Bain de Soleil
_____________________
Dec 20 2020
rayhuston
avatar

 Guides 1
 Routes 83
 Photos 3,938
 Triplogs 679

63 male
 Joined Mar 09 2012
 Gilbert, AZ
Superstition Peak 5057 Loop via HieroPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Dec 20 2020
rayhuston
Hiking11.98 Miles 3,830 AEG
Hiking11.98 Miles   9 Hrs   44 Mns   1.62 mph
3,830 ft AEG   2 Hrs   20 Mns Break
 no routes
1st trip
Partners none no partners
Very nice loop. I’ve done all segments before, but was missing the Lost Goldmine trail portion.

I acquired some hiking partners, Chuck, Elisa and Courtney, at the saddle above Hieroglyphic Canyon. They had peak 5057 in their sights but were unsure of the route and asked if they could tag along. I took them the rest of the way.

At the summit, I mentioned the big loop I was doing and told them they were welcome to join me. They agreed. They made coffee and Mountainhouse beef stew for lunch, so the break up top was quite long.

Afterwards we continued along the ridge line to west boulder saddle where we took another long break. The trail in between is as good as I’ve seen it. Of course the fire destroyed all the brushy, prickly stuff you used to avoid.

Everyone was chatty and having a great time until the descent from WB saddle. Though not that long, it’s steep and difficult. I prefer this over the scree nightmare near the top of Hiero, but not everyone would agree.

Once down on Lost Goldmine, the previous happy and chatty group was tired and ready for this hike to be over. It was very quiet the last couple of hours. In hindsight I should have taken them back the way we came. I very much enjoyed this hike, but I felt bad for them.

That said, they all were happy to have accomplished this big hike and even asked if we could hike again sometime. I said sure and exchanged phone numbers with Elisa (mom). I’ll try to find something a little easier.

At the end of a very long day, I stopped at the Walgreens at Hwy 60 and picked up some chocolate milk and Pringles, my favorite post big hike pick me up.
Culture
Culture
Ray Bain de Soleil
_____________________
Dec 19 2020
rayhuston
avatar

 Guides 1
 Routes 83
 Photos 3,938
 Triplogs 679

63 male
 Joined Mar 09 2012
 Gilbert, AZ
Little Four PeaksPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Dec 19 2020
rayhuston
Hiking2.50 Miles 947 AEG
Hiking2.50 Miles   2 Hrs   30 Mns   1.15 mph
947 ft AEG      20 Mns Break
 
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners partners
AZLumberjack
I don't know but I've been told
You never slow down
You never grow old


Jack certainly personifies that cool verse from the Tom Petty song. He's 80 and still gettin after it!

Five years ago, Jack and I climbed up to Flatiron to celebrate his 75th birthday. Jack was feeling spry that day, so we bagged Peak 5024 while we were up there. Since then we've both spent our fare share of time fixing things that have kept us from hiking. We're both doing much better these days, so it was time to get after it again.

A couple of weeks back, I asked Jack if he wanted to do something to celebrate his 80th year. We decided on Little Four Peaks. Though not nearly as difficult as climbing up Siphon Draw, this little loop still has some giddy up. We took our time, enjoyed the views and chatted up a storm.

Part of the reason for choosing this hike was for Jack to place a heart shaped rock he has with the others in the "Heart Collection." We searched around for the longest time, but we never found it. I went back down the trail for a bit, thinking we might have missed it on the way up, but couldn't find anything. I will see @outdoor_lover on January 1st, so I'll get the scoop from Pam on the location and make my wake back up there to add Jack's rock, a very nice heart shaped rock, to the collection.

It was a bit windy on the trail today, but otherwise gorgeous as usual this time of year. We stopped for a burger and cold beverage at the Blue Bird Mine Gift Shop on the way back and chatted some more. Good times.

It was good to see you again, Jack. It's been way too long my friend. Let's do it again soon. I know you have something else already in mind. I'm ready when you are.
Culture
Culture
Ray Bain de Soleil
_____________________
2 archives
Dec 12 2020
rayhuston
avatar

 Guides 1
 Routes 83
 Photos 3,938
 Triplogs 679

63 male
 Joined Mar 09 2012
 Gilbert, AZ
First Water Canyon Overlook, AZ 
First Water Canyon Overlook, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Dec 12 2020
rayhuston
Hiking3.35 Miles 1,091 AEG
Hiking3.35 Miles   2 Hrs   27 Mns   1.52 mph
1,091 ft AEG      15 Mns Break
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Nice little wander a few miles from Canyon Lake. After my first week of work in a year, I was mentally exhausted so I slept in. Not having any plans for a hike other than avoiding large crowds, I decided on something I did back in March when I was still recuperating from knee surgery. I saw some opportunities for further exploration back then so I decided to come back today and kick the tires some more.

I started the hike at a cutout on the east side of the Apache Trail near mile marker 207. I followed the trail I started in March for about a mile and a half, hoping that it might turn into a loop. It did not. I turned around and backtracked the way I came. I researched the route when I got home. It is called First Water Creek Overlook. The trail continues south until it reaches Little Four Peaks, then follows that route to the L4P trailhead.

As I was backtracking, I walked over to a rocky highpoint for some views. When I looked down, I saw another beaten path down below that looked like it was going down into First Water Canyon. I continued back until I found a trail heading in the direction I saw from above. This trail did indeed take you down into FW Canyon. I went most of the way down, but stopped and turned around just above FW Creek. I had a sick cat at home that was due for some antibiotics. I was already behind schedule so I cut it short and headed back.

Some very interesting and enjoyable trails in the area. The geology is fascinating. Lots of ups and downs on some rugged, sometimes steep trails. The area has an off trail feel to it, though there are fairly easy to follow cairned routes that keep you headed in the right direction. I could have played around here all day.

The weather was beautiful as usual this time of the year. The ground was soft in spots from our recent rainfall. I didn't see anyone all day, nor did I expect to. I liked this area and will be back.
_____________________
4 archives
Dec 06 2020
rayhuston
avatar

 Guides 1
 Routes 83
 Photos 3,938
 Triplogs 679

63 male
 Joined Mar 09 2012
 Gilbert, AZ
Pyramid Trail - South MountainPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Dec 06 2020
rayhuston
Hiking6.40 Miles 1,350 AEG
Hiking6.40 Miles   2 Hrs   38 Mns   2.56 mph
1,350 ft AEG      8 Mns Break
 
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Out and back to the National Trail, plus a little more. Noon start, hoping there might be fewer people. There were not, but I did snag a spot in the parking lot.

The weather could not have been better. Clear blue sky, 62 degrees when I started, maybe 70 when I finished.
_____________________
Dec 03 2020
rayhuston
avatar

 Guides 1
 Routes 83
 Photos 3,938
 Triplogs 679

63 male
 Joined Mar 09 2012
 Gilbert, AZ
Superstition Peak 5057 - Balanced Rock LoopPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Dec 03 2020
rayhuston
Hiking6.53 Miles 3,139 AEG
Hiking6.53 Miles   7 Hrs   24 Mns   1.08 mph
3,139 ft AEG   1 Hour   22 Mns Break
 no routes
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
I intended for this to be a loop based on the guide I'm posting this hike to, but I bypassed the balancing rock on the way up. My punishment for the error was to return the way I came in order to get photos of the very cool rock. Best to go up this route than down in my opinion.

I left the Hieroglyphic TH just after 9am. At the 1.25 mile mark, I left the Hieroglyphic trail and headed up the steep slope to the right, staying centered on the slope until I picked up the "faint path" described in the guide. I remained on it until about 1.75 miles, when I turned right and scrambled up a rocky section. When I reached the top, I immediately knew something was amiss. Where I turned right and up, I should have gone left and down. Oops. When I picked up the trail again, rather than backtracking to the rock, I decided to keep going and return the way I came, except for the part I where I screwed up.

The route above the rock is well cairned all the way to the peak. Only one painted arrow on the way up. ](*,) . I stopped at the lounge chair rock for a much needed 15 minute break, enjoying a snack and some fluids before laying down on the chair for a few. And only a few. A cold wind was blowing so I decided to move on before I started shivering. One vertical climb along the route, maybe 10 feet, but it wasn't bad. It looked daunting when I looked down on the way back, but it was actually easier getting down then it was going up.

There is a small burn on the approach to the peak. It burned hot, but didn't seem to go far, although I didn't check to see how far. I scrambled up to the peak and had lunch. Great views all around on a gorgeous sunny day. After lunch I decided to look for the arrow pointing to the benchmark. I've seen all three disks on prior hikes, but not the arrow. I found one, but I wasn't sure if it was the arrow referred to by @FLYING_FLIVER or one painted by someone else. See photos.

I returned the way I came, stopping by the balancing rock on the way down to get some photos. Picking up the faint trail on the way back was harder with the sun in my face. I relied on GPS to make my way back down. I didn't want to make any more mistakes. I was gassed and wanted to finish the hike.

I was slower than molasses on a cold day, but this puppy is steep and strenuous. Better slow and cautious than hurt or dead. I saw a couple of young guys at the balancing rock. They were doing the loop I intended to do. It was about 2:30 when I passed them. That would have been way too late for me, but they had the advantage of young legs. I'm sure they did fine.

I'm not sure if I will do this one again. I've done all of the sections of this loop on different hikes, but not the section above the rock until today. Still, it was a great hike on a gorgeous day.
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Ray Bain de Soleil
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1 archive
Dec 02 2020
rayhuston
avatar

 Guides 1
 Routes 83
 Photos 3,938
 Triplogs 679

63 male
 Joined Mar 09 2012
 Gilbert, AZ
Lone Mountain 2809 - E J PeakPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Dec 02 2020
rayhuston
Hiking4.87 Miles 1,060 AEG
Hiking4.87 Miles   2 Hrs   12 Mns   2.30 mph
1,060 ft AEG      5 Mns Break
 
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
I usually park at the Bulldog Canyon trailhead off of Usery road, but I decided to add a couple of miles by parking further south at the cutout just past Usery Park.

I walked up to the Maricopa trail segment and headed north towards Lone Mountain. Before the trail bends toward the highway, I left the trail and walked cross country straight towards the uphill segment on the little peak. I regretted it almost immediately when I reached an area torn up by OHV, but I continued on. Once on the little peak trail, I headed to the top.

Half way down on my return trip, I left the trail and followed a short ridge out to the end. I'd seen a use path out there on prior hikes, so I decided to check it out. I stopped where the ridge dropped down steeply. Going down from there meant going through brush, which I wasn't dressed for. Besides, I want to save my legs for something else tomorrow.

I backtracked to the main trail and headed to the BD Canyon trailhead. From there I picked up the Maricopa trail segment and returned to the truck.

I passed a group of four taking a short break on the little peak trail, but that was it. The sky was bright blue and crystal clear with a very nice breeze. Maybe 60 degrees outside. It doesn't get any better than that.

Fun morning.
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Ray Bain de Soleil
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Nov 30 2020
rayhuston
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 Guides 1
 Routes 83
 Photos 3,938
 Triplogs 679

63 male
 Joined Mar 09 2012
 Gilbert, AZ
Turks Head plus Old Turks Head, AZ 
Turks Head plus Old Turks Head, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Nov 30 2020
rayhuston
Hiking6.11 Miles 1,817 AEG
Hiking6.11 Miles   3 Hrs   57 Mns   1.81 mph
1,817 ft AEG      34 Mns Break
 no routes
1st trip
I've seen a few trip logs about Turks Head this year, so I added it to my to do list. I didn't realize there was another one nearby, Old Turks Head, until I started planning the hike. I drew up plans to hike both together. @wallyfrack recently hiked Peak 2777 so I asked him for some guidance on his route to the top. I used the official route for Peak 2822.

I started from the Hieroglyphic TH and took the Lost Goldmine Trail to a spur trail, which takes you straight to the peak 2777 summit. I didn't find the going as easy as Wally did, but he's at or near the top of the HAZ food chain - I'm not :lol: . The trail was easy to follow though and I was soon up top enjoying the views.

On my way back down, I took the mountain bike trail, also mentioned in Wally's trip log, east towards Peak 2822. I wouldn't ride a mountain bike on that trail, but I'm sure the more adventurous bikers find it exhilarating, just as I did using only my legs. I must have missed a turn on the bike trail because I lost it near the end. No matter, I was close enough to the bottom that I just made my way down to the road below and headed over to Turks Heads.

I used the official route going up to the summit. I found it odd that there were no cairns down low so I just stayed with the route I loaded on Route Scout. I had to continually verify that I was on the correct track because the route isn't obvious. After a few hundred yards, cairns appeared and the route was easy to follow the rest of the way. On the way down, I followed the cairned route to the bottom. Shorter route, much easier to follow. At the cairn at the bottom of the route, there are two use paths. The official route goes left. Take the one to the right instead.

On top of peak 2822, I signed the bottom of the last page of the summit register. If anyone is going up soon, please bring a new one. And a pencil sharpener. I took a break just below the summit for a snack and some water, then headed back down and returned to the Hieroglyphic TH.

Just a few cars in the lot when I started at 8:25. Quite a few more when I finished, but by no means busy. I passed two couples on the trail, one on the way out and the other on the way back. The sky was hazy as I drove to the TH, but clear near the mountain. There was a flag whipping breeze as I drove down Kings Ranch Rd. It was windy at both summits, but the weather was gorgeous otherwise.

Great hike. I would definitely do this again.
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Ray Bain de Soleil
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3 archives
Nov 29 2020
rayhuston
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 Guides 1
 Routes 83
 Photos 3,938
 Triplogs 679

63 male
 Joined Mar 09 2012
 Gilbert, AZ
Lost Dutchman Wander, AZ 
Lost Dutchman Wander, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Nov 29 2020
rayhuston
Hiking2.45 Miles 160 AEG
Hiking2.45 Miles   1 Hour   6 Mns   2.26 mph
160 ft AEG      1 Min Break
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Route Scout GPS Route Recorded on Route Scout View
My wife and I started out on the Treasure Loop trail at LDSP. We headed east on Jacobs Trail and hiked the short loop out there. Rhonda calls it the “kite hike.”

Beautiful morning. Clear skies with a nice breeze.
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Ray Bain de Soleil
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Nov 27 2020
rayhuston
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 Guides 1
 Routes 83
 Photos 3,938
 Triplogs 679

63 male
 Joined Mar 09 2012
 Gilbert, AZ
Dacite Super LoopPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Nov 27 2020
rayhuston
Hiking8.73 Miles 2,837 AEG
Hiking8.73 Miles   6 Hrs   41 Mns   1.52 mph
2,837 ft AEG      56 Mns Break
 
1st trip
It's the day after Thanksgiving and everyone will be out. I want something that will burn some of the mass quantities I consumed yesterday, but where to go to avoid the crowds? How about the Dacite Super Loop. Not many people hike that loop so that's what I settled on. I miss my weekly wanders with @CannondaleKid, so I decided to throw in some off trail stuff too.

I parked at the Lost Goldmine TH because no one ever parks there. Until today, that is. A dozen vehicles were there, most likely because there were several dozen parked near the Carney Springs/Wave Cave TH. I left the TH at 9:30ish on a cool morning under a clear blue sky with no breeze. It stayed that way throughout the hike.

At the 2.75 mile mark, I left the loop trail and headed NNW in search of a route to the Wicked Wall Spire. I hiked there once before using a different route, but thought I would try to find something a little easier. I mocked up a route to follow as a general guideline (it looked good on Google Earth), but I kept hitting dead ends. I thought I found something promising, but I ended up facing a down climb that I chose not to pursue. Maybe doable, but not alone. More planning required, or maybe I'll just leave it be. I like the other route well enough anyway.

An hour and 10 minutes later, I was back on the loop trail. I stopped for lunch and a break. Off trail stuff in that boulder strewn area is hard work. It was enjoyable, but I was famished.

Back at it after the break, I cruised up to the down climb above Fremont Saddle. Up to this point I hadn't encountered any burn areas. I knew the area above Fremont Saddle had burned and I was in it in short order. Where the fire burned hot, the soil was quite soft. I had to tread carefully to avoid slipping and falling. When rain comes, that area will see some erosion. Interestingly, the route down to the saddle was much easier to follow post fire. Where the grass was trampled low from boots on the ground, the fire skipped over it, making the trail quite prominent.

At the saddle, I did my best to avoid the mob, hustling over to the Cave Trail. I didn't see anyone until I reached the Geronimo Cave area. As I was approaching the cave area, I saw a group of eight or so high up on the north side of the mountain. I thought they might be trying to get to the top, but it looked like they were confused and trying to find a way down. I hung around until they were all down safely. Turns out they went around the east side of the caves, following cairns that others left. There are many new sections of the Cave Trail since the last time I was up there. Starting to look like South Mountain. I'm surprised more people don't get lost.

After leaving the Cave Trail, I worked my way down Bluff Springs looking for, and finding, a spur trail from Bluff Springs to Dutchman mentioned by @DayTripper when he last hiked the Cave Trail. Like Tom, I don't like that last section of Cardiac Hill on Bluff Springs. I'll gladly walk an extra mile to avoid that. Once on Dutchman, that last half mile is probably the best half mile on all of Dutchman.

I still had to get back to the Lost Goldmine TH, so I bushwhacked over to the Dons Camp. It beats walking down the dusty Peralta road with a steady procession of vehicles coming and going. I walked through the Dons Camp, past the gate and back to LG TH. Done.

I saw three Ridgeline hikers on the way to OWB saddle and the aforementioned group on the cave trail, but I had solitude the rest of the day. Wonderful hike. Best of all, I was starving and leftovers were beckoning. Time to eat!
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Ray Bain de Soleil
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2 archives
Nov 26 2020
rayhuston
avatar

 Guides 1
 Routes 83
 Photos 3,938
 Triplogs 679

63 male
 Joined Mar 09 2012
 Gilbert, AZ
Sunrise Peak from 124th Lost Dog TrailheadPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Nov 26 2020
rayhuston
Hiking5.84 Miles 1,368 AEG
Hiking5.84 Miles   2 Hrs   21 Mns   2.65 mph
1,368 ft AEG      9 Mns Break
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners partners
joebartels
johnlp
JuanJaimeiii
LindaAnn
Tortoise_Hiker
trekkin_gecko
I received an invitation to join a stellar group of hikers on their annual Thanksgiving Day trek. I most graciously accepted. Though I've hiked with Joe and Linda this year, I haven't hiked with the others since early 2019 or longer. Too long for sure.

It was chilly at the start but gorgeous as we warmed up and the sun started to break through. Just a few people at the peak when we arrived, but it quickly became crowded with a steady procession of hikers coming up the hill.

The views from the top were as good as they get, with crystal clear blue skies all around. Remember those "smazy" days that never seemed to end? Glad those are behind us. Linda and I had cooking duties so we said our goodbyes to the others as they continued on to another peak farther along the trail.

Great workout hike to make room for the massive caloric intake to come later today. It was great to catch up with everyone, even though I spent a good chunk of the time trying to catch my breath. :)

Denny, thank you again for the invitation. I'm glad I could join you all for a wonderful hike.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!
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average hiking speed 1.88 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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