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446 triplogs

Nov 26 2020
friendofThundergod
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 Guides 24
 Routes 300
 Photos 8,562
 Triplogs 806

38 male
 Joined Jan 21 2013
 AZ
Kaiser Hot SpringNorthwest, AZ
Northwest, AZ
Hiking avatar Nov 26 2020
friendofThundergod
Hiking3.40 Miles 300 AEG
Hiking3.40 Miles
300 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
We made a quick stop at these hot springs on our way to Utah over the Thanksgiving break. The hiking was easy and the approach canyon was surprisingly scenic. The springs are not very hot, but we still enjoyed them. We left as foot traffic picked up later in the morning.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water 4 out of 5 Warm Spring Gallon + per minute Gallon + per minute
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Nov 22 2020
friendofThundergod
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 Guides 24
 Routes 300
 Photos 8,562
 Triplogs 806

38 male
 Joined Jan 21 2013
 AZ
West Pinto Trail #212 - SuperstitionsGlobe, AZ
Globe, AZ
Hiking avatar Nov 22 2020
friendofThundergod
Hiking3.50 Miles 100 AEG
Hiking3.50 Miles
100 ft AEG
 
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
I revisited a familiar area with Katie on Sunday. We hiked in nearly two miles on West Pinto and then took an extended break at a nice stretch of flowing creek.

We ran into a trail clearing crew after just less than a mile and a half and then hit a nice stretch of flowing creek and vibrant fall colors. We took an extended break at the creek and then returned the way we came. I was pleased to see they put up a fence at the old barn to block vehicles from driving out on to the “meadow.” I am grateful a large portion of this area survived the fire. The road in is in great shape.
foliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observation
Autumn Foliage Observation Substantial

dry West Spring Dry Dry
Dry at way point location, but a stretch of flowing water starts about a half mile after.
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2 archives
Nov 21 2020
friendofThundergod
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 Guides 24
 Routes 300
 Photos 8,562
 Triplogs 806

38 male
 Joined Jan 21 2013
 AZ
Queen Creek Cyn / Devil's Canyon - LowerGlobe, AZ
Globe, AZ
Climbing avatar Nov 21 2020
friendofThundergod
Climbing
Climbing
 no routes
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners partners
seanpeters
Katie, myself and Sean headed to Lower Devils for some climbing on Saturday, more specifically, we went to Hackberry Creek. There are some great, long, sustained routes down there and I can´t seem to get enough of the area.

We climbed Dacite Conspiracy, Immoral Incline, Free Willy and Thunder Road. While climbing we watched a party of three ascend Disappointment on the other side of the Canyon. We let them know we snapped a few pictures of them while they were climbing and if they left us there contact info, we would get them to them. As it would turn out, there was a fellow HAZ member @DennisWilliams in the party of three.

It was a great day to be out climbing overall. It never got to warm and splashes of fall colors down canyon and great views made for scenic day and perfect outing.
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Substantial
Great colors could be seen down canyon in Lower Devils Canyon

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Hackberry Creek Pools to trickle Pools to trickle
A few pools surprisingly, but no flow.
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Nov 19 2020
friendofThundergod
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 Guides 24
 Routes 300
 Photos 8,562
 Triplogs 806

38 male
 Joined Jan 21 2013
 AZ
Beardsley Boulder Pile / Pencil Thin BoulderPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Climbing avatar Nov 19 2020
friendofThundergod
Climbing
Climbing
 no routes
1st trip
 The Prow V3Boulder
I am definitely not a boulderer, but bouldering on the broken glass of the illustrious Beardsley Boulder Pile seemed like a better option than catching Covid pulling plastic indoors. This was my first time to this area. Its convenience and surprisingly fun problems, will most likely guarantee a second visit in the near future.
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Oct 31 2020
friendofThundergod
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 Guides 24
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38 male
 Joined Jan 21 2013
 AZ
Pinnacle Peak / Summit - East - Lower LeftPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Climbing avatar Oct 31 2020
friendofThundergod
Climbing
Climbing
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
••• South Crack Red Point 5.5TradG2 Pitches
Single rack to a #3.
We took the five fun route up Pinnacle on Halloween to watch the moon rise. The clouds obscured most of the moon and its rise, but a forgotten camera enabled us to view the moon in all of its glory around 11:00 p.m.

We got a warning on the car for being in the park past 5:45. Yes Pinnacle Peak closes at 5:45, has to be the most arbitrary closure time of any public park in the valley. We actually parked outside the park legally on a street adjacent to state trust land, so not sure how even the warning was valid, but oh well. Worth it.

The South Crack route is ok, only a few real climbing moves in there, but we enjoyed none the less. It does not hold a candle to Hanging Gardens for a comparison of easy classics in the valley.
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Oct 23 2020
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38 male
 Joined Jan 21 2013
 AZ
Angels Gate SummitNorthwest, AZ
Northwest, AZ
Hike & Climb avatar Oct 23 2020
friendofThundergod
Hike & Climb1.00 Miles 1 AEG
Hike & Climb1.00 Miles3 Days         
1 ft AEG
Second I  • Trad • 5.5 Sandstone  • 2 Pitches
 no routes
1st trip
Partners none no partners
Pro: Single, light rack to a four, maybe a #5 if you want to protect the short OW finish.
I teamed up with a couple of absolute crushers in the Grand Canyon community to climb Angels Gate over the weekend. They do not use social media, or spray about their accolades on silly websites like me, so I will just share a couple of details from the trip and some nice pictures.

We hiked into the confluence of Clear Creek and its East Arm on Friday. At a little over 17 miles, it was a pretty long way out, but we were at the creek and to camp after only about 7.5 hours.

We left camp a little after 6:30 in the morning on Saturday. It is a pleasant and scenic hike up East Clear Creek and navigation is simple. Take the obvious weakness in the tapeats to bypass the impassable dry fall and then continue up stream to the obvious break in the redwall that will place one on the saddle between Wotans and Angels.

From the saddle one begins the puzzle that is the Supai. Ample cairns made finding our breaks and weaknesses in the Supai pretty obvious, however, the climbing was a little tricky in spots and there was enough exposure to keep one's attention.

The one pitch of technical climbing on the main summit is a little meh, but the summit views and the experience more than made up for it. We were back to the base of the climb by 12:30. I chose to hang around in the shade and rest while they climbed a few lesser known routes on the unnamed pinnacles informally referred to as the belly, toes and feet of Snoopy. After linking up again, we rapped down a far more direct route to reach the saddle of Angels and Wotans.

From the saddle I said goodbye to the team, as they were staying there for another night for an attempt on Dunn Butte the next day. I made it just about through the redwall before turning on my headlamp, luckily, the hike back to camp was pretty mild by Canyon standards and it took barely more than an hour and a half even in the dark.

The hike out was pretty standard. I did much better with energy and nutrition management than the week before and made it out with relative ease and a nice steady pace. The Grand Canyon was a ghost town on the way out. No campers at Clear Creek, one tent at Phantom and I had the Tip Off to myself. I guess, like flies, the wind has a tendency to keep the tourist down.

Final Notes:

This summit had been on my wish list for a long time, perhaps since the moment I knew it could be climbed. I had permits for it in the spring, but covid, so as with Chuar it was nice to finally tick this one off after an unexpected cancellation. And as luck would have it, the cancellation led to another set of partners and I could not be more grateful to have been able to team up with these two prolific members of the Canyon community for this one.
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Oct 16 2020
friendofThundergod
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 Guides 24
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38 male
 Joined Jan 21 2013
 AZ
Chuar ButteNorthwest, AZ
Northwest, AZ
Hike & Climb avatar Oct 16 2020
friendofThundergod
Hike & Climb39.50 Miles 10,749 AEG
Hike & Climb39.50 Miles
10,749 ft AEG
 • 5.0
 no routes
1st trip
Linked linked
Partners partners
seanpeters
After 20 plus years of scrambling around the Grand Canyon, there was only one summit left on Seans’s to do list, Chuar Butte. I’ll be honest, it was not really on my radar, but it did not take much to sell me on the massive summit in the eastern Grand Canyon. We had permits for this trip back in the spring, but Covid cancelled those plans, which made this attempt and summit all the more fulfilling for us. Carlos joined us as well, as he was also on the original permit.

We started our mini expedition from Lipan Point and utilized the Tanner Trail to descend to the river. We got a very late start by Canyon standards, as Sean and I drove from Phoenix that morning. Nevertheless, we were across the river and topped off on water for the next day and a half by 3:00 p.m. Carrying six liters of water a piece and our pack rafts we lumbered the three miles or so to our camp at Carbon Canyon. Once at camp, it was the usual camp chores and then a very early bedtime for all of us.

We set off from camp at 4:50 in the morning on the second day. Luckily, the lack of light was not an issue for our approach, as one can’t really go wrong following the Butte Fault Route there. Upon reaching the saddle of Chuar and Temple, we utilized the steep ridge to our south to gain the pesky Supai. Insider tip: Traverse as high and as close to the coconino cliffs of Chuar, for a more pleasant traverse. After gaining the Supai, we made the semi tedious traverse to the gully that would reveal the “summit” of Chuar. I say summit in quotations, because once you top out from the gulley, you have close to another mile of hiking to reach the high point of Chuar on its far western end. I am sure I have said this before about other summits, but Chuar may offer some of the best views of the Canyon there are to be had. Highlighted by some dramatic views of the confluence and the geological wonderland that is the great fault. Descending Chuar was not too bad and we cleaned up our approach route pretty nicely on the way back, which led to a generally more pleasant walking experience.

We were back to camp just before four and quickly back down to the CO river sometime around five, where our armada of packrafts departed shortly after. We floated to the point where we had put in the other day and then backpacked up trail another half mile or so to are pretty nicely developed campsite along Tanner just below the rapids.

The hike out on day three was pretty standard. I felt pretty good about getting to the rim just after noon, but that feeling quickly dissipated after learning Carlos and Sean had already been there an hour. That last mile to the rim just destroyed me. I was crashed on energy, the muscles were sore and I had reduced my hike to one switchback at a time by that point. But alas that is how the hike out goes at times in the Canyon. This was my 38th Grand Canyon summit.
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Oct 03 2020
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38 male
 Joined Jan 21 2013
 AZ
ExcaliburNorthwest, AZ
Northwest, AZ
Hike & Climb avatar Oct 03 2020
friendofThundergod
Hike & Climb
Hike & Climb
Second II G  • Trad • 5.11a Sandstone Not good • 150 Feet 2 Pitches
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Pro: Double to 3, bring a four and some triples around finger size.
I have had this modest, but aesthetic and prominent tower on my mind since bagging Guinevere and Arthur back in September. The tower however, climbs hard so my pool of partners was limited. I reached out to a couple who climbs real hard back in September and after a few weeks of revealing the beta of the climb to them, discussing the approach and trying to sell a six plus hour drive from Phoenix, I had a commitment.

We got a later start than usual for the Canyon, stepping off from the old cabin a little after 7:30 a.m. The hike to Galahad point seemed to go a little smoother than before and it was not long before we were making our steep descent off the rim. We started to feel the heat a little on our final push to Excalibur, but our route was in the shade, so we got an instant reprieve upon arrival. We took a short break at the base of the climb and were climbing a little after 11. Patrick linked the first two pitches, which amounted to a pretty tough lead as the hermit was awkward and the rock quality was suspect down low. The crux coming out of the hermit proved to be stout as well, but Patrick made pretty quick work of the bouldery roof pull. I hung like a dog for sections of the hermit and aided through the roof. Sosa breezed through the hermit, but took some hangs at the crux.

The final pitch was a heady choss fest of easy climbing and bad rock. The airy chimney top out however, added some charm to the pitch. We did not enjoy the summit long, as it was warm and we were getting past mid afternoon, however, the experience was not diminished and we were all in general excitement and awe about the summit, the experience and the climb. Two quick, straightforward raps to the base.

We were back on ground, rested and packed to hike back to the car a little before four. The hike back to the car was not near as bad as we had expected or nearly as bad as we had openly dreaded about all day. But we did run out of light and had to finish with headlamps. Naturally then, there was a little trepidation when my phone that was tracking us got down to four percent, with no sign of the car in sight. Luckily, we finished at one percent, which was just how I planned it.

This was a really memorable summit. I am grateful for the opportunity to have been able to climb this one with Patrick and Sosa. The climbing amounted to the toughest climbing I have done in the Canyon to date. Patrick is a pretty prolific climber in the southwest who had actually never been to the Grand Canyon until this past weekend. I'll always be grateful to him for committing to this one. I am even more satisfied that he enjoyed the climb, setting and experience. A truly memorable climb and great pair to do it with. This was my 37th Grand Canyon summit.
Named place
Named place
Excalibur
foliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observation
Autumn Foliage Observation Substantial
Awesome on the rim, some colorful drainages off the rim.
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Sep 26 2020
friendofThundergod
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38 male
 Joined Jan 21 2013
 AZ
Mount HaydenNorthwest, AZ
Northwest, AZ
Hike & Climb avatar Sep 26 2020
friendofThundergod
Hike & Climb2.00 Miles 1,000 AEG
Hike & Climb2.00 Miles
1,000 ft AEG
Lead
 
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
I’ll be honest I may have came back to Hayden just to lead the stout third pitch variation I did not lead last time, but an added bonus was helping to get four other less experienced chossoniers up a special summit, including Katie.

We started the day in the dark and finished our day in the dark. We prob could have been a little quicker, but the longer day did not deter from experience. It’s just though to get five people up and down a multipitch with multiple raps in a timely manner. I led the first, second and third pitch. Katie grabbed the fourth. I did send my objective, but wow was it a tad stout. It’s amazing how hyper focused and clean your climbing becomes when you are pushing the grade on pro.

Overall a tremendous day below the rim and a sunset for the ages. Some how my level of stoke for the Canyon is only increasing with each trip.
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Sep 12 2020
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38 male
 Joined Jan 21 2013
 AZ
Monument Creek PinnacleNorthwest, AZ
Northwest, AZ
Hike & Climb avatar Sep 12 2020
friendofThundergod
Hike & Climb21.00 Miles 4,000 AEG
Hike & Climb21.00 Miles   14 Hrs   20 Mns   1.47 mph
4,000 ft AEG
Lead II G  • Trad • 5.10a Other Good • 150 Feet 5 Pitches
 
1st trip
Partners partners
seanpeters
Pro: Double rack to BD #4, single #5
Another day well spent chasing summit registers in the Grand Canyon. Sean, myself and Chris climbed Monument Pinnacle in route to a bit of a marathon day in the Grand Canyon.

We had to start our long day from the Waldron Trail, as we had issues with the Hermits Rest gate. This was my first time on the Waldron Trail and I really liked the short little trail, although, I would not get to really appreciate the trail until our hike out, as we started to headlamps at 3:50 in the morning. Big thanks to @john9l who helped me develop the plan B after being foiled by the gate.

We cruised to the Pinnacle, but a unique sense of dread develops in one as they cruise down a steep trail in the Canyon, for everyone knows that what goes down, must come up in the Canyon. This is a hard thought to escape when carrying heavy packs, but we tried our best to stay focused on the climb and not dwell on the second half of our day.

Upon reaching the majestic pinnacle of Monument Creek, little time was wasted and we were ready to start our climb. Sean drew the rope gun card again, meanwhile, Chris and I alternated between catches and wondering how the hell Sean just led a pitch.

Pitch Break Down:

1st pitch: Tricky start to stay the least, heady roof pull on a semi detached block, yard lightly friends, a stout 5.8.

2nd pitch: This is the money pitch of the climb, the beginning goes 5.11-, which we all aided (you don’t hike 10 plus miles to the bottom of the canyon to split hairs over free ascents and aid, no shame) tough varied climbing and a stout hands finish.

3rd pitch: A bit of a meh pitch, some decent climbing mixed in with soft holds and future death blocks. The semi burly mantle finish is the highlight.

4th pitch: The fourth pitch is a fun steep block party with some engaging movement and hero moves, short but sweet.

The north facing direction of our route shielded us from the sun for most of the climb, but there was nowhere to hide from the sun on the summit, so we did not stay long. Two raps will get you to the base of the climb.

The hike out was hot at times, a bit of a slog and became a little tedious the end as our anticipation for the car grew, but nevertheless, we reached the vehicle with a car to car time just over 14 hours.

36th Grand Canyon Summit.
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Sep 05 2020
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38 male
 Joined Jan 21 2013
 AZ
Grant Creek Overnight Backpack, AZ 
Grant Creek Overnight Backpack, AZ
 
Backpack avatar Sep 05 2020
friendofThundergod
Backpack12.00 Miles 2,000 AEG
Backpack12.00 Miles
2,000 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
I ended my summer in the same area my summer began, the Primitive Blue Range. Katie myself, John and our pack of four completed a nice little overnight trip to Grant Cabin along Grant Creek.

Day 1:

The first mile or so along Steeple was pleasant as usual. Upper Grant Creek Trail is trying its hardest to return to its primitive nature, despite being cleared a year ago, but the trail is still generally in good shape. It just tends to drag a little towards the end and the going always seems to be a little slower than expected. After setting up camp at the cabin, we headed off for a side trip to Moonshine Park. We left to the beginnings of some light rain. Moonshine Park will not blow you away, but its a pleasant area and worth the side trip. As we left Moonshine, the rain picked up in its intensity as did the thunder and lightning. We nixed a plan to explore Paradise went straight to camp, getting pretty drenched along the way. We then had to retreat to the tents for an hour or so. After the rain ended, it was the usual camp chores, a fire and trying to stay up past 8:30.

Day 2:

We took our time the morning of day two and left camp a little after nine. From camp you pretty much start climbing and you don't really end until a little over two miles and an elevation of approximately 8,900 feet. Luckily, the trails were in great shape and the grade was thoughtful, so the climb did not really prove to be that bad. A little warm at times, but manageable. From P-Bar Lake it was a very pleasant hike through some nice stands of surviving forest along great trail all the way to our beginning trailhead and the completion of our loop. Another fulfilling trip to the Blue.
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Aug 22 2020
friendofThundergod
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 Guides 24
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38 male
 Joined Jan 21 2013
 AZ
King Arthur CastleNorthwest, AZ
Northwest, AZ
Hiking avatar Aug 22 2020
friendofThundergod
Hiking13.00 Miles 3,000 AEG
Hiking13.00 Miles   11 Hrs      1.18 mph
3,000 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked linked
Partners partners
seanpeters
I headed up to the north rim for a quick turn and burn to knock out a couple of summits with Sean and Carlos. Standard Canyon summit, so got there late, didn’t sleep much and started early.

We started from the old cabin near Kanabownits Spring spring and the old fire tower. We stepped off around 4:15 a.m. Despite the darkness and overgrown former road, we will made pretty good time to the rim. After a pretty modest initial, but steep descent we were at the scenic spring and trickling waterfall that seeps from the coconino. The trickling, but steady spring created a scenic little stream that was something a little different to run across on what are usually pretty heinous off trail approaches off the north rim.

We made a quick detour to the base of Excalibur on the way to Guinevere Castle. I wanted to recon the route some and get some beta for an upcoming climb. After Excalibur, we made our way to the base of Guinevere, where we began our traverse towards King Arthur’s Castle. We realized we had started our traverse a little high, so at that point it made sense to bag Guinevere at that moment instead of on the way back as planned. We knew we would want a much lower traverse on the way back, so it would be a little redundant to drop that elevation at that moment just to make it up on our way back. The final approach to Guinevere was a little loose and steep, but pretty straightforward and easy. Much to our chagrin we could not descend directly to the saddle of Guinevere and King Arthur, so we forced to do some tedious backtracking.

The final half mile or so to King Arthur’s Castle was slow going, hot and tedious. Nevertheless, we made the fabled summit, however, we did a pretty quick turn around on the summit, as we had left our packs under a shady overhang a few hundred feet from the summit. After recovering for a few minutes under the overhang, we started to make the long trip back to the rim.

We took a much lower and more efficient route on our way back and generally more efficient, but the heat was oppressive at times and the hike out a slog. We had a navigation snafu on the way back to the vehicles due to a dead phone battery. That’s made things interesting for a minute, but we persevered despite being out of water a little beat and annoyed by the fact that we could not seem to get any of our three GPS’ tracking properly.

The miles are an estimate, as is the AEG. I would rate these as high medium to difficult summits. 11 hours car to car with some wrong turns and several short breaks in the shade.
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Aug 02 2020
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38 male
 Joined Jan 21 2013
 AZ
Blue Peak 9355Alpine, AZ
Alpine, AZ
Hiking avatar Aug 02 2020
friendofThundergod
Hiking2.95 Miles 621 AEG
Hiking2.95 Miles
621 ft AEG
 
Linked linked
Partners none no partners
The 4th time is a charm. We camped near the tower, so we could not turn down a quick trip to the tower on the freshly cleared McKittrick Trail.
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Aug 01 2020
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 AZ
North Fork KP Trail #93Alpine, AZ
Alpine, AZ
Hiking avatar Aug 01 2020
friendofThundergod
Hiking7.00 Miles 1,600 AEG
Hiking7.00 Miles
1,600 ft AEG
 
1st trip
Linked linked
Partners none no partners
I made one more quick trip to the Blue Range before school starts back up with Katie and a few of our friends. We were mainly there to camp and sight see, but we got some hiking in too.

I hiked the first mile and a half of the North Fork Trail the day before to make sure it was at least in reasonable shape. After determining the trail was definitely passable and not that bad, I decided we would take advantage of the fact we had multiple vehicles and do a North Fork-South Fork hike of the KP Creek drainage.

As mentioned earlier, the North Fork Trail was in decent shape and we made good time to the confluence and “falls.” We took an extended break at the falls and then headed up the south fork. The bottom 2 plus miles are getting overgrown and the deadfall is piling up down there, but the final mile to KP Cienega was great.

The North Fork proved to be a great option and I found the trail in better shape and it to be more enjoyable this time around vs my last time on the trail in 2014. In fact, I would recommend the North Fork Trail for trips to the confluence until the South Fork Trail is properly cleared. If you want to see the meadow and best parts of the South Fork Trail right now, just hike the first mile and turn around. There is good raspberry picking along these trails right now.
Flora
Flora
Red Raspberry

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max K P Tank 1-25% full 1-25% full

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max KP South Fork - KP Confluence Light flow Light flow
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Jul 29 2020
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 Joined Jan 21 2013
 AZ
East Rim Trail #7Northwest, AZ
Northwest, AZ
Hiking avatar Jul 29 2020
friendofThundergod
Hiking7.33 Miles 1,679 AEG
Hiking7.33 Miles   4 Hrs   44 Mns   1.77 mph
1,679 ft AEG      35 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Partners none no partners
I had aspirations of a third summit on my last day on the north rim, but I was beat up and this area had left a great impression on me two days before, so it was not a hard decision to opt for this pleasant and scenic loop vs another hot sufferfest below the rim. I also had the ulterior motive of taking another look for my hat that I inexplicably lost on the North Canyon Trail on my first day up on the north rim.

I found the scenery and the loop in general to be spectacular. Apart from a little locust on the East Rim Trail, the trails were all in immaculate shape. The perennial section of North Canyon is a nice little gem and you can’t beat the hiking along that section of the AZT.

I did not find my hat, which I found odd. I have been wearing a hat religiously hiking for several years now and have never lost one. This will certainly go down as one of the Canyon´s great mysteries, right up there with the disappearance of the Hydes.
Named place
Named place
Crystal Spring

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water 4 out of 5 Crystal Spring Gallon + per minute Gallon + per minute
A significant amount of water in the concrete box, a little algae on top, but water looks good.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water 4 out of 5 North Canyon Spring Gallon + per minute Gallon + per minute
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Jul 28 2020
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 Joined Jan 21 2013
 AZ
Oza ButteNorthwest, AZ
Northwest, AZ
Hiking avatar Jul 28 2020
friendofThundergod
Hiking13.11 Miles 3,054 AEG
Hiking13.11 Miles   9 Hrs   45 Mns   1.50 mph
3,054 ft AEG   1 Hour    Break
 
1st trip
Linked linked
Partners none no partners
I have wanted to get back to the Widforss Trail to do Oza and Widforss since we bagged The Colonade in June. Oza, which is Paiute for ¨long necked basket¨ is a striking summit that is hard to miss from any of the popular north rim vantage points and Widforss was recommended to me as a fun summit with a nice class four scramble.

I set off from the Widforss Trail around 4:30 a.m. It was a real treat to watch the sunrise for a second time along the Widforss Trail this summer. Oza really popped in the early morning light. The off trail portion to the, ¨tip off¨ of point for Oza was pretty moderate. A few ups and downs, but generally a pleasant stroll along the rim. A blocky descent takes you from the rim down to Oza´s neck. Then a sometimes steep, sometimes loose and sometimes brushy traverse takes you past Oza´s north tower to the steep gully that leads to the summit. There were several options for the final steep push to the summit, but the best route is generally cairned well. Nobody had signed the register since last August, which was not overly surprsing, one group/person per year seems about right for this summit. I did not spend much time on the summit, before retracing the somewhat tedious approach back to the rim. After reaching the rim, I reunited with a couple of liters of water I had cached and then continued on to Widforss.

I chose to navigate along the rim to Widforss Point vs backtracking to the trail. Most of the off trail hiking was again mild by canyon standards, but I did have to navigate a .1 mile or so patch of New Mexican Locust that was pretty brutal. The final scramble/traverse to the narrow block saddle of Widforss was a little tedious, but not too bad. I chose the ridgeline class four scramble to the summit. I found the scramble a little heady, especially solo, but nothing too noteworthy overall and it was short. I chose the class three option mentioned in the Summit Selects book as having a, ¨possible death block.¨ The death block was definitely present, but I treaded lightly and enjoyed the unique tunnel descent. After hacking my way back to the rim, I returned the way I came.
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Jul 27 2020
friendofThundergod
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38 male
 Joined Jan 21 2013
 AZ
North Canyon TrailNorthwest, AZ
Northwest, AZ
Hiking avatar Jul 27 2020
friendofThundergod
Hiking5.50 Miles 1,400 AEG
Hiking5.50 Miles
1,400 ft AEG
 
1st trip
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I hiked down to the stream fed portion of North Canyon Trail to stretch my legs when I arrived Monday afternoon. I drove up to some stormy conditions on the north rim, but enjoyed a cloudy hike. This trail is pretty spectacular, from the big views up top to the scenic little stream down low. I saw some nice sized Apache Trout in some of the pools, but no other wildlife.

I have a lot more exploring that I want to do in this area.
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Jul 19 2020
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38 male
 Joined Jan 21 2013
 AZ
Long Cienega Trail #305Alpine, AZ
Alpine, AZ
Hiking avatar Jul 19 2020
friendofThundergod
Hiking5.65 Miles 776 AEG
Hiking5.65 Miles
776 ft AEG
 
1st trip
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Route Scout GPS Route Recorded on Route Scout View
I decided to finally check out the Long Cienega Trail on my last day in the Blue Range with the pups. The forest service list the trail as impassable and it was a trail not suitable for stock prior to the Wallow Fire, so I was not expecting to find much. I had also seen the bottom section of the trail where it meets Grant Creek and it did not look great, but my interest in the trail was still a little strong after walking by and identifying the meadow where it starts a few months ago with Katie.

The KP Rim Trail definitely got a face lift recently, but there was still a little deadfall and the locust is coming back fast. The same for the Steeple Trail. The old trail maps do not accurately reflect the intersections of KP, Steeple and Long Cienega anymore. I do not know when things were rerouted here. But KP Rim Trail intersects with Steeple about four-tenths of a mile before where the old trail is marked and what the forest service references in older descriptions for some of those trails. This might explain why I struggled so much finding the intersection with Steeple when I did my first backpack through here in 2014.
I then looked down and could clearly see the meadow I needed to get to, but no trail to get there. I said to myself I will go exactly .25 miles to meadow look for Steeple Trail #73, if I don't find, I turn right around. As luck would have it, after about 100 feet off trail I ran into my long lost connector trail. The trail now ran in a complete opposite direction of the trail featured on my G.P.S


I now realize that the trail I hit after going cross country was Long Cienega and then I took that right up to Steeple Trail, never realizing my mistake until yesterday. I knew something was up when Katie and I initially struggled to find the intersection using an older route as well, but now with a freshly cleared Steeple Trail, there is no doubt the intersection has moved.

We only did a short portion of Long Cienega, but I was pleasantly surprised. The meadow area alone is worth the detour. It was a bit of a log hurdle to get to the cienega, but there the trail was most clear and there were occasional blazes on the trees. The dogs loved the big open area and there were several signs of this area being heavily frequented by a lot of wildlife. Some large trees lining the cienega survived and the ferns were plentiful, making for a pleasant little stretch of trail. There is no sign at the junction for Long Cienega, but there is a large rock cairn and a faint trail is noticeable. A clear path leads through a grove of aspen and then some deadfall needs to be negotiated

We returned the way we came to some rumbling clouds in the distance, but sunny skies above us. I will give Long Cienega two stars until I can further explore it.
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Isolated
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Jul 18 2020
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38 male
 Joined Jan 21 2013
 AZ
Bonanza Bill Trail #23Alpine, AZ
Alpine, AZ
Hiking avatar Jul 18 2020
friendofThundergod
Hiking5.00 Miles 500 AEG
Hiking5.00 Miles
500 ft AEG
 
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I made a detour down to the lower Blue and headed over towards Pueblo Park to check out a lead on some ruins on our third day in the Blue Range. I found the ruins, but the approach looked too rough for the pups, so I decided to leave them for another day.

On my way back I decided to stop at the Bonanza Bill Trail to let the dogs stretch their legs and stretch their legs they did. I was reading through the register when we got there to see if anyone noted any fire damage on the trail. I had heard from a Hannigan employee that there was a fire near the trailhead last year. I did not see any mention of fire damage, but did come across a couple of wolf sightings and then comments left behind by someone with the wolf project. While I was reading the comments Blanco took off, but not like squirrel take off, but like something big. Dot followed right behind him as he ran down the trail. Blanco stopped with a stern yell, but Dot peeled off into the woods and I heard a lot of crashing. I assumed it was just elk, but then Dot let out a few barks from the trail before heading back and I could still hear a lot of branches breaking.

I immediately leashed Dot and Blanco and walked down the trail to check it out. The first thing I saw was two cubs climbing high into a tree. I had a moment of panic because I had no idea where the mom was. Then I noticed much lower on the tree a big bear just hugging it and hanging out. I did not want to stress the mom out too much so I gave her a wide berth and her and the cubs down climbed pretty quickly and then just kind of meandered away like nothing had happened.

I decided with reported wolf sightings and the nice bear sighting that we should just camp near the trailhead and hike the nice trail again in the morning. The morning hike just involved some elk and was a much more normal hike. A pleasant hike too. This trail is great for a low committing stroll in the pines.

Note:

I have heard howling twice now while camped in this area. Once at the trailhead and once in the backcountry near Hinkle Spring. I have always just dismissed it as coyotes, but I am starting to wonder with the wolf project entries in the register, if maybe I did hear the elusive howl of the Mexican Grey Wolf?
Fauna
Fauna
Black Bear
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Jul 17 2020
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38 male
 Joined Jan 21 2013
 AZ
Blue Peak 9355Alpine, AZ
Alpine, AZ
Hiking avatar Jul 17 2020
friendofThundergod
Hiking2.95 Miles 621 AEG
Hiking2.95 Miles
621 ft AEG
 
Linked linked
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I was happy to hear in a previous triplog that the McKittrick Trail had been cleared. I was hoping it was cleared beyond the fire tower, but it wasn’t. Oh well the pups and I still enjoyed this 3rd trip to the highest point in the Blue Range. Or is it my fourth? Can’t believe I forgot to sign register. The forest service did an amazing job on this trail. I thought they were clearing for a new road at first!
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average hiking speed 1.48 mph
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