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18 triplogs

Jun 09 2019
bkraay
avatar

 Photos 278
 Triplogs 18

38 male
 Joined Dec 28 2013
 Maricopa, AZ
Hunter Trail - Picacho PeakTucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Hiking avatar Jun 09 2019
bkraay
Hiking2.90 Miles 1,880 AEG
Hiking2.90 Miles   1 Hour   57 Mns   1.71 mph
1,880 ft AEG      15 Mns Break
 no routes
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
I've done this hike several times over the years, but this time was a little bit special for a few reasons. First, most of my training for the past year plus has been on the Peloton since I aggravated an old achilles and calf injury some time back, and my hiking has been limited. Secondly, at the end of the month I fly to Portland, Maine to join a dear friend on the Appalachian Trail for 40 miles over two days. He started in Georgia on March 8, and will complete the trail on July 8--so pleased to join him for a couple of days. Our last hike together was several days in Peru on the Salkantay trek to Macchu Pichu. Lastly, the wildlife on this one was crazy! Pre-saddle, I heard a shuffle in the bushes and saw an adult red fox--I was too slow to get the phone out to snap a picture, but I'd never seen that. Finally, as I started my descent I heard a noise and saw a baby red fox staring at me from what looked to be a den--after a few minutes, another joined him. I just observed for a few minutes in peace and quiet before continuing my descent.

I reached the summit in 54 minutes, hung out for 15 minutes or so, and even with the time hanging with the foxes, the entire hike to and from my car was 1:57. I was the first up, but did pass five guys on the way out. Always enjoy this one!
_____________________
Apr 15 2018
bkraay
avatar

 Photos 278
 Triplogs 18

38 male
 Joined Dec 28 2013
 Maricopa, AZ
Superstition Peak 5057 - CarneyPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Apr 15 2018
bkraay
Hiking9.40 Miles 3,408 AEG
Hiking9.40 Miles   6 Hrs   30 Mns   1.71 mph
3,408 ft AEG   1 Hour    Break
 no routes
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
My brother and his wife did Flatiron last weekend and felt like doing something "a little tougher." I've done this hike several times but not in the past 1-2 years, so figured I would see if they were up for it, and they were. Nobody prepared their stuff last night, and we wanted to make sure to hit the trail at sunrise--and nobody sufficiently fueled up food-wise. Either way, we hastily made our way up and enjoyed so much of what I always enjoy about this hike, particularly the solitude (saw two others the entire time, and they were lost...). We did encounter three others at the summit coming from different areas.

Felt toasty at 90-92, particularly on the way down. The PBR at the summit was a warranted reward for the challenge of the hike up. They both stated at the summit that they thought Grandview up at the GC was far more challenging, though the tune changed quickly after about an hour of the descent. In the end, outstanding hike as always; they loved it, I loved it, we all loved it. We will also be back, as soon as we forget how incredibly beat our legs are at this moment.
_____________________
Jan 14 2018
bkraay
avatar

 Photos 278
 Triplogs 18

38 male
 Joined Dec 28 2013
 Maricopa, AZ
Wave CavePhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Jan 14 2018
bkraay
Hiking6.50 Miles 977 AEG
Hiking6.50 Miles   4 Hrs   5 Mns   1.81 mph
977 ft AEG      30 Mns Break
 no routes
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
I've done this hike a couple of times in the past--the first was inadvertent as I missed my turn from Carney Springs, and the second was just for fun since I wanted something that wouldn't take half a day but still climb enough to feel a good workout. On neither of those occasions did I pass another human being on the trail. Enter yesterday.

We decided to go for a hike with my brother's family--that's two masculine and burly men, two petite women, and four awesome kids (11, 10, 8, and 7). I assured them that this is a really cool hike that will pack a little punch all the way to the "cave" that we will have to ourselves. I should have known something was different when we were in traffic on Peralta Road--"they're all going to Peralta," I said. Then we made it to the Carney Springs Trailhead, and to my surprise...packed. Overflowing even. We wouldn't be parking there, and I was shocked. I have never seen more than two other cars in that lot. So we continued along another mile to a lot just shy of Peralta and hit the road, as they say.

It was a very good hike, but once we passed the fence and our hike connected with the Carney trail, it was BUSY. We're talking VERY busy... one of the most heavily trafficked hikes I have ever done. On the way up, busy...packed. At the cave, as packed. On the way down, MORE packed... I enjoyed the hike very much, and largely because of the kids and their enjoyment matched by their effort. We were even witness to a helicopter rescue for a gentleman on our way out--thankfully he was alert and I hope he is okay, but it was something I'd not witnessed in person, and the kids enjoyed seeing the helicopter hovering above.

I may have missed something or just lucked out in the past, but I've used the CS parking lot many times in the past, and rarely would pass people to the Wave Cave or 5057, but this hike--as great as it was with kids and family--has apparently gone viral :D
Culture
Culture
Aircraft
_____________________
Jan 06 2018
bkraay
avatar

 Photos 278
 Triplogs 18

38 male
 Joined Dec 28 2013
 Maricopa, AZ
Grandview TrailNorthwest, AZ
Northwest, AZ
Hiking avatar Jan 06 2018
bkraay
Hiking7.00 Miles 3,500 AEG
Hiking7.00 Miles   4 Hrs   40 Mns   1.68 mph
3,500 ft AEG      30 Mns Break
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
This was my first hike into the Grand Canyon. Truth be told, I'm on the brink of turning 36 and despite living a combined 15 years in Arizona, I never visited the place until 2017--not sure why I never made the day trip, just never did... I've been desperately longing for a good hike for some time now. I mean one of those hikes that leaves an impression for any of a number of reasons--the views, the danger, the random wildlife, the weather conditions...the company. Something that I would just immediately add to the list of "the best of." This fit the bill. I'm used to hiking in solitude, by myself in remote areas when possible--and while there were very few faces to be found on the hike (I think we crossed paths with maybe 7 people total), three were with me. My wife has never done a hike bigger than Picacho, and my brother and his wife are discovering how great hiking can be.

So the four of us set off from Phoenix early on Saturday, with us scooping them up at 3:45 and making a direct drive up hoping to arrive for sunrise, which we did. After a visit to the watchtower after entering from the east, we braved for the brutally cold winds and readied our legs for the burn. After stopping at a couple of lookout points for some pictures, we arrived to Grandview Trailhead and set off just after 9am. This is among my favorite viewpoints at the South Room and it's fun to explore up at the top. But it was chillingly cold to the point we all set off in gloves and were layered up. Unbelievably, we would reach the mesa for lunch with most of the layers in our packs (hell, I was in a t-shirt). By the return to the top, it was windy as hell and freezing cold... and we were ready to blast past the village and make our way to Bedrock--or past Bedrock, back to Phoenix.

HEADS UP: When you read about switchbacks, it ain't kidding. I do not like switchbacks, and we laughed our way down through a mile or so of very steep switchbacks that this will be a mother on the way out. And they were. One step at a time, friends, one step at a time.

This trail is rated a 3.5, and perhaps that's a fair difficulty rating BUT I'm telling you, this was tougher than many 4-4.5 rated hikes I've enjoyed over the years. No poles used, and my brother and I each carried 50+lb packs, just to be over-prepared. We did see several mule deer up close (20 feet) down at the mesa, otherwise a few bluejays but little else in terms of wildlife. It was quiet, it was serene, it was a perfect hike for the day.
_____________________
Jul 03 2017
bkraay
avatar

 Photos 278
 Triplogs 18

38 male
 Joined Dec 28 2013
 Maricopa, AZ
Devil's Bridge Trail #120Sedona, AZ
Sedona, AZ
Hiking avatar Jul 03 2017
bkraay
Hiking4.20 Miles 500 AEG
Hiking4.20 Miles
500 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
It has been far too long since I've done a hike I wanted to post anything about (photos to follow); truth be told, out of all of the hiking I've done around the globe over the years, this was the very first time I've done anything in Sedona. For whatever reason, after my last visit I think time tempered the magic that is this area...

I woke up at 4am and left Phoenix going far more quickly than I should in my newish Audi Q5--after trekking around in a Jeep Commander for 7 years, this thing is fun!--and arrived in about two hours flat. Even though it was only 6am or so, parking was filling up in different areas. While I knew the route to take, I found myself spending an hour or so just criss-crossing and bushwhacking around the area. The temperature was pleasant, the trees offered excellent shade, and there was just a lot of neat little nooks to take a look at. After some time I began the easy push towards the bridge. If you haven't been here, I'll just say this: It was AWESOME. It was such a rad experience... and while very crowded and I had to wait my turn for about 10 minutes to cross onto the bridge for photo opps, everyone was friendly and excited, just taking in the awe of the place.

VERY easy hike, and very well worth it, crowd or not. (Note: distance based on my wandering at the start)
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1 archive
Mar 18 2016
bkraay
avatar

 Photos 278
 Triplogs 18

38 male
 Joined Dec 28 2013
 Maricopa, AZ
Bursera Trail - South MountainPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Mar 18 2016
bkraay
Hiking4.10 Miles 1,042 AEG
Hiking4.10 Miles   1 Hour   48 Mns   2.28 mph
1,042 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
I am taking a moment to welcome myself back to Hike Arizona! Admittedly, life has changed drastically since I was rather regular in using the site and sharing triplogs and photo sets. Truth-be-told, I sort of lost myself in someone else—which is not a bad thing, but I started working out away from the mountains. Engaged and in love, my fiancée has told me many times that she would love to start hiking with me, and today was the big day—and little hike. We set off from the trailhead around 5:30 for a sunrise hike, and it did not disappoint. It’s funny how time changes us—time away from the mountains makes me crave it, and these were the first steps of rediscovering a lost love, with a new one. The weather was crisp, a cool 59 degrees when we set off. We moved quickly and comfortably across the desert floor before turning back westward in our ascent up the “hills.” Perched atop one of the peaks, we took in the beautiful sunrise at 6:33am before heading down and off for coffee. To culminate the wonderful hike (more wonderful for secondary and tertiary reasons than the actual trail…), I’ve returned to the mountains and received a text message two hours later reading: “Now I get it. I understand why you’ve needed this. What hike are we doing next…and when?” Oh, how I’ve missed the mountains.
_____________________
Apr 18 2014
bkraay
avatar

 Photos 278
 Triplogs 18

38 male
 Joined Dec 28 2013
 Maricopa, AZ
Battleship Mountain - SuperstitionsPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Apr 18 2014
bkraay
Hiking11.40 Miles 2,100 AEG
Hiking11.40 Miles   5 Hrs   55 Mns   1.93 mph
2,100 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
I have to say, the horrible pain I'm feeling in my knee, and the rain starting to fall on me at the start of my return really made this one a bit of a blur. I was expecting something insane, and perhaps it was, but it seemed mildly underwhelming for me. I'll go back again sometime to give it another shot... maybe I built it up in my head more than I should have.
_____________________
Apr 05 2014
bkraay
avatar

 Photos 278
 Triplogs 18

38 male
 Joined Dec 28 2013
 Maricopa, AZ
Superstition Peak 5057 - CarneyPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Apr 05 2014
bkraay
Hiking9.60 Miles 3,408 AEG
Hiking9.60 Miles   7 Hrs   45 Mns   1.67 mph
3,408 ft AEG   2 Hrs    Break
 no routes
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners partners
Kimballer
Long time, no post! The tail end of February saw me spending 4 days hiking the Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu in Peru, and if anybody is interested in doing a trek to Machu Picchu at some point, I'd be happy to chat with you and explain the three-hundred forty-seven reasons why Salkantay is far superior to the Inca Trail. I digress...

I did this hike on New Years Day, and it confirmed my love for the Superstitions. It features many of my favorite hike features: isolation and a sense of being alone in nature, strenuous elevation gains, changing vegetation, abundance of wildlife, and of course those awesome hoodoos! Two major differences: first, the weather was absolutely perfect from the trailhead at 6:32, and second, I wasn't solo. In fact, when my assistant director in the office asked me if he could join me for a hike and I suggested this (yesterday this came up), I didn't think for a minute we would actually reach the summit. He is mildly (okay, a bit more than mildly) overweight, but he is an avid outdoorsman. Spoiler alert: we DID summit today.

The pace was easy, and I took far more breaks than normal, and this contributed to my legs feeling great--almost as if I'd done something easy like Flatiron and not 5057 :sweat: . The desert's spring colors were starting to make their presence felt, with flowers blooming all over. The lizards were as easily seen as always, and my friend was able to catch one and got it to bite (and hold on) to his ear like an earring. Overall, the scenery was exactly what I would have expected prior to setting out.

While I feel very fresh for just having done this beast of a hike, I want to confirm that this IS a beast of a hike, and is not for the weak. I reminded my friend of a speech Arnold Schwarzenegger once made in terms of identifying which bodybuilders would be great, and he said: "The muscles are important, the mind is more important." It's similar on this great hike (my favorite in the Phoenix area), there are plenty of spots where it'd be easy to quit and go home and thus miss out on the incredible summit atop the hoodoos. There are plenty of spots where you turn a corner and the summit comes into view and appears to be 60 miles away. Unless you're very fit or supremely committed, an early exit wouldn't surprise me. Believe me, though, you CAN and you SHOULD do this hike. The rewards at the summit aren't easily described in words.

...once you make it up, however, you must make it down ;)
_____________________
Jan 12 2014
bkraay
avatar

 Photos 278
 Triplogs 18

38 male
 Joined Dec 28 2013
 Maricopa, AZ
Quartz Peak Trail - Sierra EstrellaPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Jan 12 2014
bkraay
Hiking5.90 Miles 2,550 AEG
Hiking5.90 Miles   3 Hrs   27 Mns   2.00 mph
2,550 ft AEG      30 Mns Break
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Third time's a charm and would ya know it, it sure is easier to reach the peak in January than it is in June (my last attempt at Quartz). Who woulda thought that? That said, it's not much easier in January... this one had my lungs pumping and my legs pounding almost the entire way--could have something to do with the excessive wine consumption last night. Either way, I made it, and I must say, the summit is as awesome as I'd expected. The issue with the summit is that the closer you get, the further it seems.

There were several moments on this hike when I paused and simply soaked up the views in all directions--some of the photos give a glimpse into the incredible views, notably towards the south, but the photos really do this no justice. I was pleasantly surprised as well as the final half mile or so was not as anticipated, if you have eyes and can see the peak, you can get there... there are so many route options, just do whatever you feel like doing. Hell, maybe you'll take a route for the final push that nobody else has taken, despite the obvious cairns all along the way. In fact, I missed an obvious route to the peak, and ended up wrapped around on the north side scaling some dicey stuff. Awesome.

Make no mistake about it, compadres, this is not a walk in the park. It challenged me almost every step of the way once the ascent began once you leave the old Jeep trail. It challenged me physically and mentally. That peak literally seemed to be moving away from me as quickly as I moved towards it... in the end, I have to say that the summit is one of my favorites to-date. First, it's spectacular and unique in and of itself--add to it the views and this is an absolute must.

NOTE: I came from Maricopa and took the route referenced as a short-cut, and I will confidently say you better have a 4x4 to attempt this--much rougher route than last time. You could find yourself in some deep trouble if your vehicle is ill-prepared.
Culture
Culture
HAZ Rides Memorial
Named place
Named place
Quartz Peak - Sierra Estrella
_____________________
Jan 04 2014
bkraay
avatar

 Photos 278
 Triplogs 18

38 male
 Joined Dec 28 2013
 Maricopa, AZ
Pyramid Trail - South MountainPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Jan 04 2014
bkraay
Hiking8.40 Miles 1,350 AEG
Hiking8.40 Miles   3 Hrs   5 Mns   3.05 mph
1,350 ft AEG      20 Mns Break
 no routes
1st trip
Partners none no partners
Well my short hike up the Pyramid Trail turned into a bit of a fun little adventure when I received notification that my daughters' flight from the midwest was being delayed. I'm not sure if this loop I did is an actual loop anywhere, so I'll describe the route and perhaps one of you South Mountain trekkers could fill me in and correct me.

I parked at the end of Chandler and essentially took the Pyramid Trail all the way to the National Trail and headed west. Opposite the Pyramid summit, the National Trail continued off to the right, and there was an unmarked trail heading left (south) which forked around a peak. I took the left and had some fun heading down some steep and loose rock, but it appeared to be a relatively unused trail which was cool. At the bottom I grabbed what was presumably the trail which went around the other side up a little bit to a mine shaft--became eerily shaken when I saw blankets deep inside and it could have been my imagination, but I swear there was movement. :o

From here I hopped onto the Lost Ranch Ruins trail back to my car. I did jump off trail at several points to look around and try snapping a photo or two. I must say I was shocked at how blistering cold it felt at the start of the National Trail and heading west!
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Jan 01 2014
bkraay
avatar

 Photos 278
 Triplogs 18

38 male
 Joined Dec 28 2013
 Maricopa, AZ
Superstition Peak 5057 - CarneyPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Jan 01 2014
bkraay
Hiking9.10 Miles 3,408 AEG
Hiking9.10 Miles   6 Hrs   20 Mns   1.71 mph
3,408 ft AEG   1 Hour    Break
 no routes
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
:y: I selected this as my New Years Day hike for 2014, and I can officially check that son of a gun off my list!

That said, I am happy to report that the hike met and exceeded many of my expectations. I giggled quietly to myself as I hung a right at a fork in the trail early on, where several weeks ago I inadvertently went left winding up at the Wave Cave as opposed to the summit. I knew I was on the right track, and that sparked a great deal of energy within.

It was cold and relatively lonely on the trail to begin; I did pass a couple who started a bit before me, but as the second mile climb began, I needed to take a couple of breathers, allowing them to pass at the first landing about halfway to the saddle. This second mile of the trail was a hell of a climb, and oh so enjoyable. The views were breathtaking, but about to be outmatched.

Reaching the saddle I took a few moments to eat a granola bar and inhale some water, much needed. With the sun at my back it was warming up nicely, but upon stopping I was able to realize just how much I'd been sweating. Nonetheless, time to head west, turning a corner and.... holy :o My first glance of the summit and it had the appearance of being 5 miles off in the distance. Back to it I went, stumbling my way through some overgrown areas of the trail, regretting momentarily my devotion to hiking in shorts versus long pants. There was some reprieve for the legs as the first portion had been a mean climb, but the reprieve didn't last all too long after dropping down to a creek bed, crossing (yes, there was plenty of water, woohoo!), and then began another relentless ascent towards the summit.

There were several times when the summit is out of sight, but a look the other direction brought Weaver's into plainview, and that was outstanding. Almost makes me want to learn to climb. Almost.

Up, up, and up some more, I have to admit that the hoodoos were so much more awesome in person. I had been planning a jaunt out to Easter Island in February to check out the moai statues, but then changed plans and will be trekking four days to Machu Picchu instead. Seeing the hoodoos at the summit set my mind at ease as I am able to say that the natural formation is more impressive than the man made and natural resource depleting ones somewhere in the Pacific (let me have this for today...).

As I approached the hoodoos there was a group of four coming down, I let them pass before climbing my way up, not near the cairns. I was shockingly exposed at one point, but the adrenaline rush was outstanding. Turned a ledge to my left, pulled myself up, and voila--summit attained.

I'll second the statement that this is closer to a triple dose of Camelback. I am beat, and I am stoked to have done this bad boy!
_____________________
Dec 31 2013
bkraay
avatar

 Photos 278
 Triplogs 18

38 male
 Joined Dec 28 2013
 Maricopa, AZ
Bees Knees LoopPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Dec 31 2013
bkraay
Hiking7.90 Miles 2,100 AEG
Hiking7.90 Miles   2 Hrs   48 Mns   2.82 mph
2,100 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Took the day off for a big interview, and decided to pack the hiking gear in the event that I felt like logging some year-end miles before the new year. I've had others comment not to give up on South Mountain just yet, and this loop was one of the suggestions. I've done Bursera as a sunrise hike many times in the past, and I've also been out to check out the graffiti covered supposed prohibition-era speakeasy--when I heard of this loop I figured it would be a quiet and decent couple of hours in South Mountain which is so attractive for a Maricopan due to its location.

I decided to do this loop in a counter-clockwise direction, and it was a last minute selection at the fork because there was a group going on the Bursera trail that was very loud and ready for New Year celebration, but very few people headed towards the graffiti. When I arrived to the speakeasy it wasn't difficult to find the trail on the backside looking up towards a steep trail climbing rapidly. I was very pleased with the challenge of this portion of the trail, and after passing a group of four coming in the opposite direction, I didn't see anybody again until after leaving the National Trail and heading east towards the highest point of the Bursera Trail.

The isolation on South Mountain was refreshing, offering plenty of time to reflect and simply enjoy being present. That said, I have to ask, what is it about hikers that makes them the most friendly and warm people on the planet? I say that seriously, I adore the friendly nature of hikers. I passed two hikers who were enjoying a break, a view, and a flask, simply admiring the view around them (looking towards the Estrellas), and we had a nice chat for about 10 minutes. It epitomized one of the secondary joys of hiking.

On to Superstition 5057 tomorrow!

....Forgot to mention, while I enjoyed the solitude at times and the general layout of the loop, the scenery left some to be desired. That, too, is something that I love about the trail options--something good to be taken from all of them!
Culture
Culture
Graffiti
_____________________
Dec 28 2013
bkraay
avatar

 Photos 278
 Triplogs 18

38 male
 Joined Dec 28 2013
 Maricopa, AZ
Flatiron Hike - SuperstitionsPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Dec 28 2013
bkraay
Hiking6.65 Miles 2,900 AEG
Hiking6.65 Miles   5 Hrs   15 Mns   1.27 mph
2,900 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
The distance and time seem high because, well, they are. After reaching Flatiron and taking in some solid views (particularly to the south/southwest), we headed up towards the summit on the backside.


This is a very popular and heavily traveled trail, but I was shocked by the volume of hikers on the trail today. We arrived prior to 7am, and there were a handful of vehicles in the parking lot. The way up was very peaceful and enjoyable due to the relative peace and quiet, which offers what I would imagine has become a rare opportunity on this trail. The first mile is generally claimed as "easy," but that's relative. You're certainly gaining elevation at a steady clip, but compared to what awaits, it is indeed a cakewalk. Do NOT rush on this hike: Take your camera and soak up the beauty!

After passing the waterfall I found the hike to become increasingly challenging--but never to the point where I wondered if I could make it. Make no mistake, friends, you are climbing at a steep incline for the entire second half of the hike. Prior to reaching the turnaround and easy walk to Flatiron, there is indeed the 12 foot climb. As I waited patiently for a couple of very nice older gentlemen to negotiate the climb, I decided to go to the left and found a very easy, albeit rather exposed, climb up.

Flatiron was impressive, very cool to conquer. That said, the gem here is to climb to the summit above. Rather than turning right to Flatiron, hang a left and make your way around the hoodoos, stop and reflect at the memorial for the family which died in the plane crash there in November of 2011, and then have a blast crawling under, over, and around the boulders. After 20 minutes or so, you'll find yourself being grateful you added this to the end of the hike, as the views go 360 degrees, and offer a fantastic view of Flatiron from up above, making it seem rather diminutive.

I'll go back despite the long haul, but will be sure to go early before the crowds show up. On the way back down I am not exaggerating when I say we had to have passed close to 100-150 hikers on the way up...
Culture
Culture
Memorial
Named place
Named place
Superstition Peak 5024 The Flatiron
_____________________
Dec 23 2013
bkraay
avatar

 Photos 278
 Triplogs 18

38 male
 Joined Dec 28 2013
 Maricopa, AZ
Telegraph Pass - South MountainPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Dec 23 2013
bkraay
Hiking2.40 Miles 525 AEG
Hiking2.40 Miles
525 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
This is one of my all-time favorite hikes, simply because it's the first one my now 6 year old ever did entirely on her own. Two days before Christmas she and her 3 year old sister wanted to go hiking with me, and it turned out to be an incredible little hike. She is wanting to start carrying her own bag with her own water, snacks, etc, while my little one still prefers to ride on my back (when there are crowds).

Like always, we saw a lot of friendly hikers on the trail, and we enjoyed a nice and easy pace with my daughter leading the way. It was cold and breezy, but very pleasant either way. We spent several minutes checking out the petroglyphs while talking about the desert vegetation.

If you have little ones who you'd like to learn the wonders of hiking and learn to appreciate life outdoors versus via TV, video games, etc, this is an absolutely wonderful little trail to open their eyes on.
_____________________
Dec 14 2013
bkraay
avatar

 Photos 278
 Triplogs 18

38 male
 Joined Dec 28 2013
 Maricopa, AZ
Hunter Trail - Picacho PeakTucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Hiking avatar Dec 14 2013
bkraay
Hiking3.00 Miles 1,880 AEG
Hiking3.00 Miles
1,880 ft AEG
 no routes
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
This hike is short but packs a decent punch. I would recommend an early start, and be ready to get right at it as there is really no room to walk into the climb, as you begin ascending from the get-go. I passed a few hikers at the saddle who were uncomfortable going down and around to the west side of the hike, thus missing out on the summit. A lot has been said and written in the past in regard to the cables, etc, and I'll make one statement: as long as you're smart, this hike is not dangerous. Hold on, watch your footing, and give it a go. The fun part of this hike for me is descending from the saddle knowing full-well that the steep descent must be climbed on the way back.

I've done the hike 3 times now, and each time has seen a handful of hikers, so if you're looking for a short hike packing a punch featuring solitude and a solid summit, this could be good for you!
_____________________
Dec 14 2013
bkraay
avatar

 Photos 278
 Triplogs 18

38 male
 Joined Dec 28 2013
 Maricopa, AZ
Wave CavePhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Dec 14 2013
bkraay
Hiking7.60 Miles 977 AEG
Hiking7.60 Miles
977 ft AEG
 no routes
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
This was as accidental as destinations come. Having recently gone through a divorce and feeling the freedom to pursue whatever hike I'd like at any given point, my goal was Superstition Peak. I parked at the Carney Springs Trailhead which I must admit is slightly further than the other description I read. At the actual point where it says there is an obvious turn-off, it's on the right and does NOT help you get to the start of the hike. Rather, continue for about .2 miles and there is indeed an obvious parking spot good for maybe 7-10 vehicles.

The start of the hike was very level as you make your way towards the majestic Superstitions, walking directly towards them. It was colder than I ever imagined it would have been, but very pleased to learn that my Patagonia R1 jacket is rather warm--another point for Patagonia! After a little more than a half mile the dirt and boulder filled road leading to the trailhead ends, and you will meander to the right to find the trailhead. From here the hike becomes more confined and less open, much more defined and requiring a greater amount of your attention to stay on track. At one point the trail clearly moved to the left along the barbed wire fence at the entrance to the forest, and I inadvertently followed this trail for a mile and a half while soaking up the sheer beauty of the place, not realizing I'd passed the forest entrance (poorly marked, plus the sunrise was throwing my vision off). After a bit of serenity, I made the decision to turn back because there was no way I was going to gain the rest of the expected elevation gain in such a short distance.

Alas I found the entrance to the forest and was reinvigorated, ready to take on the Superstitions--the trail was decently marked and cairns existed, but there were times when I had to stop and really focus to find the next cairn as if in a Where's Waldo sort of way. Very overgrown at points (my legs had the scratches to prove it). A short distance after entering the forest I noticed a faint fork in the trail to the right--my assumption remains that by going left I went up the wrong canyon to reach the summit. Regardless, I went left and began a quick climb up a canyon ridge and began a trek along a stunning canyon offering wonderful views.

There was nothing strenuous about this hike, rather easy frankly. A little ways into the canyon I noticed what looked like a cave up to my left, on the opposite side of the canyon, and decided to check it out. To my excitement, the trail went this way anyway, and I was stunned. The cave was massive, and its namesake evident. There was what I believe to be a coyote hide torn up (minus head), but I could be wrong as I'm not a wildlife expert yet. I spent some time looking around and taking photos before sitting on the wave shaped rock in total solitude for some meditation.

After my break, I decided to bushwhack/do some bouldering to higher elevations, and while possible, I don't really recommend it. The views were great but I don't really recommend this unless you're an adventurous spirit with destination unknown. I felt safe on the boulders, but really exposed on the steep inclines and very, very, very loose footing when off of them. Again, cool views, especially after almost a mile of doing this, but there are safer ways to see those views.
Named place
Named place
Wave Cave - Superstition Wilderness
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Nov 30 2013
bkraay
avatar

 Photos 278
 Triplogs 18

38 male
 Joined Dec 28 2013
 Maricopa, AZ
Holbert Trail - South MountainPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Nov 30 2013
bkraay
Hiking4.70 Miles 1,100 AEG
Hiking4.70 Miles
1,100 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Living in Maricopa, South Mountain tends to be the most convenient place to hike, but given my desire for solitude on trails it doesn't boast the status of being a favorite place of mine. I have a co-worker who spoke at length about the Holbert Trail and ranted and raved about how awesome of a hike it was, so I figured I'd check it out.

I adore the opportunity to check out petroglyphs--something my parents introduced me to near their home on the border of the Saguaro National Forest near Tucson. There are plenty of good examples early on during this hike. The start is very flat, unchallenging, and not all-too-scenic. Rest assured, that changes. I took my time on the first mile, in large part due to picking up litter along the trail. After some frustrations there, I just decided to clip out the hike and enjoy Dobbins Lookout after much build-up from my co-worker.

For a short distance you hop onto a paved road and pass a water tower before starting the ascent. This portion of the hike was pretty cool--you're actually able to feel secluded for a bit, and I was excited as I climbed to not see many people (on a weekend at that!), but as I reached the lookout I realized that while it has the potential to be an awesome place, I was met with a feeling of disdain and disappointment. The lookout was loud and crowded (fair enough), but with the option to hike to the lookout for lunch (as I did with my bowl of fruit and salad), it's a shame (in my opinion from my momentary high horse) that the vast majority drive to the top and then feast on sacks of fast food... I suppose that's the natural dichotomy of society.

I made a breeze of the return to the trailhead, sparking a desire to get back to Quartz Peak ASAP.
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Sep 01 2013
bkraay
avatar

 Photos 278
 Triplogs 18

38 male
 Joined Dec 28 2013
 Maricopa, AZ
Sweetwater TrailTucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Hiking avatar Sep 01 2013
bkraay
Hiking9.20 Miles 1,887 AEG
Hiking9.20 Miles
1,887 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
My parents live nearby and hike much of the area regularly. When I explained what I was looking for in a hike, they implored me to come on down, spend the night at their home on the edge of the Saguaro National Forest, and hit this trail bright and early.

I enjoyed the hike itself, taking out of consideration anything but the trail quality from trailhead to summit and back. There was one stretch which was brutal, seemed to be close to a mile of nothing but quick switchbacks with steep incline; if it were earlier in the hike, I may have turned back because switchbacks are the bane of my existence at times, but knowing that on the back of those was about a quarter-mile to the summit, I forged ahead and am very thankful I did.

The Wasson Peak summit offers splendid views in all directions, absolutely stunning result to the hike. If only that swarm of bees didn't chase me down. Seriously, BEES :o

Another highlight of this hike was the wildlife. I encountered two gila monsters, a desert tortoise, and I believe a western patch-nose snake...oh, can't forget about the pack of mule deer! Honestly, spectacular display of the desert's offerings.
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average hiking speed 1.87 mph

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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