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158 triplogs

Nov 25 2020
adilling
avatar

 Routes 86
 Photos 3,767
 Triplogs 158

57 male
 Joined Dec 02 2014
 Mesa, AZ
Hieroglyphics Trail #101Phoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Nov 25 2020
adilling
Hiking3.00 Miles 650 AEG
Hiking3.00 Miles
650 ft AEG
 
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
The conditions this Thanksgiving Eve presented an opportunity to get some star trail shots in the Superstitions. I opted going back into Hieroglyphics Canyon to take some pictures of the petroglyphs. Clear and cool, the weather was nice.

No other vehicles in the lot when I arrived at 645pm. The hike up is the same as always. The trail was littered with an inordinate amount of doogie poo bags. I also collected 6-7 water bottles and other assorted bits of rubbish on the way out too. Sad state of humanity these days sometimes. I wonder who these people think will pick up after them? Litterers should be strapped to cactus, smeared with bacon grease and left for the mountain lions to mete out proper punishment.

The pool at the base of "the wall" was bone dry. There were a few stagnant puddle above it. But, the crispy-crunchy grasses and flora point to our extremely dry conditions. I hope we get some rains soon.

I did not see any critters, but I heard a few owls and got a little serenade from some coyotes. The wind moving down the canyon was a nice experience as well. You can hear it coming down.

To take my photos, I take 100-150 shots of the same image, edit them en masse and them run them through a program to get the star trail effect. The enemies of astrophotography are clouds and airplanes. No clouds last night, but the number of jets and airplanes flying over the mountain last night was crazy.

A nice 4 hours spent in the moonlight in a beautiful canyon. I am sure, as I write up this triplog that there are many, many people there right now enjoying the place. I think I prefer the solitude and the moonlight.
_____________________
“Wilderness is not a luxury but necessity of the human spirit.” –Edward Abbey

instagram: @andydilling
Nov 21 2020
adilling
avatar

 Routes 86
 Photos 3,767
 Triplogs 158

57 male
 Joined Dec 02 2014
 Mesa, AZ
Rhyodacite CanyonPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Nov 21 2020
adilling
Hiking9.40 Miles 1,735 AEG
Hiking9.40 Miles   6 Hrs      1.57 mph
1,735 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
I was looking to hike up Gateway Canyon and see the arches before the Dec. 1 Eagle Breeding closure started, but while researching I came across the triplogs for Rhyodacite Canyon. I have been up on the Sky Island numerous times, but never ventured into Rhyodacite Canyon. The photos and triplogs really made this canyon intriguing.

I entered into the Phon D Sutton/Bulldog Canyon gate off Bush Highway and drove down about ½ mile. My plan was to take an unlisted road all the way down to the little cliff area that’s right before the river, but I noticed all the “AREA CLOSED” signs. Plus, there was a giant group of ATV folks camping right at the road I needed to access. So, I parked and started east.

I have done Sunrise Arch a few times and have been “up top” 4x, so I know this part of the hike. 2-3 miles of sandy “blah” hiking through the Haunted Horse Poop Forest and then trudging through the river rock/sandy. I thought about cutting direct towards the entrance of the canyon and just taking that all the way, but access to it was rough. All choked up with trees/shrubs. So, I opted to access the canyon via the route that @DixieFlyer posted. I skirted the edge of the canyon and it looks pretty nice in there, so next time, I will find a way to get into the canyon and take it all the way up.

Once I made it into the canyon, the scenery did not disappoint. I really enjoyed seeing this place. The formations were very beautiful for sure. There were not major obstacles to navigate and lots of cairned bypass routes as well. The sun abided and I was able to get some nice views of the canyon area. I hiked in about 2 miles and had some lunch. I contemplated going further, but I had things to attend to at home, so I started back down.

The Goldfields never cease to amaze me. This little canyon did not disappoint. I will be back and maybe bag a peak or two next time.

The hike back through the flat and ugly river bottom was not making me very happy, but I spotted a road on my map and decided to see how that looked. It’s the same road that starts at the little cliff before the river. So, I was able to bypass most of the sandy forest.

A nice day in the Goldfields/Lower Salt River!
_____________________
“Wilderness is not a luxury but necessity of the human spirit.” –Edward Abbey

instagram: @andydilling
Nov 15 2020
adilling
avatar

 Routes 86
 Photos 3,767
 Triplogs 158

57 male
 Joined Dec 02 2014
 Mesa, AZ
Coon Bluff LoopPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Nov 15 2020
adilling
Hiking3.12 Miles 649 AEG
Hiking3.12 Miles   1 Hour   56 Mns   1.85 mph
649 ft AEG      15 Mns Break
 
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Route Scout GPS Route Recorded on Route Scout View
Coon Bluff has long been a sunrise favorite of mine, but I have not been out there for a sunset. The ridgeline of the bluff offered a nice view of the western horizon so off I went.

I parked at the horse lot before you get to the campground and started up. The trail is really defined all the way across. In some places you can tell it’s an old Jeep road. Tons of horse hoof prints and horse poop all along show this is a popular trail for horses.

The up and down of this little hike is nice. I know everything looks flat on a map, but the little roller coaster action was a nice. My goal was to hike to the cliffs that overlooked the river and then work my way over to the western most ridge near the road to Phon D Sutton for sunset shot. I was surprised how deep the rift between the two main hills were. There’s a nice little mini-canyon in between.

The time was slipping by, so I decided to head back the same way I came in and find a spot with a clear line to the horizon. The lack of clouds and the relatively clear air made for a very subdued sunset, but I always enjoy watching it from the desert.

This trail is a nice little workout full of surprises. I will be back again and make the entire loop. It looks like the way back is along a wash, so I might have to make my own trail back as I really dislike hiking in the sand.
_____________________
“Wilderness is not a luxury but necessity of the human spirit.” –Edward Abbey

instagram: @andydilling
Nov 12 2020
adilling
avatar

 Routes 86
 Photos 3,767
 Triplogs 158

57 male
 Joined Dec 02 2014
 Mesa, AZ
Canyon Lake Massif - Peak 2276Phoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Nov 12 2020
adilling
Hiking1.90 Miles 551 AEG
Hiking1.90 Miles
551 ft AEG
 
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
I needed to get a quick hike in before work and thought this one would fit the bill. I arrived at the Dam Rd at 545am and started up. I could see some nice looking clouds in the pre dawn sky and thought I might have a nice sunrise. The jeep road is the same as always and the trail up is looking good too.

There was a little chill in the air this morning, but it felt really good. I can still feel the summer heat in my memory. The views up top on this little peak are really amazing. The colors were already starting up even before I hit the edge of the cliff.

[ youtube video ]

I brought some coffee with me this time and took a few pictures and drank my morning coffee while watching a very vibrant sunrise. Nobody but me, the sky, the wind and the scenery. A good way to start the day.
_____________________
“Wilderness is not a luxury but necessity of the human spirit.” –Edward Abbey

instagram: @andydilling
2 archives
Nov 08 2020
adilling
avatar

 Routes 86
 Photos 3,767
 Triplogs 158

57 male
 Joined Dec 02 2014
 Mesa, AZ
Black Cross Butte 3351Phoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Nov 08 2020
adilling
Hiking2.10 Miles 910 AEG
Hiking2.10 Miles
910 ft AEG
 
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Been a while since I have climbed up to Black Cross Butte and the weather abided. Wow, 60 degrees. I will take it. The clouds and haze made the normal stunning scenery only awesome scenery. I will take that too.

Lot of people camping out near the little turn off for Crucifix Canyon and a couple of jeep folks at the parking area when I arrived. They took off and I started up. My plan was to hike up the southern side of the butte along the trail that takes you to the saddle west of the butte, explore the area and then head up to BCB and hit the views up there. Then, come down the normal trail down.

The clouds were nice when I started, but I could see the hazy over cast blob moving my way when I got to the saddle. Came across lots and lots of sheep droppings and then saw a few off in cliffs above. I got a view zoomed in shots with the phone, and let them be. Once I got up top, I hiked a little ways towards the edge to see the canyon and then decided to hike up to the butte.

The views at the edge up on the butte are really nice. This entire area above the lake is so scenic for sure. Lot of sheep poops up here too, but I did not see any. I found some other scat that might have been cat? Coyote looks more like a dogs. Who knows? The only ferocious critters I saw were some ground squirrels and a few lizards.

I started down after skirting the edge of the butte. I forgot there's not much a trail going down. I was able to navigate my way down. I had trouble finding the little chute that takes you down to the spire/needle area, and ended up taking a few wrong ways, but I eventually saw the giant cairn (visible from space) that marks it. Once I got down from there it was a short hike back to the truck.

Other than the people camping and the few folks I saw at the parking area when I arrived, I saw no other humans. Just the way I prefer this cool area. I will have to get over to Horse Mesa, east of the Butte, one of these days. That looks amazing.
Culture
Culture
Ghost?
_____________________
“Wilderness is not a luxury but necessity of the human spirit.” –Edward Abbey

instagram: @andydilling
Nov 02 2020
adilling
avatar

 Routes 86
 Photos 3,767
 Triplogs 158

57 male
 Joined Dec 02 2014
 Mesa, AZ
Broadway CavePhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Nov 02 2020
adilling
Hiking3.60 Miles 960 AEG
Hiking3.60 Miles
960 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
I have not been up to the cave in quite a while. I wanted a nice little workout with a nice view of the sunset. This fit the bill perfectly. Still a little toasty out there for November. Looks like the weather will get nicer soon.

There was an empty parking area when I pulled in. The trail is the same as always. Nice and flat and rocky until you get to the base of the mountain. Then, it turns nice and steep and rocky. A couple of other hikers made it up to the cave as well after I had arrived.

The cave is the same as always. I was hearing way more bats that previous visits and there was a slight guano aroma permeating the cave as well. The clouds looks hopeful for a nice sunset. Mother Nature abided and I was treated to a wonderful sunset. Gotta love these AZ sunsets.

The hike down was dark and uneventful. I have seen rattlers on this hike before, but none today. Not many critters at all, actually. Except of course, the bats that started taking off in small waves at dusk.
_____________________
“Wilderness is not a luxury but necessity of the human spirit.” –Edward Abbey

instagram: @andydilling
Oct 25 2020
adilling
avatar

 Routes 86
 Photos 3,767
 Triplogs 158

57 male
 Joined Dec 02 2014
 Mesa, AZ
Pumphouse Wash - LowerSedona, AZ
Sedona, AZ
Canyoneering avatar Oct 25 2020
adilling
Canyoneering4.20 Miles 370 AEG
Canyoneering4.20 Miles
370 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
It's been many moons since I have visited this amazing place. I decided to head up to this area and sneak in a visit while the fall colors are still on display.

The trail is the same as always, a boulder-hopping wander up and down the wash.

I came across three groups of climbers who were scaling the walls on both sides of canyon near the start. Looked like lot of merriments were had by all there.

I also came across 4 other groups of hikers. 2 had been in there before. The other two were first timers. I am reluctant to post photos about this hike, and I know I will never provide gps information or geo-tag my photos, but here I am now, adding my 2 cents to this hidden (for now) gem. :(

Driving up to the parking, we passed 100's of cars and great throngs of the masses parked all along 89A converging on the West Fork area. I don't want to be the guy that breaks the dam at this location. I can imagine 100's (or more) marching up and down this place in the future and that is depressing for sure. I fear that reality is only a matter of time as more and more people have discovered that it's actually fun to go out and experience nature. Not that I begrudge them, but I remember all of these amazing places before the advent of social media. A bit selfish on my part, but I really don't want all of these places overrun and the experience that these places used to provide lost forever. Wishful thinking on my part.
_____________________
“Wilderness is not a luxury but necessity of the human spirit.” –Edward Abbey

instagram: @andydilling
Oct 18 2020
adilling
avatar

 Routes 86
 Photos 3,767
 Triplogs 158

57 male
 Joined Dec 02 2014
 Mesa, AZ
Peak 3125 - GoldfieldsPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Oct 18 2020
adilling
Hiking1.80 Miles 1,251 AEG
Hiking1.80 Miles
1,251 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
I needed a quick hike with a little challenge. I thought about EJ/Lone Mountain, but I have done that many times. So, I remembered going up 3125 when I did the Ironwood Ridgeline a few years back. I wanted to catch a sunrise, so I left my house in Mesa at 430am, arrived about 5am and started up in the dark.

The hike up to the Bulldog Saddle along the 3004 Loop Trail went ok and then when I started up the hill for Peak 3125, I remembered quickly, this one was steep...ha ha. Oh well, some nice elevation packed into a short hike.

The skies looked semi-promising, but I could see the brown smoke clouds hanging over the horizon. The colors were nice in spite of that. I got to see a nice sunrise afterall.

I contemplated exploring more along the ridge to the north, but I needed to get back home by 10am. So, I just stayed atop 3125 for a while, took some picture and then started down.

Going up was a drag because of the steepness, going down was a drag because of the loose rocks. But, I managed just fine. I could already hear and see the masses along Pass Mountain and 3004 Loop. Lots of folks out this morning.

We I got back to the trailhead it was totally full with cars 10 deep on both sides of Meridian as well. The weather is turning, so time to start finding even more obscure hikes.

A nice morning, with a good work out and a wonderful sunrise. I'll take it.
_____________________
“Wilderness is not a luxury but necessity of the human spirit.” –Edward Abbey

instagram: @andydilling
Oct 13 2020
adilling
avatar

 Routes 86
 Photos 3,767
 Triplogs 158

57 male
 Joined Dec 02 2014
 Mesa, AZ
Massacre FallsPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Oct 13 2020
adilling
Hiking5.50 Miles 1,187 AEG
Hiking5.50 Miles
1,187 ft AEG
 
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
I hiked out to the Massacre Falls area late yesterday afternoon to see how this area fared with the fire.

A mixed report. Some areas really got roasted and others survived without any damage.
The area around the trailhead is really bad. I am guessing that is mostly from backburning to prevent the fire from jumping First Water Road.

Once you reach the Wilderness boundary, the damage subsides once you get to the little canyon below the plateau. That area did not burn at all and is still really overgrown. But, once you climb up to the plateau area below the falls, the damage is really bad. You can see the path the fire took down from the top of the mountain.

All of the area around the falls is burnt up pretty good. But, somehow, the area directly below the falls survived. I imagine there will be a nice falls to see when the rains come, but there will be a bunch of nasty fire debris coming over the falls for a while, I'd guess.

So, better than expected, but still sad to see how much of this area was roasted.
_____________________
“Wilderness is not a luxury but necessity of the human spirit.” –Edward Abbey

instagram: @andydilling
Oct 11 2020
adilling
avatar

 Routes 86
 Photos 3,767
 Triplogs 158

57 male
 Joined Dec 02 2014
 Mesa, AZ
Inner Basin Trail #29Flagstaff, AZ
Flagstaff, AZ
Hiking avatar Oct 11 2020
adilling
Hiking4.25 Miles 2,460 AEG
Hiking4.25 Miles
2,460 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
It's been a few years since the lovely Mrs Dilling and I have visited Lockett Meadow to see the annual aspen tree color show. We decided we better do it this past weekend or it might be too late. An early departure from Mesa and we arrived at the trailhead parking area right at sunrise. Lots of cars already there and many cars parked along the forest road that apparently car camped as well.

We started up the Inner Basin trail. The colors have peaked near the campground. The high winds lately have stripped many trees of their leaves at the beginning. However, the higher up we hiked, the better the colors were. My wife was having trouble with the elevation right before the switchbacks started and she told me to gone on ahead. I had to leave her in a horrible grove of hideous aspen trees surrounded by ugly scenery!

I did not leave her long. I made it up past the switchbacks to Waterline Road and hiked a little along there and took many, many pictures. Lots of people up here as well. I had to dodge and wait for plenty of portraits and selfie seekers, but there was plenty of road and scenery.

I started back down and the number of people in the switchback area was crazy. 100's of people enjoying the beautiful fall colors. This area was the best part of the hike for scenery for sure. I rejoined my lovely wife who had her rest, a little snack and got her own pictures in as well.

We got back to the trailhead by 1015am and started heading back to the Valley of the Sun. We wanted to miss the super crazy traffic on I-17. We did to an extent, we got the usual crazy traffic in the usual areas. No accidents, so no long delays.

A wonderful visit to an amazing place. This part of the mountain really reminds me of my younger days growing up in Colorado.
_____________________
“Wilderness is not a luxury but necessity of the human spirit.” –Edward Abbey

instagram: @andydilling
Sep 27 2020
adilling
avatar

 Routes 86
 Photos 3,767
 Triplogs 158

57 male
 Joined Dec 02 2014
 Mesa, AZ
Triple Arch via Black Glass CanyonPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Canyoneering avatar Sep 27 2020
adilling
Canyoneering1.50 Miles 489 AEG
Canyoneering1.50 Miles
489 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
The last time I visited Black Glass Canyon was in Oct of last year. I came back via hiking on the wash (mostly). I was thinking to myself the entire time, "I could have driven up this rather than hike back 4-5 miles. So, last week, I renewed my Bulldog Canyon OHV permit and decided to see how far I could take FS12 and Willow Springs Canyon. It turns out, I could make it about 1/4 from the Black Glass Canyon entrance.

The drive in is mainly on the wash, so it's nothing difficult to manage. There are a few rough spots when FS12 bypasses the wash, but for the most part, it was actually a fun drive down in my Nissan Titan. BTW the permit used to be free, but since Recreation.gov took it over, it's now $6.00 for a year.

The weather very pleasant as I started down Willow Springs to the Black Glass Canyon entrance. I really love this canyon. It has a few hairy spots and the catclaw is even worse than I remember, but you are paid back with some spectacular scenery along the way. My goal was to hike to the arch and then come back the same way.

The only issues I had was all the bees buzzing around the few water pools that are still hanging on. I had to completely hike around one of them as there were 100's of them being very active. Other than the bees, no critters other than the occasion lizard and a bunch of bunnies on the way in.

The hike up to the arch has a more defined route now, almost a trail. The first time I went up there it was rough. Still a steep little hike up, but I love the view from there.

The BGC looking east is spectacular and so is the view to the west towards Razorback and Razorback Knob. I had a nice little snack underneath the arch in the shade and started back down. For a few seconds, I actually contemplated hiking up a little further and even coming back down via Rough and Ready Canyon, but luckily, I came to my senses.....ha ha. I just went back down the same way I came in.

An awesome way to spend a morning. A little off-road adventure and a visit to my favorite canyon in the Goldfields.
_____________________
“Wilderness is not a luxury but necessity of the human spirit.” –Edward Abbey

instagram: @andydilling
Sep 19 2020
adilling
avatar

 Routes 86
 Photos 3,767
 Triplogs 158

57 male
 Joined Dec 02 2014
 Mesa, AZ
First Water Canyon, AZ 
First Water Canyon, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Sep 19 2020
adilling
Hiking
Hiking
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
I wanted to go down into First Water Canyon off the 88 to see how it's looking in these dry times. I also wanted to see the sunrise on the cool overlook hill nearby.

The California wildfire smoke is still dominating the skies, so no vibrant sunrise. I drove up the "road" to the base of the overlook hill and waited for the sunrise. I took a few pictures once the Tatooine looking sun rose and a few more of the vista. Then, I hopped in the truck and drove back down to the 88 to start my hike down to the canyon.

Lot of people heading to the lake towing boats and tons of motorcycles zooming around. The trail is pretty easy to follow once you locate it. The hike down was the same as always, but I cannot help but notice all of the tall grasses that dominate the hike now. Parts of it looked like a hay covered barn.

I made it down to the canyon and started down for my exploration. This canyon is very scenic. It was dry as a bone, but you can see that some serious water has flowed down here over time. I did see one pool still holding on. Lot's of critter tracks in this area too. The erosion formations are really interesting. I hiked for about 20 minutes and reached the first steep falls area and decided to NOT hike around it and all the catclaw and nastiness it would entail. So, I did a turn around and started heading for the confluence with Canyon Lake.

There were some kayakers nearby when I made it to the end. The only people I saw all day. Always a nice scenic area to visit with the cottonwood and cactus combo at the end.

I hiked back out and called it a day. Some easy hiking and some excellent scenery.
_____________________
“Wilderness is not a luxury but necessity of the human spirit.” –Edward Abbey

instagram: @andydilling
Sep 10 2020
adilling
avatar

 Routes 86
 Photos 3,767
 Triplogs 158

57 male
 Joined Dec 02 2014
 Mesa, AZ
Wind Cave Trail #281Phoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Sep 10 2020
adilling
Hiking2.00 Miles 225 AEG
Hiking2.00 Miles
225 ft AEG
 no routes
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
The lovely Mrs Dilling and I headed out to Usery MRP for a short hike in this cooler weather. I was hoping for a nice sunset, but the smoke from the California fires made the sun disappear on the horizon.

Still got in a few miles and enjoyed the perfect weather. Lots of people on the Wind Cave Trail.
_____________________
“Wilderness is not a luxury but necessity of the human spirit.” –Edward Abbey

instagram: @andydilling
Sep 07 2020
adilling
avatar

 Routes 86
 Photos 3,767
 Triplogs 158

57 male
 Joined Dec 02 2014
 Mesa, AZ
Needle Vista to Hackberry SpringPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Sep 07 2020
adilling
Hiking4.10 Miles 547 AEG
Hiking4.10 Miles
547 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
After reading Wally and Denny's triplogs on this hike, I decided to go out and take a look as well. I took a more southerly route from the Needle Vista and started out towards the Horse Lot. I wanted to see how bad the damage was around the Massarce/Crosscut TH area.

The fire looks like it came directly down the mountain along the Reverse Flatiron route and then down the Massacre Falls trail. The fire made it all the way to the Massacre/Crosscut TH and then moved east towards First Water TH. We did not hike down to that area as it's closed, but I have see some aerial photos showing the fire went right over it.

We started up the Hackberry Trail towards the ranch. The fire was in this area, along with a pretty wide swath of red slurry. The old ranch missed the flames, but everything south of there was roasted. We hiked along First Water Creek for a good distance and this area really got it good. I could not see how bad the Dutchman Trail got it, but I have heard reports it did get burnt up and over Parker Pass. The little peaks between Massacre Grounds and the Dutchman did not appear to be damaged, but we could not determine if the fire made it through.

It was a depressing hike for sure. I am thinking about all of the beautiful desert that has been burnt up the past two years. I am wondering what this place will look like once it's healed. I know most of the saguaros we saw along First Water Creek are either dead or dying. I cannot see those bouncing back.
_____________________
“Wilderness is not a luxury but necessity of the human spirit.” –Edward Abbey

instagram: @andydilling
Sep 05 2020
adilling
avatar

 Routes 86
 Photos 3,767
 Triplogs 158

57 male
 Joined Dec 02 2014
 Mesa, AZ
Parker Canyon - Tonto NFGlobe, AZ
Globe, AZ
Hiking avatar Sep 05 2020
adilling
Hiking3.00 Miles 252 AEG
Hiking3.00 Miles
252 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
The lovely Mrs Dilling and I decided to escape the broiler oven that is the Phoenix metro area and make our way to higher and cooler purlieu of the Sierra Ancha Mountains. We opted for Parker Canyon and Hog Canyon area. We basically accessed these cool areas via the roads off the 288. My wife is not a hiker and even though it was cooler up there, it was still hot, we opted to wander the edges of the canyon and not venture down into the poison ivy forest at the bottom.

A very windy day up in the Sierra Ancha yesterday, but the clouds made it very nice. We hiked along the edges to see as much of Parker Canyon as we could. Such a scenic area. There was no water flowing at all, but the ground was damp from recent rain showers. Dark clouds threatened rain, but we never felt as much as a drop. There was smoke off in the distance to the north towards Young. Looks like yet another fire in the area.

We made it to Hog Canyon and decided to stay for the sunset. There were a good number of clouds so I figured we might get to see a nice one. Mother Nature abided and we were treated to a really vibrant color show once the sun dropped below the horizon near Four Peaks.

The Salt fire really roasted the area south of the lake along the 188. Both sides of the highway were burnt up pretty good. There was some fire damage along the 288 going towards the bridge, but it almost looked like back burning more than the fire reaching there. There were no signs of any fire damage once we cross the Salt River. After watching most of the Superstition Wilderness succumb to fires the past few years and the Four Peaks area getting consumed this year, it would really break my heart if this area was roasted too.

I will take my wife to the other side of the range, off Cherry Creek Road, on our next adventure in the Sierra Ancha. Such a wonderful area.

Here's a video compilation of our visit: [ youtube video ]
Meteorology
Meteorology
Sunset
_____________________
“Wilderness is not a luxury but necessity of the human spirit.” –Edward Abbey

instagram: @andydilling
4 archives
Sep 01 2020
adilling
avatar

 Routes 86
 Photos 3,767
 Triplogs 158

57 male
 Joined Dec 02 2014
 Mesa, AZ
Pass Mountain RidgelinePhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Sep 01 2020
adilling
Hiking3.50 Miles 975 AEG
Hiking3.50 Miles
975 ft AEG
 
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
I decided to head out to see if I could catch a sunset and also the moonrise of the full moon at the same time. Pass Mountain seemed to fit the bill perfectly.

I arrived at 5pm at the Wind Cave TH and started up. It was hot, but the sun was down lower and it wasn't that bad. I made my way past the Wind Cave and started up to the ridgeline. The white paint is still there on the trail to the top and now there's some newer blue arrows all over the place on the way up. The path is pretty clear, but someone felt compelled to mark the trail every twist and turn.

Once on the ridgeline I found a nice spot that could see both sides and waited. The sunset was very subtle and muted because of all the haze/smoke/dust. No vibrant sunstars on this day. No clouds either, so it was a ho-hum sunset. The haze did make the sun very "photogenic" though.

After the sunset I moved over slightly and started setting up for the moon rise. I had calculated it would rise right over the mountain. Unfortunately, my little tripod decided to break a leg as I was setting it up. I watched the moon slowly rise above the mountain. I took quite a few handheld shots, but most of them turned out blurry. Oh well, it was nice to see the moon rise.

A nice way to spend an early evening for sure. Not many critters on the trail. There were some bees up on the ridgeline. I had to move away from my original location near the summit of the southern peak. A dark hike down. I saw one other hiker going down on the way up and another fellow came up to the summit while I was there and turned around an went right back down.
_____________________
“Wilderness is not a luxury but necessity of the human spirit.” –Edward Abbey

instagram: @andydilling
Aug 27 2020
adilling
avatar

 Routes 86
 Photos 3,767
 Triplogs 158

57 male
 Joined Dec 02 2014
 Mesa, AZ
Blue Ridge - Goldfield MtnsPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Aug 27 2020
adilling
Hiking2.10 Miles 911 AEG
Hiking2.10 Miles
911 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
With my beloved Supes still on fire. I wanted to see if I could get a view of the fire. Since they closed the 88 at LDSP, the only spot I could think of was Blue Ridge. I arrived predawn and met up with my hiking buddy Patrick and started up from the Bulldog Canyon Gate. I could smell the smoke and the sky was very hazy. We made it to ridge and saw a bunch of low clouds and a lot of smoke on the eastern horizon.

We could see the fire damage on the area below 5024 and across the Massacre Grounds plain. No flames visible, but there was heavy smoke coming from Garden Valley. It looked like Hackberry Mesa and Black Mesa were getting it.

We climbed up to the edge of the ridge and up on the tuff rocks for a better view. We were wondering why there were so many bees buzzing around up there. It was when we decided to climb down that we noticed we were standing right over a large honeycomb. Duh! I didn't get stung, but my buddy was not so lucky.

All of these fires the past couple years have managed to burn up some pretty amazing places. This fire is not over and I fear Boulder Canyon, Battleship and maybe even La Barge Creek are getting it now. :(

I know fire is part of nature, but I don't have to like it.
_____________________
“Wilderness is not a luxury but necessity of the human spirit.” –Edward Abbey

instagram: @andydilling
Aug 22 2020
adilling
avatar

 Routes 86
 Photos 3,767
 Triplogs 158

57 male
 Joined Dec 02 2014
 Mesa, AZ
Horton Creek Trail #285Payson, AZ
Payson, AZ
Hiking avatar Aug 22 2020
adilling
Hiking7.10 Miles 1,222 AEG
Hiking7.10 Miles
1,222 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
My better half and I decided to escape the heat of the valley and make a day trip up to the Rim Country. It's been a while since I have visited Horton Creek, so we decided to head up.

We arrived at the upper parking lot at 730am and barely got a parking spot. The weather was very pleasant, in the 60's. The trail is the same as always, an old road running along the west side of the creek. My wife has two bad knees, and she was unable to get to the creek as much as I hoped, but we did make our way down in a few spots along the way.

We made it about 1/2 to the spring and found a nice spot for some lunch and putting our feet in the cool water. Such a scenic little creek with all of the small falls. The temps were lower at the creek as well. After about a couple of hours of relaxing and picture taking, we started back down.

Lots of people, dogs, and horses & mules out on this day. It was about 11am when we started back down again and it was a steady stream of people heading up. It was getting hotter by then.

When we got back to the trailhead, it was totally full, as was the road and the lower lot was pretty full as well on the way out.

A nice visit to a beautiful spot. It's always good to get outdoors in the wilderness with my wife as well.
_____________________
“Wilderness is not a luxury but necessity of the human spirit.” –Edward Abbey

instagram: @andydilling
Aug 21 2020
adilling
avatar

 Routes 86
 Photos 3,767
 Triplogs 158

57 male
 Joined Dec 02 2014
 Mesa, AZ
San Tan Trail - San Tan MRPPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Aug 21 2020
adilling
Hiking5.64 Miles 454 AEG
Hiking5.64 Miles   2 Hrs   1 Min   2.89 mph
454 ft AEG      4 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Partners none no partners
Route Scout GPS Route Recorded on Route Scout View
I wanted to do a hike in the Superstitions, but it looks like there is yet another fire in the Wilderness Area - up on the mountain this time. I opted for a sunrise hike at San Tan MRP.

I arrived about 5:10am and started out along the San Tan Loop going south. With all the clouds and the smoke from the fires, I was not expecting a vivid sunrise. Lots of mountain bikers out early on today.

I don’t make it out to this park often, but I always enjoy my hikes out here. My goal was to take the San Tan Loop all the way around and then come back via the Gold Mine Trail, but I was getting phone calls from work and had to cut it short. I have never been on the Hedgehog Trail, so I took that back towards the parking area. 5.5 quick miles and a nice morning hike.

A nice muggy morning without the usual sunshine baking me. Lots of Mountain bikers, some runners and a few hikers out today.

I stopped at the crazy old saguaro just outside the park. That old timer is looking pretty ragged. We’ll see how long he holds on.
_____________________
“Wilderness is not a luxury but necessity of the human spirit.” –Edward Abbey

instagram: @andydilling
Aug 13 2020
adilling
avatar

 Routes 86
 Photos 3,767
 Triplogs 158

57 male
 Joined Dec 02 2014
 Mesa, AZ
Peak 2881 Loop (Apache Gap)Phoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Aug 13 2020
adilling
Hiking3.00 Miles 565 AEG
Hiking3.00 Miles
565 ft AEG
 
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Checking the weather on Wednesday evening, it looked like there might be a chance of a nice sunrise on Thursday morning. So, the alarm sounded off at 330am and I was off. I did not make it to the top of Peak 2881 as I did not have the time. But, I hike up and explored the little ridge that starts off at Apache Gap off Hwy 88. I followed the old jeep road that runs along the southern base of the ridge that starts out just south of the Apache Gap parking/view area. The road takes you along the base and then up to the ridge.

The weather was perfect, not too hot and no humidity. I made it up to the ridgeline in the dark and started looking for places that might have an interesting photo angle. There is not really a trail up there, but it's easy to navigate. The clouds cooperated for a change and I was treated to a wonderful sunrise. Lots of colors and interesting clouds. This ridge is great for sunsets as well, as is Peak 2881.

If I had an extra hour, I would have gone up to the peak, but I was happy to make it out and catch such a beautiful sunrise. Once the weather cools down, I will be back to take the entire loop from there to the Horns and back up Willow Creek. Such an interesting area for sure!

Here's a quick video I made. It really shows the vibrant colors! [ youtube video ]
_____________________
“Wilderness is not a luxury but necessity of the human spirit.” –Edward Abbey

instagram: @andydilling
1 archive
average hiking speed 2.1 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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