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22 triplogs

Oct 30 2019
LJW
avatar

 Photos 144
 Triplogs 125

25 male
 Joined Jun 02 2019
 Phoenix, AZ
Mazatzal Peak SummitPayson, AZ
Payson, AZ
Hiking avatar Oct 30 2019
LJW
Hiking20.07 Miles 4,662 AEG
Hiking20.07 Miles   9 Hrs   12 Mns   2.69 mph
4,662 ft AEG   1 Hour   45 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Partners none no partners
Route Scout GPS Route Recorded on Route Scout View
Second time to the summit of Mazatzal Peak. Kind of a weird route this time because I wanted to hike around the peak on sections of Y Bar and the Mazatzal Divide Trail that I hadn't done yet. Went up Barnhardt and the north drainage, down the south face to Y Bar, then back around to Barnhardt on Mazatzal Divide.

Road in to the trailhead was a little rocky but good. Temperature was 35 degrees when I started. The trees in the lower sections of Barnhardt Canyon are just starting to change color. Once higher, the trees on the north side of Suicide Ridge are all pretty yellow. The north drainage had a good mix of colors: light green, yellow, orange, and red. It was much less overgrown than I remember, once past the initial climb the miles came pretty easy.

Made it to the top and it must have been around freezing in the wind. Still a lot of ladybugs hiding out from the cold. Stayed for about an hour. Reading the register it would seem only ~15 parties of hikers have been up on the summit since I was there in November of last year.

The traverse down to Y Bar wasn't as bad as I remember either, though it's still a solid bushwhack that I enjoy more going down than up. Easier to take on the manzanita when gravity is on your side.

Was happy I added the Mazatzal Divide Trail as it affords great views of some of the most beautiful country in the state. Really enjoyed the views west and back toward the peak. Trail was in great shape. Two fighter jets passed below the peak to the south, would've been cool to be up there for that.

On Barnhardt out I passed the only people I saw all day: an ACE crew that was going to start work on the Davenport Wash Trail.
foliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observation
Autumn Foliage Observation Moderate
Barnhardt still green in lower section. Above 6000ft in N drainage colors are good. Divide trail has pockets of good color.
4 archives
Oct 23 2019
LJW
avatar

 Photos 144
 Triplogs 125

25 male
 Joined Jun 02 2019
 Phoenix, AZ
Quien Sabe PeakPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Oct 23 2019
LJW
Hiking25.02 Miles 5,005 AEG
Hiking25.02 Miles   9 Hrs   39 Mns   2.98 mph
5,005 ft AEG   1 Hour   15 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Route Scout GPS Route Recorded on Route Scout View
Seems most people add Quien Sabe from the CC4/Skunk Tank loop. That seems like the more enjoyable option compared to adding it to the Skull Mesa/Cottonwood Loop. I had thought it would only add a little mileage and elevation, but that was wrong. This one turned into an ordeal.

Decided that fall colors could wait, and that I would rather hike in the last of summer's residual heat down around Phoenix. Started around 6:15am. Was in the dark or shade until the Skull Mesa turn off. Trail to the top is good, but once on top the trail is harder to follow the closer to Quien Sabe it goes. Plenty of cairns but still easy to get off route. The eastern side of Skull Mesa was alive with wildflowers. The route down on the east side is lost the lower it goes. Pretty well eroded the whole time it's there.

Headed to the pass between Skunk Ridge and Quien Sabe because it looked like the least steep approach. Took off up hill and it was very easy going. Wildflowers were pretty extreme. Stained my boots a bright yellow. Impressive views on the peak, especially of the Mazatzals to the east.

Once off of the Quien Sabe Trail and back onto Skull Mesa, after a while the trail more or less disappeared. Much of the stretch between the Quien Sabe junction and Cottonwood is overgrown, very faint, or gone. Ended up spending a lot of time walking cross country in search of the route. Would not be comfortable doing this part without GPS. Once on the descent to Cottonwood the trail is pretty solid.

The more I do of the Cottonwood Trail the more I like it. Really enjoyable stretches in the creek with a lot of shade in the hottest part of the day. Ran out of water at Cottonwood Spring around the Skull Mesa junction. Last six miles were pretty arduous. Saw a baby rattlesnake in the last thirty yards of the Cottonwood Trail. Only people I saw all day were in the last mile.
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Substantial
Heavy on Skull Mesa, pretty extreme on Quien Sabe Peak


water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Cottonwood Spring Dripping Dripping
Small pools

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Dirt Trough Creek Pools to trickle Pools to trickle
Puddles
1 archive
Oct 17 2019
LJW
avatar

 Photos 144
 Triplogs 125

25 male
 Joined Jun 02 2019
 Phoenix, AZ
Santa Rita Crest Loop, AZ 
Santa Rita Crest Loop, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Oct 17 2019
LJW
Hiking18.87 Miles 5,341 AEG
Hiking18.87 Miles   7 Hrs   55 Mns   2.94 mph
5,341 ft AEG   1 Hour   30 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Route Scout GPS Route Recorded on Route Scout View
Looking east in Madera Canyon the rock walls and peaks that make up the Santa Rita Crest are just about as imposing as Wrightson itself. I decided to take a tour around it and summit three of its peaks- McCleary, 88 Mac (Peak 8853), and Mount Ian- before ending with Wrightson. Started around 6am and was the first car at the trailhead.

Super to Pipeline there was a gentle flow of water in the creek. Some of the trees down there are just beginning to change color for the fall but are still a while away from some nice color. Passed Roger's Rock and was happy it was just a side show on this hike. Four Springs was a little confusing as trails fork off a number of times, and it's unclear where they go. Trail is faint in spots by Armour Spring, but overall the trails were in good condition.

There is just enough of a trail to make the short climb out onto the ridge and over to McCleary a navigational non-issue. Rocky with a hint of scrambling.

Got onto the Crest Trail and decided to forgo Florida Peak. To have gotten it would have added a decent amount of elevation gain and around 2-3mi. Took Crest to the saddle by Mac, left the trail, and walked up the ridge. Much better ridge walk than McCleary: more open, and more even footing with better views along the way and from the top.

Back onto Crest and it moves down away from the peaks before rejoining them about 1-200ft below Ian's summit on the east side after some switchbacking. Very quick climb up to the top. A small colony of Ladybugs were still holding strong on Mac and Ian. A little bit of scrambling required, and there was no clear use trail from the direction I came, but leaving one existed intermittently.

Decided I couldn't skip Wrightson and the opportunity to look back over the way I came. Views were better with each peak. Shared Wrightson with a few other folks as clouds started to coalesce a few hundred feet above us.

Took Super 'round the mountain and enjoyed the warm sunshine and cold autumn wind. The Upper section of Super is one of my favorite stretches in the range, and yet is so much less trafficked than the lower section. Saw a twin-spotted rattlesnake around Riley Saddle. Wildflowers were moderate on super just above and below Josephine Saddle.

Josephine Saddle down on Super saw four groups of hikers. Evidence of recent bears on Pipeline, Four Springs, Super, and the northern parts of Crest. Temperatures ranged from low 60s to high 70s.
foliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observation
Autumn Foliage Observation Isolated
Aspens by Ian are starting to change, as are those on Josephine Peak. Very little color overall
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Light
Mostly on Super above and below Josephine Saddle

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Armour Spring Dripping Dripping

dry Baldy Spring Dry Dry

dry Sprung Spring Dry Dry
1 archive
Oct 10 2019
LJW
avatar

 Photos 144
 Triplogs 125

25 male
 Joined Jun 02 2019
 Phoenix, AZ
Fremont Peak Loop, AZ 
Fremont Peak Loop, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Oct 10 2019
LJW
Hiking19.37 Miles 4,502 AEG
Hiking19.37 Miles   10 Hrs   41 Mns   2.52 mph
4,502 ft AEG   3 Hrs    Break
 
1st trip
Route Scout GPS Route Recorded on Route Scout View
Been sitting on this hike since winter waiting for the fall to arrive. After a disappointing fall showing in the Inner Basin last week, a friend and I made a second attempt to see some color. This time we went for Fremont Peak, and to get maximum autumn-ness we looped around from the Humphrey's side with Weatherford and Kachina Trails, seeing the color from afar and up close.

Started at Snowbowl around 6:45am with temperatures in the mid/high 30s. Aspen Loop was a deep golden yellow. Saw a dozen deer in the meadows at Snowbowl and on the Humphrey's Trail. Passed some people around Humphrey's Saddle and didn't see anyone else until the end of Kachina.

Skipped Humphrey's and went straight down the Weatherford to Doyle Saddle. The wind was starting to blow the early morning haze from the Inner Basin, revealing its color. Took the ridge from Doyle Saddle to Fremont Peak. First time heading that way, and I think it's the best way up compared to the SE ridge or the loose, rocky climb from Fremont Saddle.

On the top of Fremont we were surrounded by autumn color. Fremont is right in the middle of the aspen stands of the Inner Basin, Weatherford, and Kachina. They were all showing quite nicely and were all within a week of climax. Despite biting wind and near freezing temperatures on top of Fremont, with every direction yielding amazing autumn color or more generally breathtaking views, we lingered for an hour and a half or so.

Headed down the SE ridge, which is much more enjoyable downhill than up. Caught up with Weatherford at the second big switchback. The colors on the lower sections of the trail were still pretty green, but higher up the color was perfect.

Onto Kachina and the color was best nearer the Weatherford junction than the trailhead. Was very impressed by that trail. The meadows were quite beautiful, especially at this time of year. It was especially cool to walk through the seas of yellow on Weatherford and Kachina after surveying them from the top of Fremont. The ups and downs that come by nickel and dime on Kachina were rough by the end.

There was a freeze in Flagstaff the night of this hike, and I imagine that has hastened the changing of the colors. I'd say from now for a week or so will be prime for seeing some yellow.
Meteorology
Meteorology
Autumn - Color Foliage
foliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observation
Autumn Foliage Observation Substantial
Inner Basin entering climax, Weatherford is there higher up, Kachina is there around the Weatherford junction. The rest will be hitting within a week.
3 archives
Oct 03 2019
LJW
avatar

 Photos 144
 Triplogs 125

25 male
 Joined Jun 02 2019
 Phoenix, AZ
Humphreys via Inner BasinFlagstaff, AZ
Flagstaff, AZ
Hiking avatar Oct 03 2019
LJW
Hiking17.00 Miles 4,700 AEG
Hiking17.00 Miles   9 Hrs   10 Mns   2.55 mph
4,700 ft AEG   2 Hrs   30 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Partners none no partners
Route Scout GPS Route Recorded on Route Scout View
Friend and I wanted to get a summit from Lockett Meadow done before the snow starts falling on the peaks and were hoping we weren't too early for the changing of the colors in the Inner Basin. Made it to the summit, but the aspens were a week or so away from being fully autumned out.

Started at 6am saw no one on the Inner Basin/Weatherford Trails. Humphrey's saddle up and down was pretty busy, maybe a few more than a dozen groups of hikers, who were the only people we passed besides those in the Inner Basin on the way back.

From the top it looks like the colors haven't really started to change around the peak, although Kendrick's eastern slopes were a mosaic of color. Forest fire to the southeast and its drifting smoke blocked much the of the view to the east/southeast, and the view got hazier in general as the day went on.
foliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observation
Autumn Foliage Observation Light
Sep 28 2019
LJW
avatar

 Photos 144
 Triplogs 125

25 male
 Joined Jun 02 2019
 Phoenix, AZ
Skull Mesa from Spur Cross THPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Sep 28 2019
LJW
Hiking12.00 Miles 2,200 AEG
Hiking12.00 Miles   4 Hrs   35 Mns   2.94 mph
2,200 ft AEG      30 Mns Break
 no routes
1st trip
Partners none no partners
Originally wanted to do a loop with Skull Mesa and Cottonwood trails. Went to Spur Cross after work and didn't have enough sunlight or water to get it done starting at 1pm. Attempted to just make it onto Skull Mesa but fell 8/900 ft short.

Spur Cross in passed two groups of hikers. Cottonwood, one group who had gotten an early start on Bronco and did a shuttle between trailheads.

On Skull Mesa Trail I saw three desert tortoises, as well as two rattlesnakes. Nearly stepped on the second one in a moment of dehydrated fatigue. It turned and worked its way under a bush right off the trail where it did some rattling. Running low on water, the snake made it easier to convince myself to turn back.

Saw a half dozen javelina on Cottonwood on the way back as well as what I think was a coral snake by the Spur Cross TH.

Not sure the temps ever made it into the 90s, but the desert and direct sun have a way of making it feel hot.

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Dirt Trough Creek Pools to trickle Pools to trickle
2 archives
Sep 12 2019
LJW
avatar

 Photos 144
 Triplogs 125

25 male
 Joined Jun 02 2019
 Phoenix, AZ
Battleship Mountain - SuperstitionsPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Sep 12 2019
LJW
Hiking18.83 Miles 4,056 AEG
Hiking18.83 Miles   6 Hrs   49 Mns   2.98 mph
4,056 ft AEG      30 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Route Scout GPS Route Recorded on Route Scout View
With the Superstitions opened back up, I wanted to get back on Battleship Mountain and decided to make it a longer loop. From First Water I went clockwise to Battleship and then to Black Top Mesa with a stop at the LaBarge Box, before taking Dutchman back to the trailhead.

Started at 5:20am and was the second car in the lot. Used a headlamp for a mile or two. Was in the dark or shade until I climbed up onto Battleship's back end. Saw a small tarantula on the connector trail between Boulder and LaBarge Canyons. The giant cairns that used to mark where that trail leaves Boulder Canyon are gone.

Only person I saw all day was on the summit. Climbed down and stopped at the LaBarge Box before heading back to Boulder and up to Dutchman. Lots of frogs and soon-to-be frogs in the first few pools in the box.

Took Dutchman to Bull Pass and climbed up to the trail for Black Top Mesa. The spur to the top was in as good condition as any on the day. Summit was breezy, which was a blessing with temperatures rising to around body temperature.

Had to take care to apportion my water on Dutchman. Just about ran out and felt pretty dehydrated. Temps approached 100, but there was a solid breeze the whole trip down Dutchman. Saw a diamondback about two miles from the trailhead that charged at me while I tried to take pictures.

No water in any of the creeks except in Second Water Canyon and the LaBarge Box. Not sure any of it'd be good to drink when filtered.

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max La Barge Box Pools to trickle Pools to trickle

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Second Water Canyon Pools to trickle Pools to trickle
1 archive
Sep 03 2019
LJW
avatar

 Photos 144
 Triplogs 125

25 male
 Joined Jun 02 2019
 Phoenix, AZ
Aztec Peak via Abbey's Way 151 LoopGlobe, AZ
Globe, AZ
Hiking avatar Sep 03 2019
LJW
Hiking18.75 Miles 4,864 AEG
Hiking18.75 Miles   6 Hrs   30 Mns   3.13 mph
4,864 ft AEG      30 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Route Scout GPS Route Recorded on Route Scout View
Wanted to summit Aztec Peak and get a better feel for the Anchas, and as I don't have a high clearance vehicle, I started at the Parker Creek Trailhead around sunrise and worked my way up. Took the loop clockwise and added Moody Trail and Rim Trail.

Parker Creek was dry, but there was a light flow of water at the gauging station. There's a little bit of deadfall on Parker, and it's a little overgrown in spots. About a dozen piles of bear scat as well. Saw 4 white tail deer on the way up. I found Parker to be much more enjoyable on the way down when the sunlight illuminated the canyon walls.

I measured it to be about 4.5 miles to FR487 instead of the posted 4mi. Took the road down to Workman Creek Falls. There was a light flow, and all three gauging stations had flowing water.

Abbey's Way Trail starts and ends beautifully. The meadows that were the home to Peterson Ranch are pretty special, but shortly after passing them the trail becomes seriously overgrown. The grade is still there, and it's easy to follow because the trees it cuts through provide a tunnel that is hard to mistake. Painfully slow going, though. I was constantly snagged on sharp bushes and undergrowth. It's only about a mile and a half bushwhack, but it felt longer.

Had Aztec Peak to myself as it wasn't being manned. There are some really nice campsites on top.

Stopped at the FS cabin by the Moody TH. It was left open and would be a decent place to kill time in a pinch.

Saw a sizable male bear on Moody Point Trail not far from the cabin. Seems the bears get more use out of the Parker/Moody/Rim Trails than people do. Very overgrown, and with who-knows-what lurking behind its thick undergrowth and trees, it feels pretty claustrophobic.

Rim Trail was my favorite on the day. Faint in spots, and I had trouble staying on the trail. Very open and not too many overgrown sections.

Saw two FS workers on 487 on the way to Workman Creek Falls but no hikers all day. No cars at the start or finish. Temps ranged from mid 60s to low 90s.
Named place
Named place
Peterson Ranch Workman Creek Falls

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Workman Creek Falls Light flow Light flow
5 archives
Aug 26 2019
LJW
avatar

 Photos 144
 Triplogs 125

25 male
 Joined Jun 02 2019
 Phoenix, AZ
Kendrick Peak Trail #22Flagstaff, AZ
Flagstaff, AZ
Hiking avatar Aug 26 2019
LJW
Hiking17.41 Miles 4,968 AEG
Hiking17.41 Miles   6 Hrs   10 Mns   3.03 mph
4,968 ft AEG      25 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Partners none no partners
Route Scout GPS Route Recorded on Route Scout View
Started around 6, no cars at the trailhead. Took the loop clockwise starting with a summit of Kendrick.

Made it to the summit to find the LO unoccupied and locked. Doesn't take much from the views though as they're best off to the West away from the Mountain and LO.

Pumpkin was my favorite trail of the day. Descends quickly down the West ridge from the peak. Great views and progressively better wildflowers until the lower sections where they were in full bloom. Trail is faint in spots but route finding is not an issue.

Connector Trail is full of wildflowers and their fragrance. Trail is mostly overgrown. Orange flags cairn the trail, but they're often no taller than the surrounding grass and flowers. Route finding is easier once in Bull Basin where giant cairns dot the trail. Connector slides down toward Bull Basin Mesa and Dry Lake before entering Bull Basin. Quiet, low traffic, with great scenery in this area.

Bull Basin is a mess. Lower sections are nice, but the middle section has significant deadfall. 8-10 FS workers were cutting the trees and clearing the trail. Toward the top Bull Basin enters a serious burn area. Trail is more or less gone. Lots of charcoaled trees to climb over or work around. Because of this traffic is low.

Kendrick Peak Trail is entirely through intact forest, the rest of the loop is through burn areas. Lots of wildflowers and deadfall. Post-fire erosion has pulled a ton of obsidian to the surface on Bull Basin.

Saw two groups of hikers, one by the cabin the other on the way up Kendrick while I headed down.
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Substantial
Heavy on Connector/Lower Pumpkin, moderate on Kendrick/Bull Basin.
4 archives
Aug 23 2019
LJW
avatar

 Photos 144
 Triplogs 125

25 male
 Joined Jun 02 2019
 Phoenix, AZ
Weatherford Trail #102Flagstaff, AZ
Flagstaff, AZ
Hiking avatar Aug 23 2019
LJW
Hiking22.17 Miles 4,413 AEG
Hiking22.17 Miles   7 Hrs   30 Mns   3.33 mph
4,413 ft AEG      50 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Route Scout GPS Route Recorded on Route Scout View
Took Weatherford up to Agassiz Saddle and back.

Started around 9:15am. Passed a half dozen trail runners on the way up, one on the way down.

Stopped at Agassiz Saddle when I realized it wasn't worth the extra effort to make it onto the crowded peak for a view that wasn't much better than what I was getting. Agassiz Saddle has some of the best views of Humphrey's and the Inner Basin, and with the haze from the fires I'm not sure how great the view would have been on top.

Don't hear much about people going to the summit from Weatherford, and I guess it's for good reason. I'd prefer it to a straight trip up Humphrey's Summit Trail, but starting at Lockett Meadow is easily the best hike to the top, and the distance/elevation is far more manageable.
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Light
2 archives
Aug 21 2019
LJW
avatar

 Photos 144
 Triplogs 125

25 male
 Joined Jun 02 2019
 Phoenix, AZ
Chiricahua & Monte Vista Peak LoopTucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Hiking avatar Aug 21 2019
LJW
Hiking21.54 Miles 5,777 AEG
Hiking21.54 Miles   7 Hrs   15 Mns   3.19 mph
5,777 ft AEG      30 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Route Scout GPS Route Recorded on Route Scout View
Wanted to do a loop and visit Chiricahua and Monte Vista Peaks and decided it wouldn't be too far out of the way to add in Fly's Peak. Because of the trail conditions/loss of mapped trails, this one was a more difficult than I anticipated.

Drove up Turkey Creek Road and saw my low tire pressure light came on. Parked at the forest boundary and couldn't hear any air escaping from the tires, so I figured I'd be fine. Left the car there and headed up the road.

Took Mormon Ridge up. This one is overgrown especially once the trail reaches the pines. Sharp bushes and grass crowd the trail. Wanted to take the trail toward Fly's Peak where it intersects with Mormon Canyon, but that stretch of the trail is gone. It would be possible to navigate along it's old course and what's left of the cut, but it is overgrown to the point of nonexistence and had serious deadfall. Decided to take the only available ascending trail toward Chiricahua Saddle. This section is very overgrown as well with minor deadfall, but it's there.

Took the Crest Trail toward Fly's Peak. Trail is very thin until Cima Park. After that the trail is wide and clear until Round Park. A lot of Wildflowers on this section of the Crest Trail. Made it to the sign for the Fly's Peak Trail to find that this one is gone too, but it's a simple walk up through the grass. The trail does appear toward the top, but most of the ascent from the south has been lost. Seems like the trails from the north are alright. Fly's Peak/Round Park is a beautiful area, but the views from Fly's were the weakest of the day's three peaks.

Backtracked to the Chiricahua Peak Trail which gets just enough traffic to push the grasses down and maintain a slim trail. Very quick ascent. The top is very peaceful, and to me it's worth the trip. I would say I was undersold on this one.

The trail off the peak to Aspen Saddle mostly does not exist anymore. It's an easy off trail walk down though, through some really nice forest. Chiricahua Saddle Trail/Crest Trail 270D is in bad condition. It's sliding off the mountain on the backside of Chiricahua and is woefully overgrown. Spent a lot of energy just trying to stay balanced. Had a hard time staying on the trail in parts. That said, the views from here are some of the best of the loop.

The Crest Trail from Chiricahua Saddle to Monte Vista is tricky. It's overgrown with grass, but the grade is mostly still there if you look hard enough. It fades in and out, never more than a thin strip between the grasses. Would be tough without GPS. Easy to get off trail here. This was perhaps the most beautiful section of trail.

Monte Vista LO was unmanned and locked. If it's open, I imagine it's one of the only peaks in the Chiricahuas where you can get above the treeline. Still a very interesting place worth the trip regardless.

Morse Canyon has been worked since I was here in late October of last year. It was the only trail that seems to have been worked in the past few years. It's currently in great condition. At the top of Morse Canyon there were ~30 5gallon water jugs covered in taped cardboard. I imagine those aren't left for desperate hikers.

Never seen so much bear scat on a trip, especially on Mormon Ridge and Crest around Chiricahua Saddle/Monte Vista. The bears in AZ aren't too fearsome, but I wouldn't do this without the peace of mind of having some kind of defense.

Being unfamiliar with the area, I wouldn't do this without some navigation system either. The area is properly remote. I didn't see a soul the whole day, and not one of the campsites was occupied.

Turkey Creek road is liable to hold water in two parts as well. I left just as the rain was starting to pour high on the mountains, and the water was flowing into these sections of the road even before the rain had come that far down. Would have been impassible by my passenger car. The road is extremely well graded though, and when dry it is good all the way to the end at Morse Canyon.
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Substantial
Heavy wildflowers along parts of Crest and in Cima/Round Park, moderate the rest of the trip. None in Morse Canyon.
2 archives
Aug 15 2019
LJW
avatar

 Photos 144
 Triplogs 125

25 male
 Joined Jun 02 2019
 Phoenix, AZ
Promontory Butte 7,914Payson, AZ
Payson, AZ
Hiking avatar Aug 15 2019
LJW
Hiking22.77 Miles 4,556 AEG
Hiking22.77 Miles   7 Hrs   16 Mns   3.25 mph
4,556 ft AEG      15 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Route Scout GPS Route Recorded on Route Scout View
Wanted to combine a trip to Promontory Butte with the Horton-Derrick loop, but decided to make it a little longer in order to see more of the Highline Trail. Started at 5:20am on Horton and took the loop clockwise.

Horton Creek is very pleasant, a nice gradual gain always within earshot of the creek. Went to the spring and headed up Highline. Saw 4 elk, all bucks.

Made it to Promontory and saw it's still a long way to the top despite the 3/4mile distance posted on the sign. The trail has a good amount of deadfall and is pretty well overgrown in spots. Nice views distracted from the toughest part of the hike.

Walked cross country along the rim to Promontory Butte. As is true pretty much everywhere on the rim, nice forest with great views of the Mazatzals. Very quiet apart from the occasional passing plane. From the highpoint I cut through the forest to FR764 and took that to 300. The gate to 764 was closed, so seemingly no one was out on Promontory Butte.

Took See Canyon down. The only people I saw all day were 2 groups at the beginning and end of the trail. Trail's in great shape, those varmint callers do good work.

Once on Highline it started to get warm. It was more exposed than I thought it would be. Not too much shade overall, and the same was true for Derrick. Mid 90s by the time I finished, but it seemed cooler than that.
5 archives
Aug 11 2019
LJW
avatar

 Photos 144
 Triplogs 125

25 male
 Joined Jun 02 2019
 Phoenix, AZ
South Kaibab TrailNorthwest, AZ
Northwest, AZ
Hiking avatar Aug 11 2019
LJW
Hiking22.53 Miles 5,600 AEG
Hiking22.53 Miles   7 Hrs   40 Mns   3.07 mph
5,600 ft AEG      20 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Route Scout GPS Route Recorded on Route Scout View
Left Phoenix at 11:30pm on Saturday in order to beat the sun by a few hours and avoid the heat down low in the canyon but also to see some stars. Parked close to the Bright Angel Trailhead at 3:20am and headed in the direction of The South Rim/South Kaibab TH. Used a headlamp in the dark and took roads and some stretches of the Rim Trail. The canyon was completely black, and because the moon was off to the horizon and obscured by clouds, the stars lived up to the hype. The band of the Milky Way was visible, as were shooting stars from the Perseid meteor shower about every ten or twenty seconds. Turns out the climax was to be the nights of the 12th and 13th.

It was a 5.5 mile walk to the S Kaibab Trailhead. Headlamps bobbed in the darkness below, splashing light on the canyon walls. Headed down as pre-dawn light lit the trail. Got stuck behind some mules bringing supplies for Phantom Ranch, but they let me pass at the first opening. The air was cool until just passed the Tip Off as the trail dropped down toward the black bridge. Only a few groups of people on Kaibab that early, mostly going down, but one coming up who had gotten an early start on Bright Angel.

Passed a mule train on the black bridge, but from there to Bright Angel I didn't see anyone. It's a strange feeling being on the bottom of The Grand Canyon, especially with no one in sight. From the river to Indian Gardens there were several groups of backpackers coming up and people making a mid-day trip down to the river and back. I was surprised how many people do this. Overall, not too many people until the last two and a half miles. From there I fought against the current of tourists who were mostly all apparently very much in a hurry.

Temperatures were a little warm on the ascent of Bright Angel, but with water at all the stops it's a non-factor with an early start. That said, I planned on bringing all the water I would need and brought 5.5 liters. Drank it all plus a little at the camp by the river.

If I were to do this one again I would do it as a shuttle and try to include a trip to Phantom Ranch/Plateau Point. I think either/both would be very doable without the extra mileage of crossing on foot along the rim.
3 archives
Jul 25 2019
LJW
avatar

 Photos 144
 Triplogs 125

25 male
 Joined Jun 02 2019
 Phoenix, AZ
Old Baldy - Super Trail LoopTucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Hiking avatar Jul 25 2019
LJW
Hiking16.19 Miles 5,156 AEG
Hiking16.19 Miles   6 Hrs   39 Mns   2.95 mph
5,156 ft AEG   1 Hour   10 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Route Scout GPS Route Recorded on Route Scout View
Wanted to get Wrightson and Josephine and added in Jack Mountain for good measure. Won't be doing any long hikes next week with family in town, so I wanted to get the most bang for my buck.

Started up Old Baldy at 5am. Second car showed up as I finished the long walk up the parking lot. Went straight up Old Baldy to the summit. The ascent is as gradual and relentless as I remembered. Made it up in two hours. Views were hazy, especially north and east.

Came down from the summit as the clouds pulled away. The whole walk from Baldy Saddle to Riley Saddle was sunny and warm. Passed an older couple from Green Valley by Baldy Saddle. I hope that I'm still able to summit Wrightson at their age.

Lot of bear scat on Super before Riley Saddle. At Riley Saddle the Nogales Ranger Dist. has put up a few orange signs saying that since the Florida Fire in 2005 no trail repairs have been made except unsanctioned trailwork, for which there is a price to pay. The signs say expect a crosscountry bushwhack. There is a use trail to the summit that is easier to follow on the way down than up. Lots of deadfall, and what trail there is is overgrown. Pretty much as advertised. Slow going. Climbed up a little chute on the outcropping before the peak, and at the top there was a small cave. Not sure how bears work, but I figured they use it at least to hibernate. In the summit register there was a group in the winter who wrote that they saw a bear hibernating in the cave, so that settles that.

Super trail and back saw no one until Josephine Saddle. Headed up Agua Caliente to Jack Mountain. Took a ridge up, should've waited for the spur. On top there were thousands of ladybugs, which made up for the lack of views.

Took Super back from Josephine and passed two groups of hikers. Never seen so few people on a trip up Wrightson. Six cars in the lot at the finish.
Fauna
Fauna
Ladybug beetle
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Light

dry Baldy Spring Dry Dry

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

dry Sprung Spring Dry Dry
2 archives
Jul 17 2019
LJW
avatar

 Photos 144
 Triplogs 125

25 male
 Joined Jun 02 2019
 Phoenix, AZ
Fremont Peak - SE RidgeFlagstaff, AZ
Flagstaff, AZ
Hiking avatar Jul 17 2019
LJW
Hiking15.01 Miles 4,109 AEG
Hiking15.01 Miles   5 Hrs   35 Mns   3.05 mph
4,109 ft AEG      40 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Linked linked
Partners none no partners
Route Scout GPS Route Recorded on Route Scout View
Schultz Pass Road was closed from the south, so I took the Elden Springs Road in. Schultz Pass is also closed from this side, but there is a small, temporary parking area designated for the Schultz Tank trailhead where the roads meet.

I had planned on taking off for the ridge at the second switchback, but there was a clearly defined use trail headed toward the ridge at the first. Followed it a short ways until I realized it goes the wrong direction. Scrambled up slope to just above where the second switchback is. The wildflowers are alright on the lower parts of Weatherford, but they're out in force on the grassy slopes of the SE ridge. Tried my best to kind of switchback up, but no matter what it's a slog.

Windy and cold on top. Too smokey to see very far. Took the ridge straight down to the saddle. There's a pretty clearly defined use trail for much of the route down, following along the south side of the ridge.

Didn't see anyone until I got back to the trailhead.
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Moderate
Jul 13 2019
LJW
avatar

 Photos 144
 Triplogs 125

25 male
 Joined Jun 02 2019
 Phoenix, AZ
Wheeler Peak via Williams LakeNorth Central, NM
North Central, NM
Hiking avatar Jul 13 2019
LJW
Hiking11.96 Miles 3,980 AEG
Hiking11.96 Miles   5 Hrs   27 Mns   2.79 mph
3,980 ft AEG   1 Hour   10 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Route Scout GPS Route Recorded on Route Scout View
Friend of mine wanted to visit Taos, as he hadn't been in eight years. I said I'd tag along if we could take a shot at Wheeler. Ended up visiting Williams Lake and the Summit of Wheeler Peak together before I took off along the ridge to get to Old Mike Peak.

We were at the trailhead twenty or thirty minutes before sunrise. Rushed the first two miles through the dark, mossy forest of old mixed conifers in order to watch the sunrise at Williams Lake. We took pictures and watched the sun rise on the peaks upside-down in the still, reflective waters of Williams Lake.

The views got progressively better until the trail rose from the treeline, and then the views and surrounding landscape became utterly breathtaking. From the treeline and up we passed maybe twenty marmots and ten pika. The marmots let me get up real close, and really all of the animals we encountered were not very skittish around people. There were a few big snowdrifts that the trail crossed over on the way to the peak in the grassy slopes above the treeline.

The altitude made the final set of switchbacks a little slow going, but the trail really never reached a grade that was uncomfortable. Made it to the ridge and saw a few people taking pictures and heading back down. We had the peak to ourselves and were the third group to summit. Caught our breath for a little while before I headed off down the ridge toward Simpson. I'm not sure how anyone can make it up to the top of Wheeler and resist the urge to go out along the ridge to Old Mike.

To me, the few miles to and from Old Mike and Wheeler were the best part of the trip. The Blue Lake was interesting to see in person. Its turquoise color is striking in contrast to the area it's nestled in. There were two mountain goats and a big horn sheep enjoying the views with me and another person from the top of Mike.

Clouds started to form while I was on the way up Old Mike and were getting heavier as I rushed back to Wheeler Saddle. Made a side trip to Walter Peak before heading down. I was down in the canyon by Williams Lake at 10:30am when the first thunder of the day broke. It continued on until shortly after I made it back to the trailhead.

The trail from Wheeler summit back to the trailhead was pretty crowded, but there was hardly anyone on the trail in the early morning. Lost track of the marmot/pika count, but I think it ended up around 40 and 15 respectively.
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Light
2 archives
Jul 04 2019
LJW
avatar

 Photos 144
 Triplogs 125

25 male
 Joined Jun 02 2019
 Phoenix, AZ
Carr Peak - Comfort Springs LoopTucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Hiking avatar Jul 04 2019
LJW
Hiking16.21 Miles 4,838 AEG
Hiking16.21 Miles   6 Hrs   22 Mns   3.12 mph
4,838 ft AEG   1 Hour   10 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Route Scout GPS Route Recorded on Route Scout View
Wanted to hit Carr, Miller, and the Comfort Springs Loop in an effort to step my sky island game up.

Parked down the road from the Sawmill Springs Trailhead at the big Coronado NF sign a little after sunrise because I refused to take my sedan any farther up the road. On the way down the mountain later that day I passed a couple in a Dodge Challenger, so I was probably just being a wimp.

Started at Sawmill and with a summit of Carr. Passed three PhD students from IL and SC looking for Two Spot rattlers and others. They had snake sticks, or whatever they are called, and were looking to collect some venom.

On the trail between the Carr spur and the trail to Miller there must have been twenty-five white tail deer up and down slope.

On the way from Miller Peak to the Comfort Springs turn off I passed three men who were headed up to Miller. They asked about my route and I told them. They remarked that it was a long hike, which was nice to hear after being humbled by the trips many of the HAZ contributors regularly make.

About a mile down from Bear Saddle in Wisconsin Canyon, where on the topo the trail skirts below the 7800ft contour, I came twenty yards from two black bear cubs posed up in a tree next to the trail. Couldn't claw my camera out of my pack in time and they, as well as a third, bigger bear, scrambled down slope. With no pictures and the bears disappeared among the trees, I called out to keep them away.

Rest of the trip was a nice jaunt up and down through the woods on the backside of the mountains. There was a healthy breeze the whole trip, and to my absolute surprise the temperature never rose above 81F.

Only saw those two sets of hikers until I neared the campsites where families had made their way up for the 4th of July.

I posted the RS route and stats for the trip because I'm very skeptical of the AEG. Not sure I did enough rambling around areas of interest to gain almost 1000ft more than about what the route should have been.
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Isolated

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Bathtub (Tub) Spring Quart per minute Quart per minute

dry Comfort Spring Dry Dry

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max Old Sawmill Spring Gallon per minute Gallon per minute
4 archives
Jun 27 2019
LJW
avatar

 Photos 144
 Triplogs 125

25 male
 Joined Jun 02 2019
 Phoenix, AZ
Mount Baldy LoopAlpine, AZ
Alpine, AZ
Hiking avatar Jun 27 2019
LJW
Hiking18.67 Miles 3,200 AEG
Hiking18.67 Miles   7 Hrs   27 Mns   3.01 mph
3,200 ft AEG   1 Hour   15 Mns Break
 no routes
1st trip
Partners none no partners
I got permission from The Tribal Chairwoman of the White Mountain Apache to hike to the summit of Mount Baldy within 48 hours of making my initial request. I printed the signed memorandum to bring with me. There was some confusion among passers-by on the trail, but yes "permits" to summit Baldy as an outsider do exist.

Started from the East Baldy Trailhead ten minutes after sunrise, and I quickly worked my way over to West Baldy on the Crossover before the light started to change. Saw about a dozen elk on the Crossover.

The snow has melted off West/East Baldy, but there is a little snow on the trail to the summit still.

West Baldy had a little deadfall, and East Baldy did as well in the higher elevations. I passed a hiker who said he did the count for the forest service the day/week before, and that they said they would be out to start clearing it on the 27th. I saw two FS workers on my last mile as they were headed up to start clearing the East trail. There were about a dozen trees on either trail, so it shouldn't be long until the trails are clear.

Didn't see anyone until around mile 14, and from there back to the Trailhead on the East Trail I passed about 15 people.
2 archives
Jun 21 2019
LJW
avatar

 Photos 144
 Triplogs 125

25 male
 Joined Jun 02 2019
 Phoenix, AZ
Hangover TrailSedona, AZ
Sedona, AZ
Hiking avatar Jun 21 2019
LJW
Hiking9.00 Miles 1,650 AEG
Hiking9.00 Miles   3 Hrs   12 Mns   3.05 mph
1,650 ft AEG      15 Mns Break
 no routes
1st trip
Partners none no partners
Did the Hangover Loop counterclockwise hitting Cow Pies first. Figured this way I would do most of the walking next to the road before the jeep tours started for the day. Started the hike at 6, and this ended up being the case: none on the way in, four on the way out. Apart from them and a pair of trail runners on the road I did not see anyone during the whole loop.

The lack of traffic was astonishing to me because having now completed Hangover, I have to agree it is a masterpiece. Hangover, and the loop in general, has everything you want in a Sedona hike. I feel like with most Sedona hikes there is a sacrifice made between crowds and views. It was a nice change of pace having world class scenery without a crowded trail and the noise that comes with it.
Jun 20 2019
LJW
avatar

 Photos 144
 Triplogs 125

25 male
 Joined Jun 02 2019
 Phoenix, AZ
Gold Ridge Trail #47Payson, AZ
Payson, AZ
Hiking avatar Jun 20 2019
LJW
Hiking11.50 Miles 3,000 AEG
Hiking11.50 Miles   5 Hrs   2 Mns   2.91 mph
3,000 ft AEG   1 Hour   5 Mns Break
 no routes
1st trip
Partners none no partners
Needed a close hike and wanted a backcountry feel, and with the Superstitions not an option the Mazatzals fit the bill. Decided to keep it simple and did Gold Ridge out and back.

Started a half hour before sunrise to the howl of coyotes. There were a lot of tracks, scat, and a little fur on the trail, but I only saw two white tail deer before climbing the ridge and a grey fox near the upper trailhead.

The upper trailhead was shady and breezy. Camp Grasshopper is a special place in the summer.

The Woodbury fire was visible from the part of the trail where views of Tonto Basin open up. On the way up the smoke wasn't very substantial, but on the way down clouds of smoke were pluming pretty high, and the smoke was settling in Tonto Basin before drifting east.

Didn't see anyone on the trail, and there were no cars at the trailhead when I started or finished.
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Light
Patches of blue and red wildflowers at higher elevation
2 archives
average hiking speed 2.83 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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