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Horns Of Dilemma - 4 members in 16 triplogs have rated this an average 3.3 ( 1 to 5 best )
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Dec 30 2018
jacobemerick
avatar

 Guides 31
 Routes 71
 Photos 795
 Triplogs 96

34 male
 Joined Dec 09 2014
 Gilbert, AZ
Horns Of DilemmaPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Dec 30 2018
jacobemerick
Hiking2.54 Miles 322 AEG
Hiking2.54 Miles   2 Hrs   28 Mns   1.11 mph
322 ft AEG      11 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Route Scout GPS Route Recorded on Route Scout View
Sister and her bf joined me and my three kids on a late morning hike. Temps were nice and we quickly shed outer layers. Trail was well cairned and I let the 5 yr old do most of the route finding. Kids started whining at the final saddle so we decided to skip the final climb to the horn’s base. Overall, the section near Willow Creek was the most scenic, and it was nice talking with adults after so many kid vacation days.
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Apr 05 2018
CannondaleKid
avatar

 Guides 43
 Routes 137
 Photos 20,568
 Triplogs 1,922

69 male
 Joined May 04 2004
 Mesa, AZ
Horns Of DilemmaPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Apr 05 2018
CannondaleKid
Hiking5.60 Miles 1,234 AEG
Hiking5.60 Miles   3 Hrs   1 Min   1.91 mph
1,234 ft AEG      5 Mns Break10 LBS Pack
 no routes
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
I woke with no clue where I would hike, so I just packed up and headed out, making the first few decisions randomly, something like if this light is red, I'm turning right and soon found myself heading east toward Apache Junction. But where to?

Ok, I knew about the ongoing construction on Apache Trail and thought I'd see how far it had progressed, so chose to drive north to just before vehicles were being stopped by a flagman, then find a spot to park and hike from there.

The flagman was at Milepost 207 and there just happened to be a spot I could pull off. I'd never started from there before so it was just a matter of 'head west' and see what happens. It wasn't long before I came up with the idea to go to the Horns of Dilemma.

Great! Only I wasn't paying enough attention and continued west instead of north along Willow Creek. And of course, with no plan, I didn't have a waypoint for the Horns so did the guess-by-gosh approach... and paid for it. :doh:

Soon I was surrounded by canyon walls and had to decide, go back to Willow Creek, or find some way to climb out, somewhat in the general direction of the Horns.

I chose the devil I didn't know... and yes, it turned out to be a devil of a climb. I not only was wearing the wrong clothes for passing through cat's-claw and the other assorted wait-a-minute thorny brush, I was wearing the wrong boots for the terrain. Once I was out of the canyon, I was faced with continuing to the Horns down a very steep slope, or find another less-steep but longer route. Having already messed up my recovery with a fall three weeks ago (and paying for it) I chose to seek an easier route.

No such luck... I just wasted a mile of wandering checking out various drainages, only to find them even more sketchy. So... back to the steep slope immediately across from the Horns. It was more stressful than anything, having to continue planting a hiking pole each step to keep from sliding down the loose pea-gravel. Just a few times when the ground began to give way and I just sat down to keep from falling and I made it down.

By the time I was immediately below the Horns I was ready to head for easier terrain so skipped the last climb and headed out along the drainage, eventually linking up with the semi-official trail to/from the Horns until Willow Creek, then took the shortest route up and over the ridge then decided which route to take back where I began.

After reaching the ridge as I began scanning for a route, I noticed a bighorn sheep above and some distance from me. My first thought was to get closer, but with so much open terrain between us I figured it would take off before I could get much closer, so settled for taking a few full zoom shots.

At that point, I thought there was only one bighorn, but the moment I put my camera away and started to move, whad'daya know, there's another one. Shucks, I missed it! But when I got home and looked through the photos, there it is!

Be sure to check out the photoset and tell me whether you think the bighorn is missing a front leg or not... it sure looks like it. And of course, when the second sheep moved, it took my attention off the first so I didn't see if it moved normally or hopped away. Just something to look for next time I'm in the area.

Oh yeah, Apache Trail... I reconnected with it just south of Canyon Lake Overlook so I don't know how far it's paved (to the lake?) right now, but it is NICE and smooth! But that may be a bad thing...
I can already imagine one of the crotch-rocket crew taking a spill. ](*,)
Fauna
Fauna
Bighorn Sheep
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CannondaleKid
Nov 29 2017
jameslcox44
avatar

 Photos 2,568
 Triplogs 99

74 male
 Joined Mar 18 2012
 mesa,az
Horns Of DilemmaPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Nov 29 2017
jameslcox44
Hiking5.00 Miles 420 AEG
Hiking5.00 Miles   4 Hrs      1.25 mph
420 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Our club hike schedule includes a hike to 'Horns of a Dilemma'. I hadn't done this loop and John offered to help me find a 4 to 5 mile loop before the club doing the hike. After leaving the car at the Mailbox trail head, we headed southwest over the ridge and bushwhacked down to Junk Canyon where we followed the creek bed until reaching a large pool where canyon walls narrowed to close our path. This amazed us after more than 100 days with no rain in the Valley. At that point, we climbed high above the pool to find a perch where we could view 3 more pools south of where we stood. Now, we wanted to close the loop by moving to 'Horns of a Dilemma'. We continued northbound over the ridge as much as possible. After crossing areas of steep, risky drop offs, we decided this may not be the best route for a 'club' hike. We finally made it to 'Horns of a Dilemma' and followed Sidewalk Canyon back to the trail head. We have more than a week to figure out how to do the loop before we take our group, so we will do more exploring.
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Oct 14 2017
adilling
avatar

 Routes 80
 Photos 2,402
 Triplogs 101

56 male
 Joined Dec 02 2014
 Mesa, AZ
Horns Of DilemmaPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Oct 14 2017
adilling
Hiking3.00 Miles 420 AEG
Hiking3.00 Miles
420 ft AEG
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners partners
SUICIDEKING
It has been over 7 years since I have visited this cool little formation. We arrived at the trailhead in the about 530am and started hiking up to the Horns. I had loaded another trail in RouteScout and I did not have the signal to load up the "official" route, so we made our own route on the way to the Horns.

This area is always so fun to explore. The path was clear at the beginning, as it's a road. Deciding where to make the turn towards the Horns was the fun part. We opted for as straight a line as possible and went up and over the first little ridge. After that, we snaked through the gully and made it to the base of the formation.

To access the Horns, you need to approach it from the east and work your way around to the north facing side. From there, it's a bit of a rock scramble to get to the saddle between the horns. The views up there are the draw. You can see Saguaro Lake, Canyon Lake, Weavers Needle, and the top of the Superstition Massif at 5024.

On the way down we opted to move around to the west side of the formation and take the trail down from there. A little steeper on that side, but we made it safe and sound.

An excellent day for a hike to a really cool set of rocks!
_____________________
“Wilderness is not a luxury but necessity of the human spirit.” –Edward Abbey

instagram: @andydilling
Feb 08 2017
AZLOT69
avatar

 Guides 175
 Routes 247
 Photos 7,416
 Triplogs 1,831

68 male
 Joined Feb 12 2002
 Gold Canyon, AZ
Horns Of DilemmaPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Feb 08 2017
AZLOT69
Hiking3.00 Miles 420 AEG
Hiking3.00 Miles
420 ft AEG
 
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Great day with no other groups around. Peaceful. Water. Tadpoles everywhere.
_____________________
It's best for a man to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to open his mouth and remove all doubt.
--Mark Twain
Dec 03 2016
hikerdw
avatar

 Routes 130
 Photos 2,263
 Triplogs 357

60 male
 Joined Aug 16 2009
 Mesa,AZ
Willow-Horns-2881, AZ 
Willow-Horns-2881, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Dec 03 2016
hikerdw
Hiking8.09 Miles 1,944 AEG
Hiking8.09 Miles   6 Hrs      1.50 mph
1,944 ft AEG      37 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Partners none no partners
Wanted to check out the Goldfields Willow Creek so I threw a loop together that took us down the creek, across to the Horns of Dilemma, then back to the trailhead via Peak 2881. Not a bad loop if you enjoy canyon and off trail hiking. I wasn't sure what to expect from Willow Creek but we both really enjoyed it. The hiking was pretty easy and the routes around the 3 drop offs and the Narrows were straight forward, just remember right/right/left/right :) The hike across to the Horns was well marked where we had lunch. Now the tougher part of the hike started. We had hiked this 2 years ago which helped with the route finding. The cholla's were out in full force and both of us picked up several jumpers along the way. Luckily we both had long pants. The views on top of peak 2881 were fantastic. From the peak it was just a short way back to the Apache Gap TH. Great hike, great weather, solitude :y:

My posted route is pretty good with the exception of the exit off peak 2881. We elected to drop off the south side which was pretty steep and loose. Best to back track down to the north and then take the route around the east side of the peak.
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Mar 20 2016
CannondaleKid
avatar

 Guides 43
 Routes 137
 Photos 20,568
 Triplogs 1,922

69 male
 Joined May 04 2004
 Mesa, AZ
Horns Of DilemmaPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Mar 20 2016
CannondaleKid
Hiking4.50 Miles 1,500 AEG
Hiking4.50 Miles   3 Hrs   10 Mns   1.50 mph
1,500 ft AEG      10 Mns Break20 LBS Pack
 no routes
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners partners
trixiec
Pretty much just a Sunday morning meandering hike that just happened to become a wide and lazy lasso loop around the Horns of Dilemma, checking out a number of caves and arches along the way.

WARNING: A full 1/3 of the photos are of the Horns of Dilemma, albeit from a variety of viewpoints.
Named place
Named place
Bagley Flat
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CannondaleKid
Feb 26 2016
rtaylor3235
avatar

 Routes 110
 Photos 668
 Triplogs 196

68 male
 Joined Nov 02 2013
 Apache Junction,
Horns Of DilemmaPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Feb 26 2016
rtaylor3235
Hiking3.53 Miles 793 AEG
Hiking3.53 Miles   2 Hrs   20 Mns   2.16 mph
793 ft AEG      42 Mns Break12 LBS Pack
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners partners
hikingaz2
Out for a hike with Bob up to the Horns of Dilemma (Great Name). The route is rated as a bushwhack, but I consider it to be one of the easiest I've encountered. There is a distinct trail out to the foothills of the horns and then a fairly easy climb up to base. Good views of Canyon & Saguaro Lakes and a nice flat spot to have a snack. Very pleasant little hike.
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Feb 26 2016
hikingaz2
avatar

 Guides 1
 Routes 143
 Photos 1,422
 Triplogs 195

76 male
 Joined Dec 16 2011
 Mesa,Az
Horns Of DilemmaPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Feb 26 2016
hikingaz2
Hiking3.48 Miles 716 AEG
Hiking3.48 Miles   2 Hrs   20 Mns   2.20 mph
716 ft AEG      45 Mns Break15 LBS Pack
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners partners
rtaylor3235
Big decision today, needed a short hike our choices ---- Wind Cave or Horns of Dilemma---- :oplz: Picked up Rick and off we went, had our little slice of Heaven all to ourselves, except one little Friend we met. No haze everything clear as a bell. Finally got a glimpse of Poppies today. :)
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Feb 25 2016
gmaclachlan
avatar

 Routes 14
 Photos 516
 Triplogs 36

66 male
 Joined Apr 03 2011
 Mesa, Az
Horns Of DilemmaPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Feb 25 2016
gmaclachlan
Hiking5.00 Miles
Hiking5.00 Miles
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
We hadn't been out to the horns for a while and hadn't circled them so chose this for our Thursday hike. Started at the "mailbox" west of Canyon Lake. To lengthen the trip a bit we headed southwest and followed Willow Spring Canyon upstream till we hit a waterfall we didn't want to ascend. From there up to the right to a ridge we could follow north to overlook the "horns". Down and around the horns and back to the TH
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1 archive
Oct 27 2015
CannondaleKid
avatar

 Guides 43
 Routes 137
 Photos 20,568
 Triplogs 1,922

69 male
 Joined May 04 2004
 Mesa, AZ
Wandering in the Goldfields, AZ 
Wandering in the Goldfields, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Oct 27 2015
CannondaleKid
Hiking5.00 Miles 1,542 AEG
Hiking5.00 Miles   4 Hrs   10 Mns   1.22 mph
1,542 ft AEG      5 Mns Break20 LBS Pack
 no routes
1st trip
Linked linked
Partners none no partners
Another day I simply had no idea where I was going to hike until 30 minutes before heading out, and even then I almost changed my mind as I passed the turn to First Water... but I kept going up to FR 1821.

The belated plan was to start just off Apache Trail from FR 1821, head west up Peak 2289, on to Peak 2631 then follow the ridge to Peak 2669, which I had climbed mid-June back in 2013. From there I hoped to descend to Bagley Flat and return on the same general route.

But that 'plan' lasted all of 5 minutes... the moment I hit Willow Creek and looked up at 2289 I didn't like the route I had mapped out.
](*,)
Change #1: Ok, so I'll head out on the 'trail' toward Horns of Dilemma then swing south to catch the ridge.

Change #2: But instead, I kept going along the wash to the northwest, by now thinking I may just wander out a ways before swinging north up Peak 2178, which I had climbed late February last year. I remembered the awesome views from there so figured it was a worthy second-choice.

However, I was so engrossed in following the wash I missed my turn to 2178. It took way more effort than I expected to keep going in the wash, dropping down or detouring numerous pour-offs (relatively small at this point), pushing through the thick & thorny vegetation, several times having to climb quite some distance and drop back down to avoid the worst the wash had to offer.
](*,)
Change #3: Ok, so I missed the turn to 2178, I might as well continue on to the Salt River then maybe catch 2178 on the return leg. When I got about as close to the Salt as safely possible, I took a glance across toward Peak 2669 and wondered if I should go over there after all, at least for a view over Bagley Flat.

Change #4: Let's do it... off toward 2669. That worked until I realized it took me 20 minutes just to cross two deep drainages and there were 2 more before 2669. Although the day started cool, the humidity again was enough to take its toll.
:sweat:
Change #5: Forget 2669, just continue up the 2nd drainage up and over the ridge then make a bee-line for Horns of Dilemma and end this fiasco. Wait! It's close but slightly premature. Ascending this drainage was way worse than anything I had already encountered but with high walls on either side I was committed. Committed until I reached a 60-70' foot pour-off (I couldn't tell because I couldn't see the top of it.) and there simply was no going further up the drainage. Ok, NOW it's officially a fiasco.
:tt:
Change #6: This would cause the first change NOT solely of my doing but as a result of conditions forced on me. What do I do? Option 1: Go all the way back down and across the two drainages and back the way I came?
Option 2: Find a way up the slightly less steep eastern slope and hope for a route around to the south, as I knew it was a very steep slope down to the original wash I was in.

By now I had gone through all my food and fluids so one would think I should choose Option 1, the devil-I-knew over the one I didn't. However, the devil-I-knew, only this time heading back upstream was not something I cared to do, so I chose the devil-I-didn't-know and hoped for the best.
:pray:
Ok, let's go for it... It was so steep and loose, numerous times I slid down 5-10 feet while attempting to gain another foot or two. It wasn't a walk-in-the-park by any means, but what a relief when I finally made it up and found it possible to continue east along the upper slope. Although not as steep, it was very bit as treacherous as the loose pea-gravel on the hard surface rendered my hiking poles practically useless. But I can see the Horns of Dilemma now so I figured I've got it made.

Huh? What's this? An arch I knew nothing about? Well I do now.
8)
I took a few photos and kept moving. Climbing a bit more to follow the ridge back down past Horns, at which point I just followed the trail used by most folks on the way to Horns.

Done! I was so dry-mouthed by time I made it back to the Jeep, the 64 oz of cold drink mix went down pretty fast... almost all the way through it before I got home.
:y:
Another rough-day-at-the-office and my left ankle took a beating again but when hiking, all's well that ends well.
Named place
Named place
El Recortado Four Peaks
_____________________
CannondaleKid
Nov 26 2014
hikerdw
avatar

 Routes 130
 Photos 2,263
 Triplogs 357

60 male
 Joined Aug 16 2009
 Mesa,AZ
Apache Gap to Horns, AZ 
Apache Gap to Horns, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Nov 26 2014
hikerdw
Hiking8.07 Miles 2,541 AEG
Hiking8.07 Miles   5 Hrs   31 Mns   1.92 mph
2,541 ft AEG   1 Hour   19 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Partners none no partners
Started at the Apache Gap trail head off SR88 and hiked cross-country to the Horns Of Dilemma and then returned basically the same way. Great hike with great views of the Goldfields, Superstitions, Canyon and Saguaro lakes, Four Peaks, and more. Lots of loose rock made for some sore ankles, and both of us were pulling cholla spines from our boots and pant legs on multiple occasions. Temps warmed up pretty good as we neared the trail head on the return.

Happy Thanksgiving to all :)
Culture
Culture
HAZ - Hike HAZard
_____________________
Jan 31 2011
Charger55
avatar

 Guides 4
 Photos 542
 Triplogs 500

40 male
 Joined Oct 19 2010
 Mesa, AZ
Horns Of DilemmaPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Jan 31 2011
Charger55
Hiking3.40 Miles 420 AEG
Hiking3.40 Miles   2 Hrs      1.70 mph
420 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
With the weather not cooperating yesterday I picked a short bushwhack out to the Horns of Dilemma. Sadly, approaching them does not involve scaling the Cliffs of Insanity or a trip through the Fire Swamp.

The weather held out for the trip but overcast skies made photography difficult. Wildlife was scarce too. I did come across a cave on the way back. You could walk in about ten feet but to go any deeper you would have to get on all fours. Not my thing. As I walked away I heard a large grunting noise coming from behind. Possibly Rodents of Unusual Size. But I don't think they exist. Probably just my imagination. I wasn't gonna stick around and find out.

By the way, anybody want a peanut?
_____________________
"I've driven across deserts, driven by the irony, that only being shackled to the road could ever I be free"
- Frank Turner "The Road"
Jan 13 2011
sventre
avatar

 Guides 13
 Routes 67
 Photos 403
 Triplogs 61

male
 Joined Nov 24 2006
 Mesa, AZ
Horns Of DilemmaPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Jan 13 2011
sventre
Hiking3.00 Miles 420 AEG
Hiking3.00 Miles
420 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Early morning is the best time for this hike. It is a relatively short trek to the "horns"; but, I would suggest that you add a couple of extra hours to your normal pace so that you allow yourself plenty of time to explore and absorb the environment. There may or not be a trail, per se, depending upon how you classify things. In fact, you will be scampering along a series of interconnecting game trails, interspersed with an occasional cairn or contractors' ribbon reinforcing the notion that you are probably headed in the right direction. No need to worry, though, because for nearly the entire trip your target destination is in view. Once you reach your goal, you will be able to look back to the point where you parked your vehicle.

For the sake of exploration; and, to add a bit more spice to the journey, I opted to enter Willow Creek from a point southwest of the posted GPS route. By continuing along the dirt road upon which I parked for a few hundred yards beyond the "right turn" taken by the official route, I was able to travel clockwise and mount the saddle immediately south of the unnamed peak which the route circles to the north. This provided a high vantage point over the Creek, a great view of the target and an "exciting" descent into the creek bed.

Plenty of desolation best describes this hike, but I would caution with these recommendations: [1] not to be attempted during snake season (rarely will you see clearly where you place your feet), and [2] though whacking through vegetation is minimal this is not a hike for those who hate rolling rocks. As if the trail itself weren't itself filled with enough fist-sized rocks, I strayed from the official route when climbing the horns and managed to put myself across a "ball bearing" field.
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Dec 30 2010
TheNaviG8R
avatar

 Guides 1
 Routes 35
 Photos 2,831
 Triplogs 447

49 male
 Joined Jul 26 2008
 Mesa, AZ
Horns Of DilemmaPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Dec 30 2010
TheNaviG8R
Hiking3.00 Miles 420 AEG
Hiking3.00 Miles
420 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Good thing I got out early enough to avoid the snowfall. As I was driving home on 88, the snow flurry started. I pulled over to enjoy the rare occasion.
_____________________
Oct 26 2010
AZLOT69
avatar

 Guides 175
 Routes 247
 Photos 7,416
 Triplogs 1,831

68 male
 Joined Feb 12 2002
 Gold Canyon, AZ
Horns Of DilemmaPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Oct 26 2010
AZLOT69
Hiking3.00 Miles 420 AEG
Hiking3.00 Miles   2 Hrs      1.50 mph
420 ft AEG
 
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Great day in the Goldfields. Saw no one else and little evidence anyone has been here. Good place for an Indiana Jones sequel.
Flora
Flora
Saguaro
Geology
Geology
Natural Arch
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Isolated
_____________________
It's best for a man to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to open his mouth and remove all doubt.
--Mark Twain
average hiking speed 1.63 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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