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Buzzards Roost - SW Superstitions - 4 members in 8 triplogs have rated this an average 5 ( 1 to 5 best )
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Mar 23 2019
Mave1878
avatar

 Routes 39
 Photos 55
 Triplogs 4

45 male
 Joined Apr 12 2017
 Gilbert, AZ
Buzzards Roost from Peralta, AZ 
Buzzards Roost from Peralta, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Mar 23 2019
Mave1878
Hiking15.77 Miles 2,901 AEG
Hiking15.77 Miles   9 Hrs   45 Mns   1.84 mph
2,901 ft AEG   1 Hour   12 Mns Break18 LBS Pack
 
1st trip
Partners none no partners
I’ve been eying this one for years, especially a year after a half-hearted attempt as a (insane) side trip along Red Tanks super loop. Shawn and I got an unavoidable late start (9:45am when we arrived) and had to park at the lower lot for Peralta TH – no biggie. Following JuanJaimeiii’s route, choosing Peralta due to vehicle, we set out on Lost Dutchman 104 to Coffee Flat 108 just passed Reed’s Water (6-6.08 miles in) before finding a reasonable ‘opening’ to make the approach, gain and ride a ridge toward the gulley/ravine to the summit. I ended up skirting the creek bed and cutting toward the base of the mountain much earlier than JJ’s route which stays a little higher on the ridge and cuts up much later. By the time we’d had to do more bushwhacking and warm up scrambling than necessary it was apparent referencing the route how much we could’ve avoided, though I’m not gonna lie, you will bushwhack and weave still. Short version: When you cut over from CF 108, ride that ridge to where the creek stops on the topo before turning (R) to approach the gully/ravine to the summit or things get a little more ‘fun’ – you want to avoid being up against the cliffed out mountain side only to end up descending then over to get to the better turning point.
The gully/ravine was super choked with various shrubs/trees. I took the L side approach, Shawn took the R and I think Shawn’s was the better choice. Once we got through that part, it was time to scramble a few short class 3ish sections with loose soil and scree in areas, but doable. When you get to the alcoves area, you need to veer L across a large bouldered area and then turn R/up, where you will shortly encounter the infamous ‘cabled section’. As ssk44 says, “The cable section is a 25 foot +/- crowned rolling bolder climb with very small holds for your hands and feet.” That cable is only a pencil thick and while the bare cable looked fine, the covering was cracked, looking suspect. We just scrambled up to the R into a quick/narrow ‘chute’ finally greeted with a flat bench below the dome like summit you’ve seen along the way (amazing 360 views already). The summit of the Roost is self-explanatory. We hung out on top strategizing our down route of the other side toward the 4X4 road in Whitlow Canyon while enjoying tasty craft trail suds and lunch. The views… wow. :y: Randolph, Fraser, and Whitlow Canyons, Superstition Mountain, Miners/Weaver’s Needle, Cathedral Rock, Coffee Flat and too many other mountains to name in the distance… and that’s just 120 degrees or so NW-ENE. The Hewitt Canyon views are spectacular, San Tans, Tucson... You get the idea – One of the best views in the Superstitions (okay, a mile outside of).
We returned down the same way, though considered trying at least on other. After rounding the summit base, we sort of winged it, tapping into a game trail once or twice, but I’d follow anyone else’s route, but the one we took. I slipped no less than 4 times on loose scree or loosed dirt or both, one of them required a 20 min. break to remove the teddy-bear cholla arm from my left hip area. However… our route cut time off getting to the 4X4 road in Whitlow Canyon, which is an awesome area. The creek was flowing strong and tasted awesome. Saw a cool, working trough along the way and the best profile view of Buzzards Roost, I’ve seen. We quickly reached 108 without any major obstacles (b/c there’s a trail almost the entire way) and took it back to Peralta TH, enjoying twilight views of Miners Needle, Cathedral Rock and Superstition Mountain (late start required a head lamp for a couple miles at the end).
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Light
Wildflowers were still around, but noticeably dying down.

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Deerhorn Spring Dripping Dripping
Few pools, but drying out quickly.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max Milk Ranch Creek Medium flow Medium flow
There was tons of cool, crisp water that tasted awesome (yes, I filter). Almost put Heavy flow.

dry Reeds Water Dry Dry
Hasn't had water in years
_____________________
Feb 07 2017
Steph_and_Blak
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 Guides 98
 Routes 59
 Photos 2,511
 Triplogs 175

70 male
 Joined Nov 21 2015
 Grand Junction,
Buzzards Roost - SW SuperstitionsPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Feb 07 2017
Steph_and_Blake
Hiking2.63 Miles 1,021 AEG
Hiking2.63 Miles   4 Hrs   13 Mns   0.82 mph
1,021 ft AEG   1 Hour    Break
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
My husband and our good friend, Joe, started the day thinking we would circle buzzards roost (just as was done on the official route). We hiked up to the ridgeline between the parking area and the Roost and were delighted with the views, especially from the west saddle. It was great to see 5057, Weaver's Needle, and Miners Needle from a different vantage point. We probably should have started out earlier, though, and our concern about how long it would take us to go back down the loose rock after leaving the ridgeline caused us to abandon circling the roost. In fact, we decided to boulder-hop down the ravine to the south. Eventually we had to move out of the ravine (cats claw!) and up, to our right, on to the hillside. We then followed game trails that lead to a stream which we followed back to the road. I suspect we'll try it again another day...
Flora
Flora
Western Dayflower
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Light
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Stephanie and Blake Barnard
1 archive
Jan 11 2014
JuanJaimeiii
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 Routes 563
 Photos 7,683
 Triplogs 1,626

52 male
 Joined Jan 30 2011
 Chandler, AZ
Buzzards Roost from Peralta, AZ 
Buzzards Roost from Peralta, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Jan 11 2014
JuanJaimeiii
Hiking14.84 Miles 3,156 AEG
Hiking14.84 Miles   6 Hrs   48 Mns   2.29 mph
3,156 ft AEG      20 Mns Break
 
1st trip
This one was JohnLP's idea and it turned out to be a great hike. He picked me up bright and early and we headed out to the Peralta TH. We were the third ones to sign in today at the trail register. From there we took the Dutchman to Coffee Flat and Coffee Flat to a spot John had pre-determined to make our assault on Buzzards Roost.

Along our way up we stumbled into an old mine that still had a ton of junk that was left behind. Flashlights, batteries, detonator wire, gas cans, gloves, boots, etc. That was an interesting find but back on to our mission. Up we went. I was expecting it to be way more brushy but it wasn't too bad. We made our way on up to the summit without too much difficulty.

Up top the views were fantastic. We stayed awhile reading several of the sign-ins at the register. It would appear that this is "Gary and Shans" favorite hike as they had been up several times including one on Shan's 69th birthday. They even took their grandchildren up. I am assuming they came in from Queen Valley Road but I can't be sure.

On the way down we took SSK44's track and followed it down the southern side to the creek bed. From there we just followed the old jeep road/creek bed back to the Coffee Flat trail. Along the way we spotted several cattle and a spring that was flowing. Not sure what the name of it is.

As we approached the trailhead I saw a white jeep off in the distance. I said that looks like Wally's. Sure enough judging by the HAZ stickers it was! :D

Doing Buzzards Roost is a cool hike. Doing it this way adds several miles but you don't need a high clearance vehicle. Doing it from Queen Valley Road would be okay also if you just wanted to get down to the meat and potatoes.

Thanks for driving John! Oh by the time we signed out at least a hundred more people had signed in at the Peralta Trailhead Register. :o Busy day in the Supes!
Fauna
Fauna
Cow
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Wildflowers Observation Light
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Nov 26 2012
sventre
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 Guides 13
 Routes 67
 Photos 403
 Triplogs 61

male
 Joined Nov 24 2006
 Mesa, AZ
Buzzards Roost - SW SuperstitionsPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Nov 26 2012
sventre
Hiking3.28 Miles 1,690 AEG
Hiking3.28 Miles
1,690 ft AEG
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Great morning for this hike. Since I was under some time constraints and hiking solo, I opted to explore the ridge rather than go all the way up to the summit. Rather than employ the posted GPS route, I drew my own using a satellite image and topo map. As you might suspect, the trek up the south-western slopes of the ridge provided fantastic exercise; but, fortunately the trail along the ridgeline is easy to find (in places the ridge itself is no more than 30 feet wide). My return route was down the ridgeline but toward the south-eastern end the cairns disappeared forcing me to navigate amongst lots of loose rock. As I made my way back down it became apparent that the slope is subject to constant weather erosion as rocks and dirt in many areas appeared new to the neighborhood. Even the faint game trails looked as though they were only recently engineered by the "Wildlife Construction Co.". Nevertheless, this is a "must do" hike with terrific views, solitude and a chance to spot the wildlife down below.
Named place
Named place
Buzzards Roost
_____________________
Jan 14 2012
ssk44
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 Guides 19
 Routes 12
 Photos 2,272
 Triplogs 281

45 male
 Joined Mar 31 2008
 Gilbert, AZ
Buzzards Roost - SW SuperstitionsPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Jan 14 2012
ssk44
Hiking2.50 Miles 1,485 AEG
Hiking2.50 Miles   4 Hrs      0.63 mph
1,485 ft AEG
 
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Buzzards Roost Summit Route (Warning)


I can only imagine what awaits me on the true summit route...

That sentence is from my prior trip log. Ha! I'll tell you what awaited me on the summit route... A near death experience! This sucker is BAD. The Buzzards Roost summit route is a dangerous and demanding class-3 scramble with a short mild class-4 section near the top. The short class-4 section is primarily due to exposure with risk of death. If you plan to tackle this route, expect very steep scrambling, very loose rubble/silt, and a short cabled exposed section that demands a cool head. The cable section is the summit gate keeper. Be warned that if you shoot up that cabled line, you are fully committed to this hike. Going up is easy. Coming down is another story. The cable section almost stopped me. About half way up, I realized the exposure situation. The cable section is a 25 foot +/- crowned rolling bolder climb with very small holds for your hands and feet. It closely hugs the far east edge of the butte and angles towards the outside. The high exposure is not obvious at first. The left side of the climb rolls down to a skyline edge. That skyline is hiding the initial edge of a 300 foot death drop. The realization of this situation hit me like a freight train. My spook threshold is fairly high. I glanced down and to my left and was immediately overcome with fear. My heart rate shot through the roof and my legs turned into rubber. The realization sunk in that this spot was capable of killing me. This was my fist taste of exposure. I had to quickly shake it off as best as possible. I was too messed up to back down and going higher would fully commit me. With great reluctance I chose door number 2. The cable section finishes with a narrow and tight switchback that exits onto a pleasant flat bench below the summit. This nice grassy bench is a good spot to calm down and clean out your pants.

The final segment leading to the summit is smooth sailing. The summit is surprisingly intimidating. Its just hard to stop thinking about heading down. Standing on this towering summit is humbling to say the least. I had a hard time enjoying the grand epic views. All I could think about was "getting off this rock". I signed the registry, took a few pics, had a fairly long conversation with God (serious prayer), and began heading down. The only thing that was going to get me down that cable was a calm and cool head. Freezing on that cable could have serious consequences and I knew it. With focused tunnel vision I began down. I would not allow myself to look over to the east skyline edge. The mostly moderate incline allowed me to head down facing forward with my right hand on the cable for balance and piece of mind. The iffy traction on the bolder was very unsettling. This spot is just so #$% spooky. Without incident, I nailed the cable downclimb. THANK YOU JESUS! This Arizona country boy has lived to fight another day. The remaining steep gully scramble is no picnic, but after the cable it's a welcome sight.

This hike really humbled me. Buzzards Roost taught me a lesson I wont soon forget. I don't care to ever see another high risk exposure scenario. I don't have the balls for it and I don't care to put my life at risk. The lower alcove saddle from my prior visit is right up my alley. I absolutely loved that hike. The true summit route is for select experienced individuals. That upper cable segment is probably a non-event for people that frequent this type of terrain. If your cool under fire and are looking for a challenging new summit fix, this destination will not disappoint. If your like me... Stick to the alcove saddle. It wont kill you.




Class-2: More difficult hiking that may be off-trail. You may also have to put your hands down occasionally to keep your balance. May include easy snow climbs or hiking on talus/scree.

Class-3: Scrambling or un-roped climbing. You must use your hands most of the time to hold the terrain or find your route. This may be caused by a combination of steepness and extreme terrain. Some class-3 route are better done with rope.

Class-4: Climbing... Rope is often used on class-4 routes because falls can be fatal. The terrain is often steep and dangerous. Some routes can be done without rope because the terrain is stable.

Class-5: Technical climbing... The climbing involves the use of rope and belaying. Rock climbing is class-5.



__
_____________________
ISAIAH 6:2-3 / MATTHEW 11:28-30
1 archive
Jan 07 2012
ssk44
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 Guides 19
 Routes 12
 Photos 2,272
 Triplogs 281

45 male
 Joined Mar 31 2008
 Gilbert, AZ
Buzzards Roost - SW SuperstitionsPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Jan 07 2012
ssk44
Hiking4.00 Miles 1,950 AEG
Hiking4.00 Miles   7 Hrs   30 Mns   0.53 mph
1,950 ft AEG
 
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners partners
Grasshopper
tibber
Buzzards Roost - Alcove Saddle & Loop

First off, I must give credit where credit is due... Exploring Buzzards Roost would not have came to be, had it not been for Angela (tibber). Seeing Buzzards Roost up close and personal has been a dream of Angela's for some time now. I was recently brought into to loop last week. Hearing her description of this alluring butte immediately perked my interest. I've been looking at this location from the summit of Roblas Butte for some time now. I was on Roblas Christmas eve so the memory was fresh in my mind.

Let go for it! I'm ready! I was hired on as the guide for this mission. She needed help with logistics and off-trail route finding and I was happy to lend my services. My fee is low... Just feed me diner afterwards. Wink. I love this stuff!

Saturday was awesome! Hiking Buzzards Roost was actually one of the best hikes I've done in awhile. This was such a cool place to explore. I was so hoping to reach the summit, however the odds did not seem to be in my favor. This thing is big and nasty from every angle. I will tell you right now that I am veeery persistent when I put my mind to something. I was going to attempt summiting this butte if even the slightest hint of a light to moderate class-3 route presented itself. Within a few minutes of rounding the north side, I saw a promising steep gully route leading to what looked like a high saddle. Hank thought I was crazy. Ha... It looked vertical to him. I scouted out the initial climb and determined it would likely work. It looked like a sheep game-trail led to the top. I hollered back my findings to see if there were any takers. With apprehension they decided to come up. I went back down to help show the trail and keep things safe. We were off! The route was a little sketchy in places, but good overall. Our efforts paid off big! The saddle that we reached was only about 150 vertical feet from the true summit with zero access to the top. It was a beautiful saguaro lined bench with intricate alcoves lining an upper cliff face. Just incredible... The views off the front side were shocking and very scary in places. It is imperative that you choose your battles carefully in places like this. It's an unforgiving setting to say the least. After a quick look around we took a well deserved lunch break overlooking the southern Superstition Wilderness. So cool! After lunch we explored the upper alcoves and headed back down with plans to attempt a loop around the butte.

With the exception of the alcove saddle, much of my planned route ended up following an existing old trail with obvious cairns. People have been coming up here, however the reason for the trail was initially unclear. It appeared to end at an elevated view overlook on the lower south edge. Continuing around the backside revealed that the trail did not end at all and looked to be heading towards a possible summit route. I was getting more and more excited with every turn. The trail could not be denied. This thing is doable! We rounded one more uphill turn following a cliff edge and there it was... Holly cow is that steep! It was a rugged solid rock gully route reaching for the sky. I wanted up there so bad! It looked like a solid class-3 route with possible unknown obstacles near the top. Time and unwilling hiking partners prevented me from a summit attempt on this trip. I will be back very soon and that's a promise. To be continued...

Buzzards Roost is a spectacular destination that is loaded with character. The views are wonderfull and the butte is a playground. The low alcove saddle is just amazing and I can only imagine what awaits me on the true summit route. What really seals this destination for me is how completely void of people it is. It's so unspoiled and pristine. I don't think we heard one ATV or nearby gunshot all day. The Hewitt Canyon area is overrun and yet this place is empty. The difference is the State Trust Land. The access road and everything surrounding Buzzards Roost is State Trust Land. Accessing State Trust Land "legally" requires a permit. You can't play dumb out here. There were obvious signs just outside of Queen Valley and a quick look on area maps reveals the boundaries. Tonto National Forest was just to our east and the Superstition Wilderness was only about one mile to the north. It's a protected island. My kind of place! Thank you Angela for making this hike become a reality. I've found a new off-trail hideout.


Eric (ssk44)
:D
Geology
Geology
Hoodoo Rock
foliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observation
Autumn Foliage Observation Isolated
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Light
_____________________
ISAIAH 6:2-3 / MATTHEW 11:28-30
Jan 07 2012
Grasshopper
avatar

 Guides 44
 Routes 463
 Photos 8,381
 Triplogs 522

74 male
 Joined Dec 28 2006
 Scottsdale, AZ
Buzzards Roost - SW SuperstitionsPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Jan 07 2012
Grasshopper
Hiking4.00 Miles 1,749 AEG
Hiking4.00 Miles   8 Hrs   24 Mns   0.78 mph
1,749 ft AEG   3 Hrs   15 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners partners
ssk44
tibber
I just re-read Eric's trip log for this most enjoyable and rewarding day outing to see if I could add anything missed, but there is very little to add but to simply restate-

ssk44 wrote:
"Buzzards Roost is a spectacular destination that is loaded with character. The views are wonderfully and the butte is a playground. The low alcove saddle is just amazing... What really seals this destination for me is how completely void of people it is. It's so unspoiled and pristine."

and to again thank Angela for being so persistent in an effort to help make this new destination become a reality the three of us could share together for the first time. I thoroughly enjoyed our day here and our evening celebration in Apache Junction at the.. igallery/image_page.php?id=4634
Thank you both!
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Isolated
_____________________
(Outside.. "there is No Place Like It!!")
Jan 07 2012
tibber
avatar

 Guides 21
 Routes 580
 Photos 26,528
 Triplogs 881

64 female
 Joined Feb 26 2004
 Phoenix, AZ
Buzzards Roost - SW SuperstitionsPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Jan 07 2012
tibber
Hiking4.00 Miles 1,950 AEG
Hiking4.00 Miles   7 Hrs   52 Mns   1.48 mph
1,950 ft AEG   5 Hrs   10 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners partners
Grasshopper
ssk44
Okay folks, you may want to grab a beer or a cup of coffee (keep the pot handy) for this report... or as Teva Joe says, "make a sandwich" ;) :lol:

This landmark got my attention after viewing it from Bluff Spring Mountain http://hikearizona.com/photo.php?ZIP=224118. After much photo reviewing and additional research, it was determined that I was looking at Buzzards Roost. I was quite surprised this landmark had not really been on anyone's radar but it was now on mine.

After a couple trips with Eric and Hank, I managed to persuade them that we should check this out. It's not something I would/could do on my own so after a couple emails, they were game. Fortunately, this kind of hike is Eric's forte so he was able to lead the way and our mission was gloriously successful :y: .

At 7:45 we met at our regular place off the 60 and headed to Queen Valley. Both Eric and Hank had done some preliminary research for the road trip as we would be travelling on Elephant Butte Road that you need a 4WD for part of the drive. Once you get to Elephant Butte itself, we were sorry to see posts everywhere to stay out so our late afternoon jaunt would not be doable. As it turns out, we would have not been able to do the Elephant Butte Loop anyway as we didn't get done with the Roost until 5:45.

We stopped once on our way after Elephant Butte to take some pics of the Roost in the distance and then again at Big Camp, a lush site for campers. After we drove thru the rough, rocky and dry creek bed and came up on the other side, we pulled to the side of the road and geared up. From there we headed east cross-country to the ridge. It was a good climb up to the top and once there, we climbed up a mound to the south for a better look-see. We started heading north along the ridgeline while having our eye on the Saddle between the Point and the Roost.

Lo and behold we saw a cairn, and then another, and then another. So someone did have Buzzards Roost on their radar afterall. Well this was pretty cool :DANCE: so we followed the cairned ridge until it was time to climb up to the saddle. Interestingly enough, we all got chollaed too with me first, then Hank, then Eric. After that we were now on cholla guard 8-[ .

Once to the saddle area we were presented with one pumpkin of a view of the western Supes in all their morning glory :D . Hank headed off to the east, Eric and I to the west as Eric had his eye on the point atop the rock to the left of Buzzards Roost. So UP we climbed and then down to the far edge. Here we encountered some giant ocotillo and additional views to the west.

We then headed back to hook up with Hank at the Saddle and continue our Loop around the Roost. Lo and behold, we found cairns again. So we followed these up to the north base until we got to the east side. Eric had his eye on a couple different ways :STP: to get up to a Saddle we could see before we started the hike. We passed by the first gully (thank goodness). On the way to the eastern point where we were now standing, Eric spotted what he thot might be another way to get up to the Saddle.

He said he was going to run over and up there to check it out to see if there was a way to proceed to the saddle once he got to the top of this side flank. He yells back, yep, we can do this http://hikearizona.com/photo.php?ZIP=231480 and do we want to :scared: ?
After he took this picture: http://hikearizona.com/photo.php?ZIP=230699 Hank and I kept smiling and headed back in his direction. He :A1: also graciously offered to come back down from his perch to help guide us up. This was a good thing as getting up this flank was no easy task : rambo : (straight up and slippery scree from time to time).

Okay, we are up the flank, now what 8-[ ? as we gingerly look over the other edge. We take a few pictures and admire the views before Eric checks out a route to the Saddle. I walk to where he is standing above me to the left and he shows me my two choices :-k . Choice one was straight up over a boulder or two with that first step (climb) up being a doozie. I didn't mind the up so much as worried about getting down it. Choice two was another big step up a boulder; here we would need a boost to get up it :-s .

I asked Eric if we could move over a rock to give us a step up. Fortunately, there were quite a few good sized but movable rocks if we could just figure out how to get one of them closer to the area we needed to climb. After moving a couple of the rocks out of the way, Eric sits down and uses his outstretched legs as leverage to manuever the other rock closer to the other boulder. We had success : app : . Eric stepped up it and then took our packs as we finagled our way to the saddle at last. :DANCE:

And now after quickly taking in the views from here, I couldn't decide where I wanted to sit for which view. I tried one side of this small area and ended up moving to the other so I could look northward while I enjoyed my sandwich and the weather and the incredible view. We didn't spend too long for lunch before it was alcove exploring time :) . Well Eric went over to see if he could get to the alcove we had spotted at the beginning of our trip )on the high south side) but that wasn't happening. So next we headed up to the alcoves just above where we had been sitting. Well one of them was a pass-thru http://hikearizona.com/photo.php?ZIP=230707 and I took advantage of the opportunity to surprise Eric as he was coming into the alcove (he didn't know I was coming around from the other side - see video 5) :o :sl: . So now I'm even for the snowball incident at Rockinstraw.

Next, we had to come down the slippery slope to continue our loop around. We did some glissading in a couple spots before we got to a slightly more level part of our route and back up to the east side where we had been at before. We began the traverse around the east side and wouldn't you know it, cairns. Where would they lead? We soon found ourselves hugging the side of the Roost and heading upward but still admiring our views toward Randolph and Fraser Canyon along the way. Eventually we would end up at the bottom of the summit route. It looks very ominous in the shade. Well Eric was jumping for joy and doing his best "arnold imitation" of :gun: "I'LL BE BACK".

But now, we had to go back to where we had come up and continue our quest to complete the Loop around the Roost. Well I ran into a little difficulty here as I lost site of the guys and I went high when I should have gone low. Fortunately the big rock that rolled onto my foot didn't pin it down and I was just fine; :oops: more embarrased by the wrong choice as I didn't think the guys went thru there. So I hollared ahead to see if someone would come back just a little so I could see if I should continue high or low.

Eric found another alcove that he had leaped up to but due to being concerned with time, Hank and I didn't get to check it out :( but he did get a couple good pics of it http://hikearizona.com/photo.php?ZIP=230715. Soon we were at the southeast side where we encountered another barbed wire fence to go over. It was here that I finally realized the reason for these fences (as this was the second barbed wire fence we had come across in rather precarious places) was to keep the cattle from getting too high up near the Roost. And since cattle aren't terribly bright, like some folks, you gotta put up the fences.

We were excited at our progress and even more hopeful that a Loop would indeed be "doable". We were still at the base of the Roost which we would follow around the south side of eventually heading west. But first, we encountered :o a Mexican poppy. Eric would have the honors. Little did we know but further around this little bend we would encounter some more poppies and fairy dusters. How cool is that in the beginning of January?

After the frivolity of this find, Eric moved ahead looking for a route to the saddle. He stayed close to the base and continued up with the contour of the land. He came back to tell us, "yep, you're going to have to come up this steep area". It wasn't the steep so much as the loose scree that made that a slightly difficult task but Hank and I powered up it : rambo : and joined him. We were getting so close to the saddle now. Eric checked the high route but it was a no go so we took the middle route and soon, we were at the Saddle : king : : king : : queen : . One of my FB friends commented on the few Buzzards Roost photos I had posted and said: I hope the other buzzards didn't mind you being up there! They surely didn't this day as there were none to be seen other than a trio of hawks we heard as we approached this area.

Now that our mission was a TOTAL success, we headed back down the ridgeline admiring the sunset glow on Buzzards Roost. It was just past the alcove where I realized I had lost my hat :( somewhere on this front part (southwest side) of the loop. I had really gotten the hat the shape I liked and even didn't mind wearing it as much. Now I have to start all over again unless I can find the same hat. But that's a small price to pay for such an awesome day.

As we finally came off the ridgeline, little did we know what a treat we were in for as the sunset and the full moon would come together in a cluster of red and gold, green and blue, dark and light, ... :y: OH MY!!! Really there is no better way to end a day like this then with a celebration of a very large and bright full moon while the sun sets.

Lots of video to share - 'heh, it was a new hike' :stop: :
Video 1: The drive from Queen Valley on Elephant Butte Road including a stop at Big Camp,
http://youtu.be/SeX6KMOm0u8
Video 2: From the new TH to and up on the Ridge,
http://youtu.be/9fihwPNFhS4
Video 3: On the ridge, to the Saddle and then over to the Point,
http://youtu.be/YLUg7JRMmZ0
Video 4: From the point to the Alcove Saddle,
http://youtu.be/XIHctIDidYc
Video 5: At and around the Alcove Saddle and down to the SE base,
http://youtu.be/Ws6dTjzhPoE
Video 6: From the SE corner, round the front (east) to the Saddle, down the Ridge and back to the TH,http://youtu.be/fZUCNfGIWIo
Flora
Flora
Saguaro
Meteorology
Meteorology
Moon
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Autumn Foliage Observation Isolated
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Light
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For me, sometimes it's just as much about the journey as the destination.
Oh, and once in awhile, don't forget to look back at the trail you've traveled.
average hiking speed 1.2 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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