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Ironwood Ridgeline 3108 Loop - Goldfield Mtns - 13 members in 26 triplogs have rated this an average 2.9 ( 1 to 5 best )
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Sep 21 2019
chumley
avatar

 Guides 75
 Routes 667
 Photos 13,221
 Triplogs 1,421

46 male
 Joined Sep 18 2002
 Tempe, AZ
Hippy Hill 3163Phoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Sep 21 2019
chumley
Hiking7.73 Miles 2,197 AEG
Hiking7.73 Miles   4 Hrs   11 Mns   1.96 mph
2,197 ft AEG      14 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Route Scout GPS Route Recorded on Route Scout View
Hippy's a fun one! :) Managed an 0600 start and about 3 hours of shaded hiking. The last couple of miles got warm and it was 86 at the trailhead at the end. Made a quick attempt at 3195. Every hold came loose so I decided climbing it would be stupid.

Traversed north of 3195 then north on the ridge before dropping down and heading back in the drainage toward the 3004 loop for some easy trail miles back to the car.

Still a little warm for my preference, but I'm sick of driving places.
Geology
Geology
Tafoni
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Culture
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_____________________
Profound observer
1 archive
Jun 23 2019
RickVincent
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 Guides 4
 Routes 5
 Photos 3,341
 Triplogs 648

49 male
 Joined Aug 20 2009
 Mesa, AZ
Ironwood Ridgeline 3108 Loop - Goldfield MtnsPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Jun 23 2019
RickVincent
Hiking4.80 Miles 1,683 AEG
Hiking4.80 Miles   3 Hrs   15 Mns   1.48 mph
1,683 ft AEG
 
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
This is a challenging but somewhat short hike as far as Ridge line hikes go. Great views the whole way and involves some route finding. I approached from the trailhead at Meridian and followed trail to the east. I'm not really sure of the best route up. I just find a spot and start working up off trail towards the southeastern peak of the ridge. Once on the ridgeline, it's easier and fun. There are some mildly exposed areas where rock climbing skills and holds come in handy. Route finding sometimes involves a decision to go right, left or directly up and over certain peaks along the way. Nothing to difficult. Once across the ridgeline and on the final peak at the north end, there is a "primitive trail" marked by cairns that lead down towards the Boulder Saddle (I believe that is the name). Once at the saddle, follow a much more established trail back down to the trailhead.
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This is my gym. I have to travel down a bumpy road to get there. There are no treadmillls, no machines, and no personal trainers. I walk..I run..I breathe the fresh air. I can go any time I want, as much as I want and there is no membership fee.
Apr 20 2019
DarthStiller
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 Guides 15
 Routes 234
 Photos 6,048
 Triplogs 438

50 male
 Joined Jul 05 2006
 Mesa, AZ
Ironwood Ridgeline 3108 Loop - Goldfield MtnsPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Apr 20 2019
DarthStiller
Hiking5.60 Miles 1,631 AEG
Hiking5.60 Miles   4 Hrs   58 Mns   1.13 mph
1,631 ft AEG
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
The weekend plans were such that a Sunday hike wasn't feasible. then I realized that since my kids are teenagers now, I can once again hike on a Saturday if I want to. I still had some things to get done around the house, so something close to home was in order. This one looked like it fit the bill.

Right off the bat I saw a javelina cross the trail up ahead. I tried to get a decent shot of him but he kept moving. Just as well since they can do some damage if they want.

I saw the turnoff up the hill from the lower trail that's on the official route, but since the lower trail kept heading east, I decided to take that as far as it went. It went not quite another half mile before it abruptly ends. A few hundred feet before that, I trail heads up the mountain. there is also another lower trail that heads down towards the homes below. Maybe a reason to go back and check that out another day with the family, or not.

The trail up the mountain was faint, but definitely still a trail. I stopped following it once I saw a cairn that required my first vertical climb for the day, which I wasn't in the mood for yet. I was already level with the saddle, which is where the track for this hike goes, so I decided to just cut over to that. There was a spot of bare rock that seemed pretty stable. It was really steep, however, and had a lot of loose rock on it, making the footing a little dicey. Once I got to the saddle, I saw the trail from the cairned turnoff.

the description for this hike mentions at this point that it's more of a cairned route on the way up. I don't know if there's any debate on these things, but what I saw at this point was definitely still a trail. I would say it was a faint trail, but as long as there's actual erosion into the ground, to me that's a trail. when it's just a cairn, and some signs of recent activity like matted grass, broken branches or a half a footprint, then I would think of that as a route. That part came later once I reached the ridgeline. but I digress.

the ridgeline portion of the hike was the slowest going. Not too bad in terms of vegetation, but a lot of bouldering, and elevation gains and losses to and from the various peaks. At times it was just easier to walk along the side off the boulders. the second to last peak, which has the point on it, was the hardest to get down from. I just followed the ridge and quickly find myself in a very exposed area. I got down from the exposure at my first chance, but I did have to throw my sticks to my intended destination and use both hands to cling to a rock face as I pulled myself around it. And there was quite a lot of loose rocks and footings all around, making that section rather dicey to get out of. The views up in this area to the northeast are really phenomenal. You can see down into Bulldog Canyon, the rest of the Goldfield ridgeline, and 4Peaks, Superstitions and Mazzies in the background.

Once I got to the last peak, I headed down to the saddle and the Fish Rock Loop. there was once again a trail from the last peak down to the saddle, but it was steep and with very loose footing. Hard on the knees after trudging along the ridgeline. I had originally intended to climb the other ridge over to the Pass Mountain Loop trail, but it was already 4 hours since I started, and I wanted to finish up. Saw a few hikers on my down the trail. Shorter hike, but it still took a lot of effort to make it through.
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Apr 12 2019
DixieFlyer
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 Guides 15
 Routes 199
 Photos 2,475
 Triplogs 188

male
 Joined Jan 07 2017
 Fountain Hills,
Peak 3108 Ridgeline Plus, AZ 
Peak 3108 Ridgeline Plus, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Apr 12 2019
DixieFlyer
Hiking8.20 Miles 2,555 AEG
Hiking8.20 Miles   8 Hrs      2.03 mph
2,555 ft AEG   3 Hrs   58 Mns Break
 
1st trip
This was a fun hike in the underrated Goldfield Mountains that started and ended at the Meridian TH, at the north end of Meridian Road in Mesa/Apache Junction.

The hike consisted of 3 parts: The Peak 3108 Ridgeline; the South Bulldog Ridgeline; and the Peak 3004 Ridgeline. Most of the hike was totally off-trail and it included a bit of bushwhacking.

From the TH, I went north a short distance on the Bulldog Saddle Trail; but instead of going to Bulldog Saddle, I took a right and went east for almost 1.5 miles on the unsigned Meridian Mystery Trail. Then I went off-trail on a well-cairned use trail, heading north up toward the Peak 3108 Ridgeline. I made my way to a saddle on the Ridgeline, and then went NW along the top of the ridgeline. I enjoy hiking on this ridgeline -- the views are super, and are much better than the views on the Pass Mountain Ridgeline imho. I made to the summit of Peak 3108, and then went up to Temptation Peak (3,195'). It was an easy ascent on the south side of Temptation Peak, but the northside had some verticality to it so I descended on the east side and looped around to the north side, and then made my way up to Peak 3125 (fwiw, T. Tenny refers to this peak as Peak 3113). To get up Peak 3125 I did a little class 3 climbing up a chute, but it wasn't a bad climb.

After enjoying the views atop Peak 3125, I dropped down to the north and went to Peak 3163, aka Hippy Hill, on South Bulldog Ridge. My intention was to climb up the 3 peaks on the Ridge: Peak 3163, North Peak 3195 ( [ Peak 3195 Goldfield Mountains ] ), and Peak 3075.

Peak 3163 looked a bit daunting, but once there it was a short, easy class 3 climb to the top. I had set my hiking poles down before climbing up, so I had to descend the same way that I went up; otherwise I would have descended to the north going toward Peak 3195. After circling the east side of Hippy Hill, I made my way over to Peak 3195. There was only one obvious way to climb up Peak 3195, but I was out there by myself and the first part of the climb was a tad sketchy. Thus, with discretion being the better part of valor, I decided to wimp out and come back another day to climb up to Peak 3195. I wasn't too worried about the climb up, but I didn't really want to have to deal with finding footholds on the descent when I was there by myself.

I started to go over to Peak 3075, but time was getting away from me, so I decided to make my way over to the Peak 3004 Ridgeline and hike up to Peak 3004. This is the ridgeline that runs between Bulldog Saddle and Pass Mountain Saddle. From the base of Peak 3195, I could see a fairly easy route up to Peak 3004, so I did an off-trail bushwhack through a couple of canyons and made my way to the trail that loops around Peak 3004, and then did the off-trail climb up to Peak 3004. This was not a difficult way to get up there, although there was a bit of class 3 climbing near the summit. On the descent, I headed west over to Pass Mountain Saddle. There was a bit more up-and-down getting to Pass Mountain Saddle than I had envisioned; in retrospect, it would have been easier to go back the way that I came and go to Bulldog Saddle.

From the Pass Mountain saddle I just took that Pass Mountain Loop Trail back to the trailhead.

This was another great day of hiking in the Goldfield's. I will come back out another day and hopefully do the other 2 ascents on South Bulldog Ridge.
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Substantial
There were quite a few flowers blooming, including: brittlebush, creosote bush, fairy duster, ocotillo, hedgehog cactus, buckhorn cholla, globemallow, and lupine
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1 archive
Sep 22 2018
Tortoise_Hiker
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 Routes 78
 Photos 7,201
 Triplogs 2,561

57 male
 Joined Apr 02 2005
 Mesa, AZ
Ironwood Ridgeline 3108 Loop - Goldfield MtnsPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Sep 22 2018
Tortoise_Hiker
Hiking4.80 Miles 1,477 AEG
Hiking4.80 Miles   3 Hrs   26 Mns   1.40 mph
1,477 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Partners none no partners
Just a random hike after a night at work. Was to hot for me the last hour...
I was going to head up this trail and come back one of the washes. Then out of the blue I run into Wally hiking with one of his neighbors :o . What are the chances :lol: ?! Good to see you. It's been way to long :) . He mentioned there was a summit up there so I blame him :D . I went up to the saddle then headed east on the ridge. Safety first and I was slow going. I wanted to drop off the ridge after the summits but it was to steep for me. I stayed on the ridge until I finally found a use trail down. At the saddle it seemed to go the wrong way so I bushwacked (way to long) back to a Meridian wash. Shorts=ouch. Now that I look at the route, I should have went that way ](*,) . As I was dropping into the wash I saw a roadrunner and starting singing the roadrunner song. Off key,I guess :oops: , as 3 Javelinas didn't appreciate it and ran up the wash. Finally climbed out and hit the trail I started on and back to the car in no time. :sweat:
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Tortoise Hiking. Stop and smell the Petrichor.
Jul 14 2018
adilling
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 Routes 80
 Photos 2,402
 Triplogs 101

56 male
 Joined Dec 02 2014
 Mesa, AZ
Ironwood Ridgeline 3108 Loop - Goldfield MtnsPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Jul 14 2018
adilling
Hiking4.87 Miles 1,493 AEG
Hiking4.87 Miles   4 Hrs   57 Mns   1.21 mph
1,493 ft AEG      56 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
This cool little loop is also listed as Ridgeline 3108 – Goldfield Mtns.

We started at the Meridian Trailhead and opted for the clockwise path, rather than the GPS route that went counterclockwise. I think that is a better way as it’s all downhill once you get to the top from the Bulldog Saddle.

I was hoping for a killer sunrise from the ridge, but the clouds were too low and plentiful. Oh well, it made for a pleasant (but humid) hike.

The trail from the trailhead to the Bulldog Saddle is well marked and easy to follow. Once up on the saddle there is an actual semblance of a trail going up to the ridgeline off to the right. There is a bit of steepness up to the top, but nothing too crazy.

Once on the ridgeline, you get the view you are hoping for. Bulldog Ridge off to the left and right, Superstition Mountain in the background. The entire Goldfield lay in front of you as well. There is no trail heading towards the south. The trail is up and down with one little peak to traverse. The rock formations up here are very impressive. The golden tuft that is prevalent across the Goldfields, but other types of granite and a great patch of red rock about ½ across.

The GPS track we were following showed a steep descent from the end peak to get down to the return trail, but we opted to go across it further and reach the trail below. Once down there, were found a cairn and a path here and there, but it was hit or miss. We could see the trail ahead and just started heading towards it. We got a few sprinkles from the ridgeline and back the trailhead, but nothing crazy.

This loop is very rough and rugged, but the views up top are spectacular. I will definitely be hitting this one again soon.
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“Wilderness is not a luxury but necessity of the human spirit.” –Edward Abbey

instagram: @andydilling
Mar 01 2018
syoung
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 Guides 6
 Routes 23
 Photos 1,125
 Triplogs 593

40 male
 Joined May 23 2012
 Mesa, AZ
Ironwood Ridgeline 3108 Loop - Goldfield MtnsPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Mar 01 2018
syoung
Hiking5.37 Miles 1,683 AEG
Hiking5.37 Miles   1 Hour   53 Mns   2.85 mph
1,683 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked linked
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This one turned out to be much more difficult than I originally planned. The down climb from the last peak, to the final saddle, was more challenging for me than down climb on Weaver's a few years back. I'll have to pay attention more to the route if I ever attempt this one again.
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Jan 13 2018
DixieFlyer
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 Guides 15
 Routes 199
 Photos 2,475
 Triplogs 188

male
 Joined Jan 07 2017
 Fountain Hills,
Ironwood Ridgeline 3108 Loop - Goldfield MtnsPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Jan 13 2018
DixieFlyer
Hiking7.50 Miles 2,100 AEG
Hiking7.50 Miles   4 Hrs   58 Mns   2.37 mph
2,100 ft AEG   1 Hour   48 Mns Break
 
no photosets
1st trip
Partners none no partners
I did this hike as a combination of the Ridgeline 3108 Loop Hike and the Peak 3004 Loop Hike. We started from the Meridian Trailhead, went east for a around 1.5 miles on an easy-to-follow trail, and then began the ascent up to the Peak 3108 Ridgeline. On the easy-to-follow trail, we saw 6 deer, including a nice size buck who stood and stared at us for at least 10 minutes. As we began the ascent to the ridgeline, there were a number of cairns that guided the way for a while. Past that point, I used the gps track that I downloaded from HAZ. It was a lot of fun hiking the ridgeline, and it involved a good bit of rock climbing. The views are awesome on the ridgeline, particularly at the top of Peak 3108, Temptation Peak, and Peak 3125(Note that Tenny's book calls this one Peak 3113). We climbed up Temptation Peak on the south side, and it looked a bit iffy to descend down the north side, so we descended on the east side.

When we descended down Peak 3125 down to Bulldog Saddle, instead of going south back to the trailhead, we picked up the Peak 3004 Loop hike by going north down to the valley below Peak 3004, looped around up to Pass Mountain Saddle, and then took the Pass Mountain trail to the south back to the trailhead.

The Peak 3108 Ridgeline hike was cool and was a lot of fun. There was nothing special about the Peak 3004 Loop hike, but it did enable us to get in a couple of extra miles.

I wonder why this is called the Peak 3108 Ridgeline? Peak 3108 is actually a bit off of the Ridgeline, and both Peak 3125 and Temptation Peak (3,195') are higher.
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Dec 18 2017
Yoder
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 Routes 6
 Photos 909
 Triplogs 67

54 male
 Joined Oct 07 2017
 Chandler, AZ
Ironwood Ridgeline 3108 Loop - Goldfield MtnsPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Dec 18 2017
Yoder
Hiking5.30 Miles 1,634 AEG
Hiking5.30 Miles   4 Hrs   2 Mns   1.85 mph
1,634 ft AEG   1 Hour   10 Mns Break10 LBS Pack
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Well, I think the description of this hike is quite accurate, Trails at start and end nothing in the middle as far as trail is concerned. Unfortunatly, We ended up bailing at the saddle just before the final peak, Wife was having issues with all the rock hopping, and the fact that their wasn't really a trail to follow here. We ended up following one of the ridges down from the final saddle - A bit of a scramble.

Got to say views were GREAT on this, but prepare for lots of rock hopping. this is they type of hiking I use to do in my college days, but a bit too unstructured for the wife. (Got to please the wife!)
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J. Yoder
Sep 10 2017
RickVincent
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 Guides 4
 Routes 5
 Photos 3,341
 Triplogs 648

49 male
 Joined Aug 20 2009
 Mesa, AZ
Ironwood Ridgeline 3108 Loop - Goldfield MtnsPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Sep 10 2017
RickVincent
Hiking4.80 Miles 1,683 AEG
Hiking4.80 Miles   3 Hrs   43 Mns   1.29 mph
1,683 ft AEG
 
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Met up with my friend Todd to knockout this ridge line loop. The approach towards the mountain is fairly flat and fast as you head due east. As we neared the mountain, we spooked a mule deer out of its hiding spot. I missed my usual turn up the mountain, but found another spot to climb up towards the ridge line. It was a little sketchier, but we made it, nonetheless. As we worked the ridge line, we came across a solo mule deer. Most likely the same one.

This is a fun and challenging ridge line. If you like Pass Mountain ridge line, but prefer something that offers more scrambling and rock climbing, then you should get up on this ridge line that is East of Pass.

After reaching the highest peak (Peak 3108) we continued towards the final peak which has a cairned route down to Bulldog Saddle. We hiked back to the Meridian TH from there.
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This is my gym. I have to travel down a bumpy road to get there. There are no treadmillls, no machines, and no personal trainers. I walk..I run..I breathe the fresh air. I can go any time I want, as much as I want and there is no membership fee.
Mar 24 2017
gmaclachlan
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 Routes 14
 Photos 516
 Triplogs 36

66 male
 Joined Apr 03 2011
 Mesa, Az
Ironwood Ridgeline, AZ 
Ironwood Ridgeline, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Mar 24 2017
gmaclachlan
Hiking5.20 Miles
Hiking5.20 Miles
 
1st trip
Parked a car at Idaho Road TH and then got dropped off at Meridian. Took the trail to Bulldog saddle and then a hard right up to the ridge. Trail was cairn-ed all the way up to there. We were then off trail and made our way along the ridge to the southeast dropping off the ridge a bit when necessary to avoid risk of injury. The views were great from the ridge looking east to Dome Mountain and south or west to the city.

Just past an alignment with Ironwood we dropped down to a saddle which I will assume is "Ironwood saddle" and then took the draw to the east down to "Deer Tanks" Trail (the mask). This draw was straight and gentle all the way to the trail with indications of a trail in places, someone had done some work defining a route??? Made for an easy out from the ridge.
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Moderate
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Dec 10 2016
mt98dew
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 Guides 16
 Routes 19
 Photos 398
 Triplogs 1,454

50 male
 Joined Oct 24 2010
 Phoenix,Az
Ironwood Ridgeline 3108 Loop - Goldfield MtnsPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Dec 10 2016
mt98dew
Hiking6.04 Miles 1,786 AEG
Hiking6.04 Miles   4 Hrs      1.51 mph
1,786 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
This one had been on my radar for quite awhile, but the write ups and the off trail nature of the route had me dragging my feet. With my recent wilderness adventures and my need to finish off another area, I thought the time was right. I had decided to do the loop CCW, primarily because I knew where the western ascent/descent point was, but I wasn't sure where the eastern point of ascent/descent would be and I wanted to try to do the full loop. And based on previous write ups I had already decided that I wasn't going to worry about following the GPS route or cairns once I started my ascent.

I left the Meridian TH around 6:30 am. I used my headlamp for a few minutes to make sure I found the correct trail that would take me east. This first part of the loop is pretty sweet. There's an actual, constructed trail that runs along the base of the mountains. I was surprised that it didn't hug the homes more. The trail gets some decent separation from the homes and gets a little elevation as it heads east. It runs about 1.5 miles and then it just stops. Kind of weird how this seemingly constructed trail just stops without a significant destination or other trail tie-in. Asa it so happens there are now cairns (and a user trail) that starts up the mountain. This is also where the GPS route starts its ascent, so it worked for me. (Curiously, does anyone know the name of the trail that gets you to that point? It certainly seemed to be designed). I followed the cairned route to the top of the low lying hills at the foot of the ridgeline that I planned on navigating. The sun was just rising as I reached the top of the hill so I paused briefly to enjoy the moment. While I was watching the sunrise, I was fortunate enough to see a local hiker descending from above, which gave me an idea of where I would be making my next climb. I was lucky because I probably wouldn't have found that trail on my own and would have begun my off trail adventures earlier than I needed to. As it was, I followed this trail (it was not cairned, but it was easy to follow once I was on it) up to the next saddle that gave me my first glimpse of the northern interior of the Goldfields. This is some seriously folded rock at this saddle that is easy to identify and, in my mind, marks the end of the trail and the beginning of my off trail adventure.

The climb up to the ridge line was fairly straight forward. Vegetation and rock formations were accommodating enough that route finding was not a problem. It was very freeing not worrying about GPS routes or cairns. (In fact, I didn't see any cairns along the entire ridgeline. It wasn't until I hit the two tallest peaks and started my descent that I started to come across cairns). I stayed on the ridgeline for a bit, but saw that I was going to have to descend into a shallow depression on my way to a westernly peak that had become my objective as soon as I saw it. On my I hit another high point (east and north of the ridgeline. It was not as high as the westernly peak, but I thought I would check it out along the way). Jochal was "right on" in one of his picture descriptions. This peak was easy to climb from the south, but a lot more challenging descending from the north. Summiting was pretty cool and satisfying. Nice views of the surrounding terrain. I was able to see a second peak ( not quite as tall), further north and west, that would be my my ultimate destination and be where I would start my descent to Fish Rock Trai(?). However, I wasn't comfortable with what I saw with my northern descent from this peak, so I descended the way I came and then went along the western slope to meet up with the northern part of the ridgeline. (I went .5 miles to cover what otherwise would have been 100 yards). In retrospect, I probably would have "hugged" the peak more than I did. The slope I traversed was fairly steep and very slippery. Taking the ridgeline from one peak to the next was cool and a little challenging, involving some serious (for me) climbing. No exposure, so I was 8) . After negotiating the ridgeline it was rather anticlimactic descending to Fish Rock Trail and taking it back to the TH.

Only saw three hikers the entire hike. All on the Fish Rock Trail. No wildlife....again! It seems as if ALL of God's creatures are hibernating. I not seeing anything on my hikes. (Except for burros in Hell's Canyon, but that's a given :lol: ). Great hike! Nice to get another one off the list.
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Jun 11 2016
ddgrunning
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 Guides 1
 Routes 208
 Photos 3,566
 Triplogs 281

48 male
 Joined Apr 13 2011
 Gilbert, AZ
Peak 3125 - GoldfieldsPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Jun 11 2016
ddgrunning
Hiking1.80 Miles 1,251 AEG
Hiking1.80 Miles
1,251 ft AEG
 
1st trip
Partners none no partners
Decided to explore a new (for me) trail from the Meridian TH. Without a lot of thought or research, I downloaded a route to Route Scout labeled the Ironwood Loop. Turned out to be more than I bargained for, for a quick morning hike in June.

I enjoyed the trail to the saddle below Peak 3125. After that the climb up the side of Peak 3125 was a semi-bushwhack with cairns all over the place. The route I downloaded eventually pealed off to the north, skirting the north side of the Peak, and meandered over to the saddle between Peaks 3125 and 3163. The views to the north along this section were beautiful. However, by that time, the route was basically a full-on bushwhack, with a lot of loose-footing/scree and catclaw. After making it to the saddle, the bushwhack route headed down the back side of the ridgeline, and lost all appeal for me. I decided to bail and turned up to mount the ridgeline as an alternate return route. Once on the ridgeline, I made my way to the summit of Peak 3125.

At that point, given the laborious hiking, the fact that I was solo, the oncoming heat of the day, and the non-specific details I had texted my wife about my plan, I decided to bail down a drainage and circle back to the actual trail. The bushwhack down was not particularly enjoyable, though I guess I should be grateful that I only had to pick one baby cholla out of my calf ;)

I was grateful once reconnected with an actual trail. After bushwhacking it, hiking on an established trail is like transitioning from sleeping on a rock, to sleeping on a nice, comfortable mattress. Aaaahhh!

I may try the ridgeline route again, at a more favorable time of the year, with long-pants/gaiters, gloves, and a hiking partner :-).
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Jan 02 2016
uke
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 Photos 24
 Triplogs 2

61 male
 Joined May 08 2015
 queen creek
Ironwood Ridgeline 3108 Loop - Goldfield MtnsPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Jan 02 2016
uke
Hiking5.20 Miles 1,786 AEG
Hiking5.20 Miles   5 Hrs   15 Mns   0.99 mph
1,786 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
This is not a "trail" by even the most charitable definition. I came over from Usery on the Pass Mountain trail, cutting East through a deep wash at the point where Pass Mountain trail turned North. The trail heading East was a nice one, passing the Meridian trailhead and running up the side of a mountain from Ironwood Rd. Up on the hill a ways, the trail rounded a corner, and vanished.

The first task was to bushwhack East to intercept the Ironwood Loop. This required traversing a steep and gnarly wash. Once on the Ironwood Loop (according to my GPS), I saw no sign of a trail other than some footprints and scattered horse poop. The first climb went straight up a very steep and loose ridge between two washes. The mapped trail appeared to go straight up and over the cliff at the top of the mountain, but I wasn't in the mood for that and instead went East, which required some careful footwork to traverse over a rather exposed drop. This alternate path delivered me to a saddle, and I found a relatively well-used trail that took me up to the top of the peak, where the largest and nicest hiker trash rock cairn I have ever encountered suggested in which direction the "trail" might be.

From the cairn, there is a steep drop (according to the trail on the map) which must be negotiated in order to get below some cliffs to the Northwest. No trail, no markers, just bushwhacking down a ways and then going cross-slope. I traveled like this for about a mile, going in and out of deep drainages and basically following my instinct. According to the GPS I was following the "trail" pretty closely, but there was no evidence of this other than an occasional disturbed piece of ground, or a stick / pole somebody had propped up vertically to mark the trail.

After a while of doing this I could see that because of the bushwhacking my progress was glacial. I had not brought enough water for the amount of time that it was going to take to complete the loop. I made the decision to bail on the Ironwood Loop and turned West at the first opportunity, about 1.5 miles past the big cairn. I scrambled up a very steep slope to the top of a ridgeline between two cliffs, hoping to arrive at a relatively gentle path down to the adjacent valley and a real trail. Somewhere along this scramble, I lost my GPS. Merry Christmas to anyone who finds it!

Once I got to the top I could see a nice trail far below, and a steep, loose, cactusy scramble route down from the mountain. I made it down to the trail, which led eventually to the Meridian trailhead. Trying to find the cutoff back to the Pass Mountain trail down at the bottom was kind of confusing; I ended up hiking up a wash for a lot further than I expected before I found the steep trail out of the wash and on to Pass Mountain trail.

The scenery was beautiful, and the country is remote and desolate. This area is rarely traveled and if you attempt it you are on your own. You need to be prepared, and confident with rough terrain navigation and travel. Once past the first peak, about two miles, it looks like the land smooths out a bit but it's a hard slog regardless. Take lots and lots of water, and a PLB if you have one.
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4 archives
Feb 07 2015
hikingaz2
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 Guides 1
 Routes 143
 Photos 1,422
 Triplogs 195

76 male
 Joined Dec 16 2011
 Mesa,Az
Ironwood Ridgeline 3108 Loop - Goldfield MtnsPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Feb 07 2015
hikingaz2
Hiking6.90 Miles 1,347 AEG
Hiking6.90 Miles   6 Hrs   18 Mns   1.98 mph
1,347 ft AEG   2 Hrs   49 Mns Break12 LBS Pack
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners partners
R of R and R
Been wanting to do Ironwood Loop for some time, today was a good day. Parked at the Meridian TH and headed out, trail was easy to follow until we reached the saddle to make our way up and over to the ridgeline, took a look up and decided we would tackle that another day, worked our way East and South over to the Idaho TH, then worked our way West along the fence line back to our TH. Nice day to off trail a portion of this loop.
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2 archives
Nov 15 2014
hikerdw
avatar

 Routes 130
 Photos 2,263
 Triplogs 357

60 male
 Joined Aug 16 2009
 Mesa,AZ
Ironwood Ridgeline 3108 Loop - Goldfield MtnsPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Nov 15 2014
hikerdw
Hiking4.80 Miles 1,683 AEG
Hiking4.80 Miles   3 Hrs   17 Mns   1.88 mph
1,683 ft AEG      44 Mns Break
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Nice hike across the ridgeline. No trail to follow across the top so in hindsight we probably didn't take the best route at times but that is what makes it fun. This is a nice shorter, but challenging hike, and close in town, which fit todays criteria since I was on-call and needed to stay in cell reception range.
Named place
Named place
Goldfield Mountains
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Feb 22 2014
Woodsnative
avatar

 Guides 5
 Routes 26
 Photos 588
 Triplogs 655

50 male
 Joined Mar 05 2011
 Pocatello, ID
Ironwood Ridgeline 3108 Loop - Goldfield MtnsPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Feb 22 2014
Woodsnative
Hiking5.30 Miles 1,683 AEG
Hiking5.30 Miles
1,683 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Took this route clockwise, and thought the approach and descent trails were easier to follow going counter-clockwise. On the hike up I came upon a javelina den on the northwest end. Later I scared up a herd of 8 mule deer on the descent.
On the lower trail a saw one and a half snakes. One was a gopher snake, poised just in front of some gopher/mouse holes. The other was the middle of a rattlesnake that had no tail and no head. Someone had left it beside the trail: not cool.
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If you don't run, you rust.
-T. Petty
Feb 15 2014
Woodsnative
avatar

 Guides 5
 Routes 26
 Photos 588
 Triplogs 655

50 male
 Joined Mar 05 2011
 Pocatello, ID
Ironwood Ridgeline 3108 Loop - Goldfield MtnsPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Feb 15 2014
Woodsnative
Hiking5.50 Miles 1,600 AEG
Hiking5.50 Miles
1,600 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
The southern end of the ridge had some rock formations which were like slabs of rock folded over on each other. I forgot my camera, but just imagine folds of taffy. That campsite near the southern end looked nice, but is apparently being used more by javelina than by humans lately!
_____________________
If you don't run, you rust.
-T. Petty
Dec 29 2013
RickVincent
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 Guides 4
 Routes 5
 Photos 3,341
 Triplogs 648

49 male
 Joined Aug 20 2009
 Mesa, AZ
Ironwood Ridgeline 3108 Loop - Goldfield MtnsPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Dec 29 2013
RickVincent
Hiking4.80 Miles 1,683 AEG
Hiking4.80 Miles   3 Hrs   15 Mns   1.48 mph
1,683 ft AEG
 
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Another trip along the ridge line, this time with friends (Chris, Jamison, and Drew). 3 out of 4 came back with small bloody wounds. Typical day in the off trail world.
_____________________
This is my gym. I have to travel down a bumpy road to get there. There are no treadmillls, no machines, and no personal trainers. I walk..I run..I breathe the fresh air. I can go any time I want, as much as I want and there is no membership fee.
Dec 27 2013
RickVincent
avatar

 Guides 4
 Routes 5
 Photos 3,341
 Triplogs 648

49 male
 Joined Aug 20 2009
 Mesa, AZ
Ironwood Ridgeline 3108 Loop - Goldfield MtnsPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Dec 27 2013
RickVincent
Hiking4.80 Miles 1,185 AEG
Hiking4.80 Miles   2 Hrs   23 Mns   2.01 mph
1,185 ft AEG
 
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Tackled this Ridge line loop from south to north. My first trip through this route and I enjoyed it thoroughly. Nice lead-in and lead-out trails, but once on top of the ridge line there are no trails, no cairns to mark the way. Although, the way to go is obvious...just stay high and follow the ridge line. Came across a herd of javelina before reaching the ridgeline. They seemed surprised, but weren't terribly concerned about my presence. The biggest one tried staring me down and snorting at me. I didn't scare that easily. Instead, I grabbed the cam and fired off a few pics. I saw no one along this route until I started my way down the trail at Boulder Saddle. I passed a couple who were on their way down from the saddle.
Fauna
Fauna
Javelina
_____________________
This is my gym. I have to travel down a bumpy road to get there. There are no treadmillls, no machines, and no personal trainers. I walk..I run..I breathe the fresh air. I can go any time I want, as much as I want and there is no membership fee.
average hiking speed 1.71 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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