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Hog Heaven Loop - McDowell Mountains - 13 members in 31 triplogs have rated this an average 4.2 ( 1 to 5 best )
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Mar 28 2021
KingLeonidas
avatar

 Guides 12
 Routes 44
 Photos 193
 Triplogs 110

31 male
 Joined Oct 23 2017
 Tempe
Hog Heaven Loop - McDowell MountainsPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Mar 28 2021
KingLeonidas
Hiking4.38 Miles 1,712 AEG
Hiking4.38 Miles   3 Hrs   15 Mns   1.47 mph
1,712 ft AEG      16 Mns Break8 LBS Pack
 
no photosets
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Route Scout GPS Route Recorded on Route Scout View
Hiked most of Hog Heaven Loop with Victoria and a couple friends.

We were looking for a new challenging trail to try out in the McDowell Mountains and with the climbing gyms starting to open back up we figured this was a good choice as it afforded the opportunity to scope out some outdoor rout locations at the same time. This trail definitely fit the bill.

It ran right past one route where we could see people climbing and we were able to spot several other access trails (most of which were marked with signs) so there is definitely some potential here.

The trail itself was fairly challenging. It was very steep and slippery with small rocks/sand. The trail tended to go around the edges of the mountains so a lot of the time you were traversing. The descending sections on this sort of terrain were uniquely challenging. Several members of the party opted to descend in a sitting position one of whom suffered from a case of "cactus butt" as a result. There were also quite a few sections of rock hopping over washed out areas or chasms (although these fortunately were short hops).

Navigation is definitely a challenge here even with a GPS. The trail is very faint in sections and although there are cairns these tend to be no more than 2 rocks and are less than obvious. There are also a lot of social trails that lead to nowhere and can be misleading. We got held up for ~10 minutes while I tried and failed twice to find the correct path forward (if you are stuck at a cave the trail goes right past the mouth).

After completing the 2/3 of the route and having made it to the intersection with the Tom's Thumbe summit trail we opted to descend by the route more traveled as we had already been out much longer than we had been expecting.

This was a very secluded and remote trail that was also very challenging. I don't think we would do it again a hike but we might use it to get to some climbing routes.
_____________________
Feb 26 2021
DixieFlyer
avatar

 Guides 53
 Routes 466
 Photos 6,406
 Triplogs 426

male
 Joined Jan 07 2017
 Fountain Hills,
Toms Thumb Super Duper Loop, AZ 
Toms Thumb Super Duper Loop, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Feb 26 2021
DixieFlyer
Hiking12.00 Miles 3,730 AEG
Hiking12.00 Miles   6 Hrs   39 Mns   2.35 mph
3,730 ft AEG   1 Hour   32 Mns Break
 
1st trip
I decided to make my once-a-year appearance at the Toms Thumb TH and do this figure 8 loop, which is a combination of the Hog Heaven Loop and the Toms Thumb-Wingate-East End Loop.

I started out by heading up to the HangnailThumbnail, which is on the ridgeline south of East End Peak. This is steep and a bit slippery climb, with some class 2 and class 3 climbing that is ever-so-slightly exposed in a couple of places. I got a good workout on this portion of the hike, and then did some class 2 hiking over to East End Peak. It's always nice to be on the highpoint of the McDowells.

The descent from East End down to the Tom's Thumb Trail is steep and slippery on loose dirt and pea gravel, but I took my time and made it down with no problem.

I did not go to Toms Thumb, but I did make a sidetrip to The Lookout, which has some nice views of the McDowells.

Once I got back on the Toms Thumb Trail, I made the steep descent on mostly rocky terrain to the Windgate Pass Trail. This was my least favorite part of the hike, due to the rocky terrain. Going up to Windgate Pass was uneventful, then it was on to the steep uphill climb on the East End Trail back to the Toms Thumb Trail. You'll get a good workout on this portion of the hike.

Once back on the Toms Thumb Trail, it was uphill for a bit, and then downhill back to the TH.

Not surprisingly, there were quite a few people out in the afternoon going back down to the TH once I got back on the Toms Thumb Trail. I did not see anyone on the hike until I descended from East End and got to the Toms Thumb Trail.

It was a nice day for a hike, although the full sun was not too welcome on the climb up on the East End Trail. Thankfully the temperature was not too hot and there was a bit of a breeze.
Geology
Geology
Basalt Granite Quartz
Culture
Culture
Reference Mark
Named place
Named place
East End Tom's Thumb
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation None
There are no wildflowers yet...hopefully there will be some in the coming weeks
_____________________
I'd rather die of exhaustion than die of starvation.
Dec 13 2020
Bctorio
avatar

 Triplogs 1

58 male
 Joined Nov 29 2015
 Summit, nj
Hog Heaven Loop - McDowell MountainsPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Dec 13 2020
Bctorio
Hiking4.89 Miles 1,489 AEG
Hiking4.89 Miles   2 Hrs   53 Mns   1.97 mph
1,489 ft AEG      24 Mns Break
 
no photosets
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Route Scout GPS Route Recorded on Route Scout View
_____________________
Feb 05 2020
DixieFlyer
avatar

 Guides 53
 Routes 466
 Photos 6,406
 Triplogs 426

male
 Joined Jan 07 2017
 Fountain Hills,
Hog - Thumb - Windgate - East Loop, AZ 
Hog - Thumb - Windgate - East Loop, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Feb 05 2020
DixieFlyer
Hiking12.00 Miles 4,137 AEG
Hiking12.00 Miles   6 Hrs   22 Mns   2.28 mph
4,137 ft AEG   1 Hour   6 Mns Break
 
1st trip
I was looking for a hike close to home, and was wanting something different than going to the Lost Dog Wash TH; so I decided to head out to the Tom's Thumb TH. It has been a little over a year since I had been there, so I was overdue. I decided to do a Figure-8 loop that was a combination of the Hog Heaven Loop and a loop that utilized the Tom's Thumb/Windgate Pass/East End Trails. For good measure, I added an out-and-back hike to the Tom's Thumb Lookout.

I began the hike by doing the Hog Heaven Loop CW. This was my favorite part of the hike -- it was a steep and sometimes slippery climb up to the HangnailThumbnail Rock Formation. There was a fair amount of rock climbing and scrambling on this portion of the hike -- more than I remembered from previous times doing it. I then went over to East End -- the high point in the McDowells -- and hung out for a while. Then I descended down to the Tom's Thumb Trail, and did the Tom's Thumb-Windgate Pass-East End Loop CCW. The descent from the Tom's Thumb Trail down to the Windgate Pass Trail was my least favorite part of the hike -- it was fairly rocky and a bit steep, and did not offer much redeeming value imho. The trek up the East End Trail was as tough as ever!

The weather was good for this hike -- it was a tad cloudy in the morning but sunny in the afternoon. It was 38 degrees when I started a little after 9:00 AM, and was 49 when I got back to the TH.
Geology
Geology
Goethite
_____________________
I'd rather die of exhaustion than die of starvation.
Aug 25 2019
Crzy4AZ
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 Guides 31
 Routes 96
 Photos 2,637
 Triplogs 601

48 female
 Joined Apr 02 2007
 Scottsdale, AZ
Hog Heaven Loop - McDowell MountainsPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Aug 25 2019
Crzy4AZ
Hiking2.00 Miles 432 AEG
Hiking2.00 Miles   1 Hour   12 Mns   1.82 mph
432 ft AEG      6 Mns Break
 
no photosets
1st trip
Linked linked
Partners none no partners
Route Scout GPS Route Recorded on Route Scout View
Overnight at BF new house - chickens and monkeys - after sip & see house warming pool party yesterday.

Woke up 4:30am. Oldest monkey Will packed up his mountain bike in the truck. He is on his school mountain bike competitive team. Got to TT TH at 5:25. Showed him map for Marcus Landslide. Made meet back plan. Tested cell phones.

I went up part of Hog Heaven route so I could look down on Marcus Landslide trail. Got legs all scratched up without noticing it until I took a break. Saw 3!!!! Great Horned Owls and got some video too. They were sleeping same mesquite tree when I came down. I assume was not 3 must have been 4? Seems weird 3. But I have limited knowledge of owl behavior. They were just so massive. Same wash where I’ve seen Gil’s monster and deer and javalina on previous hikes at dawn.

Humid today. I was completely in the shade except right at top where I took a break. Waiting for Will now . He sent me pics of a bleeding knee but without any call for rescue. He’s close to hitting Eagle Scout - self sufficient smart kid. He has an elk tag this Fall for walk in area. I told him he need to bulk up if he’s going to haul one out even quartered is heavy. He has friends ready to help. Has been two years of dating Christian. I’ve enjoyed getting to know his boys. My tender chickens love to spend time with them. Six of us in small time quantities is good. Then going back to our own home quarters just the three of us - is how I like it.
_____________________
May 27 2019
Nate_F
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 Routes 172
 Photos 1,015
 Triplogs 89

49 male
 Joined May 26 2017
 Phoenix, AZ
Hog Heaven Loop - McDowell MountainsPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar May 27 2019
Nate_F
Hiking3.94 Miles 1,525 AEG
Hiking3.94 Miles   3 Hrs   14 Mns   1.38 mph
1,525 ft AEG      23 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Hog Heaven. This one has been on my list for a while, and with the beautiful late-May weather, I did it. This was my first time doing this one so I took my time with it. I followed the track on my Route Scout and well-placed cairns and did just fine. Mind you, this was just the loop and nothing else, so maybe my mileage was a little short. Next time, I plan on adding Tom's Thumb and going back the North side down the climber access trails to make an ultimate Hog Heaven Loop!
The weather was good; very gusty though. It can be hard to climb along the ridge when the winds are gusting; there is some exposure. Also, the dried grass meant a lot of stickers in my shoes and socks. And cuts on my legs! :sweat:
The wildlife was great on this hike. A pair of cardinals (male and female) in a tree halfway up, and a Gila Monster on the trail too! The other wildlife were the Humans going up and down the trail to Tom's Thumb. Really good hike!
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Isolated
_____________________
Jan 21 2019
DixieFlyer
avatar

 Guides 53
 Routes 466
 Photos 6,406
 Triplogs 426

male
 Joined Jan 07 2017
 Fountain Hills,
Hog Heaven - Tom's Thumb - East End, AZ 
Hog Heaven - Tom's Thumb - East End, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Jan 21 2019
DixieFlyer
Hiking12.60 Miles 4,120 AEG
Hiking12.60 Miles   6 Hrs   40 Mns   2.63 mph
4,120 ft AEG   1 Hour   52 Mns Break
 
no photosets
1st trip
I decided to go do my favorite hike in the McDowell's today -- the Hog Heaven Loop. I was wanting something a little longer though, so I added in a CCW loop on the Tom's Thumb Trail-Windgate Pass Trail-East End Trail. I got this idea from a hike that about half a dozen HAZers did on 12-29-2018.

We did the two loops in a figure 8 pattern, starting and ending at the Tom's Thumb TH. On the Hog Heaven Loop we stopped off and climbed on a few boulders at the Sven Tower I climbing crag. This was fairly easy, non-technical climbing, and we had some good views of Marcus Landslide down below. Once we descended from East End Peak down to the Tom's Thumb Trail, we made our way over to the base of Tom's Thumb. Once we came back up on the East End Trail, we made a sidetrip over to Miner's Den, which is a small cave not far from the East End Trail - Tom's Thumb Trail junction.

I enjoyed this hike -- it gave a good workout and had some nice scenery, especially on the Hog Heaven Loop.
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Moderate
There were quite a few poppies and brittlebushes in bloom.
_____________________
I'd rather die of exhaustion than die of starvation.
Jan 04 2019
kingsnake
avatar

 Guides 92
 Routes 215
 Photos 8,866
 Triplogs 701

59 male
 Joined Dec 20 2010
 Sunnyslope, PHX
Hog Heaven Loop - McDowell MountainsPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Jan 04 2019
kingsnake
Hiking3.31 Miles 816 AEG
Hiking3.31 Miles   1 Hour   43 Mns   1.93 mph
816 ft AEG
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
After my last hike, on Prospect Trail in Nevada’s Valley of Fire ( [ photoset ] ), it was back home this week.

I did not wake up until 5:30 a.m., the time I usually hit the road. Rather than fight rush hour only to sit at the trailhead for 90 minutes waiting for enough light to take photos, I took my time getting ready. I was on AZ-51 a few minutes after 9:00 a.m., making it legal for me to use the rush hour-only diamond lane. 🏎

From Tom's Thumb Trailhead, I followed the Climbers Access Route up what I believe is Mesquite Canyon. Note that the Climbers Access Route is not on the official McDowell Sonoran Preserve trail map. Every couple of hundred yards there is a an ancient Climbers Access Route sign, with directions to various rock climbs. I remember seeing CR-23 and CR-27. No idea how high the numbers go, or where CR-1 might be. 🤔

Three quarters of a mile into the hike, the Climbers Access Route angles sharply upwards for a ¼ mile. There’s several good step ups, and much slippery pea gravel over rock. At the top is a small, grassy, meadow.

From the saddle, the trail is no longer signed, but is still obvious, and occasionally cairned. (Note that a cairn may only be one or two rocks.) Winding between large outcroppings, the trail climbs 100 ft. in a quarter mile, to an observation point with 180° views from Bartlett Lake past Fort McDowell & Fountain Hills, to the Goldfield Mountains, Weavers Needle and Flatiron to the south.

There were quite a few flowers between the saddle and the OP, particularly brittlebush, which have been blooming non-stop since November. 🤗

There was still ice on shadowed parts of the trail at 3260 ft. I had to be careful with my footing, particularly in the next ¼ mile, as the trail was often off camber, and crossed multiple narrow 3 ft. deep gullies. No threat of death, but a sprained ankle would still suck.

A mile and a half into the hike, the trail peters out. It’s still cairned, but no longer so obvious. Just before the route begins its final 700 ft. climb to the summit of East End Mountain, at a cluster of large boulders, I hit a dead end. 🚫

Not literally a dead end, but the route crossed the boulders, which were each separated by a fairly decent gap. A younger person — I am 56, with no ACL in either knee — might have leapt across, but the top of each landing boulder was slanted, and the gaps deep enough that slipping in would have been limb breaking.

I spent a few minutes looking for an alternate route, but eventually decided to bail. I’ll be back, but next time, I will stick to the official route up to Ogre’s Den and Tom’s Thumb. 😉

Hike Video: https://vimeo.com/493035346
Meteorology
Meteorology
Sunburst
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Light
Decent variety of the usual suspects, plus a violet one with gold tips I don't recall seeing before.
_____________________
http://prestonm.com : Everyone's enjoyment of the outdoors is different and should be equally honored.
1 archive
Dec 29 2018
rayhuston
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 Guides 1
 Routes 83
 Photos 3,953
 Triplogs 681

63 male
 Joined Mar 09 2012
 Gilbert, AZ
Hog Heaven - East End - Toms Thumb, AZ 
Hog Heaven - East End - Toms Thumb, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Dec 29 2018
rayhuston
Hiking12.79 Miles 4,046 AEG
Hiking12.79 Miles   6 Hrs   58 Mns   1.99 mph
4,046 ft AEG      32 Mns Break
 no routes
1st trip
Denny and Bruce invited me along on their end of year hike. It was chilly and breezy for most of the hike, but the beautiful blue sky more than made up for the chill. This hike has it all: fun scrambles, lots of up and down, tremendous geology and variety, beautiful views with a few nice stretches where you can actually take advantage of the views.

This is not an easy hike. In fact, it kicked me sideways. It was a struggle to finish, but the scenery and company more than made up for it. I had an absolutely wonderful time.

Bruce and Denny, thank you again for the invitation. Dave, John, Joe and Wally, great to see you all again. Happy New Year!
_____________________
1 archive
Dec 29 2018
wallyfrack
avatar

 Routes 91
 Photos 4,974
 Triplogs 1,355

60 male
 Joined Mar 11 2003
 AZ
Hog Heaven-East End-Toms Thumb, AZ 
Hog Heaven-East End-Toms Thumb, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Dec 29 2018
wallyfrack
Hiking12.79 Miles 4,046 AEG
Hiking12.79 Miles   6 Hrs   41 Mns   1.91 mph
4,046 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
It was chilly at the start but the steep climb got our blood flowing. Once the route hiking was done the trail seemed easy. There are sections in the sun with no breeze that felt warm then around the bend it the shade with the wind it was cold again. There were goji berries everywhere. While not everyone is a fan of the berry train, I likem. In summary a tough hike with good people and good views to end 2018 and usher in 2019. Happy New Year!
_____________________
2 archives
Dec 29 2018
joebartels
avatar

 Guides 241
 Routes 828
 Photos 11,996
 Triplogs 4,798

51 male
 Joined Nov 20 1996
 Phoenix, AZ
Hog Heaven - East End - Tom's Thumb, AZ 
Hog Heaven - East End - Tom's Thumb, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Dec 29 2018
joebartels
Hiking16.81 Miles 6,295 AEG
Hiking16.81 Miles   9 Hrs   4 Mns   2.23 mph
6,295 ft AEG   1 Hour   32 Mns Break5 LBS Pack
 
1st trip
Route Scout GPS Route Recorded on Route Scout View
Sat 7:12 am
Into the deep freeze.

Sat 7:31 am
We contemplated a new rule. When in doubt or lost... split up

Sat 8:02 am
The hog route doesn't dine on pequeño cacahuates, bring your grande huevos or go home!
Conversation goes downhill and the hike goes UP

Sat 10:14 am
East End grippy, not loose and rocky as sign stated.
Well... everything is relative after being high on the hog.
Wally tried pushing the lycium berries. About as tasty as a lithium 9 volt battery :sk:

Sat 12:19 pm
Decent views!
Tom's Thumb trail from Windgate up is a great trail. I'm not a huge McDowell's fan due to the drive but this is worthy.

Sat 12:29 pm
Mica in several areas. Trail goes over a huge discolored quartz vein too.

Sat 1:50 pm
Finished. Great to see everyone. Hog was the lure and enjoyed finally getting to tackle it.

Nice day so I hit up Pie & Echo too. After the tedious footing in the McDowells it was great to be home on solid footing. Busy. Jim & Scott heading down so I got to meet the world famous Gummo!

Sat 4:47 pm
24 hikers @ camelback summit.
Roughly the equivalence of a fifth lap. Picked up the saddle in 6:01, 4:00 is outta my league now. Held fair though the rails. Then slowed it down since I rely heavy on pre/post hike hydration.
Flora
Flora
Desert Tobacco
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Moderate
Lots of Brittlebush & [ Parish's goldeneye ]
[ Mexican Gold Poppy ] some are a nice darker rich tone
[ Chuparosa ]
plenty of other varieties too
_____________________
- joe
Dec 29 2018
The_Eagle
avatar

 Guides 8
 Routes 800
 Photos 10,005
 Triplogs 1,469

65 male
 Joined Jan 20 2009
 Far NE Phoenix,
Hog Heaven - East End - Toms Thumb, AZ 
Hog Heaven - East End - Toms Thumb, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Dec 29 2018
The_Eagle
Hiking12.79 Miles 4,046 AEG
Hiking12.79 Miles   6 Hrs   53 Mns   2.03 mph
4,046 ft AEG      35 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Denny and I assembled another Mötley Crüe of Freaks and Geeks for our annual Year End hike.

Chilly/Breezy morning, but the steady to climb to East End, warmed us up.

I'd never been up the Hog Heaven trail to East End Peak, so sampling this geology in the early morning light, was a treat. Little Dave signed us in up top and we took our obligatory group shot with glasses. We slipped our way down to the Toms Thumb Trail where John's 2 buddies split back to the TH. I'll be up here again.

We stopped at the emptied out Ogre's den before heading down East End. East End to the windy Windgate, back to the steady uphill climb up Toms Thumb. After a short side trip to the Outlook, it's all downhill to the TH

Another successful New Years Eve-ish hike in the books.

May you all have a Happy, Healthy, Hiking New Year!
Culture
Culture
Holiday Spirit
_____________________
There is a very fine line between "hobby" and "mental illness."
Dave Barry
1 archive
Dec 29 2018
johnlp
avatar

 Guides 1
 Routes 9
 Photos 4,693
 Triplogs 3,807

63 male
 Joined Mar 16 2008
 chandler,az
Hog Heaven - East End - Toms Thumb, AZ 
Hog Heaven - East End - Toms Thumb, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Dec 29 2018
johnlp
Hiking12.79 Miles 4,046 AEG
Hiking12.79 Miles
4,046 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Coldest desert hike I've been on in quite some time. Balaclava and windbreaker were a must the first few hours. Ron and Gene, my two college buddies, joined us for the Hog Heaven portion of the hike.

Hog heaven is a pretty cool route up to East End Peak. Not too brushy or hard to follow. After descending East End trail and heading over Windgate Pass, we saw some bow hunters at Inspiration point, then three deer five minutes later. The grind up Tom's Thumb trail was better than expected. Always pretty.

We finished up by heading out to Lookout Point then back down to the TH. Great hike. Thanks all. Happy New Year! :)
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Light
_____________________
“Good people drink good beer.” Hunter S Thompson
Dec 29 2018
Tortoise_Hiker
avatar

 Routes 79
 Photos 7,433
 Triplogs 2,837

59 male
 Joined Apr 02 2005
 Mesa, AZ
Hog Heaven - East End - Toms Thumb, AZ 
Hog Heaven - East End - Toms Thumb, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Dec 29 2018
Tortoise_Hiker
Hiking12.79 Miles 4,046 AEG
Hiking12.79 Miles   6 Hrs   53 Mns   2.03 mph
4,046 ft AEG      35 Mns Break
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Another end of the year hike with Bruce and some of his posse. Lp even brought a couple college buddies. Cool they stay in touch. Dave never ages, Wally brings the best props, Joe’s bitter berry face is 🤣 Ray seems to be all healed up, Bruce did this on a sprained ankle. Great hike and company albeit a lot more than my norm. Ouch! Thanks gentlemen. Always enjoy these hikes!! Safety first. Happy New Year! You rock!
_____________________
Tortoise Hiking. Stop and smell the Petrichor.
Dec 07 2018
hikerdw
avatar

 Routes 165
 Photos 2,753
 Triplogs 470

61 male
 Joined Aug 16 2009
 Mesa,AZ
Tom's Thumb Loop, AZ 
Tom's Thumb Loop, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Dec 07 2018
hikerdw
Hiking10.75 Miles 3,455 AEG
Hiking10.75 Miles   6 Hrs   5 Mns   2.14 mph
3,455 ft AEG   1 Hour   3 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Nice loop. We arrived to an empty trailhead which surprised me a little, maybe due to the damp conditions. Started and ended the loop on the Climber Routes which we both really enjoyed. Would definitely do this loop again.
_____________________
Dec 01 2018
Nightstalker
avatar

 Routes 91
 Photos 5,841
 Triplogs 957

52 male
 Joined Apr 25 2011
 Goodyear, AZ
Hog Heaven Loop - McDowell MountainsPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Dec 01 2018
Nightstalker
Hiking5.00 Miles 1,736 AEG
Hiking5.00 Miles   4 Hrs      1.94 mph
1,736 ft AEG   1 Hour   25 Mns Break13 LBS Pack
 no routes
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners partners
Gallydoll
SCA
Fantastic views. Path washed out from recent rains. Perfect temps.
Culture
Culture
Gallydoll Pose
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Moderate
_____________________
Nov 28 2018
Yoder
avatar

 Guides 2
 Routes 23
 Photos 1,365
 Triplogs 107

55 male
 Joined Oct 07 2017
 Chandler, AZ
Hog Heaven Loop - McDowell MountainsPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Nov 28 2018
Yoder
Hiking10.80 Miles 2,600 AEG
Hiking10.80 Miles   6 Hrs   5 Mns   2.20 mph
2,600 ft AEG   1 Hour   10 Mns Break10 LBS Pack
 
1st trip
Partners none no partners
Wanted to do a loop, and avoid most of the crowds. Determined that if I combine:
1. Hog Heaven
2. Parts of Toms Thumb TH to Gateway TH
3. Parts of Toms Thumb TH to Sunrise TH
I could get a good 11 mile figure-8 hike. and avoid crowds most of the day if I get started real early, on Hog Heaven, and save the Tom's Thumb to the trailhead as the last section. This approach worked great. We only saw one other couple the whole time until we got close to Tom's Thumb.

We started at 6:40am and got some fantastic views of the east along with great a great sunrise.

I'll upload the GPS if anyone wants to do this compiled route. A few notes on the hike.

1. Hog Heaven is a climbers trail, and is pretty thin, it gets fainter and fainter as the hike progresses. Finally near the end of this section, it almost completely disappears in some sections. I would highly recommend a GPS, or at least bring the map with you so you know what direction to keep going. Although this is the toughest part of the hike, it is also has the absolute best views. The rest of the trails on the hike are dead easy to follow.

2. Toms Thumb TH to Gateway TH (partial). We start this at the mid point of the figure 8 of this hike and it has a steep drop-off with multiple switch backs down into the valley. eventually the grade starts going back up as you have a pleasant walk to Windgate Pass. Continue on the trail until you reach the intersection of Toms Thumb Trail.

3. Now on the Toms Thumb trail, you are heading N.E. and the pitch begins to pick up a bit and continues mostly unabated until you are at the same level as Toms Thumb. Continue past Toms Thumb to the end of the hike!

A great hike.
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Isolated
a few early Poppies
_____________________
J. Yoder
Nov 09 2018
KBKB
avatar

 Guides 3
 Routes 22
 Photos 2,216
 Triplogs 237

59 male
 Joined Apr 22 2012
 Fountain Hills,
Hog Heaven Extended Loop, AZ 
Hog Heaven Extended Loop, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Nov 09 2018
KBKB
Hiking10.67 Miles 2,464 AEG
Hiking10.67 Miles   5 Hrs   46 Mns   2.03 mph
2,464 ft AEG      30 Mns Break24 LBS Pack
 no routes
1st trip
Ben, Marilyn, Nora, and Kay joined me for a hike of most of the Hog Heaven Loop. We visited the East End Peak and continued back to Tom's Thumb Trail. At that junction, the rest of the group finished the Hog Heaven Loop by returning to the trailhead via Tom's Thumb Trail. I added on a few more miles... Down East End, left on Windmill, left on Coachwhip, left on Pemberton, left on Boulder, right on Marcus landslide, right on Caballo, which brought me back to the trailhead.

I had mentioned that I had a hard time finding the trail in a few spots on my hike of the Lost Wall Loop a few weeks ago. This wasn't a problem on the Hog Heaven Loop, though it is easy to get off route if you're not paying attention. I found the route finding to be easier than normal on this hike.

Recent rains seem to have firmed up the climber's access trails which make up the Hog Heaven Loop. It seemed less treacherous than normal.

I had been up the East End Trail two weeks ago. The descent seemed looser than expected, but then that aspect of things is often easier when going uphill.

The rest of the trails were in good condition. I noticed a couple of (recently made) bypasses around some erosion on Marcus Landslide.

After crossing over to MMRP, I noticed a bunch of pink ribbons attached to vegetation with clothespins. I think these mark the route for the upcoming horse event in MMRP - Lead, Follow, or Get Out of the Way.
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Sep 21 2018
KBKB
avatar

 Guides 3
 Routes 22
 Photos 2,216
 Triplogs 237

59 male
 Joined Apr 22 2012
 Fountain Hills,
Hog Heaven Lost Wall Loop - MSP, AZ 
Hog Heaven Lost Wall Loop - MSP, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Sep 21 2018
KBKB
Hiking5.47 Miles 1,854 AEG
Hiking5.47 Miles   4 Hrs   41 Mns   1.28 mph
1,854 ft AEG      25 Mns Break26 LBS Pack
 no routes
For my Friday morning hike, I did a combo of the Hog Heaven Loop plus the Lost Wall Loop. Towards the end, I added in Feldspar and returned on Marcus Landslide to extend the distance somewhat.

Monsoon rains have left yellow grass over much of the terrain. Despite being familiar with this route, I had to pause and look ahead for cairns several times in order to figure out where to go next. I also encountered some erosion at various points along the way, particularly on my descent of the Lost Wall Loop which made things a bit more interesting.

I saw a few hikers and even mountain bikers while I was on Tom's Thumb Trail. I didn't see anyone on the climber's access trails for either the Hog Heaven or Lost Wall sections.
Flora
Flora
Arizona Caltrop
Named place
Named place
Tom's Thumb
_____________________
Jul 27 2018
KBKB
avatar

 Guides 3
 Routes 22
 Photos 2,216
 Triplogs 237

59 male
 Joined Apr 22 2012
 Fountain Hills,
Hog Heaven Loop Plus, AZ 
Hog Heaven Loop Plus, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Jul 27 2018
KBKB
Hiking5.15 Miles 1,644 AEG
Hiking5.15 Miles   3 Hrs   45 Mns   1.55 mph
1,644 ft AEG      25 Mns Break24 LBS Pack
 no routes
For Friday's Hike, I did the Hog Heaven Loop and added on a bit at the end.

I saw a Gila Monster on my way to Hog Heaven. Later, as I was descending from the East End, I saw a number of caterpillars munching on new vegetation. As I descended Tom's Thumb Trail, I saw some Caltrops (which I had at first misidentified as Mariposa Lilies).

Once I turned off onto Mesquite Canyon Trail (which was almost immediately after leaving the parking lot), I didn't see anyone until I got back to Tom's Thumb Trail. And, even then, the traffic on Tom's Thumb Trail was a good deal sparser than normal, perhaps due to the heat. A fellow from one of the groups I met asked me if the trail leveled off soon. (Yeah, eventually, but not soon.)

I noticed a fair amount of erosion on the Feldspar Trail as well on the lower sections of the climber's access trail that goes through Mesquite Canyon. It was somewhat eroded later on too, but as bad as those sections at lower elevations. There was no problem with following the trail, but it did made the footing a bit more interesting than normal. There were other sections which are normally loose, but which seemed to be scoured clean of the usual gravel which normally make these sections treacherous.
Flora
Flora
Arizona Caltrop
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1 archive
average hiking speed 1.95 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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