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Shiprock - Black Mountains - 3 members in 7 triplogs have rated this an average 3.7 ( 1 to 5 best )
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Mar 07 2020
cdeperro
avatar

 Guides 3
 Routes 39
 Photos 647
 Triplogs 39

48 male
 Joined Jun 17 2013
 Phoenix, AZ
Shiprock - Black MountainsNorthwest, AZ
Northwest, AZ
Hiking avatar Mar 07 2020
cdeperro
Hiking6.06 Miles 774 AEG
Hiking6.06 Miles   3 Hrs   8 Mns   2.22 mph
774 ft AEG      24 Mns Break
 
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Well, I took my hiking group out for this hike after testing it two weeks earlier on a very, very rainy day. This time, it was sunny. Also this time: the gate for the road was gone, and new wire put up (not barbed) but definitely not a gate! We had to park at the dirt area outside the former gate just off US 93, which wasn't as nice since you end up leaving cars on view at the side of a very busy road, where there's no shade.

We all made it under/through/over the fence, which incidentally was not posted any type of "no trespassing" so I don't know what the deal is. Most of the land is BLM or wilderness. There were some broken automobile headlights on the ground, so wondering if someone rammed the gate and this was just a stopgap until they get a new one installed?

Anyway...the hike was gorgeous. We stopped at the high point of a ridge behind Shiprock where you could see a hoodoo in a neighboring canyon. We did not go further, but you can follow the old road higher up, and I plan to one day soon. We have various abilities in the hiking group so this was enough for today. The road is easy to follow and we did try a shortcut on the way out across the wash, but there was so much brush and catclaw that we decided not to do it on the way back, so that's what you see on the GPS.

Sorry I don't have a good pic of the former gate/fence: forgot with trying to get through/over it! There is one pic where it's in the background.
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2 archives
Feb 22 2020
cdeperro
avatar

 Guides 3
 Routes 39
 Photos 647
 Triplogs 39

48 male
 Joined Jun 17 2013
 Phoenix, AZ
Shiprock - Black MountainsNorthwest, AZ
Northwest, AZ
Hiking avatar Feb 22 2020
cdeperro
Hiking6.11 Miles 884 AEG
Hiking6.11 Miles   3 Hrs   6 Mns   2.14 mph
884 ft AEG      15 Mns Break
 
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
This hike was for me to test out a planned hike for my hiking group. Well, it was raining. A LOT. All over the state! So of course, we did it anyway.

We parked inside the gate (see my later triplog from 3/7/20 for updated info...gate is now a fence and there's no vehicular access) about 1/8 mile at an obvious turnaround before a sandy wash. You can get further down the road if you have good 4 wheel drive and a high clearance vehicle, but this hike has great views from the start so we didn't see the point.

There were so many little cascades and running washes though! Parts of the road were very squishy and muddy, but could be avoided if you paid attention (if). The very large main wash at the base of Shiprock was not running, not sure what it takes to make it do that because we had a lot of widespread rain that whole day!
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1 archive
Mar 07 2017
MountainMatt
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 Guides 3
 Routes 192
 Photos 3,237
 Triplogs 490

28 male
 Joined Jan 24 2016
 Arizona
Shiprock - Black MountainsNorthwest, AZ
Northwest, AZ
Hiking avatar Mar 07 2017
MountainMatt
Hiking8.07 Miles 1,036 AEG
Hiking8.07 Miles   4 Hrs   53 Mns   2.47 mph
1,036 ft AEG   1 Hour   37 Mns Break25 LBS Pack
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Shiprock was awesome!

Ever since I first saw this unique rock monolith while driving down Highway 93 I was transfixed and it was immediately marked on my map.

The combination of Joshua Trees, hoodoos and a vast variation of rock features made this place feel like an area from "Land of the Lost".

The Northern shaded slopes of Shiprock was a perfect refuge on the warm sunny day that it was.
There was endless inviting lush green grass and an almost moist like atmosphere that was completely different from the surrounding bleak arid area.
The desert floor in this area was surprisingly dry and nowhere near as healthy looking as my recent trips to the White Tanks and Hells Canyon Wilderness area. :-k


I took my time exploring around and enjoying all the different features of this obscure place.
After examining the integrity of the rock to do a little scrambling I immediately noticed that it's one big eroding monolith that is slowly falling apart as similarly mentioned by @The_Eagle in a previous triplog.
I recorded a rather satisfying video to give a example of what I'm talking about, just make sure to turn your volume up really high before viewing. :D
[ youtube video ]

My original plan was to walk down to the Santa Maria for a dip and be back in time for sunset photos but for some reason I lost a bit of desire and became impatient in the process so I decided to power hike it back to my SUV and drive to a particular dense portion of the J-Tree Forest for tripod time instead.

Above all it was fantastic day and the light airy sunset and ideal weather was just the icing on the cake!
Geology
Geology
HooDoo
Culture
Culture
Cag Shot
Named place
Named place
Shiprock
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Light
-Josuhua Trees are blooming.
-Isolated Poppy Patches
-Scattered lupine
-And a bunch of tiny insignificant white and purple flowers I'm not familiar with.

dry Black Canyon Wash Dry Dry
BC Wash was dry but the southwestern side of Shiprock surprisingly had a tiny bit of actual running water, handful of pools and lots of wet mud.
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http://www.mattwhelanphotography.com/
4 archives
Jan 07 2016
RickVincent
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 Guides 4
 Routes 5
 Photos 3,357
 Triplogs 659

50 male
 Joined Aug 20 2009
 Mesa, AZ
Shiprock - Black MountainsNorthwest, AZ
Northwest, AZ
Hiking avatar Jan 07 2016
RickVincent
Hiking4.30 Miles 200 AEG
Hiking4.30 Miles   2 Hrs   20 Mns   1.84 mph
200 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Years ago I caught a glimpse of this massive rock. My curiosity finally led to opportunity. On my way up to Vegas for the winter electronics show, I stopped for a hike.

Rain had just pounded me while driving through two storm cells. It was sprinkling when I started and I felt I might be asking for trouble by continuing. Went for it anyway and my pre-Vegas luck paid off. Caught some beautiful photos of the area, great clouds, great light and interesting geology.

The rain had passed through here and left me with some active run-off in the surrounding wash and drainages. No doubt the running water enhanced the experience.

I hiked my own off-trail perimeter of the rock, then returned down the road I had arrived upon. Continued on to Vegas while driving through 2 more rainstorm cells.
Geology
Geology
HooDoo
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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.
Feb 09 2013
joebartels
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 Guides 227
 Routes 826
 Photos 11,361
 Triplogs 4,464

50 male
 Joined Nov 20 1996
 Phoenix, AZ
Shiprock Violas & Ives Peak - Arrastra, AZ 
Shiprock Violas & Ives Peak - Arrastra, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Feb 09 2013
joebartels
Hiking15.75 Miles 3,650 AEG
Hiking15.75 Miles   10 Hrs   10 Mns   1.72 mph
3,650 ft AEG   1 Hour    Break12 LBS Pack
 
1st trip
Partners partners
johnlp
The_Eagle
Shiprock was remarkable. Violas was a pimple. Ives was enchanting. The hike to the base of Ives was nice. We wanted to hike through Joshua Trees and we did. However they were on the lower part alongside the jeep road, not in the wilderness portions.

The adventure began at the base of Ives. The scramble up was fun. A saguaro plastered with snow greeted us right when we topped out. It was a little windy and cold so we forged on.

Bruce wanted to return on the jeep road. John eyed a shortcut canyon. I had an idea of where I wanted to go and somehow worded it in a way to convince Bruce and John.

Luck worked over a blind horizon a time or two before we cliffed out. True luck IMO was that we were far enough away from backtracking that we could concentrate on the adventure ahead of us.

We took turns looking for a route off the cliff edge. This is called sending out a "test hiker". I jumped on the 1st and bombed. John checked an option that looked impossible yet came within 20 feet of victory! Then surprise of the day, year or life happened when BRUCE took the lead down a scree slide. It sounded like wind chimes descending!

We brought it home via the Santa Maria and Black Canyon Wash. It's been a while since I was so exhausted.

2 minutes and 46 seconds in the Arrastra Wilderness
[ youtube video ]
Route Fly Over
[ youtube video ]
Flora
Flora
Joshua Tree
Fauna
Fauna
Raccoon
Culture
Culture
Benchmark

dry Black Canyon Wash Dry Dry
just a trace in spots, like quicksand drying out
it wouldn't be worth your time trying to filter with Santa Maria nearby

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Doable Spring Dripping Dripping
difficult to gauge, perhaps just runoff
judging by the nearby growth, something trickles often

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max South Fork Santa Maria River Light flow Light flow
flowing nice
over the ankles, typically 10-20 feet wide
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- joe
Feb 09 2013
johnlp
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 Guides 1
 Routes 9
 Photos 4,308
 Triplogs 3,430

62 male
 Joined Mar 16 2008
 chandler,az
Viola-Ives-Santa Maria Loop, AZ 
Viola-Ives-Santa Maria Loop, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Feb 09 2013
johnlp
Hiking16.30 Miles 3,928 AEG
Hiking16.30 Miles   10 Hrs   8 Mns   1.78 mph
3,928 ft AEG   1 Hour    Break
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Partners partners
joebartels
The_Eagle
Another awesome hike in the Arrastra Wilderness. The route we took up to Violas and Ives peaks was a good one, but I don't reccomend our route back down unless you like very steep and loose with some exposure. This hike has interesting geology, mountains, canyons, springs, mines, and a flowing river. Very cool. Thanks Bruce for putting together the route, and Joe for the nonstop entertainment (in between whines). :)
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“Good people drink good beer.” Hunter S Thompson
Feb 09 2013
The_Eagle
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 Guides 5
 Routes 793
 Photos 9,480
 Triplogs 1,146

64 male
 Joined Jan 20 2009
 Far NE Phoenix,
Viola-Ives-Santa Maria Loop, AZ 
Viola-Ives-Santa Maria Loop, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Feb 09 2013
The_Eagle
Hiking16.30 Miles 3,928 AEG
Hiking16.30 Miles   10 Hrs   8 Mns   1.78 mph
3,928 ft AEG   1 Hour    Break16 LBS Pack
 
1st trip
Partners partners
joebartels
johnlp
Another run out to the Arrastra wilderness. Attacking Ives Peak had been the last of our three original goals one of our there. I drew up a track that kept us on old jeep roads for the first 4+ miles, then a bushwhack to Violas Peak and finally Ives Peak. I had this planned as an out and back, because to me, none of the routes off to the West, North, or East, looked "DOABLE" (Phrase for the Day Alert)

The hike started just off Rt93, in the Joshua trees. 2 miles in, the focal point is a formation called Shiprock. We contemplated trying to find a way up it, but nothing was obvious, the rock was crumbly, and we were on another mission at the time. The jeep road we were on, starting at Shiprock, is one steep SOB. The road ends 4+ miles out, at the site of 3 tall old water tanks. The steepness does not end, just the road.

We made it up to the area of Violas Peak, but it was another one we were not getting up. It's a small spire with steep walls.

The views to the South at this point were just incredibly vast.

Ives next... The route I'd suggested from TOPO and Satellite views, did not look all that good in person. Joe and John took over and it was time to climb the side. It was not to bad for me, except one spot where I had "A Moment", but before you knew it, we were atop Ives. Luckily the forcasted snow the night before, did not materialize, there was just a dusting on top.

Now it's decision time. In lieu of the planned out and back, Joe talked John and I into making this a loop. Being the Lemurs we are, we followed. "Doable" was heard many times over the next 4 hours. Also the words, "Maybe Not". We headed north off of Ives.

There were were probably 3 "Doable" areas, that I never would have attempted by myself, but Lemur's John and Bruce followed on. After numerous areas of getting cliffed out, we finally made it to a ravine that took us out to the Santa Maria River. In the 3.5 miles, from the high point on Ives, to the Santa Maria River, we'd dropped 2400'.

Time to get wet again. We followed the Santa Maria for 3 miles, in and out of the water. We passed a couple of mining areas on the way. Once out of the Santa Maria, it was all dry land for the next 3.5 miles back to the van.

Video ==> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iFB-8CntuXM

Another excellent adventure! It was Doable!

Thanks for driving John.
Flora
Flora
Joshua Tree


water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Doable Spring Dripping Dripping
Grassy Wet area with a little pooling. Could have been from recent rains

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max South Fork Santa Maria River Light flow Light flow
Cold Clear Water
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There is a very fine line between "hobby" and "mental illness."
Dave Barry
average hiking speed 1.99 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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