Our second annual Pre-Thanksgiving Goldfield Mountains hike. We both really enjoyed this hike as it has a lot to offer. Once we reached the "Hi Country" we set off to check out Delicate Arch, Precarious Arch, and then Sky Island. The views from Sky Island where drop the hiking stick stunning. As we were taking in the views and refueling, the gears in my head were spinning as I was thinking up new hike ideas around the surrounding area. Great day out on the trail.
John suggested a 40 mile hike but I talked him into this one. We did the long version to get the miles. We saw quite a few ducks and did a lot of sand walking on the way to our turn off. It was a nice little climb up to the arch and was pretty cool. The hike goes right through the arch. from there it was up to the Sky Island and on to do a little exploring. The views were great from up top. On the way back we saw the Delicate Arch before hitting the saddle and heading down the chute. We saw an Eagle along with few other birds and a few different flowers. It was a little warm on the way back and the sand walking wore me down . Great hike, weather and company. Thanks, LP!
We’re still looking for arches in the Goldfields, so set out to find “Overlook Arch” West of Golden Dome. We set out from “Blue point” area with six “Venture Out” hikers and headed up Gateway Canyon to its confluence with Rhyodacite Canyon and turned right. Now in Rhyodacite canyon we hiked south up the wash, some boulder hopping and lots of cat claw. We spotted a couple of arches along the way, but not Overlook arch. Reached the saddle looking down into Cougar Draw and stopped for lunch, then Jim (jameslcox44) went down the side hill to check out the route as it looked like it may cliff out. He found us a route down and we worked our way east toward Golden Dome. We found another arch which we originally thought was “Overlook” however after further research we decided it was unnamed. We then continued east to “Westward Arch” turned south and climbed to Gateway Pass, then down Gateway Canyon to the Salt River and back to the truck.
Went back out to Gateway Canyon since it's so close to my house. Great hike, but we once again got too late a start to go all the way to the top. Gotta find a closer spot to cross the river, that mile+ trek to get to the mouth of the canyon is a pain!
Because we arrived at Blue Point at 1:30 in the afternoon, we didn't have time to make it to the top of the canyon. We found this hike thanks to Tibber's photoset and her directions http://hikearizona.com/photoset.php?ID=10429, thanks Tibber!
We were off-trailing trailing most the way until I spotted the bent cactus with the Wren in Tibber's photos http://hikearizona.com/photo.php?ZIP=126160, which is unmistakable, then we found the trail. Moderately difficult to find the trail, but there's really only one way to go - up, and it's pretty clear walking. We only got "bit" by a couple of Chollas while oohing and aahing.
The toughest part of the hike is getting there! 1.5 miles of river rock and "mystical forest" along the river is kind of cool going in, but a pain in the butt returning to Blue Point.
We're definitely going back and getting an earlier start to make it to the top. A fun hike, very close to Mesa!
It's best for a man to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to open his mouth and remove all doubt.
average hiking speed 1.61 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.