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Top Hat Loop - 5 members in 17 triplogs have rated this an average 3.6 ( 1 to 5 best )
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Mar 14 2021
John10s
avatar

 Routes 22
 Photos 1,420
 Triplogs 79

37 male
 Joined Mar 01 2018
 Chandler, AZ
Goldfield Top Hat and Arches Loop, AZ 
Goldfield Top Hat and Arches Loop, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Mar 14 2021
John10s
Hiking14.66 Miles 1,985 AEG
Hiking14.66 Miles   8 Hrs   24 Mns   2.28 mph
1,985 ft AEG   1 Hour   58 Mns Break
1st trip
Partners partners
TboneKathy
I hadn't spent much time hiking in the Goldfields before today, but I knew there was a lot of beautiful scenery out there, so I was excited for a longer hike. It's tough to quickly put together a route without knowing the area very well since there are a maze of trails, roads, washes, and multiple trailheads, but I ended up mapping out a loop of ~13 miles, then tacked on some spurs to a few of the arches near the route.

We parked at Bulldog Canyon Gate at the end of Cactus Road and started the loop clockwise along FR 10. Our first destination was a quick spur up to Mask Arch, a nice, easily accessible natural window along the northern ridgeline overlooking Dome Mountain. We followed some of the washes and jeep roads through Bulldog Canyon, and when we crested a small ridge, the views of Four Peaks were stunning. I hadn't realized that it had snowed much up there, but the peaks were covered in white, with the snow extending quite a way down the mountains. The peaks were shrouded in wisps of clouds, and it was a beautiful contrast with the saguaros and desert landscape in the foreground--it looked like an entirely different world on the horizon.

We took another detour over to Twin Arches, and along the way we saw at least 15-20 javelina running in small groups on the hillsides nearby--I'd never seen so many at one time. The arches were another nice feature, and the views to the southeast toward the Superstitions and Weaver's Needle were fantastic.

Our next destination was Top Hat, and we got some pictures at Palo Verde Arch on the way up. The arch was actually a double, with a small window in the rock just below the larger opening. We enjoyed more great views of Four Peaks and the shifting clouds over the Mazatzals on way to the summit. I signed the register at the top and recognized some familiar HAZ names. The benchmark at the top says "Weeks" on it, and the topo map says the same thing--if anyone knows the history behind that, feel free to comment :). The 360° views from the top were tough to beat. [ youtube video ]

We made our way down a drainage to the east and hiked over to Cottonwood Spring, which had a trickle of water spilling over a full collection tank. From there, we headed toward Keyhole Arch, with more views of the Superstitions along the way. There was a lot of trash out in the desert along that stretch, including an old mattress, multiple large white bags full of something, and even some roofing materials...why anyone would go to the trouble to haul trash all the way out there is a mystery. The large rock outcropping near Keyhole Arch was covered in graffiti, which was disappointing to see, but Keyhole was a nice spot, with a natural window in the cave and a rock arch overhead.

A lot of the snow had melted off of Four Peaks by afternoon, and the clouds had mostly cleared around the peaks, so we had a different view as we finished off the loop, passing near Blue Ridge and Saddle Rock before returning to Bulldog Canyon Gate. The hike exceeded my expectations--we saw five arches (Mask, Twin Arches, Palo Verde, Keyhole), visited the Top Hat summit and Cottonwood Spring, and had fantastic views of Four Peaks and the Superstitions all day, not to mention the wildlife. The Goldfields are definitely an underrated area, a short drive from Phoenix and nowhere near the crowds of the Superstitions. There was a fair amount of ATV traffic, but we didn't see any other hikers all day in almost 15 miles of hiking.
Fauna
Fauna
Javelina
Culture
Culture
Benchmark


water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Cottonwood Spring Dripping Dripping
Collection basin in the rocks was full and trickling over the edge; lots of mud and puddles nearby
1 archive
Mar 10 2021
DixieFlyer
avatar

 Guides 60
 Routes 588
 Photos 8,302
 Triplogs 525

male
 Joined Jan 07 2017
 Fountain Hills,
Goldfields Combo, AZ 
Goldfields Combo, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Mar 10 2021
DixieFlyer
Hiking11.10 Miles 2,794 AEG
Hiking11.10 Miles
2,794 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
I decided to head to the beautiful, rugged, and seductive Goldfield Mountains to do two hikes today: 1)Top Hat and the Arches, and 2)Dome Mountain.

For hike #1, we drove in from the Wolverine Gate into the Bulldog Canyon OHV area and took FR1356 to just below Top Hat Hill and parked. From there we made our way to Kissing Turtles Arch and Overlook Arch. To get there we first took a couple of trails -- the Hope is Lost Trail and the Horse With No Name Trail -- and then did some off-trail hiking to get to the arches. Then we went almost all the way back to where we parked, and took a social trail that led up to Palo Verde Arch. Instead of taking the trail all the way to the arch, we took the trail a portion of the way to the arch, and then went off-trail up to Top Hat Hill. After enjoying the summit views, we followed a ridgeline over to Palo Verde Arch. We hung out there a bit, and then descended on the social trail back down to Orohai Wash/Hope is Lost Trail, and then back to my truck.

For hike #2, we drove back to the Dome Mountain TH and parked. Then we did an out-and-back hike up to Dome Mountain. The trail up to the summit is easy to follow, but for some reason fools have painted lines and arrows along the way. The Goldfields are too close to Phoenix I guess.

It was a great day to be in the Goldfields. The 360 degree views at both summits were awesome, and we saw no other hikers all day. While on top of Top Hat Hill, we saw some horseback riders make their way to Palo Verde Arch, but they had left by the time we made our way to the arch.

Mileage/Elevation gain for the 2 hikes are:
1) Top Hat and the Arches: 7.1 miles with 1,451' of elevation gain
2) Dome Mountain: 4.0 miles with 1,343' of elevation gain

The stats above are the sum of these 2
Flora
Flora
Chuparosa
Geology
Geology
Basalt Rhyolite
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Isolated
There were some chuparosa blooming, but that was it for wildflowers
_____________________
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view. -- Edward Abbey
Dec 23 2020
hikerdw
avatar

 Routes 165
 Photos 2,835
 Triplogs 490

62 male
 Joined Aug 16 2009
 Mesa,AZ
Goldfield Tomahawk Meander, AZ 
Goldfield Tomahawk Meander, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Dec 23 2020
hikerdw
Hiking10.76 Miles 1,308 AEG
Hiking10.76 Miles   4 Hrs   39 Mns   2.72 mph
1,308 ft AEG      42 Mns Break
 
no photosets
1st trip
Linked linked
Partners none no partners
Route Scout Route Recorded  on Route Scout Popup | MapDEX
Decided to make a trip out to check the status of the mountain bike trails that are being developed in the Goldfield Tomahawk area. Along the way we made a detour to check out Top Hat and the arch since it’s been a while. We did the larger loop around Top Hat to check out the trail conditions on the east side which was a nice addition. Easy to see the east side trail sees very little traffic but still easy enough to follow.

The mountain bike trails appear to see some decent traffic as the ones we followed and crossed all were well defined. After a while the bike trails started to get a little boring so we jumped off trail to add some adventure to the trek.

Nice morning hike.
_____________________
Dec 19 2020
adilling
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 Guides 1
 Routes 102
 Photos 5,685
 Triplogs 231

58 male
 Joined Dec 02 2014
 Mesa, AZ
Top Hat LoopPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Dec 19 2020
adilling
Hiking1.33 Miles 432 AEG
Hiking1.33 Miles
432 ft AEG
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
My first up to this cool little peak aka hill. This was more of a recon operation and exploration of this peak. I opted to drive in via FS1365. I have been down that road before and I forgot how rough it is! Oh well, I arrived in the dark and parked by the dry pond. I started up the wash and climbed up to the top and waited for the sunrise. The weather called for clear skies so I was not expecting much in the way of colors. It was a little chilly, but I ended up taking off my jacket before I arrived at the top.

The trail up was fairly clear although I aimed for the wrong target and ended up on the little ridgeline below the summit, but I made up to the top, signed the registry, took my mandatory USGS survey marker shot and waited for the sun to appear. I figured it would rise up next to Weavers Needle. It surely did and I got my few pictures and then started over towards the arch along the little ridgeline.

I stopped at all of the little peaks along the way. Found a very elaborate cairn or a monument of some kind on the last one. Great views all the way across for sure.

The arch was very nice. I was still in the shadow of the peak, so the light was muted. The trail down from the arch is very defined all the way down to the wash.

I contemplated going up the wash a little, but decided to get back home to my domestic responsibilities. I will return to this area soon and go looking for the other arches along the wash. LOVE the Goldfields for sure.
Culture
Culture
Benchmark
_____________________
"Hiking is just walking where it’s okay to pee." –Demetri Martin

instagram: @andydilling
Dec 08 2020
DixieFlyer
avatar

 Guides 60
 Routes 588
 Photos 8,302
 Triplogs 525

male
 Joined Jan 07 2017
 Fountain Hills,
Top Hat and the Arches, AZ 
Top Hat and the Arches, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Dec 08 2020
DixieFlyer
Hiking7.50 Miles 1,415 AEG
Hiking7.50 Miles   4 Hrs   16 Mns   2.27 mph
1,415 ft AEG      58 Mns Break
 
I decided to go out and do another iteration of this hike. This time I did Top Hat Hill(of course) and went to Kissing Turtles Arch, Overlook Arch, and Palo Verde Arch. In order to eliminate walking on forest roads, I used my Bulldog Canyon OHV permit and drove in on FR1356 and parked near Top Hat Hill.

I decided to drive in on FR1356 from the east, and went in the gate that is off of Apache Trail near mm 202. The road is really rough in places, and you'll definitely need a high clearance 4WD vehicle. After the hike, I decided to drive south on FR1356 to the Wolverine Gate -- the road was a bit rocky, but it was a much easier drive than coming in from the east side of FR1356.

I started the hike by going through Orohai Wash, and then took the so called Horse with No Name Trail for a ways, and then went off-trail to Kissing Turtles Arch and Overlook Arch. Orohai Wash was a bit too sandy for my liking, but the Horse with No Name Trail was actually good to hike on -- it was much better than some of the named trails in the Supes. After checking out the arches, I reversed course and headed back to where I started. On the way back I went up to Top Hat Hill, and then to Palo Verde Arch. There is a good use trail nowadays from Palo Verde Arch back to Orohai Wash.

Based on the summit log book, there is about one person a month going up to Top Hat Hill. Interestingly, most log book entries had commentary on COVID-19.

While on the hike I perused out some possible routes up to Golden Dome and Tuff Dome. This seems to be about the shortest way to get to these 2 domes. I am not sure if Tuff Dome is climbable, but I have been to Golden Dome before. I imagine that I will attempt to go up to these 2 domes sometime this winter.
Geology
Geology
Natural Arch
Named place
Named place
Four Peaks Weavers Needle
_____________________
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view. -- Edward Abbey
3 archives
Mar 04 2020
markthurman53
avatar

 Guides 187
 Routes 741
 Photos 8,338
 Triplogs 567

68 male
 Joined Jun 27 2015
 Tucson, Arizona
Top Hat Horse with No Name Loop, AZ 
Top Hat Horse with No Name Loop, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Mar 04 2020
markthurman53
Hiking13.40 Miles 2,324 AEG
Hiking13.40 Miles   7 Hrs   4 Mns   2.51 mph
2,324 ft AEG   1 Hour   44 Mns Break15 LBS Pack
 
1st trip
Took advantage of the sort of cool weather to do another couple days in the Goldfield Mountains. The first day I did a loop that included a portion of the Pack Saddle Trail (by Mistake), A portion of Rock House Trail, Top Hat, Horse With No Name and Cottonwood Wash. I think this is one of the more scenic hikes I have done in the Goldfields, much more than I expected. All the hiking was on trails with the exception of a part of the Top Hat. Drove in to within .4 miles of Cottonwood Wash along FR1356. I parked on top of a hill where it might require 4 WD to go further. I didn't feel like putting it in 4WD so I walked the rest of the way, after all this is suppose to be hiking not a test of my ability or the jeeps to maneuver steep rocky grades. The view from on top of the hill was good and also was a good place to eat breakfast and finish my coffee that I bought in Tucson.

I walked FR 1356 to the Cottonwood Wash crossing and checked my GPS as to which cross road to take. I headed out for about 15 minutes and checked my GPS because something didn't seam right, I took the Pack Saddle Trail (FR 3512) instead of the Rock House Trail. Back Tracked to the Rock House Trail (FR1356) and headed west. I guess I didn't have enough Coffee. Followed the Rock House Trail to Orohai Wash and then headed north to go to Top Hat Peak. There was water in pools along the the rocky sections of Orohai Wash and the dirt tank west of Top Hat. The hike up to what I believe is Palo Verde Arch was fairly easy and follows along a trail. I took the ridge from the arch to Top Hat but it appears there is a faint trail heading up to the peak from just below the arch on the west side (marked by a cairn). The faint trail is probably a more direct route because along the ridge you end up climbing a couple small peaks and heading back down a bit in between peaks, wasn't a big problem though. Great views from Top Hat.

From Top Hat I headed back down to Cottonwood Wash following a GPS route I down loaded. Didn't appear to be any trail but was easy enough. Once in Cottonwood Wash I headed down stream past Cottonwood Spring that had a trickle of water flowing. On my return trip past the spring I filled my canteen with water coming from a pipe. Wasn't very cool but it was wet. Gave my immune system something to work on, don't want it to forget what it's there for. I followed Cottonwood wash down to the the Horse With No Name Trail and went counterclockwise on the trail.

The Horse With No Name Trail in spite of the ridiculous name I thought was a fascinating trail. If I had to pick one trail that sums up the Goldfields I think it would be this one. Fairly easy trail through the Beige colored rocks and cliffs with the yellow tint from lichen and also sections through the dark volcanic rock that overlies the lighter Rhyolite. There are also magnificent stands of saguaros. This trail appears to have no destination at all, just goes in a couple of miles and then it's like the person who made the trail said far enough and returns along a wash to Cottonwood Wash. Maybe this trail should be called "a Trail with no destination". What ever you call it, it is scenic and well marked. No issues following this trail.

I took Cottonwood Wash back to where FR 3512 exits the wash (Pack Saddle Trail) and headed to FR 1356. Once at FR 1356 I decided to head down Cottonwood Wash to where the Pack Saddle Trail enters so I could Log the actual Cottonwood Wash route. It was still daylight and I wasn't anxious to get back to the jeep. I would like to write a guide for the Cottonwood Wash route and eventually the Pack Saddle Trail.

Great hike and not real strenuous. Weather is getting a bit warm but the slight breeze at times made it bearable. The flowers are in bloom (the usual ones) but I wouldn't say they were over abundant. Don't rush out here to see a magnificent display of flowers, at least not yet spring isn't even here yet.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Cottonwood Spring Quart per minute Quart per minute
_____________________
Jan 15 2020
DixieFlyer
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 Guides 60
 Routes 588
 Photos 8,302
 Triplogs 525

male
 Joined Jan 07 2017
 Fountain Hills,
Goldfields Dual Trifecta, AZ 
Goldfields Dual Trifecta, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Jan 15 2020
DixieFlyer
Hiking10.70 Miles 2,657 AEG
Hiking10.70 Miles   7 Hrs   1 Min   1.98 mph
2,657 ft AEG   1 Hour   37 Mns Break
 
1st trip
I somehow managed to convince Tracie the Intrepid to join me on a hike in the Goldfields where we bagged 3 peaks and went to 3 arches -- the dual trifecta! We went to the summit of 3 of the "lesser" peaks in the Goldfields -- Peak 3134, Peak 3089, and Peak 3047; and we also went to 3 arches -- Elliptical Arch, Overlook Arch, and Kissing Turtles Arch. Credit goes to @hikerdw for coming up for the name for Kissing Turtles Arch, and for providing a GPS track that leads to Overlook Arch and Kissing Turtles Arch.

I have counted 22 peaks in the Goldfields that are 3,000' or more in elevation, and with today's hike I have now been on top of 19 of the 22. Still remaining are Tuff Dome(3,145'), North Peak 3195, and Peak 3076.

We drove in through the North Bulldog Canyon Wolverine Pass Gate (I have a pass) to the Dome Mountain TH and parked. This saved about 4 miles RT of walking on FR 1356. The hike was an inverted lollipop loop hike. We first went to Elliptical Arch. Actually we went past it as I was wanting to get to a waypoint that I had saved on my GPS, but the waypoint was bogus. So we backtracked a bit and found the arch -- actually Tracie and her sharp eyes found it, as I am not sure that I would have seen it. We did not get up in the arch -- to do so I think that we would have had to go down a couple of hundred feet and come up through a slick rock drainage to get into the arch -- we'll save that for next time.

Then we went off-trail up to Peak 3134, then Peak 3089, then Peak 3047. We saw 4 javelina at the summit of Peak 3047, but that was all of the wildlike that we saw on the hike.

We continued the off-trail by descending NE from Peak 3047 to a nice use trail; from there we made our way over to Overlook Arch and Kissing Turtles Arch. We then reversed course and took the use trail back to Orohai Wash. From there we took the wash back toward Top Hat Hill until we hit FR 1356, and then took the forest road back to where we parked.

It was a great day to be out in the beautiful, rugged, seductive, and underrated Goldfields, and it was nice to bag 3 peaks that I had not been to before. Plus it is always nice to see some arches, and there are several of them in the Goldfields!
Geology
Geology
Natural Arch
Named place
Named place
Dome Mountain Four Peaks
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Isolated
I saw a few wildflowers that were in the early stages of blooming -- I have a feeling that this year will be a good wildflower season, and I would think that the wildflowers will be blooming in late February to early January in the low desert.
_____________________
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view. -- Edward Abbey
2 archives
Nov 14 2019
DixieFlyer
avatar

 Guides 60
 Routes 588
 Photos 8,302
 Triplogs 525

male
 Joined Jan 07 2017
 Fountain Hills,
Top Hat and the Arches Ver 2, AZ 
Top Hat and the Arches Ver 2, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Nov 14 2019
DixieFlyer
Hiking11.10 Miles 2,250 AEG
Hiking11.10 Miles   6 Hrs   48 Mns   2.21 mph
2,250 ft AEG   1 Hour   46 Mns Break
 
Partners none no partners
I had not been out to the Goldfields in a while, and decided to go out there and do a little exploring. I drove on FR 1356 to the Rock House, and parked there. I used some GPS tracks that @trekkin_gecko and @hikerdw were kind enough to provide, and off I went. I went to Top Hat Hill, Palo Verde Arch, Pedestal Arch, and Overlook Arch (or what is possibly Overlook Arch).

Top Hat Hill and Palo Verde Arch were easy to get to, and they are both worth seeing. I put a summit log book on Top Hat Hill back in February of this year, and only 3 people had signed it since then. So it is fair to say that this summit is off the beaten path.

From there I headed down Orohai Wash and then hooked up with a nice use trail that took me over toward Pedestal Arch. I then went on an off trail bushwhack over to Pedestal Arch, which is worth seeing.

Then I made another cross country bushwhack to connect to the route that @hikerdw took to get to Overlook Arch. It was a bit of a slog getting there, but I eventually made it. This arch wasn't the greatest in the world, so I would say that the effort/reward ratio was a bit unfavorable. That said, I am glad that I went over there, although a cooler day would have been a bit better. Nonetheless, it was a great day being out in the Goldfields. This area isn't what I'd call remote, but I never saw another person all day.
Culture
Culture
Benchmark
_____________________
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view. -- Edward Abbey
1 archive
Nov 18 2018
DixieFlyer
avatar

 Guides 60
 Routes 588
 Photos 8,302
 Triplogs 525

male
 Joined Jan 07 2017
 Fountain Hills,
Top Hat and the Arches, AZ 
Top Hat and the Arches, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Nov 18 2018
DixieFlyer
Hiking12.60 Miles 2,375 AEG
Hiking12.60 Miles   8 Hrs   4 Mns   2.37 mph
2,375 ft AEG   2 Hrs   45 Mns Break
 
Partners none no partners
I did a similar route to this last week, and decided to come back and find a couple of arches that I missed the last time.

This hike is the same name as a hike that trekkin-gecho did on 1/31/2016, and I used his GPS track as a model for this hike.

I started and ended the hike at the Bulldog Canyon OHV Gate on N. Cactus Road in AJ.

I began by taking Road #10 to the west out toward the Mask Arches. Along the way, I noticed Peak 2685 to north, and since it looked climbable I made my way to the summit. I headed cross country through the desert to a ridgeline on the east side of the peak, and took the ridgeline to the top. It was a fairly easy walk up and walk down. I did not see a survey marker at the summit, but there was a summit logbook. There were very few entries in the logbook, so Peak 2685 seems to be seldom climbed. There are some nice 360 degree views at the top, so I was glad that I climbed to the summit.

After descending Peak 2685, I continued on to the Mask Arches. From there I dropped down into a wash and went a short distance and stopped by Pyroclastic Cave. To me, this is more of an overhang than a cave. There is a small arch at one end of the cave. From there I got back into the wash, and largely followed it back to Road #1356, and took it to Top Hat.

I walked up to Top Hat from the north side -- it was a bit steep but I was on solid rock the entire way so it was an easy climb. There are some really nice 360 degree views atop Top Hat. I saw the survey marker but I did not see a summit logbook. I went around to the NW on the descent to make my way over to Palo Verde Arch. Actually I think that you could have walked on a ridgeline all the way over to the arch -- I will try that next time.

It was an easy descent from the arch back to the road, and I headed back and then went on an easy off-trail scramble to the Twin Arches -- Trumpet Arch and Echo Arch. After stopping there, I ventured through the open desert back to Road 1356 which took me back to Road #10 and back to the TH.

It was another nice day wandering around the beautiful and underrated Goldfields!


_____________________
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view. -- Edward Abbey
2 archives
Jan 08 2017
tibber
avatar

 Guides 21
 Routes 589
 Photos 29,590
 Triplogs 1,155

66 female
 Joined Feb 26 2004
 Phoenix, AZ
Arches & Top Hat via Hackamore, AZ 
Arches & Top Hat via Hackamore, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Jan 08 2017
tibber
Hiking13.03 Miles 2,006 AEG
Hiking13.03 Miles   8 Hrs   35 Mns   1.72 mph
2,006 ft AEG   1 Hour    Break
 no routes
1st trip
What she said: [ triplog ]
What he said: [ triplog ]

I can't think of much to add but I will.
It was a little windy/cool to start but after the unplanned summit of Top Hat, the sun pretty much stayed out and the breeze subsided. I'm glad we chose to summit Top Hat when we did as I doubt I would have toward the end. As summits go it really is pretty easy especially the way we took using the bedrock for traction for 1/2 of it. The views are surely worth the climb!

and then the ridge walk down to Palo Verde Arch was another unplanned bonus for "as long as we're up here". You can get some nice pictures through both sides of the arch. Now from here down to Weeks Wash was a whole other ball game. It is difficult between the rolly poly rocks and the downess of it. Kelly and I remembered that from one of our hikes we did previous in this area.

The rest of the hike toward Pedestal Arch was in and out and along some drainages with a path for some parts of it. We followed the track where you have to go alongside a wash (north), thru it and then back (south) as you go back toward the drainage and up it toward Pedestal. We didn't enjoy that part too much as you hate not going in a somewhat straight line. We ventured up the drainage and this is when I started to lose most of my energy and steam. We had started at 8:45 and it was now almost 1:00 PM without a break or snack. I usually need a break and/or snack around the 5 mile mark.

I kept wanting to pullover for just a moment to refuel before finishing the ascent but that wasn't in the cards and just when I was ready to give up the ghost Kelly says from what looked to be a top area, "sit down for a moment and have a snack as you will want to have lunch at the Arch". She says, "you'll be sorry if you don't and you're so close". She and/or Ray were willing to carry my pack... but that wasn't the issue. I just needed a little fuel. Well Kelly hasn't steered me wrong yet so after a couple bites of my Payday and drinking some coconut water, up I went and there it was :y: . Whew!

Now that the drama for the day was over, we enjoyed the company, the views and the weather. Kelly ventured south over to the top of a little mountain side and I joined her. As I was peaking over the side and she was running from a bee, I noticed the terrain looked a lot better for our descent so we decided to give that a try. It was a good choice. I hope that made up for the whining earlier. We made our way down to the drainage and took a bit of a shortcut from earlier and headed over for the next waypoint I had marked as "Must See". We hiked up to what I dubbed the Squishing Boulder so Kelly could see how far she could go but she got chock-stoned so had to come back the way she had started. Next it was to the Tunnel and that was really cool. We spotted some grinding holes too.

We discussed following Mark's route to the south but because of time limitations and not knowing the area, we went back the way we came. We found the Figure 8 intersection up thru some bedrock but decided due to time once again to continue the way we came. It was a pretty hike back as the sun was lighting up the golden rock. We took a break below Top Hat before finishing off the hike with some great views toward the sun lighting up the Four Peaks, Weavers Needle and the Western Supes. We did have to pull aside for what seemed a mass exodus of ATVs. We were glad to be able to finally pull off the road.

At the TH we all had a beer and enjoyed watching the sunset change the colors of the sky on various views around us. Ray headed home and Kelly and I went to Mammoth Steakhouse for some burgers and coffee. FYI - My sirloin burger was good but the Mammoth burger is much better. The service was a little slow this time but I like the place and it's close and open until 8. We even got fiddled at. Thx for a great hike as always Kelly. You got me up another peak. This is my second hike with Ray and second peak.

1-13-2017 I only have one video up on youtube so far, two others are done in production with a few more to complete. I set out not wanting to film too much but alas, when it's so beautiful out there, it's hard not to. I also got carried away with the pictures but like Kelly says, I am a Documentarian... I'm thinking of changing it to Tibbernarian :lol: .

Thank goodness for the long weekend, here are the videos:
_____________________
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.
1 archive
Jan 08 2017
trekkin_gecko
avatar

 Guides 9
 Routes 392
 Photos 4,866
 Triplogs 3,271

63 female
 Joined Nov 17 2008
 phoenix, az
Arches & Top Hat via Hackamore, AZ 
Arches & Top Hat via Hackamore, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Jan 08 2017
trekkin_gecko
Hiking12.70 Miles 2,017 AEG
Hiking12.70 Miles
2,017 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Partners partners
rayhuston
tibber
hikerdw and cannondalekid have done quite a few trips into the goldfields
today we planned to see pedestal arch via hackamore trailhead, courtesy of the route dave has posted
ray joined tibber and i for an 8:30 meet time
the last mile to the trailhead is a bit bumpy, but easily manageable by swerving around the dips
temps were slightly cool with a breeze to start with, warming up nicely to t-shirt conditions
set off on a road, passing the green thumb
next a horse trail, and i don't know how you guys find these trails other than trial and error
this took us to the 4wd road that goes right past top hat, so we hiked up to the summit
great views of the superstitions and goldfields from the summit :)
took a slightly different route than john and i did last year, then dropped down the ridgeline to palo verde arch
headed back to the road, then the drainage, then another horse trail
about 3/4 mile of off trail heading up the pedestal arch
followed dave's route up, but angela spotted what we thought was a better route down - less brush, more slickrock and shorter
the arch was pretty cool; a new one for me
had lunch, took pictures and headed down
near the trail junction, there are some cool alcoves and even another arch, more like a tunnel in the rock base
be fun to explore this area more another time
finally headed back on our original route after a discussion of looping options that would have required more time
spotted keyhole arch near the green thumb, and that will require a hands on visit next time
finished up with tibber-provided beers and root beers :)
ray headed home while angela and i had tasty burgers at the mammoth steakhouse - thank you for dinner!
a fun day of exploring mostly new territory for me with good company and nice weather
the goldfields are amazing
i've been out there a half dozen times now, and feel like we've just seen a small percentage of what's available
several trailheads yet to start from and features to find
razorback knob and golden dome are high on my list
the off-trail isn't bad - mostly good footing but some cactus to avoid
the trails are unofficial, unsigned and not on any map
a good topo and study of tenny's book might be helpful
Culture
Culture
Benchmark
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1 archive
Jan 31 2016
trekkin_gecko
avatar

 Guides 9
 Routes 392
 Photos 4,866
 Triplogs 3,271

63 female
 Joined Nov 17 2008
 phoenix, az
Top Hat and the Arches, AZ 
Top Hat and the Arches, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Jan 31 2016
trekkin_gecko
Hiking13.24 Miles 2,249 AEG
Hiking13.24 Miles   6 Hrs   54 Mns   2.28 mph
2,249 ft AEG   1 Hour   5 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Partners partners
johnlp
in looking for more to explore in the goldfields, found three places of interest that could be linked together in one hike: the mask arches, twin arches and the summit of top hat
john agreed to come along on this half road walk, half off-trail hike
set out from dome mountain trailhead
first went up to the mask, following angela's recent gps route
there was a cairned path up the the arches, and the off trail had good footing and not much vegetation
followed bulldog canyon to forest road 1356, passing the rock house along the way
found the route up to trumpet and echo arches using azlot69's track
it would have been very difficult to get up there without it
as it was, we went up the hard way first, getting close to trumpet arch at a point where we lost sight of echo arch
lots of cactus and scree on a steep slope; slow going
went further west to find a way down, passing three feet from a bee hive, according to john
as we dropped, we could see echo arch, so found another route up to get up close on both sides of this one
headed for top hat, almost all off trail then eventually dropping to the road
went around top hat, then up a drainage to what i think is palo verdo arch, gaining a ridgeline and going up to the summit
this was a pretty straightforward ascent on decent terrain, and the summit was cool, too
great views of the superstitions and four peaks
windy, so we didn't stay long, taking a break back at the arch
went north toward some lichen covered rocks and then down to the road
came out near a fence, corral and cottonwood spring
john found a seep, but i'm not sure that was it
long road walk back to the truck, but plenty of good views throughout
saw one more arch on the way back, near top hat
i have tenny's book, and it's easier to make sense of his presentation after you've seen some of the landmarks
the hike took longer than i thought it would, but we found some cool stuff
stopped for burgers at the handlebar on the way home - good food :)
weather was good all day, just starting to cloud up on the road walk back
thanks for doing this one with me, john
a nice day of exploration in the goldfields
Culture
Culture
Benchmark
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Dec 24 2014
hikerdw
avatar

 Routes 165
 Photos 2,835
 Triplogs 490

62 male
 Joined Aug 16 2009
 Mesa,AZ
SE Goldfield Loop, AZ 
SE Goldfield Loop, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Dec 24 2014
hikerdw
Hiking13.04 Miles 1,802 AEG
Hiking13.04 Miles   5 Hrs   27 Mns   2.76 mph
1,802 ft AEG      44 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Nice hike in the Goldfield Mountains on Christmas Eve Day which included a mix of trail, road, and off-trail hiking. Had lunch at Cottonwood Spring area which was like an oasis in the desert. Really enjoyed the Blue Ridge area, the hike up Top Hat, and the trail portion of Bulldog Canyon.
Named place
Named place
Cottonwood Spring

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Cottonwood Spring Dripping Dripping
I will call it dripping as there was a nice pool of water at the spring location.
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Feb 06 2014
TheNaviG8R
avatar

 Guides 1
 Routes 37
 Photos 2,911
 Triplogs 452

51 male
 Joined Jul 26 2008
 Mesa, AZ
Top Hat LoopPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Feb 06 2014
TheNaviG8R
Hiking2.20 Miles 728 AEG
Hiking2.20 Miles
728 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
_____________________
Feb 21 2013
bensondk
avatar

 Guides 4
 Routes 8
 Photos 159
 Triplogs 13

70 male
 Joined Mar 05 2011
 Florence, AZ
Top Hat Loop from Dome Mountain TH, AZ 
Top Hat Loop from Dome Mountain TH, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Feb 21 2013
bensondk
Hiking8.30 Miles 1,260 AEG
Hiking8.30 Miles   5 Hrs   7 Mns   1.62 mph
1,260 ft AEG
 
1st trip
Linked linked
Partners none no partners
After yesterday's snow and rain, we hiked in from the Dome Mountain trail head parking lot, along the roads leading to Top Hat Mountain. Because of the new snow, there were many photo opportunities that we don't often see. In the morning, there was still snow on many of the cactus plants, and ice in some of the streams.
This hike is easy for much of the way, as the trail follows a primitive road. At the southeast corner of Top Hat, the going becomes a little more difficult, as the track shifts to fairly open bushwhacking on the side of the slopes leading to the summit of Top Hat. The ridge off to the north of Top Hat where the arch is located provided a good place to take more pictures and have a lunch break. From the arch, we continued down the mountain, and back to the road to the trail head.
_____________________
Nov 29 2010
AZLOT69
avatar

 Guides 175
 Routes 247
 Photos 8,199
 Triplogs 1,944

70 male
 Joined Feb 12 2002
 Gold Canyon, AZ
Orohai WashPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Nov 29 2010
AZLOT69
Hiking7.42 Miles 792 AEG
Hiking7.42 Miles   3 Hrs      2.47 mph
792 ft AEG
 
1st trip
Made a nice medium difficulty loop hike out of this. Saw no one else all day. Treated to another natural arch.
Fauna
Fauna
Rock Squirrel
Geology
Geology
Chalcedony Natural Arch
Culture
Culture
Salado Mano and Metate
_____________________
It's best for a man to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to open his mouth and remove all doubt.
--Mark Twain
Jan 13 2010
AZLOT69
avatar

 Guides 175
 Routes 247
 Photos 8,199
 Triplogs 1,944

70 male
 Joined Feb 12 2002
 Gold Canyon, AZ
Top Hat LoopPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Jan 13 2010
AZLOT69
Hiking6.80 Miles 560 AEG
Hiking6.80 Miles   3 Hrs      2.27 mph
560 ft AEG
 
1st trip
Linked linked
Partners none no partners
Fun off trail hike with perks. The only other person I saw on the trip was from the peak I could see someone walking the Rock House Trail. Great time. I wore shorts and only got a few scratches.
Geology
Geology
Chalcedony Natural Arch
_____________________
It's best for a man to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to open his mouth and remove all doubt.
--Mark Twain
average hiking speed 2.27 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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