Bob, Mike, Mona, Marilyn, and I did a 9.1 mile hike starting from the Wagner Trailhead. We hiked Tortoise to Pemberton, and then took Pemberton to Stoneman Wash where we turned south down the wash. We hiked back to the Pemberton via one of the many feeder washes and then went northwest on Pemberton. We hiked into an arroyo west of the pond (where the homestead once was). Exiting the arroyo area, we hiked Tonto Tank back to Pemberton, continuing north back to Stoneman Wash. This time, we took the wash WNW until we got to the Bluff Trail. From there, we returned via Granite and Wagner.
We saw an eagle, at least two owls, other smaller birds, several rabbits, and one (western diamondback) rattlesnake on our hike. The only critter which cooperated in my photographic pursuits was the snake.
A view of Four Peaks just before the start of the hike:
Dead tree on the Tortoise Trail:
A view of the Superstitions (in the distance) from the Tortoise Trail:
A view of Red Mountain from Stoneman Wash:
Heading into one of the arroyos…
Mona, Mike, Bob, Marilyn, and Kevin:
Another view of Four Peaks, this time from the Tonto Tank Trail:
We saw this rattlesnake just off of the Tonto Tank Trail. We heard it before we saw it as it started rattling as we walked past.
Fresh growth on Teddy Bear Cholla in Stoneman Wash:
Looking up at the branches of a dead tree…
Another dead tree:
Marilyn and I hiked out and back on See Canyon Trail #184. The round trip distance is only about seven miles, but it has an elevation gain of over 1800 feet.
Conditions were cool and wet when we started. Foliage encroaching upon the trail made our legs and feet wet. Brushing up against small trees or brush would cause localized rainfall as leaves shed their moisture.
There were no expansive views on this hike, only views of forest with occasional glimpses of the rim or sides of the canyon through the trees. But, even so, there were some interesting things to see along the way.
Linda, Mona, and I hiked 10.4 miles starting from the end of Golden Eagle Blvd. We hiked out Dixie Mine, went left on the service road, right on Prospector, right on the Bell Pass Trail, right on Windmill (past the windmill), right on Coachwhip, and then right on Dixie Mine, which eventually led us back to where we started.
It felt warmer to me today than it did last week, but I think that was mostly due to the humidity being somewhat higher. Visibility was very poor. Mona told me that smoke from the wildfires in California and Oregon has been blown into the Phoenix area. Prominent landmarks such as Four Peaks, Weaver’s Needle, and the Flatiron were totally obscured by the smoke. Even Red Mountain, which is not that far away, was partially obscured by the haze. The air smelled somewhat smoky too, but I really had to breathe it in in order to detect it. The pictures below reflect this fact – missing are the distant mountain vistas which are normally in my photos.
We saw this hawk atop a saguaro early in our hike along the Dixie Mine Trail:
If you look closely, you can see the windmill for which the Windmill Trail is named.
Looking back toward Bell Pass – we can actually see a patch of blue sky!
Heading down the Coachwhip Trail – Weaver’s Needle and other landmarks in the Superstition Wilderness are normally visible from this vantage point. On this day, the haze obscured it all.
This was the large saguaro that used to stand at the bottom of the hill.
Bob, Heather, and I hiked 8.75 miles starting from the Trailhead Staging Area.
An early morning view of a saguaro on the Pemberton Trail:
Views from one of the washes off of the Pemberton:
A view of Stoneman Wash from the Granite Trail:
The remains of a dead tree in Stoneman Wash:
1960 Chevy Impala – check out that chrome!
That old car provides a home to this spider. (I missed the focus on the spider, but at least got the web in focus.)
I hiked 10.3 miles on Friday starting from the Tom’s Thumb Trailhead at the end of 128th St. I hiked up the Tom’s Thumb Trail to the East End Trail, then down East End, continuing on Windmill, Coachwhip, Pemberton, Boulder, Marcus Landslide, Feldspar, and finally finishing up on Tom’s Thumb. Linda accompanied me on the first bit of the hike up Tom’s Thumb. It was great hiking with Linda again – she had been out a while due to a knee injury.
Early morning view from the Tom’s Thumb Trail:
Looking ahead on the Tom’s Thumb Trail – at this point, the hard part of the day’s hike was pretty much done.
A view from the East End Trail:
Part way down the East End Trail is a small wall:
This is one of the mushroom rocks alongside the Marcus Landslide Trail:
Sven’s slab (right) with another mushroom pinnacle at the far left:
Marilyn, Bob, and I hiked a little over eight miles on Friday. Starting from the Wagner Trailhead, we hiked Tortoise to Pemberton, then south down Stoneman Wash. We took a feeder wash west to the Pemberton, then went north on Pemberton back to Stoneman Wash. From there we went northwest on Stoneman Wash again, then to Granite, and back on Wagner.
Just before sunrise at the Wagner Trailhead:
Looking toward the Superstitions from the Pemberton Trail:
Heading south in Stoneman Wash:
We’re in the feeder wash now, heading toward the Pemberton Trail:
Marilyn, making her way up the wash:
Saguaros in Stoneman Wash:
A view from the Wagner Trail: