6.4 miles on Monday night…
Mike and I hiked 11.8 miles on Friday starting from the Four Peaks Trailhead. It was a cloudy morning – we walked through some light rain showers midway through the hike.
Looking toward the Superstitions (on the left) from the parking area:
A view of the McDowells from T-Bone Ridge (which is part of the Technical Loop):
Mike spotted this prickly pear which appeared to be growing out of a chain fruit cholla. This growth was several feet off of the ground and there did not appear to be a separate cholla plant growing up from below. Discussion on hikearizona.com suggests that this may be an example of a crested chain fruit cholla.
Marilyn, Janet, Linda, and Jill joined me for a 10.5 mile hike in the Dixie Mine area.
As we started our hike on the Dixie Mine Trail, we immediately noticed the scouring effects of rain from recent days. Rocky surfaces were cleaner and more textured than before. Soil and some of the smaller rocks had been washed away on other trail surfaces. Washes had become deeper and often required taking a step down and then up to cross them. This was especially noticeable when we got to the trail leading to the mine. Portions of the trail in that area basically no longer exist – taking its place is a deep (one and half to two feet), though not especially wide channel for water to flow.
A view of the mine tailings from the Dixie Mine Trail:
Kevin, Jill, Janet, Marilyn, and Linda:
A view of the McDowells from the Windmill Trail:
Looking toward Four Peaks from the Coachwhip Trail. We saw two deer shortly after I took this photo.
This is where the trail into the mine used to be. We were puzzled by the pipe. It appears to be very old and clogged with sand and small rocks.
We saw this rattlesnake on our way back on the Dixie Mine Trail.
On Wednesday night, I did a ten mile loop – Escondido, Pemberton, and Shallmo Wash. The trails were still damp – even muddy in some spots – with significant erosion from the rainfall on Monday and Tuesday. Shallmo Wash Trail was especially hard hit.
A view from the Escondido Trail:
Areas of washouts on the Shallmo Wash Trail:
Marilyn and I hiked the Saddle Mountain Trail from the Mormon Grove Trailhead. I hiked the entire trail, including the small loop at the end. On the way back, I hiked a bit of Sheep Creek Trail. The loop at the end is not worth doing – there was a lot of bushwhacking and it was slow going. Sheep Creek Trail was easier to hike and very pretty too – I wish I would have spent my time on that trail instead of doing the short (but long in terms of time) loop at the end of Saddle Mountain.
I ended up with 8.9 miles for this hike.
This flower looks like globe mallow, but is somewhat smaller and redder than the globe mallow flowers that I’m accustomed to seeing at lower elevations. It was identified by someone on HAZ as a Trans-Pecos Morning Glory.
That’s Mount Ord in the distance. We had views of Mount Ord throughout our hike. Marilyn also found that she had a cellphone signal when Mount Ord was in view.
Both Marilyn and I liked the small mountain with the exposed rock.
This is Saddle Mountain after which the trail is named.
We encountered this snake on our way back. It’s not a rattlesnake – I’ve been told that it’s a Western Patch-nosed Snake. Marilyn observed it’s tongue flicking in and out of its mouth, but beyond that we didn’t observe any movement.
Linda, Heather, and I hiked 11.3 miles for our Friday morning hike.
We saw two (Western Diamondback) rattlesnakes during our hike. The second one moved too quickly for me to get a photo. We also saw a number of lizards, rabbits, and one deer during our hike.
Heather and Linda:
We came to a section of wash with many, many butterflies. In addition to the one below, we also saw some yellow butterflies which Linda identified as Cloudless Sulphur and a dark one with some blue accents which is a Pipevane Swallowtail. Alas, despite perhaps five minutes of effort, I was only able to get a few photos of the type shown below.
I hiked 5.5 miles in the Tom’s Thumb area, doing a combination of the Hog Heaven Loop and the Lost Wall Loop. Towards the end of the hike, I added on the Feldspar and Marcus Landslide trails turning the route into more of a figure-8. Along the way, I visited Hog Heaven, the Thumbnail Pinnacle, the East End (highest point in the McDowells), and Tom’s Thumb.
Marilyn and I hiked a little over seven miles on our out-and-back hike of Pole Hollow Canyon. This hike, near Payson, starts at the City Creek Trailhead on Doll Baby Ranch Rd.
We encountered this snake early in our hike. It’s not a rattlesnake – it’s probably some type of Bull Snake.
The hike was mostly on trail, but it had significant deadfall to either cross or go around.
Marilyn, Linda, and I did a hike in the Dixie Mine area on Friday. Linda and I hiked 10.4 miles. Marilyn joined us for the first two and a half.
We think this is a red-tailed hawk.
A view from the Prospector Trail:
A view from the Bell Pass Trail:
Looking toward the Superstitions from the Coachwhip Trail:
Arizona Poppy (I think):