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Month: March 2016

Kevin

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Friday Hike – Picketpost Circumference

Ben, Marilyn, Denise, Linda, Doug, Marilyn, and I hiked 9.7 miles around Picketpost Mountain.  Total elevation gain was 960 feet.  The trail is actually somewhat shorter than the distance we hiked; we left the trail briefly in a few spots to look around.

Last year, several of us went to the summit.  Click on the link to see those photos. While I really enjoyed hiking up to the summit, I think the views on the circumference hike are better and more varied.

We saw cows several times during our hike.

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I used Topaz Impression on several of the photos in this set.

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Several early morning views of Picketpost Mountain:
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Weaver’s Needle (in the Superstition Wilderness) can be seen in the distance in this photo, below:

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Another view of Picketpost Mountain:

 

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New Mexico Thistle:

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Saguaros on the Arizona Trail:

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Hedgehog blossoms:

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Ben, Doug, Marilyn, Linda, Marilyn, Denise, and Kevin:

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More hedgehog cactus blossoms:

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Desert Marigold:

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This is a view from the trail south of Picketpost Mountain.  We thought the wall midway up the hill in the distance looked interesting.
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We saw a calf on the ranch road that runs along the bottom of the southeast corner of the mountain.

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This might be the calf’s daddy?

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Another view from the road:

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The road eventually runs into Telegraph Canyon:

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This is one of the tanks from which the cattle drink:

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Views from Telegraph Canyon:
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Ben, Marilyn, Linda, Marilyn, Denise, and Doug:

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I think this is Fleabane:
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Nearing the end of Telegraph Canyon…

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An interesting pinnacle near the end of Telegraph Canyon:

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Ben, Marilyn, Doug, Linda, Denise, and Marilyn:

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Another view of the pinnacle:

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Globemallow:

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The photo below is looking down the valley of Arnett Creek.  At this point, we hiked up a road which (eventually) gave us a view of Boyce Thompson Arboretum.

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Looking back (from the road) at one of the large walls above Arnett Creek:

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This is part of the wall above the creek to the northeast.
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A sign at the “top” of the road leading up from the creek.  (It wasn’t really the top, but it felt like it because it abruptly leveled off.)
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A view of Queen Creek, which is in the canyon immediately to the north of Arnett Creek:

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Another view of the wall south of Arnett Creek.  Picketpost Mountain is at the upper right.20160325-_DSC9755-Edit-medium

I walked up the road until I could see Apache Leap in the distance.  I think the caves at the left of the photo are part of Boyce Thompson Arboretum.  (The area is fenced off.)
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Another view of Queen Creek:

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The rest of the group had hiked part way down the road and were looking at the vegetation growing out of the sides / top of one of the butte to the northwest.

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One of the many rock formations along Arnett Creek:
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Looking back the way we came in Arnett Creek:

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Looking southwest in Arnett Creek:

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Ben, Marilyn, Doug, Marilyn, Linda, and Denise stand beneath another large wall near Arnett Creek.
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A view of Picketpost Mountain from the Arnett Creek area:
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Saguaro silhouettes:

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Another view of Picketpost Mountain with perhaps a half mile left to hike:

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March 15 Sunset

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Sunday on the Scenic Trail

I used Topaz Impression for both of these…

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Friday Hike – Peter’s Canyon / Cave

Doug, Bob, Joe, Linda, Marilyn, and I hiked Tortilla Creek and then Peter’s Canyon to Peter’s Cave in the Superstition Wilderness on Friday.  Our total distance was only a little over five miles with less than 600 feet of elevation gain.  But, even so, it took us nearly eight hours to complete this hike due to the challenging terrain.

This is the view across AZ 88 shortly after starting the hike:

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Looking east prior to entering Tortilla Creek:

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Another view as we approach Tortilla Creek:

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This is Tortilla Creek:

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The entrance to Peter’s Canyon:

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This is another view shortly after entering Peter’s Canyon. Bob and Joe are up ahead.

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This is one of the rocky sections early in Peter’s Canyon.

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We encountered many pools of water along the way.

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Joe, Bob, Doug, Linda, and Marilyn:

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We encountered sections where the rocks were coated with what I assume to be dried algae.  I was surprised to see that it had formed a whitish coating on the rocks.20160318-_DSC8975-Edit-medium

Joe, looking ahead at Peter’s Cave:

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I think this is a type of Penstemon:

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This is the view from below Peter’s Cave, looking back the way we had come:

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Joe, Bob, and Doug in Peter’s Cave.  Despite being large and airy, it was quite cool in the cave.

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Another alcove in the cave where someone had built a fire.

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Joe, Bob, and Doug in Peter’s Cave:

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One of the views as we made our way back:

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Marilyn, standing on the rock amidst the water:

 

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A view of the canyon prior to turning the corner into the section with the huge boulders.
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This is part of the return trip; we’re nearing the end of the section which required scrambling up and down large boulders and other rock.  Tortilla Creek is ahead; it was only marginally easier as we still had to watch our foot placement on nearly every step while also navigating around brush and water.

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Small pools in Tortilla Creek…

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Nearly done with the creek…

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Hiking back up the hill…

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Marilyn noticed that the moon had risen:
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Marie and Callisto

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Sunday Hike – Pine Creek Loop

Marilyn and I hiked the Pine Creek Loop on Sunday.

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Friday Hike – Brown’s Peak

Doug, Eva, Bob, and I hiked to the top of Brown’s Peak on Friday.  Brown’s Peak is the highest of the Four Peaks; it is the left-most peak when viewed from the Phoenix area.

We hiked Brown’s Trail #133 to the Amethyst Trail #253. After pausing for a few minutes at Brown’s Saddle, we continued up a well-traveled trail of use to the summit. After descending to the saddle, we hiked back down the Amethyst Trail to the Four Peaks Trail.  Sections of the Amethyst Trail between the intersection with Brown’s trail and Four Peaks trail are still in bad shape (and is very hard to follow) from the fire in 1996. Four Peaks Trail led back to the Lone Pine Trailhead where we had parked.  We hiked six and a quarter miles with just over 2200 feet of total ascent.  (We gained a few more feet while getting lost and then un-lost on the Amethyst Trail.)

A view from early in the hike on Brown’s Trail:

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“Snoopy” (or maybe “Woodstock”?) :

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We encountered patches of snow along the way.  Eva shows us some of the white stuff she thought she had left behind in Toronto.

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Bob, Doug, and Eva:

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A view from Brown’s Saddle. The Flatiron (in the Superstition Mountains), Saguaro Lake, and Red Mountain (which is near Fountain Hills) are all visible in the distance.

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A view of Brown’s Peak (left) from Brown’s Saddle.

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Bob, with some small cacti in the foreground:

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We saw this interesting looking tree after leaving Brown’s Saddle:

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Our route followed the couloir and then went left to the peak.

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The route that we took to the couloir required climbing down some ledges.  (There’s an alternate route which goes through a lot of scree.)

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Looking down from a ledge on the way up.

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A view of two of the other peaks on the way up.

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A view from the top:

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Templeton of the 4th Cavalry made it to the summit in 1867.  Major William H. Brown, for whom the peak was named, commanded the 5th US Cavalry.
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Bob, Doug, and Kevin:

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A view of Roosevelt Lake:

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We could see the other three peaks from the summit of Brown’s Peak:
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Bob and Doug near the summit:

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A view to the west.  Parts of the road that we drove in on are visible in this photo.

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Starting our descent…

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Doug and Bob, descending one of the steep(ish) sections.

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The way down…20160311-_DSC3056-Edit-medium

Eva patiently waited for Bob, Doug, and me to go up to the summit.  She said it was cold waiting in the couloir.

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Eva on one of the ledges on the way back from the couloir:

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Another interesting view as we made our way down:

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Views from the Amethyst Trail…
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This is the Four Peaks Trail, at the end of the hike:

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Friday Hike – Black Ridge Loop

Nancy, Eva, Linda, Doug, and I hiked the Black Ridge Loop on Friday.  Starting from the Cross F Trailhead, this loop utilizes FR 393, a short portion (several hundred yards) of the Sunflower Trail, an old rancher trail to Brunson Tank and more of the same to the Little Saddle Mountain Trail.  From there, the Little Saddle Mountain Trail (which is also the Arizona Trail) leads back to the trailhead.  We hiked eight miles in about six hours with just over 1900 feet of total ascent.  Route finding was somewhat challenging on this route; we wouldn’t have figured it out without the GPS track posted at the hikearizona.com.

A view of the old Beeline Highway from FR 393:

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A view of the power lines from FR 393.  The horse trailer and truck are parked at in the clearing at the end of FR 3460.  (I inadvertently hiked up 3460 on one of my scouting hikes.)

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Another early morning view from FR 393:

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A view from the trail leading up to the ridge:
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Linda, Eva, Doug, and Nancy:

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We saw a lot of flowers on our hike.  I think this is Lupine.

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A view from the ridge:

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This might be Jimson Weed / Thorn Apple.

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Poppies and Lupine:

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I don’t know what these are:

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Linda identified this as Indian Paintbrush:

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A nice looking tree at the top o fthe ridge:

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I nearly stepped on these small cacti while walking back to the trail after photographing the tree.  There were a lot of them in the area.

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Another view from the ridge:

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We saw this dead tree as we neared Brunson Tank:

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Two views of Brunson Tank…

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An outcrop near the intersection of the Arizona Trail and the rancher trail:

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Old rusty barbed wire hanging from a tree:
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A view from the Little Saddle Mountain Trail:
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Nancy, Eva, Linda, Doug, and Kevin at the Arizona Trail sign. It’s 393 miles (along the Arizona Trail) to Mexico and 407 miles to Utah.

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We saw some of these horses earlier in the hike too.

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This one was friendly – it was curious about my camera.
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Nancy with the horse:

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Several other horses wanted attention too…

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