Author: Kevin (page 1 of 95)
For Friday’s hike, Kay and I hiked a combination of the Hog Heaven Loop and the Lost Wall Loop.
We started on the Marcus Landslide Trail and then turned right onto Feldspar. To the left are some low angle (third class) slabs which lead to the top of Sven Tower I. We summited there and then continued on the climber’s access trail leading past Sven Towers II and III. This soon joined the standard route for the Hog Heaven Loop. We hiked past Hog Heaven and the Thumbnail Pinnacle and then continued onto the East End (summit) where we also went to that summit.
Continuing on, we descended the climber’s access trail to Tom’s Thumb Trail. From there, we hiked over to (and then on) the oft used climber’s access trail going to Tom’s Thumb. We continued past Tom’s Thumb and then down past Lost Wall, Half & Half Wall and the Fort McDowell climbing areas. This eventually led us back to Tom’s Thumb Trail and then back to the parking lot.
Total distance was just over five miles with nearly 2300 feet of total ascent.
Sunrise from the parking lot:
Kay, ascending the granite slab adjacent to the Feldspar Trail:
Morrell’s Wall and Tom’s Thumb:
Three views of the Thumbnail Pinnacle:
Looking back along the ridge, on the left, that got us to this vantage point. On the right is Thompson Peak and some other lesser peaks in the McDowell Range. Of course, the East End, the highest point in the McDowells is not visible in this shot as it’s just behind us.
Kay atop the East End (Peak), the highest point in the McDowells.
Chuparosa; we saw this plant on the ridge northwest of Tom’s Thumb.
Marilyn and I hiked near Flagstaff on Sunday.
The Sandy Canyon Trailhead is near Flagstaff off of Lake Mary Rd. I had been to this area many years ago when I climbed at The Pit.
We hiked Sandy’s Canyon Trail which descends to Walnut Creek. We then continued up Walnut Canyon until the way started to become slightly overgrown. I think we could have continued on for a good while, but we had time constraints, so I opted instead to pay a visit to the Fisher Point Overlook on the way back.
This is Fisher Point. Up high and to the left is the overlook. Walnut Canyon is ahead of us in this photo. There is a small cave at the base of the rock formation.
This is another somewhat deep and narrow cave that we encountered as we hiked up Walnut Canyon.
A more or less typical view of Walnut Canyon:
Marilyn, hiking in Walnut Canyon:
This was the most expansive view that I could find from Fisher Point Overlook. Marilyn is waiting for me under the tree just beyond where the trail forks to the left. I took the right fork to hike up to the overlook.
I was hoping to get a view up Walnut Canyon, but trees at the top blocked my view. This was the best view that I could find…
Friday’s hike started at the Wagner Trailhead. We hiked Wagner, Granite, Delsie, Pemberton, Bluff Trail Wash, Granite, Bluff, Granite, and back on Wagner. Total hike distance was 10.2 miles, but with only 640 feet of total ascent.
Mike, Sara, Tracy, Kay, Kevin, and Bob:
Ranger Amy joined us for some of the hike on her bike.
The skeleton is now sporting a sombrero!
This is the crested saguaro that’s south of Granite Tank.
One of the few flowers – this one is a hedgehog blossom – that we saw on our hike.
Some of the rocks in the wash adjoining the Bluff Trail.
Tracy, Kay, and Sara in the Bluff Trail Wash:
I hiked the Black Ridge Loop in the Mazatzals on Sunday. Total distance was about 7.6 miles with over 1900 feet of total ascent.
This is Brunson Tank. When I visited it at about this time of year in 2016 and 2017, it was full of water – I had to skirt the edge to avoid getting my feet wet. No such problem today. I did encounter some water when I got to the drainage that runs along Little Saddle Mountain Trail. It seems to be spring fed.
Heading down the Little Saddle Mountain Trail…
Marilyn, Nora, Linda, and I hiked part of the Barnhardt Trail on Friday. We went out about five miles on the Barnhardt Trail. We had planned to also hike the Sandy Saddle Trail to Casterson Seep and then hike down to the first waterfall in Barnhardt Canyon, but the manzanita not only obscured the trail but also greatly slowed us down. We hiked perhaps a quarter of a mile of Sandy Saddle before turning back.
Looking into Barnhardt Canyon from midway up the trail:
We’re much higher on the trail now, perhaps even on the Sandy Saddle Trail – I don’t remember exactly.
As we continued on, we saw greater evidence of damage from the 2004 Willow Fire. It’s my understanding that there used to be a forest of Ponderosa Pines in this area.
We were intrigued by the fallen tree. It looked like someone had drilled a bunch of 7/16″ holes in the wood.
Looking into “Big Kahuna” falls from the trail. I also got a shot from further into the canyon on the way up, but I decided that I liked this shot better.
One of the blocky rock walls along the trail.
This was a well shaded area – it doesn’t appear to ever get much direct sun.
Another secluded spot for cacti to grow:
Some kind of toad…
Some interesting veins of zig-zaggy rock.
Mona, Linda, and Marilyn:
Linda provided this photo of Nora and me looking over one of the edges.