Marilyn and I hiked the Bronco Trail on Sunday afternoon – 9.8 miles with nearly 1800 feet of total ascent.
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Ben, Marilyn, Kay, and Nora joined me for a hike of the Hog Heaven Loop starting from Tom’s Thumb Trailhead. After doing the interesting / fun part of the loop, I left the group, hiking down East End, left on Windmill, left on Coachwhip, left on Pemberton, left on Boulder, right on Marcus Landslide, and right on Caballo. My total distance ended up being 10.7 miles with nearly 2500 feet of total ascent.
This is part of the trail leading to Hog Heaven.
Kay leads the way up a steep section between the main wall of Hog Heaven and the Thumbnail Pinnacle.
Ben, Kay, Marilyn, Nora, and Kevin at the Thumbnail Pinnacle.
We’ve passed the Thumbnail Pinnacle and are now on the ridge leading to the East End, the highest point in the McDowells.
Ben, Marilyn, Kay, and Nora at the summit.
Glass dome on the left and Tom’s Thumb on the right.
I think these purple flowers are Trailing Windmills.
Fairy Duster on the East End Trail.
I think this is a hawk…
Look for the Thumbnail Pinnacle below and to the right of what appears to be the summit. We were there earlier in the day. (The actual summit is beyond the apparent high point in this photo.)
A view from the Coachwhip Trail.
Another look at the Thumbnail Pinnacle, this time from the Pemberton Trail.
Marilyn and I went out to Spur Cross Ranch Conservation Area on Sunday. Marilyn hiked the Elephant Mountain Loop. I hiked out on Spur Cross and then hiked the Limestone Trail. At the end of it, we met up and hiked most of the way back together, first on Elephant Mountain, then Tortuga, and Spur Cross. I ended up hiking Metate and Towhee before returning. Total distance for my hike was about 9.5 miles. Marilyn hiked 7 miles.
Nina, Pat, Wayne, Kay, Mike, and Marilyn joined me for a 10.6 mile hike in the Dixie Mine area. We also saw Bill and Stan at the trailhead as well as on the way back – they did some maintenance in the mine area. We also saw Jill who had intended to join our hike, but arrived at the trailhead an hour early; she ended up hiking by herself.
This area was somewhat more slippery than normal due to the puddles and wet sand.
Kay, Pat, Nina, Wayne, and Kevin.
Linda, Kathy, and I hiked 10.4 miles starting from Tom’s Thumb Trailhead. After struggling to find our way up the climber’s access trail to the ridge north of Tom’s Thumb, we followed the ridge past the Thumb to Tom’s Thumb Trail. We then went west down the Scottsdale side of the mountain. We hiked back up again via the Windgate Pass Trail, descended towards the intersection with Bell Pass and Windmill, and then took the Windmill Trail a short ways to the East End Trail. East End took us up and up and up until we once again returned to Tom’s Thumb Trail. We returned via Tom’s Thumb Trail. Total elevation gain for the day was 3,186 feet.
Sunrise from Tom’s Thumb Trailhead:
I think this might be Phacelia, but am not certain.
This is a view of Tom’s Thumb from the Tom’s Thumb Trail early in our descent of the west side of the mountain.
More views of our descent…
We saw a tarantula along the way.
Linda identified this flower as a Desert Rose Mallow. We saw a number of these flowers during our hike.
Note the cholla within the ocotillo!
This is a view of Pinnacle Peak from near the intersection of East End Trail and Tom’s Thumb Trail.
Linda, Kathy, and Kevin: