Marilyn and I hiked the Pass Mountain Trail on Sunday. She waited for me at the pass while I extended my hike a bit by hiking the Bulldog Saddle Trail. On past hikes of Pass Mountain, I had seen this trail to the east as we were hiking up to the pass and wanted to hike it – well, on Sunday I got my chance. It turned out to be a very well trodden and well defined trail; I was hoping for more of a route finding challenge. But the views were still good though.
Tag: Arizona (page 2 of 57)
Sunaree, Leslie, Doug, Sara, Gayle, Mike, Ben, Marilyn, Marilyn, Linda, and I hiked a lollipop-loop of 11.6 miles starting from the Wagner Trailhead. We hiked Wagner, Granite, Bluff Wash, Pemberton, Rock Knob, Gooseneck, Delsie, Granite, and Wagner. It had been a while since we had hiked the wash paralleling the Bluff Trail – it was good to see it again.
Linda, Marilyn, Leslie, Sunaree, Randy, Doug, Jerry, Gayle, Mike, Heather, Lynn, and Jon joined me for a hike starting from the Horse Staging Area. We hiked Shallmo Wash, Pemberton, and Escondido for a hike of about ten miles.
Sunrise photo from the parking lot:
Saguaros on the Escondido Trail:
Linda, Marilyn, Leslie, Sunaree, Randy, Doug, Jerry, Gayle, Mike, Heather, and Kevin:
On Friday, the 29th, Linda, DeAnn, Sandy, Sarah, and I hiked 12.5 miles from the Cave Creek Trailhead (in the Seven Springs Recreation Area) to the Spur Cross Trailhead. We stayed on Cave Creek Trail #4 for all but the last couple of miles.
Starting out at the Cave Creek Trailhead:
After crossing the road, the trail passed through a shaded area next to the creek:
Linda spotted this hollow fallen tree…
A crested saguaro; there were supposed to be two on this hike, but this is the only one we saw.
From back to front are DeAnn, Sandy, Linda, and Sarah:
We had to cross the creek several times. We managed to do it without getting too wet.
This is the intersection with the Skunk Tank Trail:
A view of the creek with New River Mesa in the distance:
We entered a lush and colorful area…
We saw this painted stone atop one of the cairns along the way:
I think this is Black Mesa in the distance:
Black Mesa on the left; New River Mesa on the right:
Sandy, DeAnn, Linda, and Sarah:
I thought it would be cool to explore this wash / canyon below the trail – maybe some other day…
Crossing the creek again, though it’s dry at this point:
And again; this was the last crossing, I think.
Gayle, Sunaree, Mitra, Marilyn, and I hiked a variation of the Cottonwood Spring Loop. Midway through the loop, when we got to intersection with the Skull Mesa Trail, we hiked to the top and then returned to finish the loop.
Mitra spotted these deer at the trailhead; behind the deer is Elephant Mountain and the fortress pinnacle below it to the right.
This is Cottonwood Creek:
An early view of Skull Mesa; there is a prominent wash / drainage here, but it is not named on any of the maps that I’ve consulted.
Another view of Skull Mesa, this time from well along Trail #247:
A crested saguaro:
Looking down as we start to make our way up the Skull Mesa Trail:
Gayle, Mitra, and Sunaree make their way up the Skull Mesa Trail:
Mitra poses for a photo at the edge of the mesa:
Mitra, Gayle, and Sunaree:
A dead / alive tree atop the mesa:
Making our way back down the Skull Mesa Trail…
This is one of the views from Trail #247 beyond the Skull Mesa intersection. If you look closely, you can see another crested saguaro below.
We’re just above Cottonwood Spring in this photo…
We came across this gate on 247A; I thought the dry grass made for an interesting contrast to the vegetation beyond the gate.
Another wash crossing; this one had a lot of cairns showing the correct way to go.
Cheryl, Sunaree, Marilyn, Mike, and I did a 10.7 mile hike starting from the Dixie Mine Parking lot. We hiked Dixie Mine to the road, then went and took a look at the mine and the petroglyphs. We continued up the canyon, which eventually turns into just a wash until we got to the Prospector Trail. At that point, we turned right and followed the Prospector Trail up to it’s junction with the Bell Pass Trail. We then took Bell Pass, Windmill, and Coachwhip back to the Dixie Mine Trail for our return trip. Total distance was just under 10.7 miles with nearly 1500 feet of total ascent.
This is a view of one of the washes that crosses the Dixie Mine Trail, well before getting to the service road.
A view of the mine tailings. Our route went well below the tailings through the trees that can be seen in the wash.
This is one of several shallow holes near the mine. It goes in perhaps only eight feet and there is no vertical shaft. I suppose that the warning sign is posted in the not very likely event that it should collapse.
Although I took a picture of the main petroglyph panel which is near the mine entrance, I decided not to post it for this hike. (I’ve taken a lot of pictures of it.) These are some other petroglyphs which are further up the canyon on the way to the “waterfall”.
Another pair of glyphs:
This is a view from the top of the “waterfall”. (It’s not steep enough to be a true waterfall, but it is steep enough to be challenging to ascend when it’s wet.)
A triangle shaped slab can be found further up the canyon:
This is one of the views just before the canyon opens up, turning the route into a hike up a wash:
This is the view just after turning onto the Prospector Trail:
Cheryl, Sunaree, Marilyn, and Mike, hiking up the Prospector Trail:
More views from the Prospector Trail – this is a very scenic section:
Looking back towards where we had been hiking perhaps half an hour earlier. An old road can be seen along the hill at the left side of the photo. (We didn’t hike that road.) The trail comes up from below the right side of the hill and then continues up to the right. Not much of it is visible in this photo.
The remnants of the windmill for which the Windmill Trail is named can be seen in this photo:
A view of Four Peaks from the Coachwhip Trail:
Returning via the Dixie Mine Trail…
Mitra joined Nora and me for the first part of our ten mile hike. We hiked the Tom’s Thumb trail and then took a climber’s access trail up to and then past Tom’s Thumb, rejoining the Tom’s Thumb Trail at around the two mile point. Mitra headed back down Tom’s Thumb Trail while Nora and I went in the other direction on Tom’s Thumb Trail. We hiked down the Scottsdale side of the mountain and then hiked up the Windgate Pass Trail to return to the eastern side of the (McDowell) mountain range. We returned by hiking up the East End Trail and then down Tom’s Thumb Trail.
A view from early on along the climber’s access trail:
We saw some deer early on too…
Gardener’s Wall and Tom’s Thumb:
More views from the climber’s access trail…
Pinnacle Peak and Troon Mountain:
Views of the East End, Glass Dome, Weaver’s Needle, Tom’s Thumb, and the Rist (no “w”):
Nora and Mitra, nearing the end of the climber’s access trail:
I don’t often see Tom’s Thumb from this angle; I took this one as we were heading west prior to crossing over to the Scottsdale side on Tom’s Thumb Trail:
As we headed west on the Tom’s Thumb Trail, Nora noticed, at first, that there weren’t any saguaros. But that soon changed as we continued westward:
Another great view from the Scottsdale side of the mountain:
Here, we’ve started up the Windgate Pass Trail; this is a view of the pass:
A view of Weaver’s Needle through a pair of saguaro arms:
Looking towards Red Mountain and Fountain Hills from the East End Trail:
Glass Dome and Tom’s Thumb:
When we nearly done, we saw a pair of climbers hiking up the trail. Oh, yeah, there was this guy in a Santa suit with and green alien hanging off his back too…
Friday’s hike started from the Wagner Trailhead. We did a “lollipop” hike starting on Wagner, right on Granite, right on Delsie, across Pemberton to the connector to Gooseneck, left on Gooseneck, left on Rock Knob, left on Pemberton, right on Bluff, left on Granite, and returning on Wagner. Total hike distance was about 11.5 miles.
The skeleton now has sunglasses and a hat! (He’s had the can of beer for a while now.)
Some boulders on the Gooseneck Trail:
Looking towards the McDowells from the Goosneck Trail:
We had fourteen hikers (counting myself) on Friday’s hike!
Chain fruit cholla on the Rock Knob Trail:
Looking back toward the McDowells on the Rock Knob Trail:
Looking toward Four Peaks on the Bluff Trail:
A small tarantula on the Bluff Trail:
Nick, Bob, Mike, and I did a lollipop-loop hike starting from the Spur Cross Ranch Conservation Area. The interesting part of the loop was on Trail 247A in the Tonto National Forest. On the way back, we came across a recently built trail that led from 247 back to 247A.
This is a view of Skull Mesa from 247A:
Another view of Skull Mesa:
Looking back toward Sugarloaf Mountain:
Nick found a dead Gila Monster to munch on as an appetizer before lunch…
Nick, Bob, and Mike on 247 after leaving the spring.
This is the view along the section of 247 between 247A and the intersection with the Skull Mesa Trail.
Another awesome view on the hike back…