Laura and I hiked an 11 mile loop in the Tom’s Thumb area on Friday.
Tag: Friday Fitness Hike (page 1 of 31)
Ben, Marilyn, Sara, Nick, Mike, and Marilyn joined me for Friday’s hike starting from the Wagner Trailhead. A subset of us did: Wagner, Delsie, Gooseneck, Rock Knob, Pemberton, Bluff Wash, Bluff, Granite, and Wagner. Total hike distance was 11.8 miles with 800+ feet of total ascent.
Mike, Nick, Marilyn, Sara, Marilyn, and Ben:
Some sort of hawk, perhaps a red tail.
Chain fruit cholla:
The flowers are goldeneye – see below – with Red Mountain in the distance.
Goldeneye – these flowers sort of look like brittlebush, but the leaves are different and don’t have the whitish coating that brittlebush leaves have.
Marilyn descends a steep section coming down from Bluff Wash. We also used to go up this way, but the move up has gotten a lot harder now that even more of the sand below has eroded away.
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.
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:
Marilyn, Jill, Mike, Bob, and I hiked 9.75 miles starting from the Wagner Trailhead.
Sunrise at the Wagner Trailhead:
A view of the McDowells from the Granite Trail; we eventually hiked up the wash just left of the boulders at the right of this photo.
Bob, Mike, and Jill waiting for Marilyn and me to catch up.
Sacred Datura – thanks to Bill Craig and Joe Bartels for the identification. Those of us on the hike discussed it, but we all thought that the blossom was too small and the leaves too numerous to be datura.
Decorations at Jackass Junction:
Four Saguaros, Four Peaks:
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.
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.