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Tag: Friday Fitness Hike (page 1 of 27)

Friday Fitness Hike

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”):

Tom’s Thumb:

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 Fitness Hike

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:

Walk Off the Turkey Fitness Hike

On Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, 18 of us hiked from the Trailhead Staging Area to the parking lot for the Dixie Mine Trail. The Sonoran Conservancy of Fountain Hills organized and provided volunteers for this hike. (They even had all of the participants sign waivers!) It was supposedly a 9.3 mile hike, but my GPS watch showed that we had hiked 11.1 miles at the end.  Total ascent was over 1100 feet.

We hiked Pemberton, Tonto Tank, Pemberton, Coachwhip, and Dixie Mine. A few of us took a slight (0.2 mile) diversion near the end to visit the mine and the petroglyphs.

Hiking up the Tonto Tank Trail…

This is the short section of the Pemberton between the top of Tonto Tank and the bottom of Coachwhip:

Starting on the Coachwhip Trail…

Taking a break on the Coachwhip Trail:

A view of Weaver’s Needle and the Flatiron from the Coachwhip Trail:

A view of Four Peaks from the Coachwhip Trail:

A view of Thompson Peak from the Dixie Mine Trail, just before passing the side trail to Dixie Mine and the petroglyphs:

This is the main petroglyph panel:

Friday Fitness Hike

Linda, Linda, Susan, and Ben joined me for a 10.75 mile hike (with nearly 2200 feet of total ascent) starting from Tom’s Thumb Trailhead. We hiked up Tom’s Thumb, down East End, turned left on Windmill, left on Coachwhip, left on Pemberton, left on Boulder, and then right on Marcus Landslide. When we got to the intersection with Feldspar, Linda K joined me for a short scouting trip for my rappelling session on Saturday. The rest returned to the trailhead via Marcus Landslide.

(Our scouting trip revealed no bees for the scramble up to the top of the boulder pile from which we would rappel on Saturday. When Marilyn and I had climbed there in the past, bees were sometimes a minor problem.)

A view of Pinnacle Peak and Troon Mountain from the Tom’s Thumb Trail:

Looking toward Four Peaks…

A break in the clouds lit up part of Troon Mountain as we continued our hike up Tom’s Thumb Trail.

A view of Gardener’s Wall and Tom’s Thumb:

Glass Dome on the left; Tom’s Thumb partly hidden at the right.

Looking towards Red Mountain from near the top of the East End Trail:

This is a view from near the bottom of the East End Trail:

We saw this raven on a saguaro as we neared the intersection of Coachwhip & Pemberton:

Kevin, Linda, Linda, Susan, and Ben on the Pemberton Trail:

One of the mushroom boulders on the Marcus Landslide Trail:

This is the broken mushroom boulder that can be seen on a short spur trail off of the Marcus Landslide Trail:

Friday Fitness Hike

Susan, Ben, Sara, Nora, Bob, Mike, Marilyn, Joanne, Nick, and Marilyn joined me for a 12.1 mile hike that started in the Competitive Track area, made it’s way over to the Dixie Mine Trail, and then used the South Wash to return to the Competitive Track Area.

We’ve reached the top of the major hill on the Technical Loop and are waiting for three bikes to finish coming up the hill.  (Shooting into the sun made for an interesting photographic challenge.)

Views of the South Wash…

Ben, Nora, Marilyn, Joanne, Mike, Sara, Nick, and Susan. (Bob and the other Marilyn can’t be seen in this photo.)

This is a view from the Long Loop.

Friday Fitness Hike

Jude, Nora, Sara, Marilyn, Bob, and I hiked 8 miles on the Dixie Mine and Sonoran Trails. Total ascent was just over 1400 feet.

All of the photos below were taken from the Sonoran Trail.

We were most impressed by this mountain biker. The terrain here is steeper than it looks; plus, she had just negotiated a fairly tight switchback. She managed to pass us on this narrow trail without dismounting.

Looking towards Fountain Hills and the Superstition Wilderness…

Friday Fitness Hike

Sara, Linda, and I hiked a little over five miles in the Tom’s Thumb Area. Total elevation gain was only a little over 1500 feet.

Glass Dome, in the sunlight, on the far left; Gardener’s Wall at the left (but right of Glass Dome); Tom’s Thumb, also in the sunlight, at the far right.

The trail goes through the rock formations on the left and right. We eventually passed that little pinnacle in the middle.

Looking at the other side of the rock formations to the middle right in the previous photo…

This is the small pinnacle mentioned earlier.

Sara and Linda, hiking up some steep terrain.

Pinnacle Peak and Troon Mountain:

Tom’s Thumb from the ridge:

Linda, Sara, and Kevin in front of Tom’s Thumb.

After we worked our way around to the other side of Tom’s Thumb, we met a woman who was walking back down the trail to take a picture of her male companion. I thought it was a good shot, so I took a picture too.

At the right is Glass Dome and, past that, Goat Hill.

This is not really a tunnel; the large leaning rocks don’t actually touch each other, but it sort of looks like they do if you stand in the right place.

Another view of Glass Dome:

Linda and Sara making their way across the boulders:

Looking up at Gardener’s Wall; as we were making our way back, we came across two women who were hiking up to Gardener’s Wall, and then to Tom’s Thumb. It was remarkable just to come across anyone else on this particular trail.

Another view of Pinnacle Peak and Troon with a picturesque saguaro and mushroom boulder in the foreground:

We saw this tarantula as we made our way back down Tom’s Thumb Trail:

Linda, hiking down Tom’s Thumb Trail:

We turned right on the Feldspar Trail and then right again on the Marcus Landslide Trail. Linda told me that she had helped to clear the path to this mushroom boulder on the hill near where Marilyn and I used to park for climbing at Sven Slab. After visiting this mushroom rock, we went over to look at Energizer (5.8) and the Gripple Variation (5.10a) on a boulder in the Sven Slab area.

We then made are way back to the Caballo Trail where we eventually saw dos caballos with their riders.

Look for four deer at the bottom left:

Five deer; the second one in line has a tracking collar.

Friday Fitness Hike

Susan, Mike, Bob, and I hiked a 6.4 mile loop starting from the Four Peaks / Horse Staging Area. We hiked Shallmo Wash, Pemberton, Scenic (turning at the second intersection w/ Pemberton), Cinch, and Escondido.

Sunrise from the parking lot:

A view of Four Peaks from the Scenic Trail:

A view of Red Mountain from the Scenic Trail:

Along the way is a rock with a petroglyph:

Another look at Red Mountain:

Friday Fitness Hike

Marilyn, Linda, Sara, Susan, and I hiked 10.3 miles with somewhat over 1400 feet of total ascent.  We hiked Dixie Mine, Coachwhip, Windmill, Bell Pass, Prospector, and then back down the service road to Dixie Mine, which we used to return to the parking area.

A view from the Dixie Mine Trail – at this point, we were midway up the hill just past the service road.

Continuing up the hill…

A view from the Coachwhip Trail:

Looking towards Thompson Peak from the Windmill Trail:

Looking toward Four Peaks from the Bell Pass Trail:

Views from the Prospector Trail…

Friday Fitness Hike

Bob, Mike, Heather, Linda, Susan, and Marilyn joined me for a 9.6 mile hike starting from the Wagner Trailhead. We hiked out and back on Wagner and part of Granite and, in the middle, did a loop consisting of Lariat, Pemberton, and Delsie.

One of the views from the Lariat trail. (I don’t find the views from this trail to be especially compelling. This area was badly burned by the Rio Fire of 1995.)

Bob, Marilyn, Susan, Heather, Linda, and Mike near the intersection of Lariat & Pemberton.

Marilyn, Linda, and Heather hiking westward on the Pemberton Trail.

A view of the McDowells from the Pemberton Trail. On the previous week’s hike, Heather and I hiked the ridge to the right of Tom’s Thumb (from right to left) and then continued past Tom’s Thumb.

This is the new shade shelter near the Granite Tank, at the intersection of Pemberton & Delsie. The previous shelter was blown down by a storm that occurred sometime around Christmas, 2016. This shelter looks to be a good deal stronger than the old one.

A close-up of the notice on the post.

A view from the Delsie Trail:

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