Linda and I hiked a little over eleven miles starting from the Four Peaks / Horse Staging Area. We hiked part of the Technical Loop and then hit the washes for many miles, returning on the Pemberton and Shallmo Wash Trails.
Tag: Friday Fitness Hike (page 1 of 28)
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.
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:
Bob, Sara, Mike, Kay, Sunaree, Marilyn, and I hiked a loop of a little over 10 miles starting from the Horse Staging Area.
What a view!
This tree had six owls in it of which three are easily visible in this photo. If you look very closely, it’s possible to pick out the fourth. There’s a spot where there might be a fifth owl, but I can’t be sure. I have no idea where the sixth owl was hiding.
This was one of the owls flying down the small gorge through which we hiked. We saw these owls several more times as we made our way down the wash.
Bob, Sara, Mike, Kay, Sunaree, Marilyn, and Kevin:
A relic from the days when this land formed part of a working ranch:
This is a look back at part of the Sport Loop, one of the competitive tracks in McDowell Mountain Regional Park:
Linda, Sunaree, Gayle, John, Kay, and Ben joined me for a six and a half mile hike in the Tom’s Thumb area on Friday. Starting on the Tom’s Thumb Trail, we took the first climber’s access trail west to the ridge north of Tom’s Thumb. We followed this ridge past Tom’s Thumb to Tom’s Thumb Trail. It had been years since I last hiked the Lookout Trail, so we hiked to the end of the Lookout Trail where we could see the Windgate Pass Trail far below us. After hiking back on Lookout Trail, we hiked down Tom’s Thumb Trail, turned onto Feldspar, and then Marcus Landslide, returning via the Caballo Trail.
A small, but interesting pinnacle that we passed on the way up:
Gayle makes her way up the steep and sometimes loose trail:
Looking toward Scottsdale and a very hazy Phoenix:
A view of Tom’s Thumb from the ridge:
Linda, Sunaree, Kay, Ben, John, and Gayle:
A view of the west side of Tom’s Thumb:
Tom’s Thumb, again, but this time we’re seeing it from the Lookout Trail:
Heading back down Tom’s Thumb Trail:
This is one of the mushroom pinnacles near the Sven Slab area.
We hiked 11.6 miles on Friday, following a familiar lasso-loop: Dixie Mine, Coachwhip, Windmill, Bell Pass, Prospector, service road, and Dixie Mine. We also made two short side trips, one to visit a water catchment for wildlife, and the other to the mine and petroglyphs.
Early morning on the Dixie Mine Trail…
A view from the Coachwhip Trail:
There was an ample amount of water in the tank – kind of surprising since we haven’t gotten much recent rain.
When rain falls on the corrugated sheets, it runs downhill to the trough at the bottom. From there it flows through the pipe into the large covered holding tank shown in the earlier photo. That large tank then feeds the smaller tank from which wildlife can drink.
Saguaros on the bank of the wash on our way back to the Windmill Trail:
I was told that I stepped over this gopher snake on our hike through the wash:
A view from the Windmill Trail:
Gayle noticed this colorful rock on the Windmill Trail:
Gayle, Mike Heather, Linda, Marilyn, Marilyn, Nora, and Ben:
Saguaros on the Prospector Trail:
This is the main petroglyph panel:
Mike, Sunaree, Randy, Kay, Gayle, Sandra, Doug, and Leslie joined me for a 9.8 mile hike starting from the Trailhead Staging Area. Much of our hike was either in Stoneman Wash or in washes feeding into Stoneman Wash.
This is a view from the Pemberton Trail shortly after leaving the trailhead.
Turning south into Stoneman Wash…
Hiking south in Stoneman Wash:
This is an east bank of the wash:
We’ve reached the Long Loop here; the wash continues to the southeast, but we turned west onto the Long Loop.
This was the the view at the intersection of the Long Loop and the service road that leads back to the Pemberton:
This is one of the views to the southwest as we hiked towards the Pemberton Trail.
Mike, Sunaree, Randy, Kay, Gayle, Sandra, Doug, and Leslie:
A view of Four Peaks from the Pemberton Trail:
After reaching the site of the ranch homestead, we continued our hike in another wash…
We eventually found ourselves back in Stoneman Wash:
Randy, Heather, Kay, Marilyn, Ben, Sunaree, Gayle, Bob, and Marilyn joined me for a short (6.4 mile) hike out to the mine, up the wash past the mine and then back via the Prospector Trail, the service road, and the Dixie Mine Trail.
We also went to the top of the tailings to look down into the mine’s vertical shaft.
This is a view from the top of the tailings:
Looking back down the wash from a spot near the petroglyphs:
Randy, Heather, Kay, Marilyn, Ben, Sunaree, Gayle, Bob, and Marilyn:
A view from above the “waterfall”:
Mona, Sara, Gayle, Heather, Sunaree, Randy, and I hiked the Hog Heaven Loop. Total distance was only about four and quarter miles, but we gained over 1600 feet of elevation along the way.
We encountered this view shortly after topping out at the saddle at the top of Mesquite Canyon. (I took photos of Mesquite Canyon, but it was mostly in the shade, so the photos weren’t especially compelling.)
We saw this small hook-shaped pinnacle a short while later:
Mona completes the hop boulder hop…
The group makes their way up to the base of Hog Heaven (which is out of view above Heather):
The rock wall behind the group is the main wall of the Hog Heaven climbing area:
Heather and Sara make their way up a section of granite while Gayle and Mona look on:
This is one of the scrambles between Hog Heaven and the Thumbnail Pinnacle. We’re definitely on the right route – note the cairn:
Heather, Sunaree, Gayle, Mona, Andy, and Sara posing by the Thumbnail Pinnacle:
Looking back down at the Thumbnail Pinnacle: from nearly every other vantage point, the hooked shape is clearly evident. But at this point it looks like a straight up and down spire.
This the part of the loop that I like the least. The section from where Randy is standing down to where Mona has made it is steep and loose. Thankfully, there’s a bush to stop you if you should slip. It’s probably easier if you slide down it on your butt, but I never do it that way.
We had some great views as we made our way along the southwest side of the ridge leading over to the East End (peak)…
Sara and Sunaree at the highest point in the McDowells. Sunaree is signing the summit register.
Descending the climber’s access Trail from the East End:
Glass Dome (left) and Tom’s Thumb:
Gardener’s Wall and Tom’s Thumb:
When the hike was done, I added on nearly seven more miles by hiking into McDowell Mountain Regional Park. If you look closely at the photo below, you can see the Thumbnail Pinnacle. It looks very small from here.
This is a view of Rock Knob from the Pemberton Trail:
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.