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Tag: Friday Fitness Hike (page 3 of 28)

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:

Friday Fitness Hike

Heather and I hiked a ten mile loop starting from the Tom’s Thumb Trailhead. Total elevation gain was slightly over 1900 feet. We hiked the Tom’s Thumb Trailhead until the first climber’s access trail to the right. From there, we hiked up to the ridge upon which Tom’s Thumb is situated. We hiked the ridge past Tom’s Thumb and then continued on the heavily used access trail down to Tom’s Thumb Trail. From there, we hiked down East End Trail, then took Windmill, Coachwhip, Pemberton, Boulder, and Marcus Landslide to return.

Along the way we encountered Anika, who we’ve seen trail running in various parts of the Preserve. I usually see her on the Bell Pass Trail, but today we met her as she was running up the East End Trail. She was running a seventeen mile route on Friday which had a lot more elevation gain than what Heather and I did. And she was doing it with just one small water bottle tucked into the elastic waistband of her running shorts!

This is a sunrise shot from the parking lot:

There are many interesting rock formations on the way up to the ridge.

A view of Gardener’s Wall from the side. The East End (summit) is on the left.

Heather spotted this Tarantula as we were hiking up to the ridge:

Pinnacle Peak and Troon Mountain(s):

Approaching Tom’s Thumb:

As we were making our way over to Tom’s Thumb, we saw a snake ahead!

We she got home, Heather’s husband, Dave, identified it as a Sonoran Coral Snake.

We encountered this saguaro as we were making our way from the south side of Tom’s Thumb to the east side.

Heading down Tom’s Thumb Trail towards the East End Trail…

A view from the East End Trail:

Nearing the Windmill Trail…

This collection of saguaros is on the Coachwhip Trail:

A side trail off of Marcus Landslide leads to this fallen mushroom rock:

Friday Fitness Hike

Bob, Mike, Mona, Marilyn, and I did a 9.1 mile hike starting from the Wagner Trailhead. We hiked Tortoise to Pemberton, and then took Pemberton to Stoneman Wash where we turned south down the wash. We hiked back to the Pemberton via one of the many feeder washes and then went northwest on Pemberton. We hiked into an arroyo west of the pond (where the homestead once was). Exiting the arroyo area, we hiked Tonto Tank back to Pemberton, continuing north back to Stoneman Wash. This time, we took the wash WNW until we got to the Bluff Trail. From there, we returned via Granite and Wagner.

We saw an eagle, at least two owls, other smaller birds, several rabbits, and one (western diamondback) rattlesnake on our hike.  The only critter which cooperated in my photographic pursuits was the snake.

A view of Four Peaks just before the start of the hike:

 

Dead tree on the Tortoise Trail:

A view of the Superstitions (in the distance) from the Tortoise Trail:

A view of Red Mountain from Stoneman Wash:

Heading into one of the arroyos…

Mona, Mike, Bob, Marilyn, and Kevin:

Another view of Four Peaks, this time from the Tonto Tank Trail:

We saw this rattlesnake just off of the Tonto Tank Trail. We heard it before we saw it as it started rattling as we walked past.

Fresh growth on Teddy Bear Cholla in Stoneman Wash:

Looking up at the branches of a dead tree…

Another dead tree:

A large saguaro in Stoneman Wash:

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