We did an 8+ mile route on Friday, March 20 starting at the Granite Mountain Trailhead. We hiked the following trails: Bootlegger, Saddlehorn, (left on) Granite Mountain Loop, Balanced Rock, (right on) Cholla Mountain Loop, Branding Iron, (left on) Granite Mountain Loop, and (back on) Bootlegger.
The Bootlegger Trail passes through these large boulders:
A heart shaped rock can be seen from the Bootlegger Trail. On the way out, you have to turn around to see it. It’s easier to find when returning to the trailhead. Fortunately, Linda was our guide; she let us know when it was time to look back to see it.
Another view from the Bootlegger Trail. The segment of Bootlegger from the Trailhead to the intersection with Saddlehorn is only about 3/4 mile long and is very scenic. It makes an excellent mile and a half hike for just about anyone.
I think these photos might have been taken from the Saddlehorn Trail:
This is the intersection of Saddlehorn and the Granite Mountain Loop Trail. We turned left here.
Hiking the Granite Mountain Loop Trail:
Taking a break…
Looking up the mountain. The rock at the top has a roof upon which is a 5.8 called Pasta Man Unchained.
The yellow flowers are Goldfields:
From left to right are Heather, Janet, Bob, Allen, Nick, Jen, Linda, and Bill. The dogs are Savannah, Bella, Keena, and Sarge. Linda took charge of Sarge for the day.
Another view, showing the upper part of Balanced Rock:
Nick and Jen returned to the trailhead at this point. The rest of us continued on the Balanced Rock Trail.
This is Cholla Mountain:
A view of the northeastern portion of Cholla Mountain:
I think this is Hackberry Beartongue / Arizona Scarlet Bugler (with Fairy Duster in the background):
Returning on the Granite Mountain Loop Trail:
Views of Weaver’s Needle and the Flatiron in the distance: