Ten miles on Wednesday night…
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.