On Friday, Jan 10, Linda, Mike, Gayle, Bob, Ann, and Denny hiked out to the Dixie Mine, visiting the tailings, the adit, and the nearby petroglyphs.
Thanks again to Linda for providing me with photos!
On Friday, the 20th, Mike, Linda, Gayle, and I hiked a 12.6 mile loop starting from the Trailhead Staging Area.
Looking toward the McDowells just before crossing Stoneman Wash on the Pemberton Trail:
We saw three hawks atop a saguaro as we crossed the wash:
This is one of the arroyos near the Pemberton Trail:
Another view of the McDowells:
Heading up the Boulder Trail to Marcus Landslide:
A view of part of Rock Knob from the Rock Knob Trail:
Looking back towards Rock Knob (far right) and the rest of the McDowells from near the intersection of Pemberton and Bluff:
This is the first Globe Mallow that I’ve seen this season:
Gayle, making her way down some rocks in Bluff Wash:
Sandy, Laura, Judy, Mike, Gayle, Sara, and Marilyn joined me for a hike starting from the Competitive Track Parking Lot.
We started out on the Technical Loop, and then made our way into Stoneman/Pemberton Wash. Marilyn and Sara, wanting a shorter hike, split off from the rest of the group though at different times. The rest of us continued on, first in the wash, then later on Pemberton to the Dixie Mine Trail. Dixie Mine provided us access to the South Wash which we hiked all the way to the Long Loop, another of the competitive tracks. From there we took the Long Loop up to South Ridge. We encountered perhaps half a dozen mountain bikers while hiking less than half a mile on the Long Loop, so we opted to return via a nearby road. Our total distance for the day was just under twelve miles.
An early morning view from the Technical Loop:
The Technical Loop goes through the tunnel. The Sport Loop goes between the railings above the tunnel.
Mike and Judy hiking up one of the Stoneman’s feeder washes:
Chain fruit cholla along the Dixie Mine Trail:
We saw a hawk near a now defunct water storage tank. The tank was used back in the days when the land was used for ranching. I looked inside the tank; despite recent rains, it was pretty much dry. A nearby water trough did have water though.
As we approached the tank, the hawk flew away. A nearby raven took its perch on the dead tree.
As we got even closer, the raven flew away too.
Early going in the South Wash; the wash eventually becomes very wide, but the initial section (after turning onto it from Dixie Mine) is fairly narrow with high, steep banks.
The brittlebush is blooming in the wash! These were the first brittlebush blossoms that I recall seeing this season. (There’ll be many more…)
Looking towards Thompson Peak (and other peaks in the McDowells) from the South Wash…
The chuparosa plants are blooming too!
Looking toward Four Peaks:
Several views from the road which brought us back to the parking area…
Gayle, Mike, Dan, Marilyn, and Bob joined me for a hike starting from the Wagner Trailhead. We hiked out on Wagner, Granite, and Bluff. We turned onto Granite and then hiked a short ways up Bluff Wash. Several of us tried the “boulder problem” for continuing up the wash. Marilyn and Bob continued on the Granite Trail (and returned on the Wagner) for a 5.5 mile hike. The rest of us hiked up Bluff Wash and eventually took Rock Knob up to Gooseneck, returning on Delsie, Granite, and Wagner for a 12.6 mile hike.
This was the view looking toward the Superstitions from the Granite Trail, just after turning off of Wagner…
A view from Bluff Wash:
Looking toward the McDowells:
I think we may have been on the Rock Knob Trail for this photo:
Sven Slab at the right; we saw a climber top-roping I Sinkso, 5.8 as we neared the intersection with the Gooseneck Trail.
Looking toward the Superstitions from the Delsie Trail:
On Saturday, Nov 30, Marilyn and I did a hike at Granite Mountain. It was our first time there since the new trailhead facilities went in. The parking area is much larger and there are bathrooms now.
As we started out on the Bootlegger Trail, we got a good view of one of the areas at which we used to climb. I was wondering what the best approach might be. (We used hike there from the Lost Bandanna Area, but there might be a better route now.) We used to climb at The Loaf and Bobcat Boulder which are located towards the left but below the ridge line.
The Bootlegger Trail passes between some large boulders along the way.
A view of snow covered peaks from the Saddle-horn Trail…
We proceeded around Granite Mountain Loop where we caught sight of another of the climbing areas that we used to frequent, this time the Lost Bandanna Area. We’ve done climbs on the prominent wall right of center (Lost Bandanna Wall) and also the relatively easy slab (The Cone) to the left.
We took the Balanced Rock Trail to, well, this large rock for which the trail is named.
A view of Brown’s Mountain and Cone Mountain from the Cholla Mountain Loop Trail:
I think this is some kind of hawk; we saw it as we were approaching the intersection with the Branding Iron Trail.
I saw this Christmas Cholla on the Stagecoach Trail. Marilyn and I had split up at this point. We eventually met up again on the South Diablo Trail.
Signs for the Diablo Trails…
I zoomed in a lot and got a shot of some rock formations in the distance. I think that the Stagecoach trail goes around this formation.
This is one of the moderate obstacles on the Diablo Trail. I doubt that I could ride up it, though I might be able to make it down. That said, there was a tricky bit at the top (out of view in this photo) which I might not make were I riding it in that direction. There are some much more difficult obstacles in other locations, but I forgot to photograph them.
This is a view from the Bootlegger Trail, somewhat after turning off of Granite Mountain Loop.
On Friday, the 22nd, Marilyn, Nick, Bob, Heather, and I hiked the Marcus Landslide Trail starting from Tom’s Thumb Trailhead. After completing the little loop at the end of the Marcus Landslide Trail, we went East on the Boulder Trail into McDowell Mountain Regional Park. When we reached Pemberton, Marilyn, Nick, and Bob turned north on Pemberton and then returned via Rock Knob and then Marcus Landslide.
Heather and I turned south on Pemberton and then took Coachwhip, Windmill, and East End to reach Tom’s Thumb Trail. We headed back down towards the Trailhead, but turned SE onto Feldspar as we neared the Trailhead. We visited Sven Slab where I showed her the Energizer/Hawk Boulder that Marilyn and I used to warm up on when we climbed at Sven Slab. I also showed her a really easy boulder problem that I could do in my hiking shoes. We inadvertently hiked part of the Rock Knob Trail (down to the Gooseneck intersection), retraced our steps back to Marcus Landslide, and then returned via the Caballo Trail. My GPS watch showed that we had hike a little over 12.5 miles. Heather’s phone reported over 13 miles.
Morrell’s Wall is on the left; Tom’s Thumb is at the far right. The boulder pile beneath Morrell’s Wall is known as “Morrell’s Wall Parking Lot Area”. Prior to the construction of the current trailhead, it was possible to park near this boulder pile; a short approach led to some (mostly) moderate climbs. The approach to Morrell’s wall was much more difficult. It’s still not easy, but it’s easier than it used to be due to the climber’s access trail which now exists for accessing this area.
Looking towards the Superstitions from the little loop on the Marcus Landslide Trail:
Heather, Nick, Marilyn, and Bob:
Part of the landslide, this is Submarine Rock:
Heather, looking at the new(ish) structure at the intersection of Pemberton and Coachwhip:
A view from the East End Trail:
Sven Slab is on the right. It’s hard to see them, but there are two climbers on a ledge near Black Death, 5.8. We saw a climber high above them (out of sight in this photo). It might be that they were on Student Cracks, 5.3.
This is one of the prominent mushroom boulders in the Sven Slab area:
On Sunday, I hiked a 12.5 mile loop incorporating the South Wash in McDowell Mountain Regional Park.
This is a view as I was making my way over to South Ridge:
This is a view from South Ridge:
Views from South Wash…
When I left South Wash, I hiked Dixie Mine to Pemberton. I think I took this shot shortly after turning onto the Pemberton.
Another shot from the Pemberton – it was starting to get dark.
Looking back toward the McDowells:
On Friday, the 15th, Mike, Heather, and I hiked 13 miles starting from the competitive track area. Marilyn, Nick, Bob, King, and Yinglan joined us for the first part of the hike. It’s my understanding that they hiked a little over 5 miles.
It was a “wash day”; much of the hike was through washes. This is a view from the Stoneman/Pemberton Wash.
Mike, King, and Yinglan:
A bee on a goldeneye bloom:
Mesquite pods – they seem to be redder than normal:
A view of the McDowells:
Back in the competitive track area – we returned via the latter section of the Technical Loop.
Marilyn and I hiked the Pass Mountain Trail at Usery Mountain Park. Marilyn stuck to the Pass Mountain Trail while I extended the loop a bit by adding in Bulldog Saddle.
We hiked the loop counter-clockwise starting from the southwest corner. This is a view of Pass Mountain shortly after setting out.
Looking east along the southern portion of the Pass Mountain Trail:
Looking NNW from roughly 1.75 miles through the loop. The pass though which Marilyn hiked is just right of center in this photo. My loop continued to the right around the high points to the right (through another pass not shown here). I ended up on the other side of the pass.
The path that I took after leaving the Pass Mountain Trail crossed this wash:
I’m on the other side of the wash now, on the Bulldog Saddle Trail, looking back toward Pass Mountain:
I’m making my way up to Bulldog Saddle, again looking toward Pass Mountain:
This is the view to the northwest after passing through Bulldog Saddle.
I don’t know what these flowers are. I saw them as I was descending from the other side of Bulldog Saddle. We saw many more flowers in this area than we’ve been seeing at MMRP.
It’s said that a saguaro’s twisty arms are caused by extreme cold.
Looking back at Bulldog Saddle. (At the far right, I think.)
Looking ahead toward Pass Mountain. The pass through which Marilyn hiked is just out of frame at the far left.
Making our way around Pass Mountain – we’re well over half way around at this point.
A view of Fountain Hills and the McDowell Mountains:
There are some magnificent saguaros along the western part of the Pass Mountain Trail.
Marilyn, hiking south along the western portion of the Pass Mountain Trail:
Crossing another wash on the western part of the Pass Mountain Trail…