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Friday Fitness Hike

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…

Sandwash Groundsel:

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:

Saturday Hike – Granite Mountain

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.

Friday Fitness Hike

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:

Friday Fitness Hike

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.

Sunday Hike – Usery Mountain Regional Park

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.

Wolfberries:

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:

More saguaros…

Crossing another wash on the western part of the Pass Mountain Trail…

Friday Fitness Hike

On Friday, the 8th, Linda, Mike, Nick, Bob, Marilyn, Nora, Sara, and  I hiked the Wagner, Granite, and Bluff trails.  At the next intersection with the Granite Trail, Marilyn, Nick, Linda, and Bob returned via Granite and Wagner for a 5+ mile hike. Mike, Nora, Sara, and I continued up the Bluff Trail and then hiked Pemberton, Rock Knob, Gooseneck, Delsie, Granite, and Wagner for an 11.5 mile hike.

Mesquite seed pods (along the Bluff Trail):

Goldeneye:

Linda, Mike, Nick, Bob, Marilyn, Nora, and Sara:

Views of the McDowells…

Looking toward Four Peaks from the Gooseneck Trail:

The skeleton atop the ramada at the intersection of Pemberton and Delsie:

A view from the Delsie Trail:

Friday Fitness Hike

Nick, Sara, Mike Heather, Nora, Bob, Marilyn, and Yasmina joined me for a hike in the Dixie Mine area.  After visiting the mine, Nick, Bob, and Marilyn returned while the rest of us went on to hike Prospector, Bell Pass, Windmill, and Coachwhip back to the Dixie Mine Trail. Those of us doing the longer hike went about 10.7 miles.

Mine entrance:

Main petroglyph panel:

A smaller petroglyph further up the canyon:

Kevin, Nick, Sara, Mike, Heather, Nora, Bob, Marilyn, and Yasmina:

View from the Prospector Trail:

We saw this tarantula along the Prospector Trail:

Another view from the Prospector Trail:

A view from the overlook which is midway up the Prospector Trail. We were speculating that the haze obscuring the Superstitions might be smoke blown in from California.

A view of Four Peaks from the Bell Pass Trail:

 

Friday Fitness Hike

Linda, Sara, and I hiked a little over 10 miles starting from Tom’s Thumb Trailhead. After hiking along the ridge to and past Tom’s Thumb, we returned to Tom’s Thumb Trail and then turned west to the Scottsdale side of the mountain range. On the Scottsdale side, we hiked all the way to the end of Tom’s Thumb Trail and then turn left (east) onto Windgate Trail. We hiked up Windgate and over Windgate Pass, then down Windgate and Windmill to East End Trail. We hiked up (and up) East End and then back down Tom’s Thumb Trail back to the parking lot. My GPS watch recorded slightly over 3200 feet of elevation gain.

This is a view from the climber’s access trail leading to the ridge. The low angle wall in the upper center of the photo is Half and Half Wall. According to Mountain Project, there are 5 routes on this wall rated from 5.3 to 5.8.

I think this is Desert Four O’Clock:

Looking NW from the ridge:

A view of Tom’s Thumb from the ridge:

Looking toward Scottsdale and Phoenix:

Nearing Tom’s Thumb…

At this point, we’re back on Tom’s Thumb Trail, hiking towards Scottsdale. There are some good views of Tom’s Thumb from this section of the trail too.

Descending Tom’s Thumb Trail on the west side.  There are some good views on this side of the mountain too!

Linda and Sara, hiking up the East End Trail:

Looking toward Pinnacle Peak from near the intersection of Tom’s Thumb Trail & East End Trail:

Gardener’s Wall (left) and Tom’s Thumb:

Friday Fitness Hike

Mike, Sandra, and I hiked nearly 12 miles starting from the Four Peaks Trailhead (which is in McDowell Mountain Regional Park, but nowhere near Four Peaks). We hiked through the competitive track area to the South Wash, taking it northwest to the Dixie Mine Trail. We returned via Pemberton and some roads through the competitive track area.

A view from the parking area. The dead saguaro at the right used to be alive just a few years ago.

A view of Red Mountain from the Long Loop:

We were puzzled by these catchments on the South Ridge. The water that they catch empties out onto the ground nearby. Why bother?

Tarantula in the South Wash:

Sandra gets a closer look at one of the holes in the wall.  She and Mike saw spooky tooth-like formations in the hole…

…which turned out to be a beehive.

Further westward in the wash, we saw butterflies:

Sandra:

There is a corral with some old ranching structures just off of the Dixie Mine Trail. Sandra hadn’t seen them before, so we stopped to take a look. There are some initials carved into the concrete of the watering trough. I think that’s “H.P.”, at the far right for (likely) Henry Pemberton. I don’t have any guesses about the names associated with the other initials.

There’s also a largish water tank in the corral. Just left of the tank is an entrance, choked with vegetation, to a second smaller corral.

This is the smaller corral.  I hadn’t noticed it before.

Friday Fitness Hike

Sara, Mike, Linda, Marilyn, and Laura joined me for a 10.7 mile hike in the Dixie Mine Area.  (Marilyn and Laura turned back after visiting the mine for a 6.5 mile hike.)

This is the Dixie Mine entrance (though you can’t go in):

Petroglyphs…

Laura, Marilyn, Linda, Mike, and Sara:

Heading up the Prospector Trail:

This is the view shortly after turning onto the Bell Pass Trail from the Prospector Trail:

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