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 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 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.
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):
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:
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.
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:
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: