Archive for the ‘Tonto – Lower deserts’ Category

Alamo Canyon Trail

Sunday, February 8th, 2009

[Part of a series of beyond the page info of the hkes covered in Day and Overnight Hikes in the Tonto National Forest.]

Alamo Canyon Trail, near Superior, AZ, near Picketpost Mountain, is part of both the Arizona Trail and the Grand Enchantment Trail.

Hiked: April 17, 2008

Companions: None

Actual time: 7 hours flat.

April is a bit late in the season to do this hike. Heat became a problem.

I originally intended to use this as a backpacking hike into the White Canyon Wilderness Area, but the trail is sketchy past where I described, and water is even sketchier. Plus, and more decidedly, it got too hot.

That’s still on my To-Do list.

Pass Mountain and Fish Rock

Monday, February 2nd, 2009

Pass Mountain and Fish Rock Pass

[Part of a series of beyond the page info of the hikes covered in Day and Overnight Hikes in the Tonto National Forest.]

Hiked: 23 November 2008

Companions: Ben and Carolyn ( a co-worker)

More info about the Goldfield Mtns Here.

We actually intended to only hike Pass Mountain Loop. But early on, we took the wide trail that runs along side of the wash, instead of crossing the wash, and didn’t realize the error until we were already on top of bulldog saddle.

So this is one of the Happy Accident hikes in the guidebook.

We circled around the east and then north slopes of Peak 3163 until we re-united with the Pass Mtn trail, where we ate lunch, and engaged in a bit of (futile) geo-caching.

I learned that there is such a thing as productively lost.

The pygmy sag I mention of pg 38

I also learned that I have enough trouble getting back to the car by sunset (a side-effect becoming productively lost) without adding geo-caching to the itinerary.

Carolyn is as fearless as I am, which has many advantages, but it left Ben as the sole Voice of Restraint on the expedition.

The cholla "family" mentioned on pg 38

The cholla "family"

We proceeded counterclockwise around Pass Mountain. That trail is quite a change in culture from the Fish Rock route. While we saw no other people going around Peak 3163, we saw plenty of folks, and dogs, going around Pass Mountain. Too crowded to just hop off the trail and water a palo verde tree, so the restroom on the west side was quite a relief.

I returned on Nov 28th the finish the one section of Pass Mountain that we missed.

The photo of the rock cairn on pg 51 of the guidebook comes from this hike.

The Palo Verde Trail #512

Friday, January 30th, 2009

[Part of a series of beyond the page info of the hkes covered in Day and Overnight Hikes in the Tonto National Forest.]

The Palo Verde Trail wanders along the shore of Bartlett Lake (though it is actually a reservoir), connecting Rattlesnake Cove with SB Cove. Both coves are fee-use recreation sites. Forest Service information here. Info on Salt River Project in general and Bartlett Dam in particular here.

This easy hike actually took two seperate attempts, where I learned two different lessons about guidebook hiking.

In my first attempt, in early November, I tried to tack this onto a family canoing expedition. But, because of a shortage of able-bodied adults to handle the canoes, I couldn’t break away to hike until I had less than two hours of daylight remaining. A got about a third of the way down the trail, before I had to retreat, following the track by flashlight.

The hike needs to be the primary focus of the trip, otherwise, you’re just costing yourself time and fun.

The second attempt, December 12th 2007, I hiked under rainy conditions, which made it hard to take notes on paper. Alas, I had lost faith in my DVR on a previous adventure, and so, at the time, prided myself that I could get by with the methods of yore.

You bring the notebook to back up the DVR. You bring the DVR to back up the notebook.

This is also why it is best to write a draft of the hike description ASAP following the hike. The DVR and the notebook both back up your brain, but as long as the brain works, you can still describe the hike.

I dubbed the giant saguaro “The Ettin”. That did not come from any published source.

An ettin is, of course, a two-headed giant from British folklore.

I also concluded that a real raincoat is so far superior to any garbage-bag “backpacking poncho” that is is – to me – absolutely worth the extra weight, especially when the skies are grey to begin with.

One last note, Palo Verde is capitalized here because it is a place name. After a few rounds with the copy editor, we concluded the the name of the tree, palo verde (Spanish for “green stick”) does not need capitalization any more than pine or oak.

Butcher Jones Trail #463

Sunday, January 25th, 2009

Going around the shores of Saguaro Lake.

Tonto NF Services description here.

Flickr set here.

Round Trip 5.25 miles

Date hiked: 5 January 2008

Companions: Ben and Julie

Notes: The overcast day did not lend itself to photography. We were sprinkled on, but te weater was otherwise mild.

This was Julie’s only hike for the guide (she was 8). Our actual hike time was just over 4 hours.

This is the shortest and probably the easiset hike in the guide.

Ben and Julie going down into Burrow Cove