Sunday, June 26, 2011

Groom Creek Loop Trail - Prescott

After a site visit for work in Prescott, I learned about the hike to the fire tower at the top of Spruce Mountain. I was going to try to get a couple of friends to join me, when the hiking group posted the exact hike I wanted to try. Perfect!

I carpooled to the hike with Brian, Sheri, and Bree - friends who I also know from the volunteer meetups.
The group decided to hike the loop clockwise, so we had a shorter steeper climb up, and a longer more gradual descent. (Yeah!!)
I saw lots of lizards and a few horned toads on the way up.
At the top of the mountain were picnic tables and an outhouse. Several people also discovered that the road led right here, begging the question..... why did we hike this?
There were several boulders to scramble over and climb near the base of the fire tower. Bree, Brian and I enjoyed the view.

The fire tower was manned, so we took turns entering and talking to the ranger.
After enjoying the views, we ate lunch then started the hike back down and towards the cars.

Trail Stats:

Distance Round Trip 7.9 miles

Trailhead Elevation 6346 feet

Elevation Gain 1375 feet

Avg Time Round Trip 4.5 hours

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Sycamore Canyon Rim Loop - Williams AZ

The hiking group decided to do the Sycamore Rim Trail up near Williams, AZ this weekend. It's mostly a flat trail, with the exception of KA hill. The question is whether to do the hill first or last.
I've got my pack loaded for training for my Peru trip.
There were several pretty areas along the start of the hike.

I spotted this horned toad along the path.

We caught the last of the cactus flowers still in bloom.

We stopped for lunch at the waterfall. No water was over the edge, but there were a few rock climbers to watch.
Standing at the top of the waterfall, looking down.

The direction we took around the loop, left KA hill for the very end. I thought it was a great way to end the hike.

Others weren't so lucky!
Coming down off the hill, we could see the flat ground ahead, and knew the car would soon be in sight.

Trail Stats:
Length: 11 miles
Elevation gain: 600 ft
Hiking Time: 5 to 6 hours
Rating: Easy to Moderate

Monday, June 06, 2011

Hooping on Humphrey's

I decided that I wanted to do a trek across the Andes in Peru this fall. In preparation, I decided to hike Humphrey's Peak again. I figured that this would help prepare me for the altitude, but also give me a chance to test out the new pack and decide how many layers I would need, since there was still snow up there.

When I got to the saddle, I decided not to approach the summit, since there were 50+ mph winds and I really wanted to save my strength to climb over the snowdrifts on the way back down. While I was waiting for the rest of my group to return, I hooped it up!
Maybe I should have saved that energy for the trip down. Instead, I slipped on ice and tumbled down the side of the mountain. Luckily, my 4 layers of fleece cushioned my fall and my backpack slowed me down, so I didn't get hurt. (other than a few bruises)

Trail Stats:

Distance Round Trip 10.25 miles

Trailhead Elevation 9320 feet

Elevation Gain 3313 feet

Avg Time Round Trip 5 - 6 hours