Sunday, February 21, 2010

Hogencamp Mountain

Harriman State Park
Orange County
New York

Total Time:
1:30 Hours
Total Distance: 3 Miles

Long Path (Green Blaze)

Back in my home terrain and back in the snow. This was a relatively easy hike as I was short of time and there was lots of snow. I have done this trail numerous times - its one of my most popular easy ones in Harriman. Took the Long Path from the Lake Skannatati parking area off of Seven Lakes Drive and headed west along the shore of Lake Skannatati all the way to the intersection of the Dunning Trail, and continued up to the Notch in Hogencamp Mountain. Got a view from above of the mine in the snow, and then headed back the same route. It was strange to be back in the wooded and snowy terrain, in contrast to Arizona where I went in my short sleeves.

Map of the route

Frozen Lake Skannatati

 Long Path Trailblaze

 Another view of Lake Skanatati

The Long Path through an
evergreen rhododendron forest.

 Long Path and Dunning Path
combination marker.

In the Hogencamp Notch.
Another view in the Hogencamp Notch.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Upper Sabino Canyon

Coronado National Forest
Pima County

Total Time: 1:30 Hours
Total Distance: 2.5 Miles

Phoneline Trail
Historic Sabino Trail

This was my last day in sunny Arizona. Took the tram to end of the Sabino Canyon Road, and started hiking up the mountain on the Phoneline Trail, which snakes around as it curves up the mountain. After it climbs, the trail evens out along the middle of the mountain and retains a similar elevation midway on the mountainside. Continued south above the canyon on the canyon wall roughly paralleling the Sabino Creek until we hit the Historic Sabino Trail, which we took back down to the bottom and back to the road where we picked up the tram again.

Map of the route

On the Phoneline Trail.
Snaking Trail is visible behind me.

View of the beginning of trail with the Tram
at the dead of the road which is the trailhead.

Thimble Peak behind me.

Descending through a dense cactus grove

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Mount Wilson Canyon

Coconino National Forest,

Total Time:
2 Hours
Total Distance: 3 Miles

Trail: Wilson Canyon Trail

I wanted to go hiking somewhere in Red Red Country, but was totally unfamiliar with the region. I drove down from Flagstaff through Route 89A in the Oak Creek Canyon, and kept an eye out for a good pull off area. Little did I know when I parked at the Mount Wilson Parking area at the Midgley Bridge that this is one of the best spots in the area. I liked the bridge and canyon below, so that gave me the idea of pulling out there. Went on the trail along the brook, which I later found out to be the Wilson Canyon Trail, and continue along through the bottom of the canyon following the flowing stream up.

At some point deep in the canyon I bushwacked up the hill for a view, and then headed back down. But then instead of going the same way, I took another trail (I dont know the name of it) which went along the bottom of Steamboat Rock. I had hoped there would be a trail for me to connect back to the road, but there wasn't so I ended up bushwacking through the brush and cactus back the road. Once I hit the road, I headed back towards the car, but there was a big sign that said that no pedestrians allowed on the bridge (It's a very narrow bridge). (I did find out after the fact that there is a connection trail right there that skirts around the deep part of the canyon.) So I just waited for a quiet moment when there were few cars and ran across the bridge like a madman, and survived to tell the story.

Map of the route

Me at the beginning of the hike

At the beginning with my baby
in the backpack. He loved this hike.

The Wilson Brook on the canyon floor.

On the trail

Interesting Formations

Strange yet beautiful.

The scenery here amazing!

Overlooking Midgely Bridge

Another view of Midgely Bridge

The end of the Wilson Canyon
Mt. Wilson is in the rear view.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Grand Canyon

Grand Canyon National Park
South Rim

Total Time: 2 Hours
Total Distance: 2.6 Miles

Trail: Rim Trail

The Grand Canyon does not need any introduction. The pictures speak for themselves. Over a mile deep, its formations and colors are unbelievable. I would have liked to descent the canyon on a hike down towards the bottom, but there was plenty of snow on the trails and I wasn't prepared. So instead just hiked the Rim Trail from Mather point until the El Tovar Hotel in Grand Canyon Village. The Rim Trail is mostly paved and walks across the rim of the canyon with grand vistas and overlook pullouts throughout. It was covered with snow but partially plowed. Normally it is very cold in the winter, but this was a beautiful winter day of 50 degrees with a very strong sun.

This was a one way hike, because we went one way and  Went one way and took the free Park Shuttle back to the car ahe After the hike I drove to Hopi Point for the sunset and took some photos from there as well.

Map of the route

First view of the Grand Canyon.

From Mather Point looking east.

Mather Point overlook

This is a famous formation.
Don't know what its called.

 Another good shot with that formation.
At Grandview Point.

Me at at Grandview Point.

Me again.

A beautiful view.

Looking northeast.

From Hopi Point at Sunset.
Facing east.

From Hopi Point again at sunset.
Looking east.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Papago Buttes

Papago Park

Total Time:
1 Hour
Total Distance: 1.6 Miles

This was more of a nature walk then a hike. Papago Park, located within the city of Phoenix, has some really strange sandstone formations and caves within its short mountains. I think these are called the Papago Buttes. At least that is what it says on the USGS map. We hiked through some of the interesting formations and caves, as well as up the spine of the main mountain.

Map of the route

I took my baby on this hike in a backpack.
He loved it!

The large butte.

From inside one of the caves.

Ascending the large butte.

Rock climbers ascending the nearly vertical wall.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Squaw Peak

AKA Piestawa Peak
Phoenix Mountains Preserve,
Phoenix, Maricopa Co.,

Total Time: 1:10 Hour
Total Distance: 2 Miles

This was a short and quick hike. I had a meeting I had to be on time for at 5:30 PM, and it was a 15 minute drive from the mountain. So essentially I had to be down the mountain at 5:15. The problem was I drove the scenic route from Tucson and arrived in much later then scheduled. I had arrived at about 4:20 and told myself whichever point I am at on the mountain at 5:00, I would have to turn around. I huffed and puffed and made it about 90% up the mountain. So close yet so far. The weather was awesome - about 75 degrees. Not bad for mid-February!

I parked on one of the parking areas at the entrance, and found the main trail and hiked it up towards the top, then took the same route down. I am not even sure of the name of the trail. The mountain was officially changed from Sqauw Peak to Piestewa Peak because "Squaw" is derogatory term to the Native Americans (though the natives were all still calling it Squaw Peak.) 

Map of the route

Looking up near the beginning of the trail

Rock formations while ascending

Continuing the ascent. Facing south.
View of downtown Phoenix in distance.

Looking at the summit

Looking west. Note the young Saguaros.

Facing east toward Camelback Mountain
in the rear left.

View from right below the summit.
This was as high as I got.

Cliff with urban sprawl behind it.