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Mt. Ord Ridgeline Day Hike
Mazatzal Mountains
October 1, 2016
by Bill Zimmermann
  GPS Map 
05_GROUP
April, Tom, Michelle, Mark, Bill. [photo by Bill]

At the beginning of the week it looked like the hike may have to be cancelled due to fire. Near Wednesday the forest service said the fire was contained and FR 626 was open. The hike was on. With five hikers new to Bill and his off-trail ramblings, and for safety reasons, the hike limit was set at eight.

Saturday. After a half hour wait for three “no-shows” Tom, April, and Bill headed up SR 87 to meet Mark and Michelle at the Mt Ord exit. We parked the vehicles at the intersection with FR 27.

At 8:45 we were walking. We had some sprinkles in the very beginning. They were hard to separate from the sweat. After leaving the road we bushed up the blackened ground. It was steep, five hundred fifty feet in about one third mile.

01_T
There seems to be a trail here. [photo by Tom]
08_A
Colorful autumn leaves. [photo by April]
02_B
Trailblazers Tom, April, Mark and Michelle troop the slopes of Mt. Ord. [photo by Bill]
03_B
April, Mark and Michelle on the way up. [photo by Bill]
03_M
Grand panorama through the trees. [photo by Michelle]
06_B
Sideways branch frames the view below. [photo by Bill]

We stopped at Bill’s favorite tree for a group picture. Then we went at a relaxing, picture-taking pace, as this was the first time for all but Bill on Mt Ord. The canopy seemed intact but the ground was blackened with fallen trees and ash. The smell of extinguished fire was everywhere.

At “RX1” we joined the road. The sky was blue with a few fluffy whites. We walked the road to the towers. We came across two parties out for a short walk to the towers. They had driven the road to its end at ”CAR”.

07_B
April and Tom reach a burned-out section of the trail. [photo by Bill]
10_B
Colorful leaves welcome us to the road. [photo by Bill]
13_GROUP
Tom, April, Bill, Mark, Michelle. [photo by Bill]
15_M
Distant view of Roosevelt Lake. [photo by Michelle]
18_A
Distant view of Roosevelt Lake. [photo by April]
21_B
Asters brighten the trail. [photo by Bill]
22_B 23_B
April finds a horned toad. [photos by Bill]
24_B
If this is bear we’d better “scat” ... [photo by Bill]

Tom made some medical adjustment to his foot. At “SO” we left the hubbub of technology and headed into the quiet forest for lunch. Steep slopes and a thick coating of dried pine needles made for slow going. Mark located an animal trail that we followed to “ZP”. We reconnected with the road at “RX”.

At “BW” we left the road and headed toward waypoint “B4”. A lazy stroll took us down a ridgeline to “B6”. We crossed multiple locations of bear scat. After one more down and a bushy slug uphill we were on the road at “60”.

Mark and Michelle headed back to New River. Linda joined Tom, April, and Bill for a pre-birthday brunch at Red White and Brew.

5 miles, +-1780 vertical feet.

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Arizona Trailblazers Hiking Club, Phoenix, Arizona
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updated October 3, 2016