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Palomino Mountain Day Hike
Superstition Wilderness
February 13, 2016
by Nancy Anderson
  GPS Map 
by Bill Zimmermann
The gang, relieved to sign in at the mailbox.
Chris, Louis, Ann, Rudy, Quy, Wayne, Bruce

What a beautiful day for the eight of us to head out into the mountains. Two newer hikers, Ann and Louis, joined us. The ranger took our picture (I’m sure that’s a major part of his duties there), then sent us on our way at 8:30 AM.

Nancy’s rested legs set a fairly fast pace, but no one seemed to have trouble keeping up. After about 15 minutes, it was already time to shed any long sleeve clothing. Bruce pointed out landmarks and rock formations along the Dutchman’s Trail for the first 4 miles, including the ever present Weaver’s Needle. It seemed like no time at all before we got to the junction to head up the creek towards Palomino.

Hiking the creek on the way up.
Aylor’s Arch as seen on the way up.
Wayne and Bruce on the top. [photo by Rudy]

There was still water in the creek bed, although lessening, as we hopped from boulder to boulder. It wasn’t too long before magnificent canyon walls rose on either side. Half a mile up, we took a left at the rock cairn to head straight up the mountain. Did I say straight up? People used poles that had never used them before! All along the way we had great views of Aylor’s Arch.

Bruce left a self-addressed stamped envelope.
Wonder who will mail it?
Wayne and Bruce went all the way,
to the end near the arch.
Entertainment, Rudy style.
Prickly but happy!
Nancy, not too steady on the narrow crest!
Rudy running along the crest, crazy guy!
Think this view was worth that steep, slippery hike up?

I’m thinking it was all worth it! We signed our names in the book in the mail box. Bruce left a postcard, hoping some kindly soul will take it and mail it back to him! After catching our breath, six of us brave (foolhardy?) climbers set off to test our skills on the nearby ridge. Even better views from there, if you could overcome the panic to notice it. Bruce and Wayne made it all the way to the arch. I’ve been up here 4 times now, but for the first time, Rudy found a trail that headed down a bit, for a perfect close up view of the arch. Chris is allergic to Palomino Mountain so spent his entire time there sneezing. After a quick lunch, we headed down, slipping and sliding along the way.

It was a hot, long slog back. I swear it was twice as far as the way there. Good thing we had Rudy, who entertained us with lively tunes on his harmonica at breaks. Great people and great mountains! Back to the trailhead by 3:15 PM.

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Arizona Trailblazers Hiking Club, Phoenix, Arizona
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updated March 4, 2018