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Old Munds Highway Day Hike
East of I-17
November 18, 2017
by Scott Green
  GPS Map 
Trailblazers pass muster at Stoneman Lake Road. [photo by Dave]
Mark, Laurie, Emma, Biljana, Michelle, Lance, Deirdre, Terry, Scott, Lauren, Michael
Don’t stand under that leanin’ tree.
Nine of us met at Denny’s on Bell Rd at 8 AM and commingled with those going on Chuck’s Sedona hike. Thanks to Dave and Scott for driving. Us nine stopped briefly at Camp Verde’s McDonalds and drove the remaining short way north on I-17 to the Stoneman Lake turnoff. A few miles east was the trailhead, where Mark and Michelle met us along with Lauren.

We were met with windy, cold air which caused trepidation for fear it was an omen for the hike. Dave wore shorts and acted like he was at a southern California beach. The rest of the day was warm or cool with a nice breeze.

We took our group picture with David behind the camera and Ralinda arriving soon afterwards, making us 13 lucky hikers. Scott explained the informational sign, although the sign was in plain sight and everyone was literate. Fortunately, Rattlesnake Canyon is named not for its proliferation of elongated reptiles but for the back and forth curves of the canyon and creek.

Listen up, you all.
There must be a trail around here.
road road
We found the Old Munds Highway.
Panoramic view to the west.

The hike was as advertised, walking along a rocky at times forest road. What made this special was that the road was built around the time of statehood, Feb. 14, 1912 (Arizona is know as the Valentine State). There was evidence of early road construction examples with the hillside carved out and rocks imbedded in the road.

The hike was mostly uphill toward the north and thus, after lunch in a sunny area, mostly downhill during the return. On the way we could see the red rocks of Sedona, so we all faced west and politely waved to Chuck’s group, but without a reply.

During the lunch stop, Lance noticed on his cell phone map that there was a structure further up the road. Most continued and found a cell phone tower.

The perfect lunch spot!
Cell phone tower.
The road back.
Exploring around the cell phone tower building.
Yes, there’s a trail here.

We arrived back to the parking lot, where the car showed 58 degrees. We all thanked each other for a good hike and left our various separate ways. For the club, 9 total hiking miles due to going beyond the lunch spot to the cell tower. 210 miles driving round trip.

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Arizona Trailblazers Hiking Club, Phoenix, Arizona
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updated November 26, 2017