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Idaho Pass Day Hike
Goldfield Mountains
November 24, 2018
by Ted Tenny
Ted’s   GPS Map 
Carl’s     GPS Map 
group
All together now, at the Idaho Access. [photo by Ted]
front: Barbara, Jane
middle:  Bettye, Diva, Tamar, Lin, Carl, Ralph
back: Cal, Ron, David, Rudy, Katarina, Biljana, Dave, Debbie, Kevin

The club hadn’t done this hike since 2010, so I figured it was high time. We trooped the loop clockwise, splitting into two groups on FR 10 at hill 2315. Adventurous hikers went with Tamar around the west side of the hill, while others went with me on a trail. My group saw the Idaho-Bulldog Arch. Tamar’s group went rock-climbing in Bulldog Canyon.

Eighteen astute hikers started from Idaho Access on a cool, clear November morning. We hiked the Deer Tanks Trail across an arroyo and down into Idaho Canyon. The trail has been rerouted to have a few more ups and downs but better scenery.

dawn
Sunrise in the southern Goldfields. [photo by Debbie]
rock
Coyote Rock howls in the early morning sun. [photo by Ralph]
arroyo
Crossing an arroyo on the Deer Tanks Trail. [photo by Ralph]
hikers
The Deer Tanks Trail has been rerouted. [photo by Kevin]
hikers
Approach to Idaho Canyon. [photo by Kevin]
group
Made it to Idaho Canyon. Here we gave introductions.

Everyone hikes through Idaho Canyon these days instead of on the old trail. It’s overgrown with weeds. Climbing out of Idaho Canyon, we soon went over Idaho Pass and down the Deer Tanks Trail to FR 10. The Deer Tanks Trail is named for wildlife watering tanks, built to keep the critters away from civilization. At FR 10 we split into two groups.

narrows
Hiking the narrows. [photo by Kevin]
bush
Colorful bushes. [photo by Kevin]
hikers
Trailblazers climb to Idaho Pass.
trail
Hiking the Deer Tanks Trail.
kiss
Baby turtle gives Mama a kiss (left), amid multiple windows in the rock.

I didn’t discover the Idaho-Bulldog Arch. First time I was there I found empty beer cans. Why don’t people who carry full beer cans into the wilderness carry their empty cans out?

arch
Idaho-Bulldog Arch is in the center bottom. Some sunlight shines through.
ridge
Bulldog Ridge peaks 3195 and 3075.

In Bulldog Canyon we rejoined the adventurous group after waiting for a while.

hikers
These are the folks who stayed on trail with Ted.
taffy
Salt Water Taffy.
arches
Mask Arches.

There’s an arch near the Pyroclastic Cave, but you don’t see it unless you go there.

garden
Natural desert garden.
cave
Pyroclastic Cave.

The Bulldog Canyon Trail goes on the north side of the canyon for a short distance, then stays on the south side or in the canyon. At one place you get a distant view of the Trumpet Arch, south of Peak 3089. My favorite Palo Verde grows out of a lichen-encrusted boulder, with a great view of Peak 3269 as the trail leaves the canyon.

Rudy
Rudy relaxes on the rocks. [photo by Debbie]
3269
Peak 3269. [photo by Debbie]
yellow
Butterflies like it here. [photo by Kevin]
wood
Where a tree once stood. [photo by Kevin]
3269
Peak 3269, Dome Mountain, and the Frog.
hikers
Ted knows the way. [photo by Kevin]
view
The Bulldog Canyon Trail is mostly on the south side. [photo by Kevin]
tree
Ted’s favorite Palo Verde grows out of a boulder.

At the horse trail turnoff we lost the adventurous group. Perils of the slowest person on a hike being the leader.

When I first hiked the horse trail in 2003, I’d climbed hill 2685. The horse trail plays hopscotch with the wash, then up and over a pass marked with a magnificent saguaro. It ends at a road with a steep spot.

The next part of the hike is through an area of dirt roads and occasional campers. Finally we cross FR 10.

The north half of the Wolverine Pass Trail is poorly defined. Cairns here and there kind of mark the route. It’s worst at the power line, but as you continue south the trail becomes distinct. It goes past a quartz boulder up on a hillside with pebbles of quartz washed down to the trail.

red
Chamaesyce setiloba - Yuma Sandmat [photo by Diva]
picture
Butterfly stands watch over the trail.
skeleton
A saguaro once stood here.
pink
Calliandra eriophylla - Fairyduster [photo by Ralph]
red
Justicia californica - Chuparosa
saguaro
Backlit saguaro. [photo by Ralph]
cactus
Look, but don’t touch. [photo by Ralph]

Gradually the trail bends west. It stays north of McDowell Road, with many ups and downs through washes, and colorful rock formations on the north side. One last climb on a cat trail takes us back to Idaho Access.

Diva
I can do it, too. [photo by Diva]
Diva
Diva takes a bite.
red
Red berries. Yum! (?) [photo by Diva]
Superstitions
Superstitions through a saguaro. [photo by Diva]
rock
Coyote Rock and a mighty saguaro herald the colorful rock formations.
book
Ralph buys Ted’s books after the hike. [photo by Ralph]

Thanks to Tamar for leading the off-trail portion of the hike!

→   More pictures, by Lin.  
→   More pictures, by Carl


Diva
Diva, on the rocks in Bulldog Canyon. [photo by Kevin]
hikers
Tamar leads us to the rendezvous. [photo by Kevin]
hikers
Leaving Bulldog Canyon. [photo by Kevin]
butterflies
Butterflies brighten the passage. [photo by Kevin]
1356
Forest Road 1356. [photo by Kevin]
rock
Roadrunner seems to be hiding behind a rock formation. Hiding from Coyote? [photo by Kevin]
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Arizona Trailblazers Hiking Club, Phoenix, Arizona
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updated November 25, 2018