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Goldfield Grotto Loop
Goldfield Mountains
September 29, 2019
by Tamar Gottfried
  GPS Map 

Six Trailblazers met on a balmy fall Sunday to adventure in the desert. We convoyed to the campground past the turnoff to First Water and crossed the highway to start our hike on a well-marked road. We eventually turned off the road and followed mostly well-marked horse trails over hills and vistas, through washes and canyons. We had 360 degree views of the Goldfields as well as views to Four Peaks, Flatiron and Weaver’s Needle.

The Goldfield Mountains are volcanic. [photo by Tamar]
Climbing up the rocks. [photo by Tamar]
On the down grade. [photo by Tom]
We can see Weaver’s Needle from here. [photo by Tom]
Tuff Dome, Golden Dome, Peak 3141, and Razorback are in the background. [photo by Tom]
The trail takes us downhill. [photo by Tom]

Eventually we reached the Grotto, a little protected rock area with smooth benches for sitting and little pools of water. The wash outside it even had some running water that was fresh appearing. To this point, no one but a few millipedes and lizards joined us. After a snack and a rest, we continued on our way through the wash.

Thie looks like a good spot for a break. [photo by Tamar]
Let’s take a break here. [photo by Tom]
The rocks are so comfortable. [photo by Tamar]

At one point, I thought I heard an animal up on the slope. A little walk later, instead of animals, we found 5 Jeeps and their drivers trying to get one of the vehicles unstuck from the wet rocky wash.

Got to get that Jeep unstuck. [photo by Tom]

We soldiered on, encountering some deeper pools. One of them had such steep rock walls that we had to bushwhack up the slope a bit and drop back down after the pool. That left some scratches. Shortly afterwards, we left the wash and returned back to the desert paths. It was getting a bit warm into the 80s by then with bright sun beating down. The trails were usually easy to follow, but at one point, realizing we needed to be going a different direction, I led the group off the trail up a hill only to find the trail on the other side down below. So back down through the thorny plants we went.

Watch the vegetation! [photo by Tom]
Chief’s Head. [photo by Tamar]

The rest of the hike was uneventful and we ended up back at the cars eager to have cold drinks. We could only wait as long as the first minimart to quench our thirst with 44 oz soft drinks. A great way to end our first Fall hike in the desert.

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Arizona Trailblazers Hiking Club, Phoenix, Arizona
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updated October 2, 2019