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Kendrick Peak Day Hike
September 7, 2019
by Tom Simonick
  GPS Map 
by John Scruggs
Trailblazers at Kendrick Peak Trailhead. [photo by Tom]
front:  Chelsea, Carol, Debbie, Michelle, Heather K., Heather O., Mark
back: Tom, Steve, Chris, John, Terry, Dave, Ken

Twelve members and one guest joined me on the anniversary of my first hike up Kendrick Peak. Besides enjoying the hike and the views, some of us were using this hike as a conditioning hike for an upcoming Grand Canyon adventure.

After leaving U.S. 180 it was only a short drive until we ran into the Barn Burner Bicycle Race, being conducted on the forest road system. The forest roads were not closed, but we had to share the roads with a portion of the 500 race participants. We met two members at the trailhead, distributed radios, took a group picture and started up.

Since there is only one, well-marked trail which ends at the summit, I decided that we could hike at our own pace, taking breaks as needed.

The trail ascends through meadows with yellow flowers and tall stalks with yellow flowers, and then begins a number of switchbacks.

John takes it all in stride. [photo by John]

In a little time we were in the trees, our ascension briefly broken by flat trail, but inevitably, the next switchback takes us higher.

Summer wildflowers grace our passage. [photo by Debbie]
The view from the trail is grand! [photo by Debbie]

After about two miles I made the mistake of looking up and saw the summit, still a long ways above us. Eventually we made it to a saddle and the trail became less steep, while still continuing up.

The San Francisco Peaks are not far away. [photo by Tom]

The radios proved their usefulness, letting us know that two hikers had turned around and were headed back to the trailhead. A little over 4 miles from the start, we reached the old fire watcher cabin, signaling that we only had about a quarter mile of steep switchbacks to reach the summit.

No one lives in the cabin. [photo by John]

The fire lookout opened the tower to us and some of us went up to talk to him and take pictures from the unobstructed 360 degree view. The lookout was busy, already tracking a fire to the southeast, but still managed to answer questions.

You can see a long way from here. [photo by Tom]
Chris and Debbie made it to the top. [photo by Tom]

Leaving the tower, some people took a lunch break on the concrete pad adjacent to the tower, joining other hikers, some who had come up by using the Pumpkin trail.

There’s a paved helipad at the top. [photo by Debbie]
This is the life! [photo by Tom]
Trailblazers at the top. [photo by Tom]
Heather. [photo by Tom]

Talking with some of the other hikers, we found out they were also making this hike to prepare for the Grand Canyon.

After a little sunbathing at 10,418 feet, we geared up and began the five mile descent. The nice thing about the descent is that you are constantly looking at beautiful views, and you’re going down, not up.

The last two hikers made it down, and those of us that were planning on a real lunch took off for Flagstaff, avoiding the bicyclists that were still on the forest roads completing their race.

Rain falling in the distance. [photo by Debbie]
Meanwhile, back at the trailhead ... [photo by John]

We ate at Grand Canyon Brewing Company, across from our Target rendezvous location.

While the beer and the food was good, and server worked hard to please us, the restaurant was not particularly well organized this afternoon and our quick meal took almost 2.5 hours.

Grand Canyon Brewing Company. [photo by Tom]

Thanks to everyone that came on the hike and a special welcome to our guest, Chelsea. I recommend not doing this hike on the second weekend in September to avoid the bicycle race.

Stats: Because we hiked in alone and in small groups, we had a variety of round trip times. Mine was 5 hours, 10 minutes which included a leisurely one hour stop at the summit. I know other hikers were much faster. Fast or slow, it was a 9.6 mile roundtrip with accumulated elevation gain of about 2800 feet.

→   More pictures, by Tom
→   More pictures, by Debbie
→   More pictures, by John
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Arizona Trailblazers Hiking Club, Phoenix, Arizona
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updated September 24, 2019