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Quartz Peak Day Hike
Sierra Estrella
January 4, 2020
by Quy Nguyen
  Map 
group
At the Quartz Peak Trailhead. [photo by Quy]
front:  Quy, Heather, Carolyne, Li
back: Mark, Nur, Chris, Tom, Ian, Debbie, Michelle, Kevin, Neil, Billie, Michael

The Quartz Peak Trail is not only challenging hike but also a good wildness experience of Sierra Estrella.

After turning on a dirt road, the drive to trailhead is rough on sand, bumpy road. Sometimes we have to drive off the dirt road to avoid some of huge branches and deep holes.

dawn
Sun rises over the Sierra Estrella. [photo by Quy]
hikers
The beginning of the trail is flat. [photo by Quy]
hikers
... then it starts uphill. [photo by Quy]
hikers
We pass through a field of Teddy Bears. [photo by Quy]

After the ¼ mile flat, the trail is steady inclined with many switchbacks around 2.5 miles and with gravel, sand, loose rock, and boulders. The trail is easy to follow, until the last half mile, where we have to look for cairns and to scramble over boulders to the saddle.

From the saddle, it’s real challenge to use hands, legs, and strength to climb up to the top.

cactus
Saguaros like to grow on the slopes. [photo by Li]
view
The views just get better on the way up. [photo by Quy]
peak
First view of Quartz Peak. [photo by Quy]
hikers
What do we have here? [photo by Quy]
hikers
Let’s talk this over. [photo by Li]
peak
That’s Quartz Peak, all right. [photo by Quy]
peak
Closer and closer. We have to bushwhack the rest of the way. [photo by Quy]

The high wind at the top makes the temperature much cooler. The amazing views at the peak make it worth for rough driving and hard hiking.

group
Victory! [photo by Quy]
GPS
Good place to take a GPS waypoint. [photo by Quy]
hikers
Starting down. [photo by Quy]
hikers
Watch your step! [photo by Quy]
trail
A trail, at last! [photo by Quy]
view
We still have a ways to go. [photo by Quy]
hikers
It’s been a good hike. [photo by Tom]
hikers
All over. [photo by Quy]

Only eleven hikers made to the peak. We started around 8:30 AM and we were back to trailhead at 1:30 PM.

Well done! Thanks to all for coming to join my hike.

→   More pictures, by Quy
→   More pictures, by Li
→   More pictures, by Tom
hikers
Happy Trails! [photo by Quy]
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Arizona Trailblazers Hiking Club, Phoenix, Arizona
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updated January 7, 2020