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Little Mt. Ord Day Hike
Mazatzal Mountains
May 10, 2014
by Bill Zimmermann
  GPS Map 
Bill and Michael are ready to start from Bill’s Jeep.

A short-notice hike writeup drew only one hiker. Mike joined me on my off trail exploratory hike. Our exit from SR87 was just north of Bushnell Tanks. We followed a break in the white line. It was a good road with one wash crossing that needed high clearance. The road ended at a locked “GATE”.

We returned to “TH” were we started our hike. At 7:15 we were walking. It started out by following an abandoned overgrown road to a small mine dig. We headed back on track toward our planned waypoint “E2”. At about 4400 feet we spotted a rock pile. Was it a cairn, or a mining claim?

Mike spotted a trail treat for Bill: more bones. After crawling under a fence at ”FX1” we got somewhat off course. We trudged uphill toward 4708 only to later drift downward in to a spacious flat saddle, wide enough to land a helicopter.

Bill finds the way.
Michael finds a way to get under the fence.

Following a narrow ridgeline, we headed to a quartz outcrop near ”E50”. Until this point the route was fairly clear and easy to step round spiny vegetation. A lack of wind added to the heat factor and our decision to alter the exploratory adventure.

Corner posts along the fence are reinforced.
A twisty tree shows the way to Mt. Ord.
Thornscrub thrives in the Mazatzals.

We decided to follow the contour lines, staying near 5000 feet as we headed toward “W50”. Conditions changed. The vegetation got very thick and the winds picked up.

Mining claim.
Yes, it’s copper ore.
Something tells me this machine needs to be oiled.

A rock pile at “MC” was truly a mining claim, as nearby rocks showed elements of copper. With one leg getting longer than the other we scrapped the contour idea and headed toward open spots void of vegetation. Down and up the dip, it was.

At “ZD” we decided to head toward “USLM” at a location shown on National Geographic TOPO maps. Google says United States Lime and Mineral sells at $54.98 a share on the NASDAQ. Interested? Bill found the location and took a selfie.

We spotted a structure as we headed downhill toward a lush creek with mature tall sycamores. Clothes hanging on a wash line was a clue the trailer was not abandoned.

Bill finds a marker at USLM.

We loudly announced our presence so as not to surprise the resident as we climbed out of the wash. After introductions, Tom shared with us his garden and how with hydraulic pump sends water uphill to it. We parted with a handshake and an offer to come visit again.

Bill, Tom, and Michael, off the grid.

We walked the road back to my Jeep. While toasting a great exploratory hike with a cold beer, thoughts rattled in my brain. Living year round off the grid with no ice, and no cold beer, is not for me.

Golden poppies are partially unfurled.
Beware, little bugs! It’s a spider hole.
Cactus Apples

After deciding not to continue the climb to Little Mt. Ord, we had an elevation gain of 600 feet working our way downhill — the vary nature of exploratory.

+-2050 feet, 4.9 miles. Next time, the summit.

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Arizona Trailblazers Hiking Club, Phoenix, Arizona
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updated June 17, 2019