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Peak 3004 Loop Day Hike
Goldfield Mountains
September 4, 2017
by Tamar Gottfried
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group
Michael, Biljana, Dave, Doreen, Sue, Karin, with Emma in front.

Eight hikers set out from the Meridian Trailhead before first light at 5:30 AM for the first desert Trailblazer hike of the “Fall” 2017 hiking season. It was 82 degrees and the objective was to finish before the thermometer hit 85.

hikers
Made it to Bulldog Saddle before sunrise.
hikers
What a view!
trail
The Bulldog Saddle Trail gets rocky on the way up.
canyon
Sand Canyon is a distant arroyo from here.

We made our way to the Bulldog Saddle, aided by headlamps, and were greeted with sunshine and a 360 degree view when we hit the top. After a brief rest to admire the vista, the green of the desert, and an army of ants attacking little red berries, we started down the other side of the saddle. The trail was easy to follow, but a little overgrown in places. It dipped in and out of washes and curved around toward our next hill.

We climbed up to intersect the “new” Pass Mountain Trail and took a break in the little bit of shade we found. Temperatures were rising, but cool breezes kept us pleasantly comfortable. The last 1.7 miles of the hike was down at a quick pace, racing the heat. After a little detour down and out of a deep wash near the trailhead, we made it back to our cars by 8:45.

peaks
North of Bulldog Saddle we can see the western Goldfields.
valley
The trail now goes around the north end of Peak 3004.
drink
Cool, Clear, Water.

Of note, one of our hikers did suffer from heat exhaustion and ended up being choppered out to the trailhead by the good folks of the Maricopa County Sheriff’s department. All ended well, with the last of us off the trail by 12:15 and no serious injury. But this experience served as a necessary reminder of the dangers of hiking in the desert during the hot months of the year.

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Arizona Trailblazers Hiking Club, Phoenix, Arizona
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updated September 5, 2017