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Pass Mountain Loop, Extended
Goldfield Mountains
April 9, 2022
by Debbie Rowray
  GPS Map 
by Tom Simonick
Trailblazers at the Pass. [photo by Li]
Debbie, Chris, Li, Michael, Tom, Gregory

Six cheerful and energetic hikers set forth on a mild spring morning from the Lone Mountain Trailhead, with the initial part of the trail encompassing rolling terrain, and part of the Maricopa Trail system.

There were peaceful bird songs around us, and the landscape was full of many hues of green and brown; such a perfect time of year to do this hike. Amid multi-colored wildflowers and stout saguaros, the hedgehog cactuses were displaying vivid, satiny colors, as well as ocotillos stark against the blue sky and the tan cliffs of Pass Mountain.

Looks like a face, if you ask me. [photo by Chris]
Li, Debbie, and Chris on the Pass Mountain Trail. [photo by Tom]

The trail gives way to a fantastic view of Superstition Mountain, Four Peaks and layers of gorgeous mountainsides all around. It is almost mesmerizing to stare out at the distant peaks.

Fleabane and foxtails. [photo by Tom]
The photographer’s saguaro. [photo by Li]
Cactus Apples. [photo by Li]
Prickly Pear. [photo by Li]
Brittlebush. [photo by Debbie]
The sun also rises. [photo by Debbie]
Li and Debbie at the cave. [Tom]

We took a break at the saddle to enjoy the lower Salt River Valley, and a few of us added a climbing excursion. A bright green garter snake greeted us as we meandered back down to the rest of the group. He seemed happy to oblige our pictures. We also ran across a very handsome and attentive lizard enjoying the morning rays.

One may ask Li or Tom on a future hike about the snake they encountered on another portion of the trail. This guy was quick, so no picture, yet how neat to share the story of his sighting!

There is a cave-like feature just past the saddle, with bustling bees working away in their hives above.

The southeast side of the trail is a gradual descent, and many colorful cliffs, saddles and summits on this side of Pass Mountain are beckoning a future adventure. The ridgeline of this mountain is fascinating.

The snake who didn’t get away. [photo by Debbie]
The lizard who didn’t run away. [photo by Debbie]
The lizard who didn’t run away. [photo by Chris]
Debbie, Li, and Tom. [photo by Chris]
Ocotillo blossoms accentuate the buttes neat the Pass. [photo by Debbie]
Micheal, Gregory, and Chris. [photo by Debbie]
Lots of Saguaros. [photo by Debbie]

We did see quite a few other adventurers out on the trail; mountain bikes, trails runners and hikers alike were taking in the warm southwestern sunshine and fresh air.

The diversity of the horizon, Salt River Valley views, layers of astonishing mountain peaks all around, and an amazing group to share this hike with, made the day very grand!

11.3 miles, 5 hours, +-1700 feet elevation change

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Arizona Trailblazers Hiking Club, Phoenix, Arizona
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updated April 18, 2022