My Mt Whitney trip is coming up quickly, July 20th will be here soon! I wanted to get in at least one higher altitude hike beforehand, but when they closed the National Forests in Az due to fire danger I thought I was out of luck.
Fortunately they re-opened the forests right after July forth, and I got a rare Friday off. Seemed like hiking a mountain was the thing to do!
Left to house in Phoenix a little before 5am, at the trailhead around 8. Started out under blue skies! Glad I got an early start from Phoenix, an hour after I left the summit the thunder started!
Felt good the whole time, pretty much did it with no breaks in one push. I’m feeling good for Mt Whitney and ready to roll!
A few years ago the main road I used to ride my bike on was torn up for a new freeway. They said a multi-use path would be built alongside the freeway, but I was skeptical.
Yesterday I got to ride on the new path and it’s pretty awesome!
I was really doing good pedaling during the spring lockdown, feeling strong! Unfortunately I allowed my return to work in early May and the Phoenix summer heat to put the kibosh on my riding (and most other fun outdoor activities).
I’m past ready to get back at it, so it was nice to get back on the bike on such a beautiful day. Did my standard start and cruised down to the new path.
It’s wide, smooth, has some hills, and is super protected from the freeway traffic. As skeptical as I was about it existing, I have to say ADOT really hit a home run with this. I love living in the Ahwatukee area of Phoenix and this is just another great addition!
Now there’s really no excuse not to ride, and it’s the best time of year in AZ!!
It’s been quite a while since I went out on the Stand-up Paddle-board, with the nice temps in Phoenix right now I had to take advantage!
While April was extremely nice, May started out hot, I believe we’ve hit 107 already this year, so when I saw a high of 87 I knew it was a good afternoon to spend outdoors!
Headed down to Tempe Town Lake after an early out from work. The only real task is getting the SUP inflated, which takes some work. Why I haven’t gotten an electric pump is a fine question, because it’s a solid 5 minutes of pumping!
I do love having that lake there, so easy for a quick paddle. In 20 minutes I’m on the water!
Went from the beach to the far east end of the lake and back, with a little chilling in the middle of the lake. 3.5 miles and one fine afternoon. There was some battling of the wind the whole way back, it always seems to find me!
Like many of us, I’ve got some extra time on my hands lately, and figured I would use some of it for hiking. Mainly I’ve been hiking near my house on the less popular sections of trail that I know of, every once in a while though it’s nice to see some new scenery. Ararvaipa Canyon is a place I had heard of and seen some cool pics from, it was on a list of stuff to do, but not really a high priority. In looking for a different, long day hike to do, it came up. You need to have a permit to enter the wilderness area and they only allow 50 people per day to be there, good opportunity for social distancing!
I went to good ole’ recreation.gov and organized the permit, only $11.00 out the door! I got the last slot for April 9th, about a week and a half ahead of time. I’d recommend trying a to reserve a few weeks in advance, especially if you want to camp with a couple people, permits become available 13 weeks ahead of the entry date.
The night before I got all my stuff together, I took some extra things because it’s pretty isolated and I’d be by myself. I even threw in my stove and a Mountain House meal, if I was to get stranded a hot meal would be fantastic!
The next morning I got up pretty easily when my alarm went off at 4:45, made some coffee and was out the door. The drive there was about 2 1/2 hours. the last 45 minutes or so is past a lot of surface mines, sad to see the damage it does. The last time I was in this area was on a 100 mile bike ride, the hills here a big, and it sure was nice to be in the truck this time! After driving the 12 miles or so of dirt road, I hit the small trailhead. I loaded up, signed the trail register and off I went a little before 8 am.
The first part of the trial winds down through cactus and tall brush to get to the stream bed. I didn’t really know what to expect out of this hike, I knew I’d be walking in the water, but not how much, at about .3 miles in it was time to cross the stream for the first time, so I just waded on in and started the day of wet feet!
Early on I was trying to walk on the bank as much as possible, but there was a lot of bushwhacking and scrambling on rocks. At one point a was going up a loose rock section, noticed I was about 20 feet above the stream and a fall would entail some bouncing on rocks before landing in the water. Since I was alone, just walking in the stream seemed the safest, and this was my technique the rest of the day. A good positive of this, the best views down the canyon, and safety…
The views are pretty incredible once you get into the canyon, and I passed a number of great looking campsites. I definitely want to come back here for a night or two and be able to hike the entire canyon and explore a side canyon or two. I was moving pretty quickly to see as much of the main canyon as possible, the water was a really nice temperature and except for some deep pools that are easy to see in the crystal clear water, never more than knee deep.
Just shy of 7 miles I turned around, I didn’t want to feel like I was slogging my way back to the trail head, and by the time I got there I was glad to take the boots off! This is an incredible, unique backcountry place and I’m glad it has been preserved as a wilderness area!
Want you need to know to hike or backpack Aravaipa Canyon
It is a wilderness area and other rules! Check them out on the BLM Website.
Your feet will be wet all day, accept this fact and move on. I wore my regular hiking boots and it wasn’t too bad, just had to empty the pebbles out twice! I don’t think TEVAS or Chacos would be the way to go because rocks would get in all day long. Do you have a great shoe or boot for hiking in water for long periods of time? Let me know!
Went for a hike toady, I had the time to to a loop I have wanted to try for a while but just hadn’t done. It was great to be on the trails exploring some new stuff. Love the fact that this amazing area is in my backyard.