Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Razorback Wash South - 1/2/13

                              Razorback Wash Near Red Dirt Badlands

                                    Turn in Old Arrowhead Highway

 Jim Boone brought eight more club members with him to hike a new trail he developed recently called Razorback Wash South. Razorback Ridge is a sharp ridge that sits in the vicinity of Pinto Valley Wash and Northshore Peak. There are washes on either side of the ridge and, today, we explored the southwest side in a point-to-point hike beginning at a pullout from Northshore Road around mile marker 22 and ending at the familiar mile marker 18 pullout.

                                     View Eastward From High Point

                                    View Westward From High Point

The first 2.5 miles of the hike was easy going in a wide wash through the desert with an intermittent trail or old road marking the way. After this, we hit the high point of the hike which also coincides with the low point of Razorback Ridge. Looking forward, there was a beautiful view of color and a beckoning narrow wash below us. We dropped into the wash and began winding our way through the colors.

                                   Hiking Trail Next to Cryptobiotic Soil

                   Hiking Trail That Takes the Hiker to Right of High Dry Fall

 Soon, we came to a decision point and first, we checked out the left fork. Jim showed us the reason we would not be going in this direction for very far as we reached a very high dry fall. It was negotiable but not for the group of hikers we had today! We climbed up to our right and found a worn trail that took us next to some excellent crytobiotic soil and dropped us down to the wash on the right. (There was also a turnoff for dropping down to the bottom of the dry fall on the left.) From here, we entered a winding red dirt wash that could be described as badlands.

                               Climbing Out of Badlands to Next Wash

                                  Borax and Gypsum Decorate the Wash

 The badlands were fun to travel through with many twists and turns. There were patches of borax and gypsum along the way. We climbed out of one wash to enter another then took a snack break just before our trail junctioned with the old Arrowhead Highway at the Pinto Valley Wash. From here, it was just a matter of hiking out the old road and through Cottonwood Wash to Northshore Road where we had left a couple of cars. It was a very pleasant hike with many colors to fill the senses.

        Where Razorback Wash South Junctions With the Old Arrowhead Highway

                                Hiking Out Through Cottonwood Wash

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