Thursday, September 11, 2014

Raintree via Trail Canyon - 9/11/14


Nine Hikers at the Saddle Junction

 We drove up Kyle Canyon early this morning and the construction workers were already hard at work. Waiting in two separate lines for one way road allowances, nine hikers arrived at the chilly Trail Canyon trailhead in the Spring Mountains NRA around 8am. The cold 52 degree air gave the group a good punch and off we went climbing up the beloved Trail Canyon trail. Right away, we began noticing that the trail had been washed out by Hurricane Norbert's rains. The flood evidence was clear in several steep sections and in the upper switchbacks. Thankfully, the section that the Spring Mountain Youth Campers worked so hard on in the beginning of the summer stood stalwart in its engineered construction.

Shadows Hiking on the North Loop

Today's group of hikers were well rested from the rain break and the pace of the hike showed it! Although slower members of the club would have been very welcome, all attendees were speedy! ... With the exception of yours truly!

Breaking at Raintree

 We gathered for regrouping three times during the hike. The first gathering was on the Trail Canyon / North Loop saddle junction on the ascent, the second was at Raintree, and the third was at the saddle junction on the return. We all knew the trail very well, or we hiked with someone who did, so walking and talking or walking and thinking was our entertainment. The sky was blue and the temperatures warmed up. When we reached Raintree, the birds on the tree tops seen in the photo to the left were making a lot of noise.

Mummy's Toe from Raintree Area

We took our break on the log seating underneath Raintree which is situated on the North Loop Trail near the base of Mummy's Toe. Although no one was really in a hurry, we got up to go after the usual 15 minutes or so.

Hiking Back down the North Loop

On the return back to the saddle junction, we noted that the two big rocky washes emanating from the towering Mummy Mountain above had been jumbled up and rearranged at the areas that it crossed the North Loop trail. After passing the saddle, it was also noted that the washed out sections of trail were more difficult to navigate on the way down. We were all invigorated when we signed out and got back into our cars!

7 miles; 2300 feet elevation gain; a little over 3 hours
One of Mummy's Washes with Cockscomb Peak in the Background

Yellowing Aspens from the Saddle Junction

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