Friday, September 9, 2016

Little Bald Knoll - 9/9/16

Little Bald Knoll to Right of Center Foreground Peak

Deer Creek Road Overlook

Mummy's Toe from Trail

Crossing the Small Bridge on Hike-a-Bike Trail
 Little Bald Knoll is a route that was premiered last summer with four hikers. Today, twenty-five hikers arrived for the adventure. The Pixie Trailhead is located in the first large turnout on the right side of Deer Creek Road after Robbers' Roost coming from Kyle Canyon Road in the Spring Mountains NRA. The Pixie Trail is a bike trail that crosses Deer Creek Road at this point. Set to go, we dropped down from the large sloped turnout on the Pixie Trail. (A better way to drop down would be the trail on the high end of the turnout.)

Arriving at the 4-Way Junction
 At the junction of the old road trail below, we had to turn left and climb a little to find the Hike-a-Bike Trail that dips off to the right.

Left Turn Up at 4-Way Junction
 The Hike-a-Bike Trail is rather short but it is also fun. There is a little bridge to cross and it curves around along the contour of the hillside to the left climbing gently through manzanitas to a 4-way junction.

Pixie TH from Deer Creek Road Overlook

Showgirl Trail
 We turned to the left at the 4-way junction and climbed up until we came to a trail circle around a little peak. From here, we dropped down the hill for a short out and back to the Deer Creek Road Overlook. After returning, we followed the Camp Trail down to junction with the Showgirl Trail and turned to the right. The bike trails in this area are a maze but they are usually well-worn and fun to find your way around.

Heading to the Saddle across from Us
 The Showgirl Trail took us over to an unnamed trail to the left that took us over to a bare saddle area where we reconnected with the Showgirl Trail.

In and Out of Shade - Over a Bike Jump
 We only assume that this is meant to be the elusive Showgirl Trail. After all, the connection of this trail to the Showgirl Trail below is vague. So far, we refer to it as the "missing link." We're working on it.

View to Left of Trail - Angel Peak and SMYC

Harris Peak view from Trail
 This trail took us around, up, down and around until we got a good view of Angel Peak and the Spring Mountain Youth Camp (SMYC). AtBF Canyon was also in view over to the left heading up toward Angel Peak. Next, the trail dipped to negotiate a ravine. This is an interesting area that is omitted on the return by use of a shortcut trail. Almost to the knoll, we curved around, climbed up one little hill, then dropped onto Little Bald Knoll. Here, we took a long well-deserved break.

Long Line Today
 The trail we were following continues over the knoll and starts to drop again. However, soon, the trail becomes washed out and very vague as researched a year ago. Perhaps, the trail will be better when we find the time to re-explore.

The Switchback Area
 After our break, we returned to the trail and soon found the shortcut turn off to the right. This steep but short trail climbs the hill to junction again with the original trail.

Approaching the Knoll

Twenty-Five on the Bald Spot
 We began the business of regaining our elevation. It was a little warm today but we did okay. Finally, we reached the bare saddle and took the left turn onto another shortcut trail that eventually took us back to the 4-way junction. A final left turn put us back onto the Hike-a-Bike Trail where we enjoyed a pleasant downhill and back up to the cars. Great morning workout.

7 miles; 1200 feet elevation gain; 4 hours

Return Uphill

Arriving at the 4-Way Junction

Hike-a-Bike Trail View

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