Saturday, July 8, 2017

Mud Mack Loop - 7/8/17

Macks Canyon Road

Wash / Mud Springs Trail

Mud Springs Trail / Red Trail

Connecting to Macks Canyon Road from Sawmill TH
 The Mud Mack Loop is a loop hike created by joining part of Macks Canyon Road and part of the Mud Springs Trail (aka Red Trail) by way of a short bushwhack in the Spring Mountains NRA. Fourteen hikers drove up Lee Canyon Road to the Sawmill Trailhead and began their hike on the Yellow Trail that leaves from the upper picnic area. This trail swings out toward Macks Canyon Road and there is a short bushwhack that connects the trail and the dirt road. We climbed up to the road and turned to our right. It was early; we had begun around 7:45am. There were a few campers just waking up and making breakfast in the first come/first serve campsites along the road.

Morning on Macks Canyon Trail
 It was a warm morning. Usually, we don't do these lower elevation hikes in July but today was special. A memorial for Don Caldwell would be held at the Sawmill TH at the end of our hike.

Pause for Water
 Regardless, there was a bit of cloud cover and a light occasional cool breeze. Plus, our plan was to "mosey." Easy and relaxing.

Arriving at a Desert View Corner

One of the Hills
 We hiked approximately 2 miles out the dirt road passing 3 groups of campers and 2 morning joggers. The Sisters Spur Road junction was our high point for the day. Not long after this, we turned down to our right and took an immediate left into a campsite. This was the beginning of the quarter mile bushwhack that would take us down to the Mud Springs Trail (Red Trail). The bushwhack led out along a campsite trail, down a steep hill into the wash below then down the wash. When we saw a trail crossing the wash in front of us, we knew we had junctioned with the Mud Springs Trail.

Almost to Bushwhack Junction
 Making sure that we had all of our group in tow, we continued down the wash on the trail. The wash is filled with fine gravel but a little rain the night before had hardened it somewhat.

Bushwhacking to Mud Springs Trail
 After what seemed like a long descent in the wash, we came across the trail junction that takes the route up the hill to the right side. We stopped here for our long break.

Connecting with the Mud Springs Trail Wash Section

Climbing a Hill on Mud Springs Trail (Red Trail)
 On the trail again, we began a series of ups, downs and arounds. Over and over, the trail went around ridges and in and out of ravines on the traverse. Finally, we climbed the last big ascent up to the saddle above the Sawmill TH and junctioned with the approach trail and the ridge trail. We turned to the right and began our one mile descent back through the trees with Mummy's Nose rising up in front of us in the upper elevations of the Spring Mountains. Our "mosey" hike was very pleasant and relaxing ... and warm. We hiked into the TH just in time to begin the memorial service for one of our long time club members.

7 miles; 1200 feet elevation gain; 3.25 hours

Another Hill

Mummy's Nose from Trail Descent

Hiking the Yellow Trail back to Sawmill TH

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