Saturday, September 16, 2017

Robbers' Roost Loop - 9/13/17

Robbers in the Roost!

Overlook from Old Deer Creek Road

Starting down Upper Showgirl Trail

Shaded and Cool on Showgirl
There were seven hikers on a new moderate loop in the Spring Mountains NRA. After driving up Kyle Canyon Road and turning right on Deer Creek Road, we turned right again onto Angel Peak / Lucky Strike Road. Veering to the right at the fork, we drove down to the Juniper Trailhead and parked. Ready to go, we started down the Upper Showgirl Trail, a well-made bike trail. We only saw one biker all day since this is an autumn Wednesday. Our first view of Mummy's Nose was decorated with a lot of puffy clouds. A 40% chance of rain was in the forecast.

Angel Peak from Showgirl
The Showgirl Trail winds in and out of ravines quite a bit. Angel Peak, with its round white dome, can be seen from a few viewpoints.

Hike a Bike Trail
We passed the junctions for the Camp Trail then connected with the Hike a Bike Trail by staying straight. The Trough Trail turned left here.

Old Deer Creek Road on Hike a Bike Trail

Robbers' Roost Trailhead
The Hike a Bike Trail took us down on the traverse across a little bridge and below the Pixie Trailhead above. In retrospect, there are four official trailheads that can be used for this loop. About half way down, we joined a section of the Old Deer Creek Road. At the junction of the top of Telephone Canyon Road, we turned into the woods on a path to the right. This short steep trail took us up to the Robbers' Roost Trailhead where we crossed the road and headed up. Not far up the road, there were a wedding couple and photographers in their full regalia! Beautiful and happy. We excused ourselves as we passed and threw in a few congratulatory comments.

Switchback with Cave
Although one hiker chose to scramble up the wash, the remaining six took the switchback up to the "roost" area. A couple of rock climbers had just finished here. We took our break then came back down passing the bride and groom again. We offered to be their wedding party but they declined.

Starting out Old Deer Creek Road to Gypsy Trail
Turning left before we reached the road again, we started up the Old Deer Creek Road. The trail was covered with bits of asphalt. This is the start of what the bikers have named the Gypsy Trail. The dark clouds above finally spit a few sprinkles at us prompting the donning of rain jackets. No thunder.

Bike Jump on Gypsy Trail of Old Deer Creek Road

Old Deer Creek Road
There are several bike jumps built on this trail. We followed the old road all the way up and around, parallel to the new Deer Creek Road but high above passing a couple more bike trails. There are wide views of the Deer Creek Road alley toward Kyle Canyon. At the top, we dropped off the trail at the bikers' trailhead on the highway. A short walk down the road to the campground junction brought us to the small wash that we followed all the way back to the Showgirl Trail. There is a lot of trash in this wash and we were caught without bags! Finally, we connected with the Showgirl Trail and climbed back up to the cars. This is a very nice loop that is best done when there are no bikers on the Gypsy Trail portion of the hike.

6 miles; 1000 feet elevation gain; 3.25 hours

Road and Wash Junction seen below Trail

Arriving at the Bikers' Trailhead

Small Wash Descent

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