|XL sits atop Fletcher Peak|
|Mummy's Toe (Charleston Peak Beyond)|
|Hiking up Cougar Ridge Trail|
Our route started from the Cougar Ridge Trail parking turnout on Deer Creek Road. We exited the cars into the very nicely cooled mountain air. When ready, we began hiking up the dirt road across the highway. This is a residential road called Cougar Ridge Trail. Not far up the road is a gate meant to keep out cars that do not belong up the hill. We ducked under the gate and went on up.
|Surmounting Deer Creek Ridge|
|Morning light at Mummy Springs|
|Deer Creek Ridge from Trail Above|
|Hiking from Springs to Raintree|
|Water Break at Raintree|
|Reaching Fletcher Peak Saddle|
|Interesting Addition to the Fletcher Peak Trail|
|The Final Ascent to the Fletcher Peak|
|Arriving on Fletcher Peak|
|Charleston Peak from Fletcher Peak|
|Enjoying the Summit|
We took a simple break then went on our way as a group, going down the mountain. So far, we had only seen a handful of other hikers even though the weather was optimal. In fact, we remained the "only ones on the mountain" until we climbed back up that hill from the saddle and rejoined the North Loop Trail. Ahh! We found the people! Getting up early has its perks. For example: being the first ones at the parking areas and being the first ones on the trails. Yep ... some of us are a little sleepy!!
So after a right turn onto the North Loop Trail from the junction, we climbed again, up to the North Loop's High Point Corner.
|Harris and Griffith Peaks|
|Descending Fletcher Peak Trail|
|North Loop Trail|
|Descending North Loop Switchbacks|
6.5 miles; 2300 feet elevation gain; 4 hours
|Columbine Plants in Wild Horse Canyon|
|Entering Narrows of Wild Horse Canyon|