Saturday, August 11, 2018

Upper Showgirl Loop - 8/11/18

Camp Trail Overlook

Nearing end of Hike a Bike Trail

Overcast Morning starting out from Juniper Trailhead

Descending on the Upper Showgirl Trail
The smoke from the California wildfires seemed worse in the valley today. However, the skies up in the Spring Mountains were blue, albeit with a tinge of gray. Seventeen hikers drove up to the Juniper Trailhead for a slow 5 mile hike among the trees on a few bike trails. To get to the Juniper TH, drive up Kyle Canyon Road, turn right on Deer Creek Road, turn right on Angel Peak Road, fork to the right and find the trailhead (complete with restroom) on the right about half a mile down. Don't go further than the trailhead because that area is off limits due to the presence of the Spring Mountain Youth Camp found before you reach Angel Peak. (To hike to Angel Peak is a whole different story!)

Mummy Mountain from Trail
We started down the Upper Showgirl Trail behind the restroom as it zigzagged down to the first wash. This wash seems to have been flooded out a bit recently.

Wooded Trail
From there, we followed the trail as it zigzagged in and out of the ravines and washes. There is minimal elevation gain, intermittent shade and lots of trees. What's not to love?

Mountain Mahogany Trees line the Trail

Mummy's Nose through Trees
As we hiked, we saw near and distant views toward Mummy's Nose and Angel Peak. At around 1.5 miles into the hike, we turned left onto another trail. In my book, this is a continuance of the Showgirl Trail. But, trail names get a little confusing in this area. This trail heads straight out the ridge that is above on the right side. We passed a confluence of trails making our way through to continue along the ridge and came to a dip where a log crosses a wash on the left side of the trail. Here is where we took our break. It was shady and fairly cool. If you continue to follow this trail, it will wind along the ridge then make a steep dive down to junction with the ... Showgirl Trail. Yep. It's confusing.

Well-Maintained Showgirl Trail
After the break, we turned around to go back the way we came until we reached that confluence of trails. Here, we went straight near the top of the ridge and junctioned with the Trough Trail to turn right.

Taking a Break
Shortly, the Trough Trail crosses the Hike a Bike Trail. Today, we turned to the right on the Hike a Bike and followed it almost to the junction of our first left turn. The Hike a Bike curves sharply to the left here and begins a long gradual climb up a ridge.

Mummy's Toe from Showgirl Trail

Angel Peak from Hike a Bike Trail
The long climb wasn't so bad and views of Mummy Mountain from here were beautiful since the skies that had begun overcast were now cleared of many of the clouds. The Hike a Bike Trail ends after curving around to the right and running into the Camp Trail circle. Here, some hikers chose to wait in the shade while others turned to the left and hiked down an abandoned road to the cliff that overlooks the new Deer Creek Road. It is a unique view as seen in the first photo. We were very careful not to get too close to the edge in the loose rock. This is probably not a good place to bring your kids!

Gradual Slope at end of Hike a Bike Trail
We all returned to those hikers waiting in the shade then continued up and around to join the Camp Trail that leads back down the ridge on the other side.

Circling around to Junction with Camp Trail
At the bottom of the ridge, the Camp Trail junctions with the Upper Showgirl Trail on which we had started. We turned left to go back toward the trailhead.

Hiking down to the Overlook

Up Deer Creek Road from Overlook
We still had a little over a mile left to go and the sun had taken away some of the shade. Still, a very nice cool breeze came up once in a while and we were pretty comfortable. We zigzagged in and out the washes then came to the final sun-filled climb back up to the cars. Blue skies all around on a day that was forecast as 40% rain and thunderstorms. We like thunderstorms like this! Great morning out of the valley smoke!

5 miles; 600 feet elevation gain; 2.75 hours

Camp Trail

Nearing the Last Climb

Finishing the Last Climb back to Trailhead

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