|Jean's Peak from High Point (Bitter Spring Valley beyond)|
|Jean's Canyon near Arrowhead Road Junction|
|Redstone from Jean's Saddle Trail|
|Climbing up First Scramble Canyon|
Over the years, I have done Jean's Peak Loop in a lot of various different routes ... some I meant to do and some I didn't mean to do! Never happy with any route for long, I kept searching for THE route that would stand the test of time. The Fearsome Foursome found THAT route today! We added a major scramble to the mix; one that CH had alluded to once upon a time. (But, next time we are bringing clippers!)
We started the hike as usual from Northshore Road's mile marker 25. This is the turnout parking where a call button is located. We crossed the road heading uphill to the canyon you can see from the trailhead. A vague trail leads up on the right side of the canyon and drops in.
|The Trip through the Triple Arch|
|Scramble out of Canyon|
|Approaching Saddle before Jean's Peak (Cairn, top-R)|
|Mike climbs toward Jean's Peak Cairn|
This is a nice somewhat gentle scramble up until you become parallel with the triple arch on the right embankment of the ravine. We climbed up and did the required walk through. This put us on the trail that continues along the base of the rock cliffs. Soon, we found our new scramble up toward the top that we discovered last year. Up we went, zigzagging our way up to the large saddle below Jean's Peak and her large cairn. Continuing the climb, we reached the cairn and the high points on the ridge following. Back down to the cairn, we looked for the log book but could not find it. Is it there?
|Rita standing next to Jean's Peak Cairn|
|View from Cairn to High Point Ridge|
|Eastern View from High Point|
|Fearsome Foursome at High Point|
Here's where the new scramble came in. We started down from the cairn. Down, down, down into the canyon below us. There was a lot of slab to stick to. A steep waterslide appeared just before we dropped into the main canyon. A fun little challenge. Sheep trails sometimes led us through the brushier parts. Determined to stay in the canyon wash as much as possible, there were a few large old catclaw acacias in our way. Since they were old, we sometimes could break off the limbs to clear a path. There were places just above the canyon that promised an easier time but we steadfastly descended the wash where several fun scrambles resided. It took a while but, eventually, we found ourselves just below the high point saddle of Jean's Canyon.
|Steep Waterslide into Descent Canyon Scramble|
|Descent Canyon Scramble|
|The Big Drop in Jean's Canyon|
|Points of Interest|
We were in a little canyon of our own and had to find our way up to the usual trail that passes over the dried mud high point where there are a lot of bear paw poppies poking their hairy leaves out of the ground. Soon, we were descending down the other side of the saddle on the usual trail. This section was familiar but when we reached the Big Drop, it looked a little intimidating since we had not been there for a couple of years. We had no problems here and all of us but Mike, decided to do the go around for the Slip & Slide that came later. Next, we zigged and zagged on a gentle descent down to the old Arrowhead Road that runs within Pinto Valley. We rebuilt the cairn at the junction and turned left to follow the road and wash for 0.6 miles. There, we arrived at the Ridge Trail, Cut Wash, Arrowhead Road junction.
|Mike descends Jean's Canyon|
|Below "Slip & Slide" and "Up & Around"|
|Old Arrowhead Road|
|Sea of White Hills|
We zigged over to the climb up to the Ridge Trail and followed the ridge up to where it dropped back down on the old road and turned left. Not far was the right curve onto the steep road climb at the end of Pinto Valley. We came to where the land bridge trail crossed our path. We turned to the left yet again and began our climb up to Jean's Saddle, the last tough climb of the day. After a pause on the saddle, we followed the trail down the other side and dropped into the northern end of Jean's Canyon. A right turn pointed us in the direction of the cars. But, before we could start home, we had a few scrambles to deal with while we were being watched by eyes from the cliff above. Yes, a single bighorn perched safely high above.
|Redstone from Ridge Trail|
|Small Break on Jean's Saddle|
|Jean's Saddle Trail inside Canyon (Saddle, top-L)|
|Slippery Drop in Jean's Canyon|
By climbing over the saddle and into Jean's Canyon instead of following the two-track road out, we eliminated the long hike on Northshore Road to return to the trailhead. Cars on the road are zooming very fast here and it isn't safe to walk next to the road. We finished the canyon and found the cairn that indicated where to climb out on the left. There is a little bit of desert to hike out on before crossing the road to the cars. It was an excellent hike and will be repeated. ... with clippers! Fun and beautiful day!
Stats: 5.8 miles; 1450' gain; 4.75 hours
|We were being watched!|
|Last big scramble in Jean's Canyon|
|Out of the Canyon - Nearing Northshore Road|