Arizona posts, page 2 of 3.

The Cabins of Cabin Loop

Two cabins at Buck Springs

It was mid-June of this year when I went for a short backpacking adventure up on the Mogollon Rim. The weekend was fun and I learned a lot about my gear and limitations, useful information for my upcoming week on Isle Royale. When I told my brother-in-law Chris about hiking the cabin loop he was…

  • Category Hiking
  • Posted August 19, 2015
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Amethyst Peak

Four Peaks in the distance

Driving to Four Peaks is a dreadful ordeal. There are only two options: El Oso from the east and FR 143 from the west. El Oso is shorter and is in better shape, though to use it you'll need to loop all the way over to Tonto Basin, an annoying seventy miles outside of Mesa. 143 is a much tougher…

  • Category Hiking
  • Posted August 14, 2015
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Cabin Loop: Up the Mogollon Rim

Looking up at the rim

The warm smell of pine rushed around me and filled my mind with dizzying nostalgia. It smelled of home, of the rich forests in the Upper Peninsula, and for a brief moment I was back on the Yellow Dog Plains. Then I was back in reality, back in Arizona, and I reached into the jeep to pull out my…

  • Category Hiking
  • Posted July 21, 2015
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Birthday Trip to Sedona

Rugged hills and mountains beyond tame parking

Between work and kids and moving to Arizona it had been a long time since Katie escaped somewhere on our own. Well, it had been a full year. Last year she took me on a birthday trip to the Dells for a full weekend of sight-seeing and adventure golf. Of course we had been worrying about Noah for much…

  • Category Personal
  • Posted July 11, 2015
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Grand Canyon: South Kaibab to Bright Angel

Dramatic night sky over Grand Canyon

A cold morning wind rushed up from below and cut deep into my layers of clothes. Cold was weird to experience in Arizona during the month of May. Up here near Flagstaff the nightly temperatures still dipped down to forty, though, enough to justify my shivering. I tried to take a few decent photos of…

  • Category Hiking
  • Posted June 1, 2015
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Desert Hiking Goals for 2015

Usually around this time I have a full list of hikes to tackle for the year, an ambitious list of mountain peaks and waterfalls and other remote areas. A list focused on the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, that is. It has been hard to get as excited for Arizona hikes. I've mentioned several times that…

  • Category Hiking
  • Posted January 28, 2015
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Flatiron of the Superstition Mountains

Imposing silhouette of the Superstitions

Dim light seeped in from the east over the ridge, just enough to highlight the impressive rocky peaks of the Superstition Mountains. Everything else was dark. Our trail was dark, the cacti surrounding us was dark, and the mid-sized rocks that waited to roll under our ankles were dark. We carefully…

  • Category Hiking
  • Posted January 21, 2015
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Goldmine Loop of San Tan Mountains

Tall ridge blocking morning light

Bringing Noah along for a hike has been a long-standing desire of mine. A love for the outdoors, for the dirt and trails and campfires, is something that I largely attribute to my parents. Well, my parents and some family friends growing up. We knew a family who camped and hunted regularly,…

  • Category Hiking
  • Posted January 11, 2015
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Camelback Mountain - Cholla to Echo Canyon

Full moon over Camelback Mountain

This would be my fourth time up Camelback Mountain. I had previously braved the crowds of Echo Canyon twice and the relative seclusion of the Cholla Trail once with Chris. He had some friends in town this weekend, some friends who were interested in a desert hike, so we decided to take them on the…

  • Category Hiking
  • Posted December 29, 2014
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Hot Hike to Tom's Thumb

Our destination, the distant little thumb

For several hikes now Chris had made the drive down the 101 to meet up with me. It's not a long drive from his place up in Scottsdale, maybe thirty miles to our usual meeting spot in Gilbert, though rush hour can double or triple travel time. To balance things out we decided to aim for a hike closer…

  • Category Hiking
  • Posted December 23, 2014
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