Thursday, March 28th, 2019
Gnat caught up with us in the early AM and we talked to her a while before she hiked on. We said bye to Bill T and walked through a saguaro wonderland the rest of the morning.
We took a short break by a creek before starting the scenic climb up the mountain.
We’d see a cute gray frog by the creek and the tail end of a non-venomous snake during the climb.
We’d take another meal break at Grass Shack campground before the climb got steeper. The sun was relentless, so I hid in the shade of the trees every time I took a breather.
The desert scenery switched to pine forest as we got closer to Manning camp. We’d run back into Gnat before we got there.
We finally reached the top of the mountain, well, kind of. The Arizona Trail doesn’t reach the summit of most of the mountains that lie on it. Hoping for a rewarding view for all the hard work (over 5,500 feet of elevation gain), I took the 0.1 mile hike off trail to reach the peak of Mica Mountain. I was bummed out when there was no view. All the trees were blocking any visual below.
We started working our way back down and the three of us were thrilled to finally see a stunning view below. We were mesmerized!
After a long break to take it all in, we practically jogged to the bottom. We stopped at Tanque Verde Canyon where the water was plentiful.
After grubbing down some cold-soaked ramen noodles, we caught a pretty sunset before tucking in.
18.9 miles (30.4 km)