Tag Archives: Passage 25

AZT – Passage 26 – Hardscrabble Mesa

  • Distance – 11.54 miles / 18.57 kilometers
  • Elevation Gain – 1319 feet / 402 meters
  • Elevation Loss – 1841 feet / 561 meters
  • Average Temperature – 91.6° F / 33.1° C
  • Total Mileage – 115 miles / 185.98 kilometers

We drove to The Cabins on Strawberry Hill on Friday in order to get an early start on Passage 26 Saturday morning.  DSCN1835_1352Gale Force has joined the merry band of WWW (Wild Wilderness Women, or Wild Wacky Women, or maybe Weary Wilderness Women) and will be coming along on future AZT adventures.  Sandy is another AZT hiker who was kind enough to join us to leap-frog vehicles at the trailheads.

The WWW  Bear-O-Ness, Scree Slider, Gale Force, Sandy (left to right)

Bear-O-Ness, Scree Slider, Gale Force, Sandy (left to right)

We all drove to the Pine trailhead and then drove back to FR194 and the Twin Buttes trailhead.  Sandy was hiking Passage 25 SOBO and the rest of us were hiking Passage 26 NOBO.  Lova’s (Scree Slider) truck was at the Pine trailhead and we would drive to the Doll Baby Trailhead to pick up Sandy when we complete the Passage.DSCN1855_1372We unloaded our gear at the beginning of Passage 26 and Sandy parked up  the road at the SOBO trailhead.

The Passage Profile will give you an idea of the terrain we would be hiking.  Passage 26 ProfileHere we are, at the beginning climb standing by the Carsonite Marker for Passage 26.DSCN1858_1375Hardscrabble Mesa lives up to its name.  Most of the trail, probably about 80%, was on loose volcanic rock.DSCN1869_1386 DSCN1878_1395We continued climbing and every once in a while we would be rewarded with a small portion of less rocky terrain.DSCN1897_1414We stopped for lunch in a tree covered spot at 10 in the morning, you surely do need to eat often on the trail to keep your energy up.DSCN1882_1399We had to open and close many gates along the way.  One in particular, took all the strength Gale Force and I could muster.DSCN1859_1376DSCN1872_1389IMG_20150829_075322

DSCN1905_1422There were some incredible vistas of the Mogollon Rim as we hiked along the trail.DSCN1866_1383Finally we were coming to the end of the hike.  Almost at the trailhead there was a water cache for AZT hikers.  It was metal and sitting in the sun, we tried to open it to see its contents but it was too hot to be able to open the hooks that held it closed.  Makes you wonder about the contents sitting in the sun cooking all day long.DSCN1910_1427When we arrived at the Pine trailhead, Sandy was sitting in her car under a tree waiting for us.  She had to abort her hike as the trail was so covered with growth and a few times she got off trail – Sandy is a smart hiker and chose to turn around rather than to continue hiking and be out in the open on trail during the heat of the day.  Whiterock Mesa has almost no cover and is 15 miles long.

Unfortunately for us That Brewery was packed solid and the wait time was about 30 minutes.  As we were exhausted and hungry we decided to drive on to a local bar in Strawberry for lunch.

That evening we went to the StrawBEARy Bear Steakhouse for dinner.  Not one of us had steak!  DSCN1917_1434

Passage 26,Hardscrabble Mesa is now checked off our list of completed passages.  It was a great day to be on trail.