Hiking

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Hike For May 31: Shaw Peak Trail From Onion Saddle

Meet at the Silver Peak Trailheadat 8:00 am (AZ) / 9:00 am (NM)

Pat Owens 557-7722 rodeonm@vtc.net

Carol Simon 558-2433 casimon@vtc.net

Jonathan Patt558-0152 jonathanpatt@gmail.com

2018-05-24 12-50-28-HDR

Hikers enjoying the view under larger grotto at the Rucker Gates.


On a day that had already started to heat up by the time we got to the meeting place in the morning, four hikers drove into Rucker Canyon and started up the Rucker Trail. This was our first time hiking this trail since the summer floods of last year, so we were both curious to see what effect they had had on the trail as well as hoping that they helped clear out some of the deadfall in the canyon bottom for the off-trail route up to the Rucker Gates. As we hiked through the shady canyon bottom, we did come to some creek crossings that had been a little altered by flooding as well as a couple spots with new damage to the tread, but overall it didn't appear to be too significantly impacted beyond those areas. New deadfall had also come down, causing a few obstructions across the trail, but this was not too unexpected.


All told, we made it up the trail portion of the hike quite quickly, and even with the shade found it growing quite warm by late morning. Reaching the point where the trail starts to switchback up to the ridge, we left the trail and started walking up the canyon bottom, quickly noticing that some of the deadfall logjams that had blocked our progress in previous attempts were no longer there, and overall it had improved—however, others were still in place, and some new ones had formed as well, so it's still not quite as easy as it once was to reach the Gates.


The further up the canyon we got, the more water appeared, presumably due to the presence of less rock cobble the higher we were, and in some cases there was enough water it actually made it a little more challenging to find passage without getting wet. Some pools of water we came across were over 5' deep and looked very tempting at times. After going through the narrows and the Gates themselves—a pair of towering cliff faces on either side of the canyon—we passed the first, smaller grotto, and then reached the large one. We stopped here for lunch, sitting under the overhang in the shade, cool breeze and cool rock making it quite pleasant, then it actually started to get quite cold, dropping below 70! We stayed here a while, wandered up the canyon a little bit further, then hiked back out to the trail, went up the switchbacks a little bit for a view, and then hiked back the way we had come for an approximately 7 mile hike. On the drive back, temperatures climbed to over 90, so being in the cooler canyon and grotto for the day was a very nice respite.


Next Thursday, May 31, we will be hiking the Shaw Peak Trail from Onion Saddle. If there are enough people present to set up a shuttle, and who want to do this, the hike can turn down the Pinery–Horsefall Trail at Jhus Horse Saddle and end up at another vehicle in Pinery Canyon, otherwise the hike can be an out-and-back to Shaw Peak and beyond, then returning to Onion Saddle. Meet at the Silver Peak Trailhead at 8 (AZ) / 9 (NM).

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Chiricahua Trail Crew Volunteer Agreement

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Screen Shot 2012-02-24 at 10.34.03 PM

The 62 Highest Peaks, Mountains, Hills, And Lookouts In The Chiricahuas

(Tabulated by Ray Brooks)

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Photo Gallery Of Hiking Club - Click On Any Photo To Begin. Use Arrow Keys At Bottom Of Slide (Or Your Keyboard) To Advance Slide

Howard Topoff 2011