Portal, AZ - Rodeo, NM

Serving The Communities Of Portal and Rodeo  (www.portal-rodeo.com)

Hiking

Hike For March 23 - Decided By The Hikers

Meet: Silver Peak Trailhead Parking Area At 8:00 am (AZ), 9:00 am (NM). 


Carol Simon  (520) 558-2433  casimon@vtc.net 

Elaine Moisan (520)558-5204 emoisan2011@hotmail.com

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Hike Report for 3/16/2023

by Rolf Koford


Eight hikers enjoyed the McCord Trail on an overcast day. This trail has the virtue of being in Portal’s backyard; one hiker took advantage of that and walked from her house, getting to the trail early and heading up alone (‘up’ is apropos here, as this trail climbs nearly 2000 ft.). Two other hikers came from Silver City and also headed up alone. Five hikers parked at the Visitor Information Center, walked to Cave Creek Ranch, crossed the creek on the suspension bridge, and walked up the road to the trail.


On the steep lower section, hikers noticed water bars that were in good shape, indicating that they had been put in recently. None of us knew who did the work. Anonymous do-gooders are just part of Portal culture. Even the access to the rock art side trail has been improved, now looking like an unsigned junction. If you wish to stay on the McCord Trail, keep left at the junction. Once hikers get into the canyon with shorter switchbacks, the view of the Portal vicinity opens up.








 




Cave Creek Ranch, Cave Creek Road and Limestone Mountain (photo by Carol)

A few flowers added color and interest to the scenery.










Alpine Pennycress (Identified by Elaine from photo) and Manzanita (photos by Carol)


 On the ascent, the five hikers caught up with the two from Silver City, who were botanizing along the way. 

Not long thereafter, the group encountered the hiker who had gotten an early start. She was going down, having turned around at the lower overlook. She is an avid hiker, so something pretty important must have been on her schedule later that day. 

We chatted a little and took a group photo. Then we pushed on to our first destination, which is on a spur trail.















Happy hikers (photo by Rolf)

This destination is sometimes called the first saddle. Some discussion revealed an appropriate alternate name, Keim Overlook, named for the father of one of the hikers. A little scrambling to the edge reveals an even more spectacular view of Portal and vicinity (not pictured).













 

The first saddle (above) and spectacular spires (below) (photos by Carol)


 The remaining group then made the final push to the second saddle. This is also a spur trail, since erosion associated with Hurricane Odile in 2014 severed the connection with the Hummingbird Spring Trail. When the fog lifted, we had a panoramic view from Rusty’s to Rodeo. This was our lunch spot.







 







Foggy view of San Simon Valley (photo by Rolf)


The descent seemed much easier than the ascent and many hikers had time and energy to take the rock art spur on the way down. We finished mid-afternoon having hiked about four miles.


Next week’s destination will be decided by those who show up, which will not include some of the regulars. Meet at the Silver Peak Trailhead parking area at 8 AM (AZ), 9 AM (NM). 

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

(Tabulated by Ray Brooks)

(Form Necessary To Work With Trail Crew)

Download - Complete - Mail


To volunteer with the US Forest Service, fill out an application. If accepted, a Volunteer Service Agreement specifying the task(s) will be sent to you.
DOWNLOAD THE FORM. Print it, fill out, sign in block 23, and date. You can scan a signed document and e-mail it toArmando Arvizu at:             armando.arvizu@usda.gov

You can also mail the form to Armando at the Douglas Ranger District Office:

1192 W. Saddle View Rd.  Douglas, AZ 85607


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