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Best Loop Hikes Arizona
by Bruce Grubbs (The Mountaineers Books)
© Bruce Grubbs/The Mountaineers Books. All Rights Reserved.
From central Mesa (Country Club & Southern), it took us 2.5 hrs drive time to reach the trailhead. We actually did this counterclockwise (the 106 trail portion first) so I can justifiably say: start out on the 105 like the book says. Portion 106 wasn't bad, it was just that after it met the 105 , the steep switchbacks of 105 were a @$!*%. There were plenty of places to stop and enjoy the scenery but whew, the steep ascent was a killer. We actually had a vew drops of rain during the hike, so it was relatively cool. And this fact, it was made doing 105 last at least tolerable. Because we were so high up in elevation, it was a lot cooler for the return trip. Yet another hike I will definitely do again -- albeit in the cooler months of the year.
Fairly tough hike, the downs were steep, the ups were steep, but worth it. One of the most picturesque I've done yet. Fall colors on the rim of Mingus were great.
This hike was great. It actually is 4.3 miles, though if you count it from the parking area round trip. The views are spectacular and you will cross a variety of terrains as you make your way around. As always, remember to bring plenty of water/gatorade with you as you will need it. We went yesterday and the weather was perfect.
There were beautiful views of Verde Valley, Jerome and the Mogollon Rim along the entire trail route. The trail guide indicated a clockwise loop but I hiked the trail counterclockwise to avoid the sun while climbing at the end. It seems the direction of the loop is a toss in regard to the viewscape so go with what works for your timing. There are very fine lookouts at either end of the hike. Don't miss the hang glider takeoff by the Work Center.
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