I like to start my year out with a big hike, but I was on call in the afternoon and so I needed something quick and fun. I remembered reading a description on HikeArizona.com about Picture Rocks Peak. If you’ve ever gone over Contzen Pass toward the town of Picture Rocks, you’ve seen the peak to the south of the road. The description I’d read had a bit about a very steep and exposed part of the route from the south of the peak. I hike or drive past this peak often and knew I could take a more gradual route with no exposure by parking on the road northeast from the peak right before the sign that tells you that you are entering Saguaro National Park. There is no trail, but the terrain was pretty open and other than a couple of rockfalls to avoid, it was easy to pick my way up the hill to a saddle, where I could see another saddle between the two highpoints.
The peak was 0.6 miles from the car and I visited both highpoints- Picture Rocks summit is the one closest to the road. Here’s a video:
After taking a break on the peak, I made my hike into a loop by following the ridgeline down toward the rememberance path at the east end of the peak. There is a forked saguaro at the base of the hill that makes a good landmark to shoot for. I came out at the station marked with a cross and the roman numeral V. This was about 0.7 away from the peak. I turned left on the path toward the wash, then took the wash to the left back to Picture Rocks Road and a short distance back to my Jeep.
Not the epic hike I usually like to start my year out with, but a pleasant off-trail jaunt nonetheless. I was going to drive off, but my eye caught the peak on the other side of the pass, so I figured “why not?” and I hiked up that too. That peak was a lot more loose and crumbly than it’s neighbor, but it was only a quarter-mile total with about 175 feet elevation gain.
Got this summary from WordPress.com about my blog and I thought I’d share it with my readers:
The stats helper monkeys at WordPress.com mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:
A Boeing 747-400 passenger jet can hold 416 passengers. This blog was viewed about 11,000 times in 2010. That’s about 26 full 747s.
In 2010, there were 39 new posts, growing the total archive of this blog to 44 posts. There were 817 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 3gb. That’s about 2 pictures per day.
The busiest day of the year was October 26th with 169 views. The most popular post that day was Royal Arch Loop.
Where did they come from?
The top referring sites in 2010 were arizonahikers.com, mail.yahoo.com, groups.yahoo.com, aztrail4fms.org, and hikearizona.com.
Some visitors came searching, mostly for harris hawk, wild burro trail map, grand enchantment trail, elf owl, and sand sculptures.
Attractions in 2010
These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.
About October 2009
Grand Enchantment Trail January 2010
A Grand Time in the Superstition Wilderness March 2010
Thanks a bunch to all my readers and those who have donated to the Wildlife Rehab Fundraiser- $700 was raised in 2010 for Wildlife Rehabilitation Northwest Tucson.