Tuesday, March 17, 2015

AZT Day 10-Wilderness of Rocks

Miles 185 to 171.5 (Palisade Trail Junction)
Arizona Trail, Passage 12 and 11

Spectacular scenery today through diverse terrain. One of the most beautiful areas we've visited. Water everywhere, plentiful trees, lots of elevation change---couldn't have asked for better day on the trail!
Water and trees.

Along the water.
Wilderness of Rocks had huge boulders and mountains of rock. Reminded me of Donner Pass on the PCT, but unique in its own way.
Wilderness of Rocks.
The scenery changed on the descent to Romero Pass. Views up and down this huge canyon, different geology and steep, rocky trail.
Into the canyon.
Got to meet Beardoh!, Sweetpea, and Qball, who are northbound thru hikers. I'd corresponded with them because they are fellow hammock hangers, though they decided not to take hammocks this trip. Fun to meet them in person, and look forward to following their trip on their blog.
SweetPea, Beardoh!, and Qball.
The trail finally reached the bottom of a huge canyon with flowing water, oaks, budding sycamores, and green leafed out cottonwoods. We marveled at all the water, and when we came upon a large pool, couldn't help but jump in for a refreshing dip. Saw diving beetles and a well camouflaged frog.
You can't see me. I'm camouflaged.
Swimming!  Photo by Jan.
Because there is so much water here, and because we got water information from the northbound hikers, Jan and I were able to carry only a couple liters. My legs felt springy like I wasn't even wearing a pack. What a relief to feel strong and not worry if I can count on water sources.
Walking through the canyon bottom.
After being in the land of trees all day, I thought I'd be easy finding a hang site this evening. Turned out finding trees near a flat spot for Jan was not easy in this steep canyon. I went off trail trying to find something, and got covered with burrs and spiny plant hitchhikers. Ended up hanging up the trail from Jan, and am nicely sheltered from the wind.  Will sleep well tonight!
Near the Palisades Trail Junction.
See Jan's blog post on passage 11 and passage 10 for more photos and videos.


  1. Replies
    1. So true, Don! I couldn't believe this view down into the valley. Plus it was out of the wind. I was so excited to be hanging off real trees, trees that were taller than me.

  2. So freakin' gorgeous! What beautiful terrain!

    1. Thanks, Misti! I had no idea it'd be this gorgeous out here. What a jewel of a trail.

  3. I am jealous. Love the diverse environments you are passing through.

    1. It was so incredible how quickly things changed when we dropped or gained elevation! Really incredible scenery on this trail!