Location : Gardner Road North (NOBO Mile Marker 73.2)
Date: October 1st 2018
Weather: Clear skies at the Trailhead, starting temperature 69 degrees and the turn 85 degrees.
Total Mileage Completed : 20 miles on AZT / Feet +(-) 2776, 5.3% grade
Hike Description: This hike started at the Gardner Road Trail Head east of highway 83 within the Santa Rita Mountains. A short, but bumpy, dirt road drive, you’ll find the trailhead on the north side of the road. We used this trailhead for both hikes #57 and #56, one going northbound and the other going south.
This hike was to push north and connect back with Hike #41 from the first hike this season. Very similar to Hike #55, the trail condition on this section was very rough, overgrown, covered in thorns and brambles. Unlike Hike #55 though, I was prepared this time with some cheap knee-high black 1000D nylon gaiters. I have to say…. These guys works. No scratches, no thorns, no dirt nor pebbles in my boots. They look a little silly but hell… they work !!!! This hike will take you on a long stretch of dirt roads (made the use of gaiters a little sillier) and to our surprise it takes you right thru the Kentucky Camp Historical and lodging site. Which has an open education building on the history of the surrounding mining area and the AZT. There are a couple small hill climbs in this section but not much challenging. We did scare the crap out of a big ass diamond back rattlers, which in turn…. scared the crap out of us. Tromping at high speed through the overgrown grassy trail is not the best idea sometimes. Maybe I need to upgrade those gaiters to snake bite gaiters. J