Location : Helvetia Road North (NOBO Mile Marker 90)
Date: September 25th 2018
Weather: Clear skies at the Trailhead, starting temperature 70 degrees and the turn 90 degrees.
Total Mileage Completed : 15.4 miles on AZT / Feet +(-) 2531, 6.2% grade
Hike Description: This hike started at the Helvetia Road east of highway 83 within the Santa Rita Mountains. A short, but bumpy, dirt road drive, you’ll find the trail intercept crossing the road. The road is really kind of a dried wash bed but it worked for us on this day. Not sure we would have ventured down it with rain in the forecast. Dry wash beds in AZ can flood real fast. If the weather was questionable, we would have gone back to FR Road #4064 from Hike #41 and started there instead. The Santa Rita section of the AZT seems to offer many easy dirt roads options that access the trail.
This hike was a flip flop hike. That is a hike that we head in one direction for a number of miles then turning around, past the start, than heading in the other direction to again turn around going back to the start. We do this when a trailhead or trail intercept can only be accessed from the middle part of a trail section. It’s a Flip Flop….. Also it’s kind of cool, since we can have lunch back at the Jeep in our folding chairs. Anyhow on this hike, we first headed south about 3 miles to connect with hike #41 and then pushed north to connect with Hike #37, a section from the 2017 hiking season. The southern parts being nothing like the northern. That north section the trail was wildly overgrown with tall buffalo grass, thorns and brambles everywhere. The worst I had ever seen so far on trail. Luckily… to a limited extent, I had a pair of gaiters in my pack, but they were low cut gaiters. By the end of this hike, I was cut so make times it did not matter to count. My legs were raw with scratches. Neosporin where are you !!!!! The hike itself had a couple hilly sections and even with the cool morning, the sun and heat did make the climbs a little tougher. There were tons of bugs too… jumping big red and black grasshoppers everywhere. My sunglasses saved me from many hopping guys heading right toward my face. Good hike, but rough trail…. I mean really bad rough trail.
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