Our group of 11 gathered at the Wild Burrow trail head at Dove Mountain and began the trek to Big Caprock Peak in the Tortolita Mountains. The first 1.5 miles we hike in a broad sandy wash, climb to a second, sandy wash, climb to a third level and....
...enjoy a short break with grand views down canyon. The gang.....
....relaxes. Dee, with her back to me, carries a full pack and I have often wondered what all is in there. I'm kind of a minimalist while others are maximalists. Later she declared she carries three different pairs of gloves in her pack so there's that, ha, ha.
At mile 3 we turn left onto the Wild Mustang trail. Marc hangs back to close a gate I opened. So helpful is he on these hikes that I should promote him into an unpaid position. We climb steadily and soon the Catalinas come into view to the east but not nearly as spectacular as just a week ago. So much of the snow has melted but the streams/washes are surging.
At mile 4.5, we go off the Mustang trail onto a faint trail that soon leads us....
....to a ravine coming down from our left at the base of Big Caprock. You can kind of see how it acquired the name. The routes is fairly well cairned and soon we...
....are at the top. In the distance is the well kn own Picacho Peak on the left and the much lesser known Newman Peak on the right, which is 1100' higher than Picacho. I've been up Newman a couple of times and likely will schedule it for a group hike soon. Kind of brutal that one.
Not a lot of room on the primary Caprock peak so I stayed for only a few seconds, taking a few pics and scrambled down so others could ascend. The peak soars over Cochise Canyon to our north.
After scrambling down I climbed an adjoining peak and was asked if the Superstitions would be visible to our north. Turning, I looked at sure enough, faintly visible, upper right in the above image is the western end of the Supes. The Flat Iron on the left, Peak 5024 above it and to the right, Superstition Peak. Couple of great destinations there too. Yet more hikes to organize.
Looking across from our small group, the other group snacks as they too enjoy the 360 views.
We begin our descent, which had a healthy area of slick rock with enough of a slope that we had to be careful, being ably demonstrated by Lorna and Marc.
All the gang safely navigated the slope and soon we were back on the Wild Mustang trail and completed our 9 mile loop hike with 2000' of elevation gain. Unfortunately, for the second hike in a row, Katherine left a hiking pole somewhere in the wilderness. I thought of suggesting she just cut a branch on future hikes so when she loses one, it's far less expensive.
My short drive home was interrupted by a road construction delay so I was able to catch a hawk, standing on top of a saguaro. Beautiful day with temps in the 60's, cooling wind at times and abundant sunshine.