I entered Saguaro East National Park and drove to the Tanque Verde Ridge trail head. Parking was tight but I was able to squeeze into a last spot. I had signed up to join a group hike but never got off the waitlist. I shoved off at 6:45am, 15 minutes after the group departed.
The group had planned to hike about 2 miles up trail and I thought 3 was about right given the forecast high of 108. The trail descends for a short distance prior to climbing but not too steeply. The average grade of the distance we hiked was 11%. In the distance is the 8 mile drive that loops through the park.
The main group had gotten separated with some choosing to turnaround prior to the completion of their planned ascent. I reached the front of the group, which was down to 3 people, paused, regrouped with a couple others and on we went. I was told of a granite dome that was a neat destination and could see it in the distance.
Reaching a saddle at mile 2.6, we went off trail although there is a fairly obvious social trail that is followed. The final hundred yards is fun, scrambling up the dome. In the distance, members of my new group are about to join me.
Good views all around.
The dome is fairly large so I....
....walked to a lower portion and scouted around. Looking back my group too is admiring the views.
I regain the summit and just then, discovered a fluid issue. I brought 3 bottles but drank from one during the drive. At the summit, I emptied the 2nd and reaching in my pack, withdrew the 3rd bottle, half full.....IDIOT! I excused myself rom the group and scurried down the trail, rationing the water.
Not much danger of not making it of course but I was very thirsty when I reached my car. I stopped at the visitor center and had a nice, cold drink from the fountain. Finished with 6 miles and 1600' of climbing.