Friday, April 30, 2010

Brown - Hamburg - Crest Hike

I've been considering a one-way hike from Sierra Vista over the crest of the Huachucas to Parker Canyon Lake. But before I can sign up a shuttle driver to pick me up at the lake, I need a reasonably accurate idea of how long the trek will take. Today I walked the first half of the route, from the Brown Canyon trailhead to the Crest Trail near Pat Scott Peak.

The trek of 16.6 miles with 5000 climbing-feet took a bit over six hours. Uniform of the day was sandals for this trip, but the Vibrams would have been fine, too. Thanks to good trails and signs, there are no navigational difficulties enroute. The snowpack is still melting, so the creeks were running with gusto. When I reached the Crest Trail the weather took a turn: Clouds moved in, the wind came up and, as I was rounding the final bend in Brown Canyon, swirls of tiny snow crystals swarmed down, just to put an exclamation point on a Spring of strange weather.
Spotted these deer just as the snow-sprinkle ended. They weren't sure what to make of it either.

Looks like I'll need to allot about seven hours for the hike to the lake; eight if I want to arrive a little before my shuttle expects me.

(GPS track is for the outbound hike only; on the return leg the gathering clouds degraded reception enough that the track was useless.)

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