4 Peaks to Roosevelt AZT
For not the weak of heart & take lots of water!!
I wanted to get this hike knocked off the list of the AZT yet to do list, Connie was the only one available for this weekend (I’m sure she would of changed her mine if she would of only knew what was coming up)
Ronnie – Connie’s husband was our shuttle person to the top of 4 Peaks (11 miles off rd El Rosa rd ”Brown Peak” the highest of the 4 peaks. We parked my jeep down by the bridge near Vineyard trail where we would come out. We got started at 10a.m. a beautiful cloudy morning. Water at Pigeon & Shake Springs close to the top, after that only damp ground. There was some wildflowers, lots of butterflies, 1 huge centipede & an animal with a beige butt & no tail – bear??. Too far away to identify. Thank goodness we cached water 3 1/2 miles in May with tinfoil around it. The trail was good to that point. We topped off all bottles & drank the rest, I’m now caring 152oz – much heavier than I like plus with a new pack felt top heavy & off balanced. I tried out my hiking poles but was watching the ground more that I like & was difficult with GPS & camera. The trail was over grown in spots & basically not there in places. The fire in 1996 was coming back nicely but along with it lots of brush. Once we stopped 4 ½ miles into the trip I literly rang out my headband, shoes & socks very wet. It seemed Connie never has that problem. It was obvious I needed some electrolytes as a Charlie horse came on my right thigh, we both drank some muscle ease & plugged on till 4:30pm. It was well worth it as we hit the most beautiful saddle no bigger than our tent (33deg 39’919”, 111deg17’398”) looking east we over looked Roosevelt Lake & to the west 4 Peaks. The sunset was very traumatic with wisp of clouds, purple/pink & ending with orange. We had a dry camp, knowing we only went 8miles & had a rough 10 ½ yet to go we wanted to conserve on water. Out of the blue Connie developed a Charlie horse also, so we again drank some electrolytes except this time sqwincher in a 6oz pack that you just fill up h20 to the top, it seemed to work well. We did not put on the rain fly was a warm night 56deg; we saw the moon come up & Venus as bright as ever through the screen top. 6a.m. was up & started hiking by 7a.m. We could tell it was going to be a warm day, no clouds (in the 90’s) the 1st half of the terrain was like the last half of the 1st day, the last half was more rocky & steep. We stopped off at Granite Springs for mid morning snack, no water, just a cement tank & broken pipes. We came down a rocky switchback section & was thanking God we did the trip east bound, when we met 3 men & 1 women “Diana” going west bound with the Sierra Club. They showed us an Indian dwelling & we advised them of no water till they almost reached the top. We wished them good luck & hiked 1 more mile till we reached FR 429 where we cached more water. We only salvaged 1 gal, which was wrapped with tinfoil, animals chewed the others through, they were thirsty too! We relaxed for an hour, as it was to early in the day to stop & with limited water it was best to continue on. The Vineyard trail followed a ridge that started out good but soon came & went into ravines, then continued up a mt around a ridge till the scenery was Roosevelt dam, Apache Lake, a radio tower, & 2 herds of leaping white tail deer. We had 1 more steep decline to our jeep, what a wonderful site that was. We ended our trip by going to the Roosevelt Bar for hamburgers, beer, a Tonto Pass $6, & a shower & camped at Schoolhouse campgrounds.
I would rate this from 1 to a 10 a 7 hike & 9 for scenery.
Best think we did was cache water earlier in yr, take plenty of water & electrolytes, knee braces, walking stick came in handy for down hill, gps, & going west to east from 4 peaks.
Do different, take old pack, 1 more pair of socks, leave tent at home & just footprint & rain fly or just tent, & wrap all cache water bottles in tinfoil.