As we entered Kartchner Caverns State Park, the ranger on duty confirmed that the wash was still as overgrown as it had been in October. This did not sound promising!
We followed the trail, but this time instead of following the sign sending us to the deep overgrown wash of the Guindani trail and Guindani Bike Loop (only mountain bikers with a death wish would try this!) trail we took the left hand option. Hurray! This was an easy walking well marked uphill trail that followed what appeared to be an old mine road with great views across the San Pedro Valley.
The trail was fairly steep as it climbed up and then wound its way along a rocky but easy to follow single trail higher into the Whetstone mountains. No trying to find cairns in an overgrown wash with sharp mesquite, yucca and goodness knows what else crowding you on all sides. Can you tell I really hated that trail in the wash?
Warning signs told of the dangers of entering old mine and shafts
that were on either side of the lower half of the trail
Not a chance far too scary to be heading into somewhere like that!
As we followed the trail round the side of the mountain the remains of an old mine, complete with a fenced area surrounding an old mine shaft were visible in the valley below.
We took a water break under the shade of an old oak tree before continuing our climb up the mountain.
The trail reached its highest point of 5,600ft at a saddle with views deeper into the mountains before it wound its way down through dense vegetation into a canyon. We followed the trail down a few yards to a fence and gate which we used as a very convenient leaning post to have lunch. From where we leaned against the fence there was no sign of the bottom of the canyon.
This time though we had no such problems, the trail was easy to follow if a little rocky and the views were fabulous, this side of the Guindani trail was very enjoyable.
Have fun, we are!