- alluvial fan
- alluvia, in the form of rocks and gravel washed down from a
mountain, spread out in the shape of a fan at the base of the mountain.
- Arizona Trail
- This 800+ mile trail running south to north all the way across Arizona,
from Mexico to Utah, is organized into 43 passages.
- a streambed with high, steep sides and a U-shaped cross section.
- bail out
- Climb down from the side of a mountain. Bailing out
is possible when you aren’t cliffed out.
- Coalescing alluvial fans form a smooth slope at the base of a mountain.
When you hike across them, bajadas aren’t as smooth as they look.
- A comparator blinks back and forth between two pictures of the same
part of the sky taken at different times.
Stars stay put, but a planet hops back and forth.
- Climb up and over boulders.
- The trail divides temporarily, then the parts come back together.
- Whack the bushes so you can get through them, as is often necessary
when you are hiking off trail. But stay on the trail, if there is one.
- butt slide
- It’s too steep to walk down, so you have to slide down as on a
children’s playground. Control your speed, and avoid the cactus below.
- a stack of three or more rocks, used as a route marker.
- Acacia greggii, a member of the acacia family found throughout
the Sonoran Desert.
The little thorns are sharp and shaped like a kitten’s claws.
- cacti, genus Opuntia, having tubelike branches and long spines.
- cliffed out
- The cliff is too high and steep to climb down, so you’re going
to have to find a way around it
- to make your way around a peak instead of climbing it.
O.K. if the slope is reasonable and you have good footing.
- the edge of a major plateau. The Mogollon Rim in Arizona is the southern
escarpment of the Colorado Plateau.
- a hike which the leader has never done before.
- FR <number>
- Forest Road <number>. Most of them are dirt roads, some very rough.
- intrusive igneous rock composed of coarse-grained feldspar, mica
- a vertical column of volcanic rock whose sides have eroded away.
Hoodoos are common in the Superstition Mountains.
- igneous rock
- formed from molten rock, or magma, erupting from within the Earth.
Examples include granite, rhyolite, basalt, obsidian, and tuff.
- Light-Emitting Diode, a highly efficient form of lighting.
- a plant community of fungus and algae, growing on the
surface of the rocks. Each color of lichen is a different species.
- molten rock within Earth’s interior.
Flowing to the surface, it becomes the lava of a volcano.
- a round depression in rock, used for grinding grain.
- Peak <number>
- elevation, expressed as <number> of feet above sea level, on USGS maps.
Some peaks which don’t have a name on the map are identified by elevation.
- prickly pear
- cacti, genus Opuntia, having flattened branches and edible fruit.
- extrusive igneous rock composed of fine-grained
feldspar, mica and quartz.
- the highest route connecting peaks in a mountain range.
- low place between two mountain peaks. The ground slopes up from
the saddle toward each peak, down on the other two sides.
- the tall branched cactus native to Arizona and the Sonoran Desert.
- to use hands and feet climbing up boulders.
Wear gloves if you know the hike will involve boulder scrambling.
- a bare rock surface. Dry slickrock isn’t slick, but provides
good footing if the slope is moderate.
- Sonoran Desert
- the most colorful of North American deserts, found mostly in
Arizona and Sonora.
- to be the last hiker in the group. The hike leader may appoint
someone to sweep: one who knows the way, to make sure no hiker gets
- The trail zigzags instead of going straight up the mountain.
Never cut switchbacks: it hastens erosion of the trail.
- tectonic plate
- large plates that make up the Earth’s crust. They float on the
Earth’s mantle, and collide to form mountains.
- Teddy bear
- the most prickly cactus of all, Opuntia bigelovi.
Cute and furry from a distance. When the branches jump, hikers become
unwilling participants in the plant’s propagation scheme.
- volcanic ash that has solidified into rock.
- United States Geological Survey, a branch of the Department of
the Interior in Washington, DC.
- Valley of the Sun
- the Phoenix, Arizona, metropolitan area.
- a streambed that is usually dry.