Idaho-Bulldog Loop; Goldfield Mountains, October 6, 2016  GPS Map 

Mornings are cool and nice in central Arizona this time of year. So I chose the Idaho-Bulldog Loop for my first hike in 3 months. Started early, in hopes of catching the first rays of the sun in the southern Goldfields.

The Wolverine Pass Trail is overgrown in places and hard to follow, especially near the road. I built up some cairns and trimmed catclaw branches and other pernicious plants off the trail. Glad I brought my garden pruner. The horse trail is also overgrown, but here the Forest Service has put up trail signs.

The Bulldog Canyon Trail is like my second home. Although I’ve hiked there many times, I always see something new.

The trail up and over Idaho Pass has been renamed the Deer Tanks Trail. It’s a fitting name, since the trail goes right by a wildlife watering station. Got to keep those critters out in the wilderness, where they belong. I first walked this trail on November 7, 1999, while scouting a hike with Linda Ramsey.

This time I had the wilderness to myself except when I first arrived at Idaho Access. A half dozen young bicycle riders were there. “Have a good ride,” I told them. “Forty years ago I might have been riding with you.”

Not hiking in three months takes its toll, even on an easy 5-mile hike. I’m beat.

A pair of roguish eyes are staring down at me.
“Now hear this, ye lubbers!”
In the east, dawn is breaking.
Southern Goldfields catch the first rays.
Coyote Rock (right) has something to howl about.
Pebbles from the quartz outcropping have washed all the way down to the trail.
“Won’t you hug me?”   “Not by the hair on my chinny chin chin.”
“This here is Peak 3089,” says the saguaro.
Dome Mountain and the Frog.
“Better watch your step, little caballero.”
Sugar-frosted rock in Bulldog Canyon.
Peak 3269 has seen a lot of hikers walk by over the years.
Yes, it’s an arch in Bulldog Canyon, usually overlooked.
The Mask Arches are watching you.
Narrows of Idaho Canyon.
Three Musketeers, memorialized in stone.

More Hike Pictures updated October 12, 2018