Brookield Zoo

Brookield Zoo
Brookfield Zoo

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Fremont Saddle and Weavers Needle 2016

This is a hike I did last winter with the hiking club here in the park. Click here for that post.  It's one I've been wanting to do again because the view of Weavers Needle is so spectacular that it draws you to climb up to the saddle and see it again. So when our friends Steve and Debbie McCormack of Down the Road wanted to do one more hike with us before we all split up and go our separate ways this summer I said absolutely. Glenda is still recovering from plantar fasciitis and her sprained ankle so my good friend Ron came along to round out the group. Ron had been there last year with the hiking club too and wanted to go back so we all got together last Saturday morning and met at elementary school on Peralta Rd that leads back to the Peralta Trailhead. Steve and Debbie had an early start to meet us from there location near Tucson. There are a number of trails that start at this trailhead so being a Saturday morning and a popular trailhead we were met with a full parking lot.

The road to the trailhead is about 5 miles of dirt and washboard road. We had to park about a 1/4 mile from the parking lot to start the hike. This hike gradually climbs up through some nice desert green near a wash and steadily climbs up the canyon. The elevation gain is about 1400 feet and the total miles round trip is about 5 miles. We added some distance by hiking out to the lone pine tree nearer to Weavers Needle.

We're taking this trail

We're going up there

A look back down the canyon


It was going to get up to the mid 80's so an early start was in order. We met Steve and Debbie and got to the trailhead about 8 am. We found the right trail on the map and headed out. It was a constant climb up and beautiful views back down the canyon. Soon we were getting near the saddle and saw some great rock structures.

Snail Rock

The hoodoos

It took about 2 hours to climb up with several stops along the way for water and to catch our breath. As we got to the top of the saddle I asked Debbie to close her eyes and I guided her to the edge of the saddle for her first view of Weavers Needle. (She is very trusting) :-)  Then I had her open her eyes to this view.

Weavers Needle and the Lone Pine Tree


She was totally blown away. Then Steve came up over the saddle and he had the same reaction. To me this hike and this view is magical. It just can't believe how beautiful the landscape is and the feel of awe in seeing this magnificent structure. We stood on the saddle and started our photo taking. I have photos from last year but the Needle still calls to me to take another picture. So I did. Several in fact. I even brought my new selfie stick that I plan to use when we go to Zion and Bryce Canyon NP's in June. Perfect way to try it out. It worked just as planned.



Ron, Me, Steve and Debbie

Steve and Debbie admiring the Needle


What a great invention. Anyway after some photo ops we headed to the lone pine tree in the distance. Going to the lone pine tree just gives you an additional perspective of the landscape and close up view of the Needle. It's about a 1/4 to 1/2 mile trek along a ridge to the pine tree. Once we got there and took a few more photos we sat down and had some lunch and admired our surroundings. We took panoramic photos.

Click on the photo to enlarge for a better view




 We took photos of the Needle and the pine tree.


We took photos of the Needle and the surrounding landscape just to give more perspective of the grandeur around us.


It was so difficult for me to leave this pristine area. This is pretty much my number one hike in Arizona. Yes...I did a more difficult hike to Flat Iron but that hike is more of an endurance hike accomplishment than a scenic hike like this. The best part was to do this hike with great friends and to see their reactions to what they were seeing. You can see the expression of appreciation on their faces for the beauty that abounded there.

Well after about an hour or so of cool breezes, warm sun and brilliant scenery, we had to start back down. the climb down can be just as arduous as the climb up but in a different way. Going up you use a lot of cardio to gain in elevation but going down you use your legs to cushion the jolts as you move from rock to rock and step to step along the trail. After a while your toes begin to ache from the constant bumping against the inside toe box of your boots. It took about 90 minutes to make our way back to the vehicles and head back to our park. We met up with Glenda and Ron's wife, Patsy, to get a bite to eat. After a quick clothes change and washing my face and hands I was ready for some lunch. Everyone was up for some Mexican food so we ended up at Los Gringos Locos in Apache Junction. The food is great and the beer goes so well with chips and salsa. The conversation was lively and everyone had a fun time. Steve and Debbie had about a 90 minute drive back to there rig at Picacho Peaks SP near Tucson. We said our goodbyes with hugs, handshakes and see you soons.

Thanks you to Steve and Debbie for making the long trip to do this hike with Ron and I. Next time Glenda is going to be healed up enough to get in on some of the action. I love this lifestyle and the friends we've made on our journey so far. People that are willing to travel, in some instances, great distances to meet up and hike, have lunch/dinner or just hang out. Looking forward to many more opportunities in the future. We have just two more days here before we head to River Island SP near Parker, AZ. Some cleaning, packing and preparing for travel. New adventures await us. Stay tuned.

4 comments:

  1. Thank you for tsking us on this fantastic hike! It really is a magical site to see! We always have a great time with you. Looking forward to seeing you in Colorado and hoping Glenda's foot is better. Great hike, great friends!

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    1. Thank you and Steve for getting up so early and driving here to do this hike. As mentioned, it is one of my favorites and better with friends. Can't wait to get together in CO. See you soon.

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  2. There is still so much that we missed in that area. I would love to do the Needles. It's always fun to hike with friends, it makes the hike more pleasant.

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    1. I agree. You could live in the Phoenix area all your life and never get everything done that you would like to do. Friends are great.

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