Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Trail Review: Gould Mine and Sendero Esperanza Trails

We drove out to parking lot K24 (across from the Sonoran Desert Museum on Kinney) so we could hike the Gould Mine trail up to the Sendero Esperanza trail over to Hugh Norris.  A few notes on finding the Gould Mine trail are as follows.  If you see this map kiosk, you have gone the wrong way.  Go back to the parking lot and look for a trail split in the parking lot, take the left split.  When you get down to the wash, turn left, walk towards Kinney, the trail picks up on the other side.  It's not intuitively obvious from this map.

The trail up to the Gould Mine is fairly rocky.  They're the kind of rocks that roll when you're going down hill.  These are mine tailings from an abandoned copper mine that was in operation from 1906 to 1911, producing 45,000 pounds of copper.

An old stone hut near the mine shaft.  Jim is there to provide scale.

The old mine shaft.

Why is this sign necessary?

Looking up hill from the mine shaft.

Looking back at where we'd walked up.

We turned left on to the Sendero Esperanza trail and headed up towards Hugh Norris.  Esperanza is also rocky, and is steeper than Gould Mine.  This is what you see when you reach the crossing of the two trails.  From here it is 2.2 miles to Wasson Peak.

Petrified mud.  Yes, really.  That's what it is.

There are no steps on these two trails, which is good.  Going up they're pleasant, there's enough grade to make you work, but it's not terrible.  Going down is not completely wonderful due to the presence of all those loose rocks which frequently roll under one's foot.  Stiff soled hiking shoes and poles are highly recommended.  Our route today was 4.2 miles round trip.
I haven't taken this one off the list, but I think the Cat Mountain trail is still winning in terms of pleasant walking.

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