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AZT - Passage 32 - Elden Mountain

Easy
 3.0 (2)

This passage begins at Hwy 40, heading northwest up around the base of Elden Mountain.


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Map Key

13.9

Miles

22.4

KM

Point to Point

7,994' 2,437 m

High

6,481' 1,975 m

Low

2,096' 639 m

Up

600' 183 m

Down

4%

Avg Grade (2°)

17%

Max Grade (10°)

Dogs Unknown

Features -none-

Description

From Highway 89, at what is known as the Sandy Seep Trailhead, the Arizona Trail climbs toward the apocalyptically burned east face of Mount Elden (torched by the 1977 Radio Fire). The trail itself passes through grasslands with unburned pine, oak and juniper as it steadily gains altitude. This stretch receives sun nearly all day and can be torturously hot with minimal shade.

After about 1.5 miles, the trail reaches a small valley tucked between a low range of hills and Mount Elden itself. This valley was formed when the igneous rock from Mount Elden pushed up layers of sedimentary rock that form the low hills - it's unusual and makes for pretty scenery. This area, known as "Sandy Seep" is an important wintering area for mule deer, which might be seen any time of year.

The trail eventually presses close to the slopes of Mount Elden. Look for a round water retention basin (which will likely be empty) - immediately uphill from this basin a quick side-trip leads to the reliable pools of Little Elden Spring. In addition, Elden Spring Road is just northeast of the trail here, with ample parking at a well-signed trailhead. Beyond the spring, the trail enters pretty aspen and mixed conifer forest and climbs smoothly toward Schultz Pass. A few stretches of trail pass through areas burned in the 2010 Schultz Fire, but these are short enough to be more interesting than unpleasant.

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  3.0 from 2 votes

#22973

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  3.0 from 2 votes
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Trail Rankings

#780

in Arizona

#22,973

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Check-Ins

Nov 7, 2019
Valerie Norton
Just a bit: https://valhikes.blogspot.com/2019/11/little-eldon-mountain.html
Oct 21, 2019
Chris McCloud
Done as part of AZT thruhike fall 2019
Oct 19, 2019
Chris McCloud
Done as part of 2019 AZT thruhike
Oct 6, 2018
Rock On
May 3, 2014
Katie Millar
With Jessica, nearly completed