Arizona Hiking Gallery
Mescal Ridge Hike
Hell's Gate Wilderness, AZ
October 1, 2005
Gallery contains 49 photos
Gallery last updated: 10/9/2005
Mescal Ridge Hike: Image 1
Tonto Creek looking up stream across the creek from Bear Flat Campground.

Mescal Ridge Hike: Image 2
This trail climbs up the hillside, gets very steep and narrow and then peters out. It's not the trail I want. So I backtrack to find the real trail.

Mescal Ridge Hike: Image 3
I eventually find the real trail, Bear Flat Trail #178. It also climbs quite steeply up the ridge through the forest.

Mescal Ridge Hike: Image 4
After about a half mile of climbing I'm welcomed into Hell's Gate Wilderness.

Mescal Ridge Hike: Image 5
Trunk of a large Ponderosa Pine (Pinus Ponderosa).

Mescal Ridge Hike: Image 6
Band-tailed Pigeon (Columba fasciata) catching some morning rays atop an old dead tree.

Mescal Ridge Hike: Image 7
A view of the trail making its earnest climb up Mescal Ridge.

Mescal Ridge Hike: Image 8
After some climbing there are some nice views looking north toward the Mogollon Rim.

Mescal Ridge Hike: Image 9
Here I leave the Bear Flat Trail to hike along Mescal Ridge on the Mescal Ridge Trail #168.

Mescal Ridge Hike: Image 10
Grasses growing amoung Manzanita and Manzanita "bones".

Mescal Ridge Hike: Image 11
Another view looking toward the Mogollon Rim.

Mescal Ridge Hike: Image 12
The trunk of a long dead juniper tree.

Mescal Ridge Hike: Image 13
Closeup of the wood of the juniper trunk.

Mescal Ridge Hike: Image 14
A knot on the juniper trunk.

Mescal Ridge Hike: Image 15
Lichen covered boulder.

Mescal Ridge Hike: Image 16
Mescal Ridge Trail.

Mescal Ridge Hike: Image 17
This grasshopper blends in well with the quartzite rocks on Mescal Ridge.

Mescal Ridge Hike: Image 18
Ridge ... after ridge ... after ridge ... fading to the horizon.

Mescal Ridge Hike: Image 19
Parry's Agave (Agave parryi).

Mescal Ridge Hike: Image 20
Dead tree behind a pile of lichen covered boulders.

Mescal Ridge Hike: Image 21
Mescal Ridge Tank 2, the first of three tanks along side the trail, is bone dry.

Mescal Ridge Hike: Image 22
Magnificent view looking north toward the Mogollon Rim.

Mescal Ridge Hike: Image 23
Dead juniper with the Mogollon Rim as a backdrop.

Mescal Ridge Hike: Image 24
View from Mescal Ridge Trail.

Mescal Ridge Hike: Image 25
Mescal Ridge Trail.

Mescal Ridge Hike: Image 26
View from Mescal Ridge Trail.

Mescal Ridge Hike: Image 27
A ramshackle building in a small corral.

Mescal Ridge Hike: Image 28
View from Mescal Ridge Trail.

Mescal Ridge Hike: Image 29
A view from the east side of Mescal Ridge looking over Hell's Gate Wilderness.

Mescal Ridge Hike: Image 30
The second tank along the trail, Scout Tank, is also dry.

Mescal Ridge Hike: Image 31
And here's the required scat photo for this hike.

Mescal Ridge Hike: Image 32
View from Mescal Ridge Trail.

Mescal Ridge Hike: Image 33
An old rusted piece of unkown hardward left along side the trail.

Mescal Ridge Hike: Image 34
Rusted nuts and bolts.

Mescal Ridge Hike: Image 35
Mescal Ridge Trail ends here at Horse Pasture Tank. From here I'll turn around and head back to the Bear Flat Trail intersection.

Mescal Ridge Hike: Image 36
A ghostly skeleton of a long dead tree.

Mescal Ridge Hike: Image 37
Interesting features on the Mogollon Rim.

Mescal Ridge Hike: Image 38
Back down at the intersection I ask Mr. Lizard for directions. He says to take the Bear Flat Trail east, to the left in this picture, less than a mile to the wilderness boundry and then return.

Mescal Ridge Hike: Image 39
Ornate Tree Lizard (Urosaurus ornatus)

Mescal Ridge Hike: Image 40
Looking south from the Bear Flat Trail.

Mescal Ridge Hike: Image 41
Bear Flat Trail.

Mescal Ridge Hike: Image 42
Common Sotol (Dasylirion wheeleri) also known as Desert Spoon.

Mescal Ridge Hike: Image 43
A view to the south from the Bear Flat Trail.

Mescal Ridge Hike: Image 44
Although it is a little late in the year I did find a few Sotols in bloom.

Mescal Ridge Hike: Image 45
An easterly view from the Bear Flat Trail.

Mescal Ridge Hike: Image 46
My turn around point on the Bear Flat Trail. On this old sign they call it the Mail Trail.

Mescal Ridge Hike: Image 47
The road is Forest Road 405 descending the hill to Bear Flat Campground.

Mescal Ridge Hike: Image 48
As I drop off of Mescal Ridge I pass through a small grove of large ponderosas.

Mescal Ridge Hike: Image 49
Crossing Tonto Creek at the end of the hike.

All images Copyright ©2005 Terry Wright. All rights reserved.