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Goldfield Ridge Loop
Trip Report

Goldfield Ridge Loop

 

Page Type: Trip Report

Location: Arizona, United States, North America

Lat/Lon: 2.46336°S / 123.05062°W

Object Title: Goldfield Ridge Loop

Date Climbed/Hiked: Dec 30, 2013

Activities: Hiking, Scrambling

 

Page By: runbyu1

Created/Edited: Dec 31, 2013 / Dec 31, 2013

Object ID: 881503

Hits: 148 

Page Score: 0%  - 0 Votes 

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The Loop

Start at the Meridian Trailhead.
The Meridian Trailhead
The Meridian Trailhead
 The ridge line portion of this hike is not oft traveled and covers rough rocky terrain.  My GPS had us at just over 5 miles round trip with nearly 1.5 miles of it being off trail on the ridge line.  

This is a true loop hike that starts and finishes at the Meridian TH. For this description, travel was counter-clockwise (Ridge line from south to north). The picture below shows the ridgeline.  

Start by taking the trail that heads north towards Bulldog Saddle. As soon as you leave the parking lot, there is a split---stay to the right (East). Within about 500 feet a trail splits off to the east. 
The ridgeline from the Trailhead
The split in the trail  (with the full ridge line in view)

Follow this trail for around 2 miles until its terminus at the south end of the mountain. The trail ending is rather obvious as it abruptly gets smaller and turns directly up the ridge.  There are lots of cairns which lead up the ridge line.  
Where the trail officially ends and starts up the south ridge line
Where the trail officially ends and starts up the south ridge line


Once on the ridge line, the route requires boulder hopping, scrambling and a few down climbs. Exposure is minimal. The terrain very much resembles that of the nearby Pass Mountain ridge line.  About a 1/3 of the way up, you will slightly descend to a clearing like area and after a short climb, we encountered a fire pit.
The firepit about 1/3 of the way up the ridge just before the scrambling begins in earnest
The firepit about 1/3 of the way up the ridge just before the scrambling begins in earnest
 
Scrambling begins here
Scrambling begins here
This is where the really fun scrambling begins.  There is a great scramble along the ridgeline followed by a clear plateau like area, followed by another nice little climb up to the summit.  
Plateau after the main scramble and before the summit
Plateau after the main scramble and before the summit

High point 3169' in the distance
High point 3169' in the distance (about 15 min from this point)
After passing the highest point on the ridge, Peak 3169, there is just one more saddle and slight climb to the final peak at the north end of the ridge.
View down from the summit
Final steps up and the view down from the summit

 
From here, look down to the west at Boulder Saddle.
Descent off the summit
Descent off the summit with Boulder Saddle in the center of the picture
Follow a cairned route down the north end to the saddle. Pick up the Boulder Saddle trail and follow back to the trailhead.

Note: Do not leave the ridge line!  After descending from Peak 3169 to the first saddle, we thought it would be easier to skirt around the mountain rather than scramble along the ridge.  We were very wrong.  This half mile to rejoin the trail before descending to Boulder saddle took us as long as the rest of the trip put together.  

Note 2: The trail heading up the ridge on the south side of the mountain was relatively worn and easy to follow.  The trail coming up from Boulder saddle was just the opposite.  For this reason, I recommend going the south to north route.  
Bulldog Saddle with the summit back in the distance
Boulder Saddle with the summit rising in the distance

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