This was probably my most difficult and adventurous solo outing since I've been here in AZ. It was tough! I was never really tired on the ascent, although I had some doubt tiredness. I have a theory that your brain tricks your muscles into feeling more tired than they really are when self doubt kicks in. I was honestly never really sketched out at all, other than just wondering if it would be blazing hot on the return trip. I was also feeling the doubt of a previous Skull abort due to nausea and probably food poisoning.
But I almost turned back at the Skull Mesa Trail junction for the final summit push. I don't know whether it was my Native American Cherokee ancestors urging me to join my Hohokam brethren up top (unlikely) my stubbornness (probably) or summit fever (totally) but I pushed on and up. The last mile is pretty straight up, but its never scrambling or anything too taxing other than you've already came 6 miles and probably 2500 AEG just to get to the final trail up.
I didn't explore much once I got up top, I walked over to the left to the overlook area and snapped some shots, drank about a quart of water and then started back down. I want to go back when its cooler and explore up top more including exploring all the way back to the ruins. I just didn't for whatever reason but as hard as I worked, this hike was on MY terms, LOL.
Along the return, I actually got a bit COLD from the wind having previously worried about getting too HOT. It really was goldilocks, to be honest, just right. Maybe a hair cooler would be optimal.
I do have to say though that after doing Skull, the New River Mesa looks like even more difficult. It is ENORMOUS. It appears to make Skull look like child's play. #goals
All in all a great day. My IT band let out a few exclamatory protests on the scree and pea gravel descent but nothing too bad.
I was trying to reach the summit of Quien Sabe Peak but got a late start from Spur Cross Park (11:30). I came up trail #248 from the west side but by the time I managed to follow the trail all the way across Skull Mesa to where it goes down on the east side it was too late to go to the summit of Quien Sabe. From the top of Skull Mesa to there is extremely hard to follow. I lost the trail many times and wasn't really sure I had found it until it started down just past the fence. I didn't actually hit the highest point of Skull Mesa either because I was trying to save enough time for Quien Sabe. I did go back 2 days later and summited it but went up and down the trail on the east side.