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White Mesa
Wet Beaver Creek Wilderness
March 17, 2022
by Vicky Johnson
  GPS Map 
by Tom Simonick
At the trailhead. [photo by Vicky]
Glen, Susan, Li, Tom, Vicky, Greg

After introductions and a brief group photo, eight eager hikers started out at 9:30 AM at the Bell Trail parking lot, where they faced cloudy skies and imposing vertical cliffs of White Mesa.

White Mesa is composed of layers of red sandstone, buff-colored sediments, and a cap of dark volcanic stone. The White Mesa Trail Head intersected the Bell Trail after a 1.7 mile walk with a trail sign on the left (west). Hikers began scrambling on volcanic rock up a steep incline up a dirt cattle track that was once used to access mid-20th century ranch operations.

Wilderness sign is mostly there. [photo by Li]
Woolley Worm. [photo by Li]
The red earth. [photo by Vicky]
The trail was a dirt cattle track. [photo by Vicky]

Aerobic capacity was required to pass through this rough-cut course that went through cacti, rockfalls, and the occasional mesquite tree clinging to steep slopes. Calories were also burned as hikers engaged in hand-over-foot maneuvering to get through a rock jam.

We made it to the White Mesa Trail sign. [photo by Vicky]
Hikers engaged in hand-over-foot maneuvering to get through a rock jam. [photo by Vicky]
Cactus makes perfect. [photo by Li]
A twisty tree. [photo by Vicky]

At 3 miles from the trailhead, the path met a barbed-wire fence that was the official end of the trail. However, to enjoy the full experience of this hike, hikers passed through a gate and continued up a well-worn path that in its heyday was used by cattle.

The hikers stopped for lunch on the mesa, that was lined with tall grass and small juniper trees revealing excellent vistas. Four of the hikers continued on unmarked trails that had remnant of worn cattle paths to a crest, where excellent view of Casner Canyon could be viewed, in addition to the Bradshaw Mountains that appeared in the distant southwest.

Onward and upward. [photo by Vicky]
We made it this far. [photo by Li]
front:  Tom, Li, Greg
back: Susan, Glen, Jill, Les
What a rugged climb! [photo by Li]
This looks like a good place to stop for lunch. [photo by Vicky]
Greg, king of the mountain. [photo by Vicky]

It was at this point that the four hikers turned around and made it back to the cars parked at the Bell Trail parking lot in approximately 1.5 hours. The group was unable to eat dinner at Moscato Ristorante Italiano, because reservations were required due to large crowds that were present for a wine tasting festival, but they instead, ate Mexican food at La Casita.

Li celebrates making it to the top. [photo by Vicky]
Green leaves. [photo by Vicky]
orange orange
Globemallow. [photos by Li]
The view from the top. [photo by Vicky]

7.6 miles, elevation range 3,828' to 5,025', time 4 hours 10 minutes.
Car Pooler Miles: 82 for Tom Simonick, Jill Cross, and Greg Smith.

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Arizona Trailblazers Hiking Club, Phoenix, Arizona
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updated March 23, 2022