Bulldog Canyon Day Hike: Goldfield Mountains, March 19, 2013

Having inherited my father’s night vision, I figured I could start hiking the Bulldog Canyon Loop while it still was dark, and enjoy a glorious sunrise. When I got to Dome Mountain Trailhead there was already one car. Then as I got underway, a lady pulled up and started walking her two big dogs on Forest Road 10 in the dark, wearing a headlamp.

Even with clouds and no moon, I could see. The lights of Apache Junction cast a dim glow on the road, making faint shadows where the road was heading uphill from the valley. Several times I turned around to see if there was light coming from another source. Nope. Just the lights from the valley.

By the first hint of light in the east, I was almost to the pass by Bulldog Wash. So I walked up the hill and found a rock to sit on and enjoy the colors of the sunrise.

What sunrise? The sky was cloudy, so the only color was gray. Phooey.

Returning the road, there was now plenty of diffuse light and finally some color. Birds sang to me. The mountains were gray and green, the air delightfully cool. After being cooked in the Arizona sun, a cloudy cool day is pleasant. I turned west on the trail through Bulldog Canyon and began to see filtered sunlight giving a little more color to the Goldfields.

A big saguaro had fallen down and dropped branches across the Bulldog Canyon Trail. As I turned south at the wash, there were spring flowers and unusual views of the Idaho-Bulldog Arch. I met more hikers and finished the hike at 9:00 AM.

Lights of Apache Junction, from Forest Road 1356.   Sure, they gave me enough light to see the road.
Saguaros stand tall as Peak 3269 catches the first filtered rays of the sun.
Pyroclastic Cave amid the foliated rocks of Bulldog Canyon.
A major saguaro blew down in the storm and crashed on the trail.
Mask Arches peer down on Bulldog Canyon.
Idaho-Bulldog Arch (left) greets an old friend saguaro (right).
Linum lewisii – Lewis Flax
Calliandra eriophylla – Fairyduster
Eriastrum diffusum – Miniature Woollystar
Eschscholzia californica ssp. mexicana – California Poppy
Cacti and wildflowers celebrate the Sonoran springtime.

  More Hike Pictures updated October 2, 2017