Pass Mountain from Usery; Goldfields, February 16, 2013  GPS Map 

Leaving home while it still was dark, I was hoping to catch a sunrise on the trail. So I started from Usery Pass Trailhead at first light and got almost up to the Pass Mountain Trail before the McDowell Mountains caught their morning color. The next two miles were glorious!

Lots of people were on the Pass Mountain Trail, as usual. Everyone was friendly. Several large groups of senior citizens, apparently from retirement community hiking clubs, went hiking, and also some young people. No one looked lost, but one couple wanted me to tell them about the geology of an interesting rock formation.

Usery Pass Trailhead, which was deserted when I arrived, had six more cars when I returned.

McDowell Mountains catch the sun’s first rays.
A few minutes later, the Usery Mountains join in the celebration.
Saguaros and their silhouettes frame the Sierra Estrella, “Little Star of the Desert”.
San Tans stand tall in the distance behind saguaros and Teddy Bear chollas.
Headquarters Hill Canyon.
Castle on the slope below Peak 3127.
Square — the latest fashion in poppies.
Granite (left) and Rhyolite (right), give a sermon in stone.
Lichens in sunlight.
Lichens in shadow.
Dragon’s Kiss, from the Pass Mountain Trail.

More Hike Pictures updated December 27, 2018