Mummy's Toe from near Raintree

Raintree

(L-R) Harris Peak, Griffith Peak, Cockscomb Ridge, South Loop Ridge, Charleston Peak

Griffith Peak from Trail Canyon

Opting for a hike that stayed out of the slowly melting snow, sixteen hikers arrived at the Trail Canyon Trailhead for another climb up Trail Canyon. As usual, we tackled the climb at our own speed and arrived at the Trail Canyon / North Loop Saddle between 44 minutes and 1 hour and 10 minutes. After the front hikers had had quite a long cooling rest and the back hikers had a chance to catch their breath, we started onto the North Loop Trail by going straight across the saddle. The next 1 mile section of trail coming up is, perhaps, some of the most beautiful trail in the Spring Mountains as seen in the photo above. A wide view of the ridges above Kyle Canyon are seen across the top regions of Fletcher Canyon. The cliffs of Mummy Mountain rise welcoming above the trail in front of you as you hike.

Charleston Peak from Trail Canyon

We hiked as a group along the beautiful trail until the continuing ascent increased. There, most of the hikers went ahead on the last slope before reaching the Raintree saddle.

The Group at the Trail Canyon / North Loop Saddle

Upon arrival at the saddle, everyone found a seat on one of the outlying logs. It is considered irresponsible to sit on the large beautiful roots of the old bristlecone. This damages the tree's ability to live a longer life.

Mummy's Toe from North Loop

Staying Together for a Little While

While the group sat for their break, I explored the trail on the opposite side of the low ridge from the North Loop. There is no snow there all the way to the Fletcher Peak Trail junction. Knowing I needed to get back, I did not continue the exploration up the North Loop toward the Winter Peak go around. But, a friend informed me that the conditions are excellent in that area. If you wish to hike to Raintree from the North Loop Trailhead, take the ridge to the right at the last switchback (Winter Peak), make your way up and over or around the little ridge to meet the North Loop Trail after the high point switchback. Next, this is where the trail is supposed to be in good condition.

View between Trail Canyon and Raintree on North Loop

Follow the trail until you reach the Fletcher Peak Trail junction on the left where there are a couple of logs. Deepish snow starts covering the North Loop here. Jog to the left then turn right to follow a use trail on the other side of the low ridge from the North Loop. Voila! Raintree!

Fletcher Peak and North Loop Trail

Returning to Raintree, we were ready to start the descent. The front group scooted out pretty fast and I didn't see most of them for the remaining of the hike.

The last Ascent to Raintree

Snow on Trail around Corner

A few hikers stayed back to make sure the last hikers were doing well as we all made it down safely. A hike to Fletcher Peak is planned for four days from now. A friend reported that Fletcher Peak can be done without too much interference from the snow. It's slow going but eventually all the snow in the Spring Mountains will melt … I think! Day to day. Fun group today. Great people!
7.3 miles; 2200 feet elevation gain; 3.5 hours

Taking a Break at Raintree

Descending North Loop

Descending Trail Canyon