Sterling Pass Feb 15

From the Sterling Pass trailhead at Manzanita Campground in Oak Creek Canyon, over the Pass to Vultee Arch.
P2170001   STERLING PASS P2170002 P2170003   This trail rises steeply up the west side of Oak Creek Canyon to the Pass P2170005
P2170006   The lower part of the trail is thickly forested P2170007 P2170008 P2170009
P2170010 P2170011   It's been a wet year P2170012   But we soon get into the Brins Mesa burn area of nine summers ago P2170014   The burned trees are now falling
P2170015 P2170016 P2170017 P2170018
P2170020   Now the views start to get rugged P2170021 P2170023 P2170024
P2170026 P2170027 P2170028 P2170029
P2170030 P2170032   Looking down into Oak Creek Canyon P2170033 P2170035   Near the top
P2170036 P2170037   A view window into the adjacent canyon P2170038   The tiny white cross at left center is known as the "Sterling pass eye test" P2170039
P2170040 P2170041 P2170042 P2170043   On top of the pass
P2170045   Down the other side, which is thick forest the whole way down P2170046 P2170047   At several places, huge outcroppings punctuate the forest P2170048
P2170049 P2170050 P2170051 P2170052
P2170053 P2170055 P2170056   On this side there are spot burns from the same fire, but no large areas of P2170058
P2170059 P2170060 P2170063 P2170064
P2170065 P2170066 P2170067 P2170068
P2170069 P2170070 P2170071   At this point, only a mile from the west end of the trail at FR152, is the turnoff for Vultee Arch P2170072
P2170073   Vultee Arch comes into view P2170074   This plaque comemmorates the Vultee crash in 1938, which actually took place on the Rim P2170075 P2170077   Looking toward the west end of the trail
P2170078   This open rock is the lunch point, but some of us elect to go on to the Arch P2170079   It's a steep, prickly scramble to the Arch P2170080   And, a tricky descent onto the Arch P2170083
P2170085 P2170086 P2170088   Made it! P2170089
P2170090   Giant manzanita grow around it P2170091 P2170092 P2170093
P2170094 P2170096   Meanwhile, back at the lunch rock P2170097   Returning the same way we came P2170099
P2170100 P2170101 P2170102 P2170103
P2170105 P2170108 P2170109 P2170110
P2170111 P2170112 P2170114 P2170115
P2170117 P2170119 P2170121 P2170122
P2170123 P2170126