Soldier Heights Loop Mar16

From the Soldier Pass trailhead up onto the mesa, then a loop linking several interesting features and ending with a descent through Norm's Notch.
P3100105   This unusual start, from the Soldier Pass trailhead, addds three miles but FR 152 is now impassable P3100107   A look at Devil's Kitchen. The suspended block crack is still widening P3100108 P3100109   And her is a secondary crack starting farther up the slope
P3100110 P3100111 P3100112 tonemapped P3100113
P3100114 P3100115 P3100116   After a short distance on the Soldier heights public trail... P3100118
P3100119 tonemapped   We take a shortcut through the woods P3100121 tonemapped P3100122 P3100123
P3100124   And then up to a classic  ruin P3100125-Pano P3100127 P3100129 tonemapped
P3100130 P3100132 P3100133 P3100134   A deer skull
P3100137   There is much rock art at this site P3100138 P3100139 P3100140 tonemapped
P3100141   A chewed agave quid P3100142   This hole might have been used for storage, or as a cooking pit P3100143 P3100144 tonemapped
P3100149 P3100150 P3100151 tonemapped P3100152
P3100154 tonemapped P3100155 P3100157 P3100158   On the heights, a good rest spot
P3100159 P3100160 P3100161 tonemapped P3100162 tonemapped
P3100163 P3100164   Looking toward Mormon Overlook P3100167 P3100170   On the western side of the Heights, we traverse a seies o small coves. Loolking at Balanced Rock in the distance
P3100171   A closer look P3100172 P3100173   Indian paintbrush P3100175
P3100176 P3100177 P3100178 P3100179
P3100181 P3100182   Lost Ruin. There are moki steps from it up to this level. P3100184 P3100185
P3100186 P3100189 P3100190 P3100191   A twisted  Arizona cedar
P3100194   Looking down on FR 152, our intended route to the trailhead P3100197 P3100198 P3100199
P3100200 P3100201   Devil's Bridge on the back of Thunder Mountain P3100204 P3100205
P3100206 P3100207 P3100208 P3100209
P3100210   A closer view of the Bridge P3100214 P3100216   This tree stopped a falling boulder P3100218
P3100221   Pausing to remove cactus spines P3100222 P3100225 P3100227
P3100228   A look back P3100229 P3100230 P3100232
P3100233   Climbing to Norm's Notch P3100234   Lunch on top of the Notch P3100235 P3100236
P3100237 tonemapped   A view across the west side, and as far as Bell Rock P3100239 P3100240   Again, the Fort Apache Layer P3100241
P3100242 P3100244   Down through the Notch P3100246 P3100247   This cactus poses a special challenge this season
P3100249 P3100252 P3100254 tonemapped P3100256
P3100257 P3100258 tonemapped P3100259 P3100260   The Notch from below
P3100262 P3100263   Even more cactus on the trail below. Almost everyone got some thsi time. P3100264 P3100267 tonemapped   Crossing the crack at the end of the cove on the next levl down
P3100268 tonemapped P3100269 P3100271   This dormant moss is waiting for rain, which will turn it brilliant green P3100273   A view toward Cibola
P3100274 P3100276   Back on the public trail to complete the loop P3100277