Miles traveled: on foot; 8.4
Time spent traveling: 5 hours
Other: The time it took us and two other couples to find the trail head for Sterling Pass, 30 minutes. And that was after talking with the visitor information people!
Wx: partly sunny high 90s F
States traveled: AZ
After a breakfast of eggs and pseudo-pancakes we headed down to the Oak Creek Canyon visitor center to find out about hikes. They suggested Sterling Pass to Vultee Arch seeing how it was right across from our campground. It is also in the Red Rock/ Secret Mountain Wilderness. While we were in there another couple was getting the same recommendation. We never caught their names but they were from Kansas City. We went back to the campground to park the car at our site, donned on the packs with a gallon of water each and crossed the street…no trailhead. We walked up the road a ways, …no trailhead. We went back to the campground because we saw Kansas City. They were having just as much trouble as we were. There was no campground host on duty to ask. Another camper was trying to help by using his laptop and Magellan. Still no luck. I decided to walk down the road a ways because that is how the trail head looks on the map. Finally Brian’s blackberry picked up a signal and his google search gave us the facts that it was north (up) from the campground and had an obscure trail head. So the four of us set out up the hill. …still no trail head. We followed a few non trails around the hillside and then Brian saw a van with another couple and asked them. They were from Washington and planning on the same hike. They had found the trail head after driving up and down the road for a while and were able to get us going in the right direction! The hike was beautiful and the two canyons we hiked in had Ponderosas and a ton of wildflowers (I got good photos Amy!), so it was cooler than if we were out in the direct sun, but it was about all the heat I could bear.
Upon our return to the campsite, we went for another swim in the creek. Here are our photos: