This morning we went over to Tex’s house so he could show us some cool hikes that weren’t on the map. Greg had met him last weekend while mountain biking in the area. Tex pulled up Google Earth to show us some arches on a side trail of the Soldier Pass Trail, and some caves that were not far from the road a little farther south.
We headed over to the Soldier Pass trailhead to get started. There we passed another sinkhole, The Devil’s Kitchen, and The Seven Sacred Pools. We soon found the side trail and the arches. We were able to climb up behind one of them and explore around the top. When we kept going higher away from the cliff, we looked at the map and discovered we were on Brin’s Mesa. We could see a trail farther out and decided to head over to it and make a loop hike. By hiking down the Brin’s Mesa Trail, Cibola Pass Trail, and Jordan Trail, we made it back to the trailhead. The hike ended up being a little over four miles. It was mostly slow going because I was suddenly having trouble breathing as we reached the arches and would get stuck only taking shallow breaths. The elevation was between 4500′ and 5000′ for this hike, much lower than everywhere else we’d been hiking, so I’m not sure what the problem was.
We took a break to head back to the time share for lunch and the Eagles game, and then ran back out for one more quick hike at the Wind Caves. We found the small pull off to park in and headed down the short trail to the caves. There aren’t many, and they’re small, but they’re interesting because they were carved by wind instead of water. We spent some time climbing around inside, then climbed down to the creek at the base of the caves looking for more ways in. It was a cool last hike of the trip.