Crested Saguaro Society

Crest Quest Reports


February 26 - 27, 2022 More Western Arizona Mountain Ranges

Report by Joe Orman

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He who does not expect will not find out the unexpected, for it is trackless and unexplored.
                    Heraclitus


No mountain range can be fully explored ... there is always the canyon left untraveled, the saguaro-covered slope that remains hidden "around the next corner." On this trip I returned to two ranges in western Arizona, to explore some of those unseen corners.


The first mountain range could more properly described as a ragged hill; I'd found a couple of crested saguaros on its slopes while driving past on previous trips. This time, I parked and hiked up and around the hill. My first discovery was this small arm crest just above where I parked my Jeep.

crestedsaguarosociety.org/crested/cryavapai200/crest299.php

Higher up on a slope, my binos picked out this huge arm crest. I think it's all a single crest that twisted back upon itself as it grew and fanned out.

crestedsaguarosociety.org/crested/cryavapai300/crest300.php

Higher still, my binos saw this tall crested saguaro peeking over a ridge.

crestedsaguarosociety.org/crested/cryavapai300/crest301.php

A stone's throw away, I noticed another small arm crest.

crestedsaguarosociety.org/crested/cryavapai300/crest302.php

Higher still, just below the summit, stood this split-top crest, with several normal arms growing up out of the crest.

crestedsaguarosociety.org/crested/cryavapai300/crest303.php

From the summit ridge, I looked down a steep gully and spotted this arm crest hiding behind the normal arms of the saguaro.

crestedsaguarosociety.org/crested/cryavapai300/crest304.php

To loop back to my Jeep, I descended the slope and began to hike around the hill. I found this top-crest with a commanding view out over the desert floor.

crestedsaguarosociety.org/crested/cryavapai300/crest305.php

Just down-slope from there was this arm crest which also looked like it was also sprouting some normal arms.

crestedsaguarosociety.org/crested/cryavapai300/crest306.php

My circumnavigation of the hill brought me past this crested saguaro -- one of those I'd spotted on a previous trip.

Photos from 2018: crestedsaguarosociety.org/crested/cryavapai100/crest160.php

When I got back to my Jeep, it was only noon, so I drove on to the next mountain range. This range was a much more extensive one, and although I'd spent serveral previous trips there, I hadn't covered it all. I'd seen photos of three crested saguaros on the Internet, and figured out which corner of this mountain range they were in. The first was this nice top-crest.

crestedsaguarosociety.org/crested/cryavapai300/crest307.php

The second was this even bigger top-crest.

crestedsaguarosociety.org/crested/cryavapai300/crest308.php

I spotted a couple more off the road, and hiked over to them.

crestedsaguarosociety.org/crested/cryavapai300/crest309.php

This one was a Ring Crest.

crestedsaguarosociety.org/crested/cryavapai300/crest310.php

This was the third one I'd had a photo of. Two small arm crests, on adjacent saguaros -- the saguaros are only a couple feet apart, so they may be shared-root.

crestedsaguarosociety.org/crested/cryavapai300/crest311.php

I made camp under the desert sky, and the next morning continued on my quest. My first find of the day was another Ring Crest.

crestedsaguarosociety.org/crested/cryavapai300/crest312.php

A small arm crest just below the road.

crestedsaguarosociety.org/crested/cryavapai300/crest313.php

My last find of the trip ... faded and leaning, but still standing.

crestedsaguarosociety.org/crested/cryavapai300/crest314.php


As on all of my crest-hunting trips, I'd expected to find the unexpected. And since all crested saguaros are unique, I succeeded!


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Revised: October 15, 2022