Tarzan Butte Without Jane / 泰山孤峯上沒有珍

The weather had worsened since the first week of November. After last Sunday’s outing, this weekend, we went right back to dodge the rain in the east. We made a trip up to Teanaway Butte six years ago. But back then, we couldn’t see Tarzan Butte in the poor weather conditions.

Tarzan Butte holding down the fort
Tarzan Butte holding down the fort

See more trip photos here.

Tarzan Butte at a Glance

Access: NF-9701
Round Trip: 7.8 miles
Elevation Range: 2640′-
4385′
Gear: none
GPS Track: available
Dog-Friendly: yes

Walking the Road

I drove past the Twentynine Pines Campground and then turned left onto NF-9701. Then in .3 mile, I parked by the bridge before the yellow gate. Right behind the gate was another junction. We took the road straight ahead while going uphill slightly. Later, we would come out from the left fork.

As it turned out, many spur roads in this area were not on the map. But since they were all brushy, it was apparent which route to follow. At 3200′, the roadway took a turn due south. Then at the next road bend, it started to move west again.

The secret passage
The secret passage

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Tarzan Butte Summit with Spotty Views

Gradually, the road headed north toward the east ridge of Tarzan Butte. Then it eventually dwindled on the crest. We were now 2 miles in from the gate. At the end of the roadway was a section of tall shrubs to get through. Then by staying on the ridgeline, it was a short, steep scramble up to the summit.

Burned trees surrounded this high point. The devastation from the Jolly Mountain Fire was evident. The southeast end marked the highest point. But we took our break on the northeast edge for the spotty views of Stuart Range. Through branches, I could also see Earl Peak, Navaho Peak, and Three Brothers.

Stuart Range panoramic view through trees
Stuart Range panoramic view through trees

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Back to Walking the Road

We got up here early in the day, so there was still lots of daylight. Then I decided to add some excitement to the trip by making a counterclockwise loop. It would allow us to go through Rye Creek Valley we had yet to visit. Seeing Camp Lake would also be a bonus.

From the summit, we went down the southwest ridge. After a short scramble, we were then down on the 3520′ saddle. Another 200′ of scrambling south through the dense forest brought us down to the road adjacent to Rye Creek. Then a moderate two-mile walk got us down by the wetland.

Camp Lake
Camp Lake

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Camp Lake Plus Outro

Other than the few hawks flying overhead occasionally, the lush valley was eerily quiet. The lake wasn’t as big as shown on the map. So I nearly missed it before the glistening water caught my eye. But with a name like Camp Lake, I’d assume many outdoor activities happen here during the high season.

Besides the lake, there wasn’t much to see here. After a quick snack break, we then started walking again. We were now a little over two miles from the gate. In the last mile, the road made a turn north. Just before the road bend, we went through some mud and tree piles. So that was exciting.

Welcome home
Welcome home

See more trip photos here.

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