We started at the northern end of the trail. It was instantly gorgeous, with Family Butte towering over everything. We wanted to do the trail next to it, but there just wasn't enough time. We'll save that one for another trip.
The trail got curvier, and then we started heading downhill pretty quickly. Even though it was steep and the trail was often near an edge, it was still pretty easy. The rim of the canyon was steep and gorgeous, and we got closer to Square Top and then passed it.
It had rained the night before as well as during many of the previous days, and it was muddy. There were long patches of sloppy mud as we followed the wash. It was never very deep or particularly slick, but it was sticky enough to stay with our tires long enough to throw the mud all over our Jeeps. Matt's tires stick out past his fender flares, and he probably got the worst of it. We never went very quickly in an attempt to keep most of the mud on the trail.
We skipped the Lucky Strike Mine and other spurs, making sure we had time for our long day of trails. When we got to the other side of Tomsich Butte, we didn't know that the other side was much more interesting so we stopped for a break next to an old car. We ran all over the place, and Matt did his best to climb up to a mine. He also found a cross on the side of the hill with no explanation.
Of course, the other side of the butte is the main attraction. When we got to the big intersection, we headed around to the other side of Tomsich Butte. There was a lot to see, and we had the place to ourselves. We read the information on the kiosk and marveled about the history of the area.
Matt went off to check out the Dirty Devil Mines while Monica and Walt went to see how close they could get to the Merry-Go-Round. They didn't get very far, though there were some nice camping spots near the river in that area.
The arch was really cool, though pretty far away. We didn't go to check out the start of the Chute of the Muddy Creek hike, but we wanted to do that hike during another trip. Too much to do in too little time, as always.
We soon left Reds Canyon and headed through Hondu Country to connect back with Hidden Splendor. This was a really awesome side trip.